Dan Hoisington, the owner of Edinborough Publishing, told me tonight that my biography of Ulric Dahlgren goes to the printer tomorrow. That marks the culmination of six long years of work on that project, and it’s the culmination of a labor of love. I can’t wait to see the book in print.

It’s due out by the end of June. I will keep everyone posted as to progress, and it will shortly be available for pre-order on my other web site.

Scridb filter

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Yesterday, someone asked a question on one of the forum boards I frequent about the morale and condition of the Army of Northern Virginia’s Cavalry in 1864, particularly considering that it lost its commander, Jeb Stuart, in May. I spent some time cobbling together a responsive essay that I thought I would share with you here.

Here’s what I wrote:

The Confederate cavalry was in surprisingly good shape in 1864 for lots of reasons. First, and foremost, the command of the Union cavalry was in shambles as the year began. With Pleasonton relieved, Buford dead and Kilpatrick sent west, three of the four highest ranking officers in the AoP Cavalry Corps were out of the picture. Instead, you have Torbert,

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The following editorial appeared in this week’s edition of U.S. News and World Report:

Opinion: Wal-Mart’s Attack on Civil War Battlefield in Northern Virginia
By John Aloysius Farrell

US News & World Report (NAT)

The Wilderness battlefield cannot be moved.

It is a one-of-a-kind place, where tens of thousands of Union and Confederate boys died in the Civil War. You can’t just shift the signs down the road a mile and call another tract of ground the battlefield.

But a Wal-Mart shopping center? How special is that?

Assuming that what America needs is another Wal-Mart, how hard can it be for corporate planners to choose a location that isn’t within the boundaries of a national battle park?


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Craig Swain and Don Caughey have invited me to join their Battle of Kelly’s Ford micro-blogging data compilation project. I’m pleased and honored to be a part of it.

As some of you may know, my 2003 book The Union Cavalry Comes of Age: Hartwood Church to Brandy Station, 1863 contains the most detailed account of the March 17, 1863 Battle of Kelly’s Ford ever published. Consequently, I have accumulated quite a bit of primary source material that will be a perfect addition to the project.

I’m looking forward to participating and I’m looking forward to seeing just how much information we can compile. Please check the site regularly.

Scridb filter

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From yesterday’s edition of The Gettysburg Times:

Electric Map may have found a home

Times Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:40 AM EDT

A nonprofit group is working with the National Park Service to keep the historic Electric Map in Gettysburg.

Historic Gettysburg-Adams County is talking to the park about obtaining the map and featuring it in a new museum, possibly along Steinwehr Avenue.

“It’s quite possible that it could be coming out of storage,” HGAC President Curt Musselman said Monday morning.

Musselman was the guest of broadcaster Fred Snyder during the Breakfast Nook program on 1320 WGET.

Musselman’s group has been working to obtain the map for “about a year,” and the

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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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