26 November 2007 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 3 comments

Stephen W. Sears was kind enough to agree to write a foreword to the Dahlgren biography for me. In addition to being a terrific writer in his own right, Steve’s done a lot of editing in his day, including serving as an editor of the late, lamented American Heritage magazine. Steve not only wrote an excellent foreword for the book, he also gave me some really good suggestions for making it a better book.

I had originally written the conclusion by presenting the range of possibilities for what Lincoln knew and when he knew it and then permitting the reader to draw his or her own conclusions about this critical issue. Steve suggested that I should instead take a position–tell the reader what I think is the truth, based on the evidence–while dealing with the other possibilities and by using the evidence to eliminate them. I did so. It went through several drafts of re-write, and Steve gave me excellent feedback on each of those drafts.

It’s finally done. It’s at the point where I think it’s finished, and where I think that the conclusions stated are well-supported by the evidence at hand.

I also added some good new material from the very useful volume of the notebooks of Lt. Col. Theodore Lyman that just add good insight to the overall manuscript, some of which I have already mentioned here. The addition of this material has only further bolstered the quality of this book.

I submitted the revised pieces of the manuscript to Dan Hoisington, the publisher of Edinborough Press, who is currently considering the manuscript for publication.

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  1. Bill Shepherd
    Mon 26th Nov 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Eric : I know I am looking forward to your treatment of the Civil
    War commando, Ulrich Dahlgren. While the true mission of the the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid will always generate controversy, I have always thought his Gettysburg fighting and covert missions to be fascinating. As usual, your research and use of previously unknown or ignored original sources will enlighten your readers. Best of luck on this project.

  2. Mon 26th Nov 2007 at 11:43 pm

    Thanks, Bill. I greatly appreciate the vote of confidence.

    The Gettysburg covert missions, in particular, were probably Dahlgren’s finest hour. In fact, I titled the Gettysburg chapter just that–Ulric Dahlgren’s Finest Hour: The Gettysburg Campaign.

    I had fun turning up new sources on this one. I was surprised to find stuff that nobody else had used or even considered, so I ended up blazing quite a bit of new territory with this project.

    I will keep everyone posted as to developments on the publication front.


  3. Teej Smith
    Tue 27th Nov 2007 at 6:08 pm

    I found it interesting that in an 1896 letter to Gen. Marcus J. Wright, John Mosby did his best to refute that Dahlgren had anything to do with what happened at Green Castle. Have a feeling his intent had more to do with embarrassing former scout and then current editor of the “Richmond Times,” William Royall whom he once referred to as “that fool Royall Cockroach” than discrediting Dahlgren.


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