There is nothing quite like holding a copy of your own book for the first time. Yesterday UNC Press sent along a single copy of Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth and it looks amazing. The cover art is stunning. I am still feeling overwhelmed over the fact that this book is now a reality.
The book has been shipped from the printer to the warehouse and should be going out to those of you who pre-ordered as well as bookstores across the country very soon.
I was able to thank a number of you in the acknowledgments section, but I am sure I missed many, who over the years have supported my efforts, commented on the blog, and sent along additional sources. Blogging has been indispensable to my research and writing. It has functioned as something akin to peer review. This was true in regard to my first book on the battle of the Crater and it is even more the case this time around.
I wrote my first blog post about the black Confederate back in 2008 in response to an essay by historian Bruce Levine. Since then the subject, the idea of writing a book, and the actual research and writing has occupied a good part of my life. The publication of this book means that I can finally leave this subject behind.
That’s not to say that I believe this book is the last word on the subject. Far from it. I hope that it spurs additional interest in the subject—both in terms of the history and memory of black Confederates—among historians. There are a number of places in my book that deserve additional attention and I plan on writing up a blog post soon to point out a few.
For now I just want to thank each and everyone of you in this community. I hope you see the publication of this book as a small token of my appreciation.