Providing fresh perspectives on America's defining event
Emerging Civil War   June 2016
Stop the Presses!  —  The Future of Civil War History  —  Symposium 2016  —  New Book Releases
Welcome—and Some Welcome News!
In my years as a journalist long ago, I never had the opportunity to say, “Stop the press!” (That’s because I worked in radio: No presses.) I had the chance to say it this week, though. As I prepared this first issue of the new Emerging Civil War newsletter, we received some news that was so fantastic, I had to stop the press.

We received word from the Army Historical Foundation (AHF) that the Emerging Civil War Series is the recipient this year of the Lt. Gen. Richard G. Trefry Award.

Given as part of the Army Historical Foundation’s annual Distinguished Writing Awards, the Trefry Award “is intended to honor books—or series of books in this case—that deserve special recognition for their contribution to the field.” The AHF specifically cited the series’ “contribution to the literature on the U.S. Army.”

The AHF Distinguished Writing Awards are now in their 18th year.

We released our first title in the Emerging Civil War Series, Simply Murder: The Battle of Fredericksburg, in December of 2012. Since then, the series has grown to 21 titles by fifteen authors. Six of those books have gone into second editions, with four more second editions at the printer now. Forty-nine writers have contributed forewords and appendices. Cartographer Hal Jespersen has created 142 maps.

This has been an immense team effort—and deeply gratifying work. I know we all consider it a privilege to share the stories we do so that readers can stay connected with our history and remember the sacrifices of the men and women who lived and died in the storm 150 years ago. Thank you, all!

(And for those of you wondering how I could stop the press for an electronic newsletter? It was about to press the “send” key on the computer!)
The Future of Civil War History
On the blog, we’ve been musing this month about “ The Future of Civil War History.” Yes, we realize it might seem odd at first to be thinking about the future of the past. However, the June issue of the journal Civil War History introduced the idea, and it was such an interesting theme that we thought we’d riff on it a bit ourselves. So far, the series has included an interview with one of the journal’s co-editors, Dr. James Broomall, a great guest column from Savas Beatie, LLC, publisher Ted Savas, and some thoughtful posts by our own stable of writers.

Here are a couple quick take-aways so far:

Kelly Mezurek: “The future directions, and vigor, of Civil War history depend upon how we choose to integrate the vast and growing online opportunities with current practices of research in archives, speaking to public groups, and publishing in both popular and academic presses.”

Rob Orrison: “[W]hen it comes down to it, people want to be entertained. . . . Tell them a good story; tell them good history.”

Chris Kolakowski: “[W]e have to face two very important truths: schools are not teaching history as they did before, and the demographics of this country are changing in such a way that many people don’t have a direct connection to the Civil War or even understand why it is relevant.”

Kevin Pawlak: “[I]f we can tell [visitors] a good story, whether it be a sad one, a funny one, or a serious one that they can connect in their minds to a battlefield, a person, or an artifact, we can leave them with a much more memorable impression.”

There’s plenty more to come. And, at month’s end, we’ll wrap up the series with an interview with Civil War Times editor Dana Shoaf. Please join in the conversation. As Steve Davis observed in his post, “The War still matters.”  
The Third Annual ECW Symposium at Stevenson Ridge
A few spots still remain for the Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, which will be held in Spotsylvania, Virginia, Aug. 5-7, 2016.

Our theme this year, “Great Attacks of the Civil War,” features nine speakers PLUS a keynote address by Jim Ogden from Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. We’ll also have a panel discussion with our historians, a tour of the Second Fredericksburg battlefield, book signings by a dozen different authors, and more. All for just $95.

For a full list of the speakers and their topics, and for details on registering, visit the Symposium page on our website.
New on the bookshelf this month from the Emerging Civil War Series:
Next Month's Speaking Engagements
  • July 15th: Eric Wittenberg, “Stuart’s Ride during the Gettysburg Campaign,” Madison County Civil War Roundtable, Richmond, KY
  • July 16th: Edward Alexander, “The Last Ride of A.P. Hill,” Car Caravan Tour, Pamplin Park, Petersburg, VA
  • And don't forget the Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, August 5-7, 2016!
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