As this year draws to a close, I must stand back and say, what a year! It's been a privilege to get out and visit so many places and talk to so many of you. As a way to wrap up the year, I thought I would look back at a couple of highlights.
This year, I've had the chance to do 55 lectures and/or book signings. These have been in almost every corner of the state, from Fort Fisher, to Charlotte, and Old Salem, to Asheville and Waynesville. I started this year at the North Carolina Museum of History, speaking at a program that centered around the flag fragments belonging to the 58th North Carolina Troops. April was the Allatoona was the 29th and 39th NCT's Monument dedication, and in May, I was back at the Museum of History, speaking at a Civil War Sesquicentennial. Also in May, I was in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, signing books at book the Reliance Saloon (Beer and a Book) and at the American History Store. The Fort Fisher event in July was great (love to hear that 32-pounder sound off). The event in October at Old Salem was really great. I spent the first half of the year speaking and signing North Carolina Remembers Gettysburg, and the last few months speaking and signing North Carolina in the Civil War.
Next year is looking even better - if that is at all possible. I'll start off speaking in Wilkes County on January 7 (at the library, I think). In February I'll be in Greenville, Tennessee, and the Caldwell County Public Library. I'm already scheduled to speak at the Civil War Round Tables in Burlington and Durham this year, and in Hanover Court House on May 27. I'm sure I'll be back in Gettysburg at least once, maybe twice.
One series of special events that I am really looking forward to is a series of book signings with friend and New York Times best-seller Sharyn McCrumb. Earlier this year, Sharyn asked me to write a forward to a re-release of her novel, Ghost Riders. This tome follows the war-time lives of Keith and Malinda Blalock. I'm really looking forward to this event.
So, it's been a great year. I've enjoyed all of the places and events and people. Next year, with the release of Civil War Charlotte, is going to be even better.