Sunday, September 10, 2006


Over the last few weeks, I’ve experienced moments of nostalgia as the reality sinks in that the manuscript is only a few months away from completion. As I write these words, I pause and glance to my right and see my desk. Upon it sits the final batch of manila folders. Each folder represents a Confederate soldier, and each contains various notes collected to date. There are only twelve left now, and together they stand no more than a foot high.

In fact, a stack of more or less the same height has dominated my desktop for more than a year-and-a-half now. During this time, the stack gradually thinned out as the profiles were researched and written, but, as new images were identified, it returned to its full height. This time is different, as there will be no replacement files. The stack will shrink until it disappears. And while I am pleased to know that the diminishing stack is a measure of my progress, I am also saddened, as I know that this fascinating journey into the lives of these soldiers in gray is coming to end before I am ready.