For years, people have asked my why I got into writing. Well, it surely isn't for the money.... Someone asked me the other day this very question, and I think I finally gave a good answer. I got into writing because I saw a need, a need to take all of these fragments of history from a hundred different sources and to put them together and tell a story. So often I say that this is their story (the people of the past), I'm just trying to get the people telling it into some type of context.
When I started working on the book on the 37th North Carolina Troops, which, by the way, came out ten years ago this year, there were what, two other modern regimental histories of Confederate regiments in North Carolina? (Those two would be the book on the 6th NCST and the book on the 11th NCT.) While there are now about a dozen modern North Carolina regimental histories, there is still a need. When I wrote that first nationally published article on Brig. Gen. Collet Leventhorpe, I saw a need. One afternoon, we were out on a ramble and stumbled across the general’s grave at the Chapel of Rest in Caldwell County. I wanted to know more about him. This new book on Watauga County and the Civil War is the same way. I saw a need.
So, as I embark on this new book venture on the Branch-Lane brigade, I am trying to fill a void - to get information from hundreds of different places, weave it together into a story, and get it into the hands of as many people as possible. It is just who I am.