Friday, January 01, 2010

Progress Report

Yesterday I emailed my editor at The Johns Hopkins University Press an end-of-the-year update on the African American book. To date, I have secured scans of 74 images, and researched and written 15 profiles. I had set a goal of 75 images and 10 profiles, and so am pleased with my progress.

This year's goal is to locate 21 more images (for a total of 95) and write 45 more profiles. This will be a challenge, and I am cautiously optimistic.

Also mentioned in my email: "Looking ahead, 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the first organized black regiments, and 2013 the 150th of the U.S. War Department making the organization of black troops official. The publication of the book with these dates in mind may be advantageous."

Time to get to work!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Yesterday I mailed complimentary copies of Confederate Faces to individuals who played critical roles in the book's development. I struggled to find the correct words to express my gratitude for the generosity and support of so many people. I inscribed title pages with various phrases including "with deep appreciation," "profound thanks," and other expressions. These words are fitting and proper, and pay tribute to their contributions.

The key word is generosity. So many people gave freely of their time and expertise. I am indebted to them all. And, as I wrote words of thanks in each book, was awestruck by the genuine goodness of so many, not on my behalf, but for the preservation and memory of the millions of men, North and South, who went to war during our nation's greatest crisis.

"The history of the Civil War is the stories of its soldiers," I write in the introduction to this volume, and I thank each and every one of the individuals here today who helped to tell those stories.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"It's a Book"

This is the subject line of the email I received Monday from Anne Whitmore at The Johns Hopkins University Press, informing me that the first copy of Confederate Faces had arrived, and that it would be soon be on its way from her office in Baltimore to my home. Considering the holiday yesterday, I did not expect to receive it until tomorrow at the earliest.

It showed up on our doorstep today. Anne called me at the office, but got my voicemail, and decided then and there to make it a surprise. Tonight after dinner, she distracted me with YouTube videos and brought out a chocolate cake with candles, a card, and the package containing the book. She definitely caught me off guard and totally by surprise! After blowing out the candles, I opened the package. The fine folks at JHUP did a great job all around. I am truly pleased with it!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Confederate Book Jacket Arrives

Senior Manuscript Editor Anne Whitmore sent me several jackets for Confederate Faces with a note that really brightened my day: "When these were sitting in my in-box, everyone who walked by stopped and said, 'Wow.' It's just as handsome, arresting, and haunting as the jacket for the Union volume — a tough standard to meet."

I salute the design team for coming through again! I am delighted with it. I took one of the jackets and wrapped it around a copy of Union Faces for this picture.

FYI: The rest of the book is due at the end of November.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Advertisement in "Civil War Times"

Pleasantly surprised this morning to discover an advertisement for Faces of the Confederacy while thumbing through the latest issue of Civil War Times magazine (December 2008, Gen. Benjamin Prentiss on the cover). Included is the endorsement of author Bob Zeller of the Center for Civil War Photography, who noted, "Coddington has brought new life to Civil War photographic portraits of obscure and long-forgotten Confederates whose wartime experiences might otherwise have been lost to history."

The ad also refers to two other books, Gustavus Vasa Fox of the Union Navy by Ari Hoogenboom and Testament to Union: Civil War Monuments in Washington, D.C., by Kathryn Allamong Jacob.

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