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I spent a big chunk of this afternoon working on the library project. Here’s what’s gone on so far….

All of the fiction books were moved out of the main library and were relocated to a bookcase in our living room. It’s true. W.E.B. Griffin has been banished. The baseball books were also moved to the same bookcase. That opened up a 7 foot tall x 3 foot wide bookcase that had been completely full with fiction books.

I moved two bookcases that had been in my office home and put them in front of the closet in the library (the closet really doesn’t get used for much of anything, so it’s not a big loss), and moved all of …

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As I have mentioned here previously, my book manuscript on the Battle of Brandy Station is complete and is in the hands of the publisher. A couple of days ago, the publisher advised me that the book will released right around Memorial Day 2010, in time for the anniversary of the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9. Stay tuned. More details to follow.

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Just to show that I’m not just committed to the preservation of cavalry battlefields, here’s an opportunity to do some real good for the preservation of the battlefield at Franklin AND a way to gain a $10,000 corporate donation, too.

The Franklin’s Charge organization www.franklinscharge.org of Franklin TN is currently conducting a fundraising campaign to purchase the famous Carter Cotton Gin property, epicenter of the Nov. 30, 1864 Battle of Franklin and site of the death of Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne. A large payment on the property is due in early September and Franklin’s Charge is in the midst of a special urgent appeal.

Christie’s Cookies will donate $10,000 to whichever charity receives the most votes in an online “election.”

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Time for another in my infrequent posts on forgotten Union cavalrymen. Today, we’re focusing on a little-known officer who commanded an even more obscure unit. Erastus Blakeslee was born to Joel and Sarah Marie Mansfield Blakeslee in Plymouth, Connecticut on September 2, 1838. He attended the Williston Seminary at Easthampton, Massachusetts for his college preparatory studies, and entered the freshman class at Yale University in the fall of 1859. He was on his spring vacation in 1861 when the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, and he was one of the first from Plymouth to enlist in response to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers.

He enlisted in Company A of the 1st Battalion Connecticut Cavalry Volunteers on October 9, 1861. Nine …

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In response to yesterday’s post, my friend Bud Hall has weighed in on the loss of the southern end of Fleetwood Hill. This was originally a comment to the post, but it is important enough that I decided to feature it as a main post here.

Back in 1984, I was transferred to FBI Headquarters in Washington, and soon bought a home in Virginia. Growing up in Mississippi on a cotton farm–and descended from a 13th Mississippi infantryman–I of course retained in my genes a compelling interest in the Civil War.

My very first weekend trips took me (and my maps) to Brandy Station. Map and primary source analysis, as well as discussions with land owners, convinced me that

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My friend Clark “Bud” Hall wrote the following piece for his former column that appeared in the Culpeper Star-Exponent newspaper:

Fleetwood Hill: The Famous Plateau

“The Most Marched Upon, Camped Upon, Fought Upon, Fought Over Piece of Real Estate in American History.”

As one enters Culpeper County on U.S. Highway 29 from the northeast, your vehicle proceeds about four miles and soon passes a little knoll on the right. Scooped from the flood plain of the Rappahannock River, this grassy, gentle hillock marks the southern terminus of a two and a half mile ridge that witnessed more fighting, more often, than any other piece of ground in this country—in any war.

Fleetwood Hill—geologically the beach of a primeval sea—overlooks a

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Kevin Levin has a post on his blog today about a new book that looks like a finalist for 2009 Neo-Confederate grand champion. Thanks to Kevin for bringing this prize to my attention.

The reasons why this is both preposterous and shockingly offensive ought to be obvious. Then again, Pelican is known for publishing garbage (as this little gem proves), so it doesn’t come as a huge surprise.

So far, this is my leading candidate for 2009′s grand champion.

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Dan Hoisington of Edinborough Publishing, the publisher of my Ulric Dahlgren bio, informed me today that the books have arrived at the distributor’s warehouse and will ship to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. this week, so for those of you who have been awaiting its release as impatiently as I have, your patience is about to be rewarded. They should have books to sell by the end of the week.

I am also advised that I should have my copies by the end of the week, too. This, much like my history of Rush’s Lancers, was a real labor of love for me, and I have a lot of my heart and soul invested in it, just …

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After the favorable response that my post on Henry Washington Sawyer of last week, I realized that this story was so compelling that I had to tell in full detail. Consequently, I have proposed to Dana Shoaf, the editor of both America’s Civil War and Civil War Times, an article that tells the story in detail. I spent most of the afternoon working on it today, and think that the full version is a very compelling story.

I will keep you posted as to progress. Hopefully, Dana will like it and will want to run it in one of the two magazines.

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13 Jul 2009, by

Dr. Clark Donlin

Clark DonlinI first met Dr. Clark Donlin at a Civil War cavalry conference convened in Winchester, VA in 1996. Pretty much anybody who was a cav guy was there, and Clark was no exception. At the time, I had no idea who Henry Sawyer was, but Clark knew everything there was to know about Henry Sawyer. He told me that he portrayed Sawyer, and also told me that he was hoping to write a book on Sawyer.

Clark and I were in infrequent contact. He would call me once or twice a year to ask me a question, or run something by me, or look for advice, and we would e-mail. He was always very pleasant to talk to, and I …

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