The original plan was to take the next year to write a book-length study of black Confederates. I have to admit, however, that my ability to concentrate on this subject has been seriously compromised. The book needs to be written, but I am beginning to doubt that I am the person to do it. I recently learned that James Hogue has been working on just such a study, but I have no idea where he is with it. His book, Uncivil War: Five New Orleans Street Battles and the Rise and Fall of Radical Reconstruction, is an excellent study that challenges our tendency to draw a sharp line between the Civil War and Reconstruction. I still don’t know where I am on this project, but that I am even questioning it should give you some sense of how the move has refocused me.
On Monday I am heading to the Concord Museum to check out a new exhibit on the Civil War. Following that I will head on over to the public library to meet with someone in their special collections department. I’ve become very interested in writing a community study and Concord may be just the ticket. Not much has been written about the community and the Civil War, though I learned that one study is close to completion. I am specifically interested in looking at the immediate postwar years as well as commemorative events in the area. Stay tuned.