On This 146th Anniversary of the Battle of the Crater…
I am pleased to report that I have a completed manuscript. Over the next few days I need to run through and check the endnotes. More importantly, my wife needs to read through the entire manuscript with the critical eye that she brings to everything I write. No doubt, Michaela will find some things that I need to address. The plan is to send the manuscript back to the publisher by Wednesday followed by what I would like to think is a well-deserved vacation. How I got here:
“William Mahone, the Lost Cause, and Civil War History,” [Essay completed for Robert Kenzer’s Research Seminar at the University of Richmond, 2003].
“‘On That Day You Consummated the Full Measure of Your Fame:’ Confederates Remember the Battle of the Crater, 1864-1903,” in Southern Historian 25 (2004): 18-39.
“The Battle of the Crater, William Mahone, and Civil War Memory, 1864-1937,” [M.A. Thesis, University of Richmond, 2005].
“William Mahone, the Lost Cause, and Civil War History,” in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 113 (2005): 379-412.
“‘The Earth Seemed to Tremble’: Confederate Reactions to the Battle of the Crater,” in America’s Civil War (May 2006): 22-28.
“The Battle of the Crater, National Reunion, and the Creation of the Petersburg National Military Park, 1864-1937,” in Virginia Social Science Journal 41 (2006): 13-34.
“‘Is There Not Glory Enough To Give Us All a Share?’: An Analysis of Competing Memories of the Battle of the Crater,” in Aaron Sheehan-Dean ed., The View From The Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers, (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2007), 227-248.
“‘Until Every Negro Has Been Slaughtered’: Did Southerners See the Battle of the Crater as a Slave Rebellion?” in Civil War Times (October 2010): 32-37.
This has been a long and, at times, draining process. In all honesty, this project should have been completed two years ago and a few people have even been critical of me for not publishing a book sooner. Hopefully, the extra time spent and the critical feedback received on previous publications have improved the overall ms. One thing I’ve learned is that writing history that is meant to contribute to the scholarly community is a joint effort and a matter of meeting high standards. We shall see if this final version meets those standards. For now I just want to enjoy the feeling of not having the weight of this project bearing down on me.
[Note: ms. length is not quite as long as above image]