15 June 2007 by Published in: Blogging 13 comments

Greetings from Harrisonburg, Virginia. I am here for the annual conference of The Shenandoah Civil War Associates (more on that later). I had hoped to make this post last night, but the drive here was exhausting and then I had an Associates’ board meeting last night. By the time I got back from that, it was nearly 11:00 and I was way too tired to think coherently.

Some of you may have noticed that my last post has been deleted. While I don’t regret that the post is gone, I do regret that the wonderful comments that it spurred are. Those very useful and well-considered comments, from the likes of Ken Noe and Lanny Tanton, got me thinking, and I had all day in the car alone yesterday to chew on all of this. Hence, I came to the conclusion that life is just far too short for the sort of ugliness that occurred last week, and that that sort of ugliness only splinters a community that must stand together.

Consequently, it’s time to bury the hatchet and move forward. To Kevin Levin, I apologize for lashing out at you in anger and regret my intemperate and unfortunate choice of words. To everyone else who reads this blog, I apologize to you, also.

JD has explained most of the reasons why we both overreacted in this excellent post. I don’t have a lot to add, other than to say that I’ve admitted here that I tend to be hypersensitive to criticisms of my work that suggest or otherwise imply that as an “amateur”, my work is somehow deficient. Again, while I really don’t want to get into the whole amateur vs. professional thing again, I took all of this as personal criticism when I don’t think it was necessarily intended to be. For that, I apologize.

As J.D. says, we will leave our letter to the editor of Civil War Times speak for us. We spent a lot of time on it, and so did our publisher, Ted Savas, who also signed the letter. It is temperate, well-written, well-reasoned, and says what I believe needed to be said. And there, the discussion ends.

Tonight, when I get back from dinner, I will discuss this symposium and the day’s events.

Scridb filter


  1. Fri 15th Jun 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks Eric. I really do appreciate it. All of this actually got me to go out and buy your book. Perhaps this could work as a new sales strategy (LOL). Every so often I toy around with writing a detailed tactical study of the Crater along with the other questions that I am interested in. Unfortunately, I don’t know a damn thing about writing such a book so why not go to one of the master. Anyway, I just started, but so far so good. Enjoy your weekend in Harrisonburg.


  2. Michael Aubrecht
    Fri 15th Jun 2007 at 12:58 pm

    So glad to see you guys moving on with this. Well done. A prayer has been answered. Have a great trip Eric and enjoy your time in VA. And Kevin, a detailed tactical study of the Crater sounds great. It was so much more than a big hole in the ground and perhaps “digging deeper” (pun intended) would reveal some valuable historical treasure (wow 2 puns!). I’m “on” today.

  3. Fri 15th Jun 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Eric: Good to have you back online, and I’m pleased I could be of service. Say hi to the Holy Commonwealth for me.

    Michael: Perhaps Kevin’s afraid a Crater project will blow up in his face. (You have to Grant me that one.)


  4. Fri 15th Jun 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Yikes, you guys!

    I miss the old days – I think the arguments were better than the jokes! 😉


  5. Michael Aubrecht
    Fri 15th Jun 2007 at 3:36 pm


    Do you mean back in the old days when things were more “explosive”?

    …somebody please stop me.

  6. Fri 15th Jun 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Oy, Mike. You wouldn’t know a pun from a hole in the ground.

    Dynamite, just dynamite.


  7. Fri 15th Jun 2007 at 5:03 pm


    You’re welcome. Please enoy the book. And I will look forward to your comments.


  8. Fri 15th Jun 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Ken and Michael,

    Thank you. I do appreciate the reality check.

    But the puns….oy……


  9. Lanny Thomas Tanton
    Fri 15th Jun 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Dear friend Eric,

    The hardest object for anyone to master is oneself. Your latest blog shows us great self mastery. Isn’t the greatness of Lincoln and Lee found in the fact that they rose above pettiness and avoided the urge to defend themselves when it was unnecessary?

    Creative people (and you are one as a writer) put alot of themselves into their work and therefore any criticism of the work is felt as a criticism of one’s self. If you read, for example, biographies of Bach and Mozart you can see how sensitive they were to anything negative. Yet, today, nobody knows who their critics were and what they wrote because Bach and Mozart wrote music that was imperishable.

    Your works will be read 50 and 100 years from now, long after all the criticisms of it are forgotten. Keep on writing at the same high level that you always have and history will take good care of you.

    However, my friend, your latest blog shows a greatness of character that adds to the respect your friends already have for you. You are a man among men and I am proud to know you.

    Have a great time on your trip and write and tell us all about it.

    Best wishes always,


  10. Ian Duncanson
    Fri 15th Jun 2007 at 10:49 pm

    I’m glad the bullets have stopped flying around. When all has been said and done, I will still buy the books, enjoy the content and research, and if not move on. I’m the consumer, pay attention to me and all will be okay.

  11. Dave Powell
    Sat 16th Jun 2007 at 6:42 am


    You and JD have made a smart move. Glad to see it.

    The book is selling well and drawing rave reviews. That should be gratifying…

    Dave Powell

  12. Jim
    Tue 26th Jun 2007 at 4:17 pm

    I read the exchange and all I can say is that I’m not surprised Kevin acted silly as I see it everyday in his blog. What adult moderates his blog with “I HAVE LOST ALL RESPECT FOR YOU!”? My advice for him is, “Best to keep your mouth shut and appear like an idiot rather than to open it and remove all doubt” – Twain

    Glad to see the bigger man amend the fracas first.

  13. Tue 26th Jun 2007 at 5:12 pm


    Thank you for your kind words, and for the vote of confidence. Sometimes, you just have to move forward. This was one of those instances.


Comments are closed.

Copyright © Eric Wittenberg 2011, All Rights Reserved
Powered by WordPress