Writing North Carolina in the Civil War has shown me some serious gaps in the coverage of our fair state when it comes to reading about the war. There are significant counties and cities that have no easily accessible War-related histories, and you are probably tired of me griping about the lack of regimental histories.A couple of weeks ago, I submitted a proposal to The History Press, who published North Carolina in the Civil War. The new project, which they accepted and for which I signed the contract this past weekend, is for book tentatively titled Civil War Charlotte.
I have come to the conclusion that there is no other more important city in North Carolina during the War than Charlotte. Yes, I know Wilmington had the port, the last remaining port open to the Confederacy. Yet Charlotte had the Confederate Naval Works, a gunpowder making facility, uniform making facilities, the Confederate Acid Works, other facilities that made war goods, hospitals, ladies aid societies, and toward the end of the war, a prison. Of course, Jefferson Davis was in Charlotte (along with other refugees) at the close of the war, as was the Confederate gold, Confederate cabinet, and surviving papers of the Confederate War Department. Plus, the railroad that ran through Charlotte was, after mid-1863, one of the most important railroads for funneling supplies from the Deep South to the main Confederate army in Virginia.
Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are not new subjects to me. Two of the companies of the Thirty-seventh North Carolina Troops, the topic of my first book, hailed from Mecklenburg County; I touched on the area in both my book Remembering North Carolina's Confederates, and my history of the 58th North Carolina Troops; and, I wrote four articles in the Old Mecklenburg County Heritage Book on prominent Confederate officers from Mecklenburg County. And finally, there is a good bit of discussion on the Queen City in North Carolina in the Civil War. (That is not counting the series of lengthy blog posts that I wrote on Mecklenburg County last year.)
So there you have it: my next project will be on Charlotte, North Carolina, during the War for Southern Independence.