Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Lone Star treasure chest

The Texas State Historical Association's The Handbook of Texas Online is the single-best state history resource I've come across on the Internet. I highly recommend it to all: http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The rare identified Confederate CDV

How rare are identified, wartime CDVs of Confederate soldiers below the rank of colonel? The MOC in Richmond has 2,500 CDVs. Half of these are civilians and the other half military and political. If you take away the generals, politicians and unidentified images, 88 remain. That's about 3.5 percent of the total images. Curator Heather Milne, in an e-mail today, wrote, "I would say that is about right" in reply to check my numbers. She added: "It is not an accurate count but a good generalization."

Museum of the Confederacy visit

Spent several hours yesterday at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. Very impressive collection. My favorite display items included three paintings by artist Conrad Wise Chapman (two of the sub Hunley and another of a naval battle at Charleston). I've seen these paintings reproduced in books, but they must be seen to really appreciate the detail and quality. My next favorite display items were the uniform coats of many famed generals. Some were in absolutely perfect condition. The purpose of my visit was a meeting with Heather Milne, the Curator of Photographic Collections. She was very kind to share the museum's collection of identified wartime cartes de visite (88). After evaluating each photograph for condiiton, I selected 21 for possible inclusion in the book. Next, I will gather research on each soldier. If I can track down enough details about their lives and military service, their stories will be included in to the final published volume. Based on prior experience, I expect that at least half of the images will not make it. So, if all goes well, I might add ten.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Signings at Gettysburg, Baltimore events

I have been immersed in research and writing Confederate soldiers since my last posting. Today marks the completion of the seventh profile, Capt. C. Shaler Smith of Georgia's Local Defense Troops (Augusta). My focus is on Southern soldiers and the next volume, but I continue to be involved in the sales and marketing of the Union book. In the past week, three signing events have been added to my fall schedule: The Baltimore Book Festival (Sept. 25), Gettysburg National Park (Oct. 15) and the Baltimore Book Bash (Oct. 23).