A new Civil War Roundtable

I would like to take this opportunity to announce that a colleague and I have decided to form a physical Civil War Round Table. I have mentioned in the past my wish to create a virtual one, due to our remote location in North Dakota. Well, fellow doctoral student Stuart Lawrence put together the organizational materials, with me helping plug the group and offer moral support, and we have created the Northern Plains Civil War Roundtable. We are constructing a web-based home (will link that very soon). Anyway, if you live in the Grand Forks area and read this blog, please consider joining us at the E. Grand Forks, MN VFW Club this Tuesday, April 27 at 7:00 PM. Stuart will present the first paper, which will deal with the Zuoves in the Union Army. This blog will give coverage of the first meeting and I will explore how to put presentations on Youtube. I hope you will support us through encouragement and suggestions of ways we can reach those physically unable to join us at our meetings.

Click here to download an info. sheet on the group.

New email for the blog

I have created a new email address specifically for the blog. This is due to the email I have used for a couple of years being awkward and that I will soon be migrating that account over to a new system that my alma mater has created for email. I wanted to prevent any disruptions that might occur from that, so if you have a question, comment, or other matter that you want to get a hold of us at the blog, you can email us at civwarhistory@gmail.com. I hope this makes contacting us a bit simpler.

Welcome to our newest writer

I would like to welcome fellow graduate student, Army veteran, and Civil War reenactor Stuart Lawrence to the writing staff. I am sure that he will add many interesting posts to the blog and will be a wealth of experience on reenacting and other topics.

And the winners are . . .

Congratulations to the winners of the contest held this last week. To those who did not win, I want to thank you for entering and for visiting. It was a hard choice, but the following persons won a copy of Robert Hicks A Separate Country:

Sherry Gibbs–AL

Karen Haney–FL

Ed Norris

Andrea Valdes–NY

Gary Van Ess–WI

Congratulations again, and, according to Miriam Parker, you should receive your copy in about two weeks.

Book contest now closed

Midnight has now come and the giveaway has now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted via either comment or contacting me through the Contact CWH page. I will examine the entries later today and will contact the winners later today to let them know. Again, thank you everyone for stopping by this last week and for those entering the contest. I hope to hold more giveaways in the future, so if you represent a publisher and would like some free publicity and exposure for your products, please let me know if you offer giveaways for bloggers.

Book Giveaway for BBAW

Okay folks, I have a special offer to make, courtesy of Miriam Parker, Associate Director, Online Marketing at Hachette Book Group. I would like to offer five copies of Robert Hicks’ new book A Separate Country (Hicks also wrote The Widow of the South). This giveaway is being held in conjunction with Book Blogger Appreciation Week. To enter and be considered for a copy, please either comment or use the Contact CWH page, provide your real name and a valid email, and comment on the following:

Excluding James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom (clearly a hard-hitting work), what do you feel has been the most significant historical book on the Civil War to be published in the last twenty-five (25) years and why?

How long should your comment be? I would prefer those interested to answer the question in a good paragraph, with multiple paragraphs being good too. There is no right answer, as I merely want your thoughts on the question backed up by intelligent thought, as I know you are all intelligent people reading this site. Basically, convince this historian why the book you chose was the most significant, drawing upon the book itself and the career of the author, if needed. I will explain that I excluded McPherson because he is a giant of the field and his work would be on many lists and I would like to see what other possibilities you will think of.

Also, please answer this question with just a title: What is your favorite fiction book on the Civil War? Again, no right answer.

I will leave the contest open until midnight of Monday, September 21, so please be sure to enter. I will examine all entries and will choose what I feel are the five best submissions and email the winners to request appropriate contact information for Miriam to send the copy to. Further, the five winners and a couple of honorable mentions will be posted and the submitters will be given the opportunity to join the writing staff of the site. I hope you will all enter the contest and wish luck to everyone. Thank you to Miriam Parker and Hachette Book Group for making this opportunity available.

Update: I forgot to mention that residents of the US and Canada are the only ones eligible, due to the limitations of where Miriam Parker can send the books. My apologies to those outside the US and Canada.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week begins today

I wanted to let you all know that BBAW is going on this week (more info can be found via the BBAW link in the sidebar). I am planning to post a review (if possible, two) for the week and may be (I have to hear back from a contact at the publisher again) offering a giveaway towards the middle of the week for a few copies of Robert Hicks’ A Separate Country, which is based around the life of John Bell Hood. I will let you know more about this possibility tomorrow. I hope you all have a great week.

Follow my journey towards my Ph.D.

I hope you all have had a great summer and, for those of you who are pursuing study or working at an educational institution, I hope this year will be a good one. I wanted to briefly post that I set up a new blog to cover my journey through my Ph.D. program. I decided to keep it separate from this blog because much of the content is unrelated to the Civil War. However, I will cross-post some things here from time to time. I invite you all to check out Doctoral Bliss and learn about the fun times as well as harder times that go with being a Ph.D. student. Rest assured, I will not neglect this blog and will have a couple reviews coming up, as well as Book Blogger Appreciation Week.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is coming up

I participated in Book Blogger Appreciation Week last year and found it quite interesting and enjoyable. You can learn more by clicking on the link in the sidebar. Recently, the site dedicated to BBAW asked those of us who participated to answer some questions, so here we go.

1)  What was the highlight (something that happened, a post, an activity, etc.) of BBAW for you last year?

I would say the highlight for me was mainly an increase in traffic to the site. The awards and giveaways they held were fun. Unfortunately, I will say that I did not take advantage of the week as much I could have, but I would love to create a History Blogger Appreciation Week.

2)  What is one new blog you discovered during BBAW last year?

I will say that I really did not discover any new blogs intently, but never realized that there were so many blogs on books. There are sites for almost any interest in literature.

3)  What tips would you share to help others get the most out of their BBAW experience?

I would say that participants should try to check out other blogs relating to their interests. I would also encourage participants to explore giveaways and posting reviews during the weeks leading up to the event to increase views.

CWH is now on Twitter

I never thought I would ever get into this, but I am giving Twitter a shot to see if it will bring readers here. I would like to ask fellow CW bloggers who “Tweet” to follow me and I will follow you (I hope I used the right terminology), as well as any readers. I will only use the account to create short updates between posts (if necessary) and to post links to new material on Twitter for folks to check out. To all those out there who read this site regularly and are familiar with Twitter, please bear with me, as I am new to this phenomenon. I will be adding a widget to the sidebar shortly as well.

We’re two years old today!

Today is the second anniversary of the creation of this site and what a couple of years it has been. It wasn’t too long ago that this site was just learning to walk and soon it’ll be ready for school, err, oh wait, this is not a baby ;) (sorry, I could not resist putting something goofy in, especially with a lack of sleep from finishing papers), but I do have quite a bit to be proud of with this little site. In two years, we have gone from just me writing to a dedicated group of folks who all love history and sharing it with you. We have neared 50,000 hits and have gained a bit more of a following. I would like to thank everyone for their support over these last couple of years both in contributing and just visiting. In the coming weeks, I will be posting some new material, mainly book reviews, but also I will be outlining some goals I have for this site in the coming year. Thanks again and Happy Birthday to Civil War History.

cwh 2

Virtual Civil War Round Table not forgotten

For those of you who remember my posting on the possibility of creating a virtual Civil War Round Table, I have not forgotten about it, but have had to place it on the back burner, as classes come first. However, I did discuss the idea with one of the professors in my department and he gave me some great insights into how this might be set up. I am hopeful to try and set something up late next month or in May once things with class wind down. Since a number of you have expressed an interest and willingness to help, I will get in touch with you as I get closer to attempting to create this.

In other news, we are currently watching the Red River of the North rise to near record levels. The city of Fargo, ND is sandbagging around the clock in an attempt to fight the flood. North Dakota State University, which partners with the Ph.D. program I am in has cancelled classes to allow students to help fight the flood. My campus is currently allowing excused absences to help out since we are about 80 miles north and are protected to sixty feet after being devestated in 1997. I may be down helping this week with Civil Air Patrol, but am not sure, as I still have class. Until next time, have a great week.

New look for the site

I hope you all like the new look. I saw a WordPress announcement about this new theme and wanted to check it out and am quite pleased with how it looks. It also has a surprising number of options, which I will check out soon, including an Alert Box, where I can leave you small message regarding happenings here, including calls for writers and other items of importance. I hope you like the new theme. If you have any good suggestions for an image header since the title is centered, please let me know. With that said, I offer up another poll to gauge your feelings on this theme versus the previous one.

New section of the site

As most of you know, I am working my way towards the Ph.D. in History and involving myself in the historical profession. When I am not working on classes or this site, I am also involved with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. One of my duties in CAP is as Deputy Commander for Cadets, in which I oversee the cadet program in my squadron here in Grand Forks. The Cadet Program incorporates a military structure to develop young people into good citizens. It is a lot of fun and I would encourage anyone interested to join up.

While at our squadron meeting this last week, the cadets and I were talking for a couple of minutes after completing a required discussion forum and a couple of them asked me about this site, so I gave them the URL to it. This got me thinking about who actually visits this site, and that if cadets from my unit are stopping by now and other young people are visiting, what can I do to make this place more accessible. While this site is a safe place for anyone to visit, I do confess that most of the topics I cover may be above the heads of younger readers.

With that in mind, I have launched a new section to the site, called Kid’s Corner, that will allow kids to access various educational tools on the war, including fun activities, as well as ask question about the war, which will be answered by myself or one of the other fine folks who writes here. As I continue to build this section of the site, I welcome any suggestions for fun Civil War related sites that I should include that are useful to younger persons. I would like to thank the cadets in my unit for motivating me to set this new section up. I hope that it will allow those young people who look at this site to get even more out of it.

Thesis coming to an end and more

I will soon be able to breathe a slight sigh of relief, as I will present the revised draft of my thesis to my committee and seek their approval so that I can graduate. This semester has been busy and rewarding, but I will be happy to take a break from writing such a large paper again for a couple more years. I am waiting to hear about admission to the Ph.D. program here at North Dakota, but am confident. With that said, I would like to turn my attention to this blog and you, my faithful readers. I want to thank you for all your support, as I feel that this blog is successful. However, I feel that this blog can be and do more, especially in increasing readership. This is where you, the reader, come in. I would like to ask you to encourage friends and colleagues to visit this site to increase the audience of my site. I would also like to know what things I can do differently to improve this site and increase readership. I know the one area is that I can post more often, but with being so busy with graduate school, this will be difficult. I do have several book reviews to get to soon and will post them as soon as I can, but want to know what more you would like to see.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Use the contact page at the top and let me know how I can improve the site.

2. I am always looking for writers, so if you want a shot at writing, please create a free WordPress account and let me know.

3. For teachers, I am willing to create a way for you to use my site for your students to learn about the war and ask me questions on the war, as well as opportunities to write for this site. If this is something that would interest you, please let me know.

Again, thank you to everyone for your support of my blog. I look forward to continuing writing for you.