07 October 2007 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 2 comments

One of the things that amazes me about my historical work is how threads seem to unravel as you tug on them. There have been a number of instances where one project has led directly to another.

Here’s just one example.

Sheridan’s Trevilian Raid ended on June 24, 1864, when his two divisions rejoined the Army of the Potomac at Petersburg. In the meantime, the Wilson-Kautz Raid began on June 21 and ended on July 2, 1864. The two expeditions overlapped, and one of the reasons why the Wilson-Kautz Raid was a failure was that Sheridan did not keep Hampton and the Confederate cavalry occupied as Grant expected him to. There has never been a truly detailed study of the Wilson-Kautz Raid (there is one book, but its focus is on the fight for the Staunton River Bridge and not the entire raid), and I decided to tackle that project at some point. I’ve got several hundred research files of primary source material to use to base a book on the Wilson-Kautz Raid upon, and at come point, I will write that book.

In the course of wrapping up the retreat manuscript, J. D. and I identified a really interesting story that stems directly from the Wagon Train of Wounded, and we’ve decided to do an article about it. The article will focus in on something that is interestin but very tangential to the retreat book, but which will also serve to promote the book when the time comes. That’s the best of all worlds, as it means that we will be able to bring a great story to light in detail and still use it as an opportunity to try to bolster our book sales.

It’s a great example of how really interesting stories sometimes end up being offshoots of my projects.

Scridb filter


  1. Stu Richards
    Mon 08th Oct 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Hello Eric, My name is Stu Richards, I live in Orwigsburg, Pa. and I am a member of the Schuylkill County Historical Society in Pottsville. Recently a friend of yours and mine, a Tom Shay emailed me and stated you were intrerested in finding info on a Col. William H. Boyd that was supposed to be held in our files at the society. I cannot find anything or ever remember any files on Boyd being in our collection. Over the last 25 years I have looked at almost everything we hold concerning the Civil War. can you give me more info on what was supposed to be there? and I will once again take a look for you.
    Anyway I want to say what a fan I am of your works, I am presently reading your book “Plenty of Blame to go Around” an excellent book can hardly put it down in the evenings. I have also written a few books mostly on coal minnig, but one on World War 1 “Pennsylvanian Vocies of the Great War” and the CW “History of Company C 50th PVVI. From the Camp, battlefield and Prison Pen” I am currently finsihing up one on a Marine from Schuylkill Haven who was onboard the U.S.S. Susquehanna 1860-1863 fabulous letters.
    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy what you write and the research you do.
    If you ever take the step and go west with the boys of the 7th Pa Cav. {Hard core Cav boys) I have tons of info and letters from the two companies from Schuylkill County A/F also Col George C. Wynkoops letters written to his wife from 61 thru 63. And would give you all access to these items. They are in our society excellent! By the way I rode with Tom Wiliams and the 5th U.S. Cav for 15 years. I think we did a demo for one of your walking tours once. Anyway I hope this finds you well and if I can assist you in anyway just let me know.

    Stu Richards

  2. Stu Richards
    Mon 08th Oct 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Sorry eric I listed the wrong email addr. Just changed providers and got messed up.


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