Friday, May 27, 2011

NYC project IDs more than 4,000 Civil War graves

By CHRIS CAROLA, Associated Press Chris Carola, Associated PressFri May 27, 4:31 am ET

NEW YORK – The first Civil War casualty to be buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn was a 12-year-old drummer for a New York regiment.

Clarence McKenzie, a local boy fatally wounded in an accidental shooting in Maryland, was buried June 14, 1861, two months after the Union garrison at Fort Sumter surrendered to Confederate forces. He was followed to the grave 12 days later by Adolph Vincens, a 23-year-old London-born jeweler who was the first Civil War battle casualty buried at Green-Wood.

By the time the war ended four years later, about 200 other soldiers and sailors who died in the Civil War were buried at Green-Wood, established in 1838 in what was then a rural section of Brooklyn. In the decades after the war, thousands of others would join their comrades — and even some of their one-time enemies — at the historic cemetery.

Today, the 478-acre expanse of greenery and statuary covering the cemetery's rolling hills is believed to be the final resting place of about 8,000 Civil War veterans.

A team of volunteers and Green-Wood staff has spent nearly a decade trying to identify all those graves. When the project began in September 2002, cemetery officials figured they had, at most, 500 veterans of the nation's bloodiest war buried here.

Using the cemetery's own burial records, plus government, military and privately owned documents available online, Green-Wood's project has identified the graves of about 4,600 Civil War veterans. Green-Wood historian Jeffrey Richman estimates 3,000 to 4,000 more are scattered among the cemetery's more than 560,000 total interments.
The Civil War dead buried at Green-Wood include unknown privates and famous officers, buglers and Medal of Honor recipients, Yankees from Maine to Iowa, fathers, sons and brothers, and even 75 Confederates, including two generals. None of the original gravestones for the Confederates gave any indication they had fought for the South, an intentional omission being rectified by the installation of new granite markers provided by Veterans Affairs.

Some of the gravestones and other markers at the previously known burial plots indicate that a person was a Civil War veteran, but most don't bear information or an insignia that would tip off researchers, Richman said. Some of the grave markers are so worn the inscriptions can't be read, while others are overgrown by grass or have sunken below ground level. Many of the veterans lie in unmarked graves, and it's only by checking the cemetery's detailed maps that individual burial plots can be located.

Part of the project includes placing new granite markers at the graves, marked and unmarked, of 2,000 of the Civil War veterans. So far, about 1,300 of the VA markers have been installed.

This Memorial Day weekend, the cemetery is hosting a three-day commemoration that includes re-enactors' encampments, an evening procession past the candlelit graves of the Civil War veterans and a gathering of some of their descendants, who will read their ancestor's name during a ceremony on Monday.

Jeanne Vincens, whose ancestor was mortally wounded at Big Bethel, Va., plans to take part in the ceremony. She helped acquire a VA marker for Adolph Vincens' grave several years ago. So, she knows what some of the other descendants will be experiencing when they see their ancestor's grave and remember the sacrifices made 150 years ago.

"It's very, very emotional," said Vincens, a 57-year-old information technology manager from Richmond, Va. "It's really a culmination of a lot of family history, and then being able to honor this person to make sure they're going to be remembered."

The cemetery's project includes compiling brief biographies for each Civil War veteran interred at Green-Wood. Some 4,600 are included on a compact disc the cemetery is selling for $10 each. According to the information on the CD, burials of Civil War veterans at Green-Wood continued through the 1930s and into early 1941, when 94-year-old Henry Stamm and 101-year-old Joseph H. Smith of East Orange, N.J. were laid to rest.

With several thousand graves still to be identified, Richman said it's unclear if Stamm and Smith were the last in a long blue and gray line to be buried at the cemetery, a line led 150 years ago by the drummer boy from Brooklyn.
Green-Wood Cemetery:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

LSU Press--Press Release

I received the following email today about a new release from LSU Press. This looks like an interesting book but maybe not one for those who worship Stonewall Jackson. Hard to tell what the outcome will be but this is a novel approach if nothing else.

Contact: Erin Rolfs

Inventing Stonewall Jackson Illuminates the Making of Legendary Confederate General
Wallace Hettle Examines How Historical Narratives Shaped the Myth of Stonewall Jackson

Baton Rouge, LA— In Inventing Stonewall Jackson: A Civil War Hero in History and Memory, Wallace Hettle offers an innovative and distinctive approach to interpreting legendary Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson by examining the lives and agendas of those authors who shape our current understanding of Jackson. As Hettle demonstrates, historians’ attempts to understand Jackson have proved uneven at best and often contentious.

Inventing Stonewall Jackson follows the narratives of newspaper reporters, friends, relatives, and fellow soldiers who first wrote about Jackson immediately following the Civil War. Most of them, according to Hettle, used portions of their own life stories to frame that of the mythic general. Hettle argues that the legend of Jackson’s rise from poverty to power, for instance, was likely inspired by the rags-to-riches history of his first biographer, Robert Lewis Dabney. Many other authors inserted personal values into their stories of Stonewall, perplexing generations of historians and writers.

Hettle contends that subsequent biographers contributed their own layers to Jackson’s myth and eventually a composite history of the general came to exist in the popular imagination. Later writers, such as the liberal suffragist Mary Johnston, who wrote a novel about Jackson, and the literary critic Allen Tate, who penned a laudatory biography, further shaped Stonewall’s myth. As recently as 2003, the film Gods and Generals, which featured Jackson as the key protagonist, affirmed the longevity and power of his image.

Impeccable research and nuanced analysis enable Hettle to use American culture and memory to reframe the Stonewall Jackson narrative and provide new ways to understand the long and contended legacy of one of the Civil War’s most popular Confederate heroes.

Wallace Hettle, professor of history at the University of Northern Iowa, is the author of The Peculiar Democracy: Southern Democrats in Peace and Civil War.

May 2011
224 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, 12 halftones
ISBN 978-0-8071-3781-9
Cloth $34.95s


Monday, May 23, 2011

Elmer Ellsworth Display at Abraham Lincoln Book Shop

I received the information below from the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop today. This looks like a cool event. If you're in the Chicago area be sure to check it out.

Elssworth Close Up

(April 11, 1837 - May 24, 1861)

The First Martyr of the Union
Tomorrow, May 24, marks the Sesquicentennial of the death of Union Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, on a dark stair case in the Marshall House Hotel, in Alexandria, Virginia. With this killing, the Union had their first martyr of the Civil War. Also tomorrow at Noon, Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc., opens an exhibit of art, artifacts, documents and letters from the largest private collection of Elmer Ellsworth-themed historic material extant. The exhibit will be on display for one month, and can be viewed at the Book Shop, 357 W. Chicago Ave., during the regular business hours of 9-5 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 9-7 on Thursdays, and from 10-4 on Saturdays.

The opening event features Abraham Lincoln Presenter George Buss, reading and discussing Lincoln's condolence message to Ellsworth's parents; he will then take questions from the press.


Ellsworth Killed by James Jackson.

On the day he was killed the young Chicago-based commander of Union troops was one of the most well-known men in America, with his award-winning military drill squad, enjoying the status similar to a top athlete or a pop star today. The fact that he was the first Union officer to die in the war, that he was a personal friend of President Abraham Lincoln and an idol to Lincoln's young sons, and that he was so widely known and admired, led to the rise of a cult of mourning in the wake of his demise.

Among the rare and one-of-a-kind artifacts is an 1859 Chicago document in Ellsworths' hand to the governor of Illinois enrolling the names of the members of "U. S. Zouave Cadets" drill team and requesting a commission in the Illinois State Militia for himself. Also, letters from the martyr's parents regarding the recovery of his horse, photographs of Ellsworth and his "avenger," Sergeant Francis Brownell, who killed his commander's assassin, and even Brownell's reward for his act, a commission as second lieutenant in the regular army signed by President Lincoln himself.


Stereo Plate of Francis Brownell, "Ellsworth's Avenger" 
Following Ellsworth's death Americans, or rather northerners, eagerly collected any mourning regalia, or even personal relics they could acquire. Relics include scraps of covering from the floor he died on, and splinters from the flag pole that once flew the Confederate banner he died trying to tear down. The exhibit features sheet music, a newspaper broadside giving news of his funeral arrangements, and patriotically illustrated envelopes and jewelry.

If you cannot come to Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, you can view the exhibit at our Exhibit Display Page.

Like all items on display at Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, the Elmer Ellsworth collection is available for sale. For questions regarding acquisition, please contact proprietor Daniel Weinberg at (312) 944-3085.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Upcoming Review--Failure in the Saddle

Thank you to my friends at Savas Beatie for sending a review copy of Failure in the Saddle: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joe Wheeler, and the Confederate Cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign written by David A. Powell.

Mr. Powell was recently awarded the Richard Barksdale Harwell Book Award by the Civil War Round Table of Atlanta for this work.

USA Weekend magazine travel suggestions

USA Weekend features a cover article by Ken Burns on his suggested Civil War travel sites. I've put the listing below. What are your thoughts? Good choices? What did he miss?

1) Fort Sumter, SC

2) First Bull Run--Manassas, VA

3) Shiloh, TN

4) Antietam, Sharpsburg, MD

5) Fredericksburg, VA

6) Gettysburg, PA

7) Vicksburg, MS

8) Chattanooga, TN

9) Petersburg, VA

10) Appomattox Court House, VA

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Review--The Battle of South Mountain

Hoptak, John David. The Battle of South Mountain. The History Press, Charleston, SC. 2011. 221 pages, 182 pages text, index, bibliography, notes, Order of Battle, b/w photos, maps. ISBN 9781596294011, $21.99.

The Battle of South Mountain (MD)Before the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam to the majority of readers) armies led by Generals George McClellan and Robert E. Lee met at a series of mountain passes known as South Mountain.

Antietam interpretive park ranger John D. Hoptak starts his wonderful book with an introduction to Robert E. Lee's first foray north of the Potomac River. Lee had approximately 70,000 men and enjoyed the numerical edge over George McClellan's army. Instead of the planned upon success Lee had many issues to deal with: his army was tired, food was scarce, straggling troops, and a lukewarm reception at best by Maryland citizens.

Ultimately the Battle of South Mountain was really three battles to control mountain passes: Fox's Gap, Frostown and Turner Gaps, and Crampton Gap. The battle that took place at Crampton Gap was a key in McClellan's failed attempt to free the troops held in siege by Stonewall Jackson at Harper's Ferry. Each of these is given a full chapter treatment that more than adequately covers the battle there.

Mr. Hoptak shows us the Union forces fighting hard and aggresively as they slowly beat back the Confederates who had held the higher ground. At the end of a long day of fighting Union troops succeeded in pushing the Confederates off the mountain and forced them into retreat. All was not rosy however as the follow up to this victory did not take place as planned. Despite Union efforts, Jackson was still able to receive a surrender from the troops at Harper's Ferry. Afterwards Jackson was ordered north eventually meeting up with James Longstreet and D.H. Hill at a town called Sharpsburg near the Antietam Creek. The bloody fighting there has overshadowed South Mountain for nearly 150 years.

While there have been other works dealing with South Mountain John Hoptak has written a book that will surely appeal to many interested in the Civil War. His writing is clear and the research thorough. The bibliography is a nice mixture of primary and secondary sources. I would be remiss not to mention the maps produced by Mannie Gentile. Hand drawn, these are not the standard maps you may be used to but rather delicately produced works that add to the book tremendously. Part of the History Press Civil War Sesquicentennial Series this is a book that should be in any Civil War library and without doubt must be owned by anybody interested in the Maryland Campaign.

Be sure to click on the links associated with John and Mannie's names to visit their excellent blogs. For further information click here to read an interview with John conducted on the Civil War Trust site.

Thank you to the good folks at The History Press for providing a review copy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Battle of South Mountain promo video

The Battle of South Mountain (MD)Just recently posted is a nice promotional video for John David Hoptak's wonderful new book The Battle of South Mountain published by The History Press. South Mountain was but a prelude to the battle of Sharpsburg, the bloodiest single day of the Civil War. In order to understand Sharpsburg it is crucial to know the background story including that of South Mountain. Hoptak has helped bring the importance of this seemingly forgotten battle to readers everywhere.

Please be sure to check back soon for my review of this excellent book!

Book Review--Civil War Speeches North and South

Harrison, Maureen and Steve Gilbert, editors. Civil War Speeches: The North. Excellent Books, Carlsbad, CA. 155 pages, 2011. ISBN 9781880780329, $24.95.

Harrison, Maureen and Steve Gilbert, editors. Civil War Speeches: The South. Excellent Books, Carlsbad, CA. 168 pages, 2011. ISBN 9781880780336, $24.95.

Civil War Speeches: The North The period of the American Civil War produced many great orators and speeches that are still remembered today for their importance. In an era before 30 second sound bites starring famous actors or 140 character twitter posts dulled American senses and shortened attention spans the political speech helped shape American opinions whether heard live or read in newspapers days or weeks later.
Civil War Speeches: The South In this interesting new set of books editors Harrison and Gilbert have brought together some of the great oratory from the Civil War era (1850-1865). Overall the North is represented by 20 speeches while the South has 17. The leaders of both the Union and the Confederacy are well represented with Abraham Lincoln having four included (First and Second Inaugural, Gettysburg Address, and A House Divided Against Itself) while Jefferson Davis is included three times (First and Second Inaugural and Lost Cause). Other speakers include William Seward, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, John Brown, Roger Taney, William Yancey, John Breckinridge, Robert E. Lee and others. Many of the works are recognized classics yet many may prove unfamiliar.

The editors have worked to present only the original words spoken referring either to original texts or reconciling differing texts. In places they have modernized spelling and some speeches are abridged to their essential content. Each speaker and speech receives a brief introduction and afterward. A small list of suggested reading accompanies each speech.

Overall, interesting content that should appeal to those with either a passing interest in Civil War oratory but who do not wish to get bogged down and also to those with a deeper interest. Each reading really stands on it's own allowing readers to pick up and put down the books as they see fit and have time. The reasonable purchase price could make this an appealing choice for survey level college courses dealing with this time frame.

Thank you to Excellent Books for providing review copies of both books.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Article of Note in Confederate Veteran

Confederate Veteran. Sons of Confederate Veterans. March/April 2011.

While catching up on the reading that has been piling up I came across an interesting and I think important article in the March/April issue of Confederate Veteran. Now before you go rolling your eyes thinking this is another version of the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery or there were lots of black Confederates hear me out. This has nothing to do with those ideas.

Charles Kelly Barrow has written an article in his Report of the Lt. Commander-in-Chief column that I think can be adapted to any member based group that has meetings.

Barrow puts forth the idea that there are no shortcuts to greatness and that officers of the group (in this case local SCV camps) should rather strive for greatness and go the extra mile where need be. Barrow states that leaders should exhibit leadership and guidance to the membership. The desires of the group should be listened to and then action taken to try and achieve these goals. Leaders should know the rules or know where to find answers to questions that arise. As an example for the SCV Barrow reminds us that leaders should have a thorough understanding of the application process. They should also be able to help members complete the genealogical portion of the process. The camp adjutant should handle all dues properly and efficiently.

When it comes to meetings I think Barrow hits on a few key points. Leaders should strive to greet each attendee. Now for very large gatherings this may be unrealistic but lets face it most history meetings are not drawing hundreds of guests. By making new members feel welcome they are much more likely to continue attending and remain members. Continuing members are the life blood of organizations and if newbies don't feel welcome are they inclined to send in that check next year? Also, members have a right to high expectations. Meetings should be held regularly with a standard meeting schedule. When possible meetings should be held at the same location. While you can't please everybody keeping to a schedule helps breed familiarity and build the group bonds.

History groups are about education and leaders play a key role. While leadership may not be the most learned they must take an active role. By scheduling engaging speakers and having interesting programs members will keep their interest level high. We all know that not every Camp or Round Table can afford or would even want to bring in a James McPherson or a Jeffry Wert but that doesn't mean there aren't locals with strong specific area knowledge. Reach out to other local history groups and see what's there. Finally, education is not just for members. It should be the goal of any group to get the word out about themselves. Attend public events, reach out to schools, advertise if possible, etc.  If the public doesn't know about you they can't join you.

While having good leaders is key for a group these leaders are helpless if members are indifferent or more inclined toward petty bickering. Members also have a responsibility in following their elected leaders. Don't like the leader? Hold them accountable. Remove them and run for office yourself.

Anyway, like I said I think these principles can be applied to any hobby group or organization. Just an unusual place to find such recommendations. Well done, Lt. Commander Barrow!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book Review--Lincoln on War

Lincoln, Abraham. Lincoln on War: Our Greatest Commander-in-Chief Speaks to America. Harold Holzer, editor. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. 2011. 304 pages, index, b/w photos. ISBN 9781565123786, $24.95.

Lincoln on WarHarold Holzer has made a name for himself as an Abraham Lincoln scholar in addition to his "real" job working for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Holzer has helped write or edited more than a dozen works on Lincoln so it is only fitting that he has put together this excellent collection of Lincoln's words dealing with war.

Each chosen piece receives a brief introduction from Holzer providing the reader with background information. Organized chronologically Holzer uses Lincoln's words from over 160 letters, speeches, telegrams, orders, and more to illustrate the evolution of the man many call our greatest President. Holzer starts with a couple of brief statements from the 1830's before moving into Lincoln's prime years. While the large majority of these works are from the Civil War years Holzer provides many early examples allowing readers to trace the evolution of Lincoln's views. While there are many familiar works here such as the "A House Divided" speech upon accepting the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1858 and the 1863 Gettysburg Address the majority will be unfamiliar except to the most veteran of students. Therein lies the beauty of this work.

While this book is really aimed at those with an interest in Abraham Lincoln it should be read by anyone with an interest in the Civil War. The book is such that it can be picked up and put down without problem. Each of the entries is concise enough that readers with even short amounts of time can pick this book up. The subject matter and very reasonable price would make this an ideal book for college level work on the Civil War or Lincoln. Highly recommended.

Thank you to the kind folks at Algonquin Books for providing a review copy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

16th Annual Lincoln Forum Announcement

I received this information today from the Lincoln Forum regarding the 16th Annual Lincoln Forum. They have lined up a great slate of speakers. Looks like it will be a good time!




Actor Stephen Lang to Evoke Military Heroes of the Era;

Living Legend Ed Bearss to Deliver Keynote Address

( GETTYSBURG , APRIL 1, 2011)—The roiling Civil War home front—and how secession and rebellion changed the capital city of Washington for the Lincoln family, for women, for African Americans, and for the first citizen-soldiers who volunteered to fight for the Union—will be the theme when scholars, students, and aficionados gather for the16th annual symposium of The Lincoln Forum this fall at Gettysburg. Forum XVI will take place from November 16-18, 2011 at the Wyndham Hotel.

Broadway and film star Stephen Lang (A Few Good Men, Gettysburg , Gods and Generals, and Avatar) will appear at the final session of the symposium to remember the heroes of war in highlights from his acclaimed one-man performance piece, Beyond Glory, a tribute to Medal of Honor recipients.

The three-day gathering will mark the 150th anniversary of Northern and Southern mobilization for war in 1861—and is the latest program in the Forum’s five-year-long observance of the Civil War sesquicentennial.

Frank J. Williams, Chairman of the Forum, announced that a distinguished roster of both new scholars and old favorites would be on hand to explore a wide range of intriguing subjects relating to the year 1861. Presenters will include iconic Civil War battlefield guide Ed Bearss, former chief historian of the National Park Service, who will deliver the keynote address on the evening of November 18.

“The year 1861 brought enormous changes to both the North and the South,” commented Chairman Williams, “not only on the front lines but in the back yards of an America in crisis. We want this second consecutive Civil War sesquicentennial gathering to fully illuminate the details and nuances of this domestic revolution, and how it affected both the most famous and the most ordinary of our citizens, none of whom was ever the same again. We are pleased and proud to be presenting a highly original theme with a superb faculty of gifted writers and talented speakers. This is bound to be one of the most provocative and unforgettable symposia in years.”

In addition to Lang and Bearss, Forum XVI presenters will include William C. (“Jack”) Davis, biographer of Jefferson Davis and author of books on the Confederacy and Lincoln; longtime White House historian William Seale , whose two-volume history of the presidential mansion has just been re-issued in a new and updated edition; experts on the Todd and Lincoln families, Stephen Berry and Jason Emerson ; authors Michael J. Kline and Thomas Craughwell, whose books have won both critical acclaim and popular audiences; and Victoria Ott, a scholar of the role women played in the wartime North and South. Historian and journalist Adam Goodheart, whose first book, 1861: The Civil War Awakening, looks at the first year of the war from the perspectives of the country’s leaders and followers alike, will make his Lincoln Forum debut.

Among the historians who will participate in the annual panel discussion—this year’s theme is “Why Didn’t the War End in 1861?”—will be Forum Vice Chairman Harold Holzer (panel moderator), Chairman Williams, and historians Craig L. Symonds, John F. Marszalek, Thomas Horrocks, and Adam Goodheart. This year’s session moderators will include historians Edna Greene Medford , and Joseph Fornieri.

Two of the nation’s busiest and most popular Lincoln presenters, James Getty of Gettysburg and George Buss of Freeport , will offer readings of two of Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 masterpieces: his condolence letter to the parents of Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth, and his July 4, 1861 message to a special session of Congress. By tradition, the Forum will present its two coveted awards: the Richard Nelson Current Award to an outstanding individual, and the Leonard Wells Volk Award for an institution that has made a major contribution to preserving Lincoln history and memory.

Finally, for the second year in a row, the Forum will offer attendees the opportunity for either a battlefield tour—this one with Ed Bearss—or participation in small, no-holds-barred breakout sessions with participating historians, moderated by journalist Linda Wheeler of the Washington Post and Civil War Times; Everett and Antigoni Ladd of Gettysburg’s Tigrett Corp.; Ron Keller of Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois; and Daniel Weinberg of Chicago’s Abraham Lincoln Book Shop. As a bonus, Wyndham executive chef Claude Rodier will join Chairman Frank Williams—himself a master chef who has appeared on many TV cooking shows—to prepare Lincoln-era menus in a first-come, first-served (literally!) program entitled: “Dining Inside the White House.”

Early reservations are encouraged for what promises to be another sell-out symposium. Registration forms have been sent to all Lifetime Members and Annual Members who are current with their dues. The form will be posted on The Lincoln Forum website at the end of May. Hotel reservations must be made separately—and mention the Forum to obtain special rates.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Upcoming Review--Sickles at Gettysburg

SICKLES AT GETTYSBURG: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Declared Himself the Hero of GettysburgOK so I'm a bit late getting to this party. However better late than never. I recently finished reading Sickles at Gettysburg.  What a great read. James Hessler has written a wonderful book here that should stand as a key starting point for future Sickles research. Anyway, to tide you over until I get my review written here is a link to an interview Mr. Hessler did with the Civil War Trust. Thanks to Sarah Keeney at Savas Beatie for suggesting this.

Interview--Lisa Shower

During our recent trip to Gettysburg Chris and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Lisa Shower one morning. Lisa has a wealth of knowledge about Gettysburg both the battle and the city. The town tour she gave us was both informative and entertaining. I highly recommend seeking her out for her tour. I can also highly recommend the recent book that she helped with. Read my review here.

CBR--Welcome Lisa and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. For those who aren't familiar with you can you please tell us a little bit about yourself.

LS--I took a leap of faith in January 2004 and pursued my dreams by relocating to Gettysburg. I have had a life-long love of American History and was fortunate to have parents who indulged it. I live in Bonneauville with my husband of 2 years Rick and my 14 year old feline, Moo Cow Kitty.

CBR--You have recently collaborated with Kevin Drake on the book Test Your Knowledge on the Battle of Gettysburg. Can you please tell us about this and how you came to be a part of it?

LS--I met Kevin about 2 years ago at the Adams Co. Historical Society. We started a conversation that led to me casually answering questions related to civilian experience since he was looking for information in order to include more of them in the book that he was already working on.

CBR--I recently picked up a copy while in Gettysburg and it really enlightened me to just how little I know about the battle. What has been the feedback you and Kevin have been receiving? Are there any plans for a follow up volume?

LS--We have received very positive feedback. There is definitely plans for a second volume. We are encouraging current readers to submit their own questions for consideration of inclusion.

CBR--For readers who would like a copy can you suggest where they may be able to purchase the book? Are there any book signing events planned in the near future?

LS--Locally, Battlefields and Beyond Military Book Shoppe, American Civil War Wax Museum and all locations of Gettysburg Souvenirs & Gifts. Online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Two book signings are schedule for May 14 from 2pm to 5pm at the Wax Museum and May 15 form 12noon to 2PM at Battlefields & Beyond.

CBR--There is also a website associated with the book and you play a key role there as well. Please let readers know your role there and what they can expect when visiting the site.

LS-I write a weekly column that is posted to the site each Sunday evening. It includes current events, anecdotes and a weekly calendar of activities. The site also includes weekly photo trivia contests. Daily contests can be found at our Facebook page.-

CBR--In addition to your writing you also work as a Gettysburg Licensed Town Guide. Can you tell us how you got involved with this and what an average day is like for a Town Guide?

LS--This is my passion! A dream come true. Long before I lived here I was consumed with learning about the town & people who were forever changed by the Battle. The Licensed Town Guide program was launched in 2005, I was licensed the next year in 2006. Our main information desk is located in the Atrium lobby of the Gettysburg Hotel on the Square. We offer multiple tours each day and take turns leading visitors on 90 minute walking tours of town.

CBR--Many readers will confuse what you do with the Licensed Battlefield Guides. Would you explain the difference in the two and why visitors should be interested in the city proper and take a tour with you or another guide? Can tours be tailored to visitors specific interests or level of knowledge?

LS--No battlefield tour is really complete without the services of both a Licensed Battlefield Guide AND a Licensed Town Guide. A Town Guide focuses on the impact the 3 day battle had on the community. Every tour includes the early formation of the town's history up to the American Civil War, the three day occupation by the Confederate army, the aftermath of the battle, Dedication Day and President Lincoln's visit up to the present. All Licensed Town Guides pride themselves on flexibility and cater their tours to meet the interest level of the visitor.

CBR--Readers may be familiar with the rigorous criteria to become a Licensed Battlefield Guide but can you please outline what it takes to become a Licensed Town Guide.

LS--The testing process is nearly identical to that of an LBG. Our program was established with the cooperation of the National Park Service and their Rangers. Town Guides base more emphasis on individuals and personal accounts. Town Guides must also possess a solid understanding of the military actions involved in the three days battle.

CBR--You are also actively involved in the Adams County Historical Society. Can you tell readers a bit about that and the organization?

LS--The Adams Co. Historical Society is the home of most of the County's records. Their daily operation is highly dependent on on volunteer hours. I have been "working" there since September 2004 on various projects including digitization of their voluminous records. Over the next few years the Society will move into temporary quarters while Schmucker Hall is renovated and turned into a state of the art museum that will focus on the 1st days battle, it's use as a major field hospital after the battle, the Underground Railroad and the Lutheran Theological Seminary @ Gettysburg.

CBR--What is your favorite battlefield spot that visitors should not miss and why?

LS--Along Brooke & Cross Avenues, which runs between the Wheatfield, Triangular Field and the Rose Farm. I have always got a better sense and feel for what happened there due to the topography and the peaceful environs.

CBR--What is your favorite town spot that visitors should not miss and why?

LS--Coster Avenue Mural. A beautiful memorial to the soldiers of various Union regiments of the 11th Corps who fought a brief but heavy fight in that spot before continuing their retreat of the 1st day. It is a seldom visited spot.

CBR--So what's next for you? Any projects you would like to share with readers?

LS--I am nearing completion on a joint project with Kevin Drake. We are co-authoring an as yet untitled, well researched and historically accurate historical fiction book. With an emphasis on the townspeople of 1863 of course!

CBR--Lisa, thanks so much for your time. I'm sure readers will have learned a lot and if they're like me will be looking forward to their next (or maybe first) trip to Gettysburg!