Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Yesterday, Bob received the manuscript and emailed me the Author’s Questionnaire, or “AQ,” a ten-part series of questions designed to furnish the publisher with basic information about the manuscript.

This morning I began to fill it out. Two parts, a listing of individuals who might be willing to evaluate and comment on the manuscript, and a list of competitive books, were easy to fill out — thanks to my efforts late last year to identify people to review the draft manuscript, and my original book proposal for Union Faces, which included a section on competitive books.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Manuscript Mailed

This morning I mailed the manuscript to Bob Brugger at the Johns Hopkins University Press. Back in September 2004, on a rainy, windy day soon after Hurricane Ivan, beneath the cover of a tent at the Baltimore Book Festival, Bob suggested I write a companion volume on Southern soldiers. Two years and four months later, it is completed. Seems like only yesterday that he suggested the idea.

Last night I scanned through the entries below, and concluded that a visual display of this journey would be helpful. I started work on a timeline subdivided by overlapping bars representing various stages of work on the manuscript (locating photographs, research and writing, feedback, editing). I’ll add it to the Web site soon.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Birthday Gift

Ed Bearss, the Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service and America's foremost authority on the Civil War (many know him from the Ken Burns series), returned an edited copy of my manuscript last week. I received it on my birthday, along with these words:

“Ronald S. Coddington has scored a masterpiece again. As a follow-up to his much applauded Faces of the Civil War featuring Union soldiers and sailors, he has authored a sequel. This time Confederates are center sage as they proudly pose for the all-important cartes de visite that are as treasured today by collectors and buffs as by their home folks and comrades of long ago. Complementing these are biographical profiles that inform but do not overwhelm, reminding us that each haunting face is a real person who lived, served and died many years ago.”

I owe Mr. Bearss a debt that cannot be repaid. In addition to these kind words, he meticulously reviewed the manuscript, including the 600-plus endnotes, and made a number of valuable suggestions. I revised the manuscript to reflect almost every one, and the text is now stronger and more focused thanks to his efforts.