Many of you are familiar with my Maps of Gettysburg book. It has received positive reviews since it was published in 2002. It is a monster, weighing in at almost 700 pages. It took me quite awhile to write but it was among my best efforts.
Now that I am a licensed guide at the Antietam National Military Park, I decided to work on a companion volume. I quickly realized that my colleagues at the park– fellow guides and rangers– could use their wealth of knowledge to assist in creating a fantastic book. I am now the editor (and will pen probably a third of the entries) and over 20 others are contributing. It is an exciting effort that will add to our overall knowledge of this great battle.
I’m pleased to announce that my newest addition to the Civil War map series will be out this March (or April). My Maps of Gettysburg volume, the first in the series also remains the largest. I was unable to add a number of maps and the greatest shortcoming was the cavalry actions. My new book corrects this oversight. The Maps of the Cavalry at Gettysburg will contain almost 90 full-color pages of maps– many pages have two maps, so the number is probably closer to 130.
The book begins with the savage fight at Brandy Station and covers the fight for the Blue Ridge Mountain passes, how each cavalry arm got to Gettysburg (including the fights at Westminister, Hanover, and Hunterstown), the action at Gettysburg (north and south fields), and the role of cavalry in Lee’s retreat/pursuit.
I am very happy with the book and hope you will too.
My wife and I recently published a book on the largest prisoner of war camp for Confederates in the North. At one point, over 20,000 young men were incarcerated in the camp. Two other books have been published but they were highly bias and larger tomes. We wanted to write a shorter book for the general public to explain how and why the camp formed, what it was like to live and die there, and its aftermath. We also get into the Hammond General Hospital that was formed a year earlier. I will try into post portions of the book in future blogs.
We self-published the book and think it came out well. The 135 page book, with lots of illustrations can be purchased for $12 (plus $3 shipping). A portion of the proceeds will go to the St. Mary’s Historical Society and the Friends of Pt. Lookout Civil War Camp. If interested in purchasing a copy, please drop me at line at firstname.lastname@example.org
My sixth book in the mapping series has been published! The Maps of Fredericksburg could be my best work yet, but then I say that about all of my books when they first appear.
This volume is about the same length of most of the others– about 125 full-color maps with accompanying text. The publisher has actually lowered the retail price from $39.95 to $37.95. You can get it cheaper from Amazon. I can also sell you a personally inscribed copy at a lower price than retail. Just email me: email@example.com
Like all of the campaign studies I’ve completed, I learned so much. What stands out about this campaign is:
- Burnside’s reluctance to assume command of the Army of the Potomac
- The problems with securing enough pontoon boats to bridge the Rappahannock River
- Burnside’s muddled plans to attack Lee on the heights behind and below Fredericksburg
- The utter senseless destruction of Fredericksburg by the Union artillery and infantry
- How close Meade and Gibbon’s divisions came to successfully piercing the Confederate line
- How 21 Union brigades could be thrown against Marye’s Heights in succession
I am finishing up the Maps of the Cavalry at Gettysburg and the Maps of Spotsylvania (including North Anna and Cold Harbor). More on these in future posts. The next new map project will be the Maps of the Petersburg/Appomattox Campaign. Oh, and I am working with Sean Chick on a Maps of the Shiloh Campaign. He is doing the text and I am completing the maps.
It’s been while since I posted anything and lots has happened in my life. I retired in June, 2017 and my wife and I moved to Fairfield, PA a couple of months ago. Many may know it is just west of Gettysburg, which is bustling with all kinds of activities. I have been writing (will update that on a future post) and my wife has gained a studio behind our new home (which was built in 1871-72).
I am also a Gettysburg Licensed Historian, which means I give tours of the town. I am not thinking of becoming a Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide anytime soon.
Retirement is great!
The first draft was finally completed about a month ago and I was ready to finish revising and getting it off to my editor. What campaign next, I thought. My editor, Ted Savas, said “not so fast.” We discussed ideas for the remainder of the war and he made a good point. Why have North Anna and Cold Harbor as a separate volume? Combine them with the Spotsylvania volume and go up to 144 maps (instead of the 110 that I had been anticipating for just that one campaign).
So, I am hard at work finishing this volume. I am finishing up the North Anna fights and will soon move south with the two armies.
Good news on a slightly different front– Ted indicates that he will probably start editing the Fredericksburg volume soon.
One more year to retirement! I hope to really ramp up my writing at that time. In the meantime, I am making some good progress on a variety of topics.
- The Maps of the Wilderness Campaign continues to be well received.
- Check out these two recent reviews:
- My Maps of the Fredericksburg Campaign is now with Ted Savas with a 2017 possible release date. This is one of my favorite books of the series.
- My Maps of the Spotsylvania Campaign, which is the second installment of the Overland Campaign series, is up to May 14 (Myer’s Hill). I will end this one on May 20, 1864.
- The Gettysburg Encyclopedia continues to prod along. I am finishing up about two dozen entries, and then it will be ready for editing. This will be a massive work.
Hope you all are enjoying this HOT summer.
My fifth map book is finally out: The Maps of the Wilderness. It follows in the footsteps of the Maps of First Bull Run, Maps of Antietam, Maps of Gettysburg, and Maps of Bristoe Station/Mine Run.
This one runs 324 pages and contains 24 maps sets with 120 original full-page color maps. The book begins with the armies in winter quarters. This section covers the changes in the armies, particularly the arrival of U.S. Grant. The action really begins on May 2, when Grant finalizes his plans for the Army of the Potomac.
The action covers the movement of the Union army through the Wilderness and Lee’s response, leading to the early encounter on May 5. The fighting along the Orange Turnpike and the Orange Plank Road is covered in detail.
Then I cover the actions, or inactions, of the Confederates during the night of May 5-6. The latter opens with a massive attack along the Plank Road and this is detailed in many maps, as is the arrival of Longstreet’s First Corps, its flank attack, and the final attacks on the Union works along Brock Road.
John Gordon’s flank attack is also covered in some detail as it had so much potential and created so much havoc.
A number of cavalry actions are also covered in this volume. The book ends with the armies moving toward Spotsylvania Court House on May 7.
I believe that the book turned out quite well. In future posts I will detail specific sections of the book.
Like so many others, my version of a “dream” weekend is spending it at a battlefield. This upcoming Labor Day Weekend will be very special, as I will be at two battlefields to sign books. The schedule is:
Gettysburg Visitor Center
September 5, 2015
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Antietam Visitor’s Center
September 6, 2015
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Hope to see you there!
I have been remiss in not posting more frequently to this blog, but life keeps getting in the way. I am closing in on retirement within the next two years, so I should have more time to post.
I am happy to announce that my Maps of the Wilderness book is now at the printer and is slated to be out by January, 2016.
It was a very difficult book to write, as the actions were so confused and confusing. I think I did a pretty good job of accurately capturing the action. Several individuals really helped me in my endeavors, including Greg Mertz, Kris White, and Phill Greenwaldt.
After completing the Wilderness book, I got right to work on the Maps of the Fredericksburg Campaign, and I am pleased to report that it has also been completed. You probably won’t see it until early 2017.
I have started my seventh map book…more on that one soon.