Sunday, January 28, 2007


Tonight the manuscript was finished with the completion of the acknowledgements. In this case, “finished” means all of the writing is done. I plan to read through it twice in the next couple weeks, making tweaks and other revisions. When I’m satisfied, I’ll send a bound copy to the Johns Hopkins University Press. Then, let the editing and publication process begin!

In writing the acknowledgements, I’m overwhelmed by the support of family, friends, and the many people I’ve met along the way. They’ve all made contributions large and small that have added depth and richness to the soldier stories, and in doing so revealed the best side of humanity — generous of their time and efforts, friendly and helpful all the way.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The End of the Endnotes

The manuscript contains 619 endnotes, all of which were added as each profile was written. I’ve spent the last nine mornings reviewing each one for accuracy and style. From these entries I prepared the bibliography. It includes:
— 132 books and unpublished manuscripts
— 15 articles
— Materials from 30 manuscript collections
— References from 35 newspapers
— Materials from 37 Web sites

Although some may think that this is a tedious and boring exercise, I found it quite the opposite! The process-oriented fact checking and reviewing consistency of style was a nice break from the writing of the preface, which required intense focus and creativity. Some of the endnotes caused me to revisit, and in some cases, revise text in the preface and profiles. For example, an endnote for a photographic history book reminded me that I forgot to mention in the preface that some of the cartes were copies of portraits made in other formats. I was also reminded of all the helpful people around the country who gave freely of their time to provide all kinds of details.

The number of endnotes and bibliographic entries is double that of Union Faces. The main reason for this is that I relied on U.S. government pension files, which include in-depth detail about each Union volunteer. I did not have this resource for the Confederates (the federal government did not grant them pensions) and so consulted a myriad of other sources for information. This will make, by my estimate, the Confederate book 35 pages longer (286 to 251 pages). I wonder if this will trigger concerns about consistency.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Parallel Tracks

Three significant activities have dominated the last three weeks, all on parallel tracks and all a multi-tasking test.

Priority one is the writing of the preface. This includes an introduction and a description about how this volume came together. The majority of my time has been spent laboring over this task, and it was completed this morning. I am especially pleased with the first statement, inspired by the writings of Carlyle and Macaulay: “The history of the Civil War is the stories of its soldiers.”

As I drafted the preface, feedback on the manuscript began to flow in from the twenty-plus individuals who received in at the end of last year. I’ve evaluated numerous comments and have made revisions accordingly. This is an ongoing process.

The Web site has been revised to give equal weight to both books. I reorganized the navigation. It is comprised of nine main links, grouped in three sections: Confederates, federals, and general (Home, About the Author, and “The Art of the Carte”). I also created a static home front image to promote both books. It replaces the Union book trailer, which is now one of the nine links. Faces of War 4.0 made its debut yesterday.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Art of the Carte

For more than two years now, I’ve focused primarily on images of identified cartes de visite. During this time, and in previous years while researching and writing Union Faces, my collection of photographs of unidentified soldiers and civilians from the war period continues to grow. Last week, I completed an online photo gallery that features a selection of those images, The Art of the Carte.