Below is the president’s report of North & South, Inc. I recognize that by publishing this report here, I am airing dirty laundry. However, a lot of people are losing a lot of money due to the rank incompetence of the president of the company and his supporting cast of yes-men, far more than I am losing. I simply could not stand by and allow it to happen without the world knowing and understanding that the investors are being stripped of the company’s only asset for nothing but the assumption of the debt by a not-for-profit company that will probably be used as the personal piggy bank of the president.


It will come as no surprise to anyone

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Greetings from my home town of Reading, PA. Susan and I are here visiting my parents for Mother’s Day.

I spent much of last night and a big chunk of today going through the Dahlgren page galleys, which is the last step before the book is sent to the printer. To my surprise, it turned out to be a 300 page book before the index, which hasn’t been prepared yet. When I started on the project, I never dreamed that I would be able to get a 300 page book out of the life of someone who was killed three weeks before his 22nd birthday, but Ully Dahlgren packed so much living into his 21 years and 11 months that …

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Since yesterday’s post has been so well received, and because reader Don Hallstrom asked for it, here’s a list of biographies that are needed. Again, these are in no particular order, and I hope that you will all pitch in as you did yesterday.

1. David M. Gregg
2. A fair and balanced bio of Judson Kilpatrick (the existing one certainly is not either fair or balanced)
3. Thomas T. Munford
4. David F. Day
5. George G. Meade
6. Thomas L. Rosser
7. Richard Taylor
8. D. H. Hill (in fairness, my friend Chris Hartley told me last week that he’s researching one)
9. Abner Doubleday (a thoroughly dislikable guy, but scoundrels can be fun)
10. William Mahone
11. …

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We all know that the Battle of Gettysburg has been the subject of literally thousands of books. There are books about every aspect of the Battle of Gettysburg, ranging from books about Jenny Wade to microtactical histories. There are few aspects of the battle that have not been addressed, probably to the point of being ad nauseum.

There are, in fact, too many books about the Battle of Gettysburg, to the exclusion of numerous other battles that have long needed good tactical treatments. There are any number of engagements and/or campaigns that come to mind as needing a really good modern study, to-wit, in no particular order:

Petersburg (the entire campaign)
South Mountain
Bristoe Station
Five Forks
Mine Run…

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2 May 2009, by

A Rant

Today, I made my annual trek to Mansfield, Ohio. Mansfield is about 50 miles north of Columbus, and is a pretty non-descript place. However, the second largest Civil War show in the country is held there the first weekend in May each year. Every year, I go and visit my network of friends and book vendors who gather there, drool over antique weapons that I can’t afford, and look for a CDV of Ulric Dahlgren, which are, evidently, few and far between. For the first time in years, I didn’t spend a dime today.

I actually had intended to. I got an order for a copy of my second book, “We Have It Damn Hard Out Here”: The Civil War

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30 Apr 2009, by

Choosing Images

Those who are familiar with my work know that I firmly believe that no book can ever have too many maps or too many illustrations. I’ve been busy the past couple of days selecting the images to use in the Brandy Station book. I get a total of 55 of them, and I have to save some of them for the tour portion of the book. There will be 12 maps, which leaves me approximately 37 images of the participants to use in the book. I usually end up with a few more Union images than Confederate simply because Union images are easier to find, but I try to keep the ratio at about 55-45%.

After 15 books, I’ve accumulated …

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Jackie Barton of the Ohio Historical Society, who is the coordinator for the sesquicentennial commission, saw my post from yesterday, and left a comment. It had enough good and useful information in it that I decided to feature it:

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the coverage and the support. The Advisory Committee hasn’t actually been appointed yet: we’re working on criteria/goals. And though we are certainly behind states like Virginia and Pennsylvania, we are mostly in line with or even ahead of some others. I’ve been participating in a quarterly call with all the state coordinators who are planning to commemorate the 150th through American Association of State and Local History, and some states are just starting to plan.


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Gov. Ted Strickland has FINALLY gotten around to establishing a committee for the commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War here in Ohio. From today’s issue of The Columbus Dispatch:

Committee named to plan Ohio’s 150th anniversary Civil War events
Monday, April 27, 2009 10:41 PM
By Alan Johnson
Ohio’s contributions and losses in the Civil War will be recognized by a committee commemorating the 150th anniversary of the conflict.
Gov. Ted Strickland today established the Civil War 150 Advisory Committee under the direction of the Ohio Historical Society. The 18-member committee will plan events for the sesquicentennial commemoration from 2011 to 2015.

No new state funding was allocated for the Civil War 150 committee,

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About two weeks ago, I posted about my Brandy Station project. I mentioned that I had not located a publisher for the project, and I also mentioned that the thing didn’t even have a title yet. I’m pleased to announce that both problems have been resolved.

The History Press, of Charleston, South Carolina, has accepted my proposal, and I am prepared to sign a contract with them to publish the work. My proposal was for a 68,000 word manuscript, with 50 maps and illustrations, and it was accepted as proposed. I am due to submit the manuscript some time around Labor Day, and I think that there’s a reasonable chance that it will be out before the anniversary …

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Time for another of my infrequent profiles of forgotten cavalrymen. Tonight, we feature Colonel John Beardsley of the 9th New York Cavalry, a scoundrel if ever there was one. He’s one that probably should remain forgotten.

Colonel John BeardsleyBorn on October 12, 1816, in Fairfield, Herkimer County, New York, John Beardsley was appointed to the United States Military Academy in 1837. He graduated 17th in the class of 1841, which included such future luminaries as John Reynolds, Robert Garnett, Richard Garnett, Don Carlos Buell, Nathaniel Lyon and Israel Richardson, all of whom would become generals in the Civil War.

Upon graduation, Beardsley joined the 8th Infantry. Beardsley served in the Seminole War in Florida from 1841-42, and in Mexico. In 1846 with …

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