A couple of folks have messaged my lately wondering "what's next?". So, here is what I've been working on since turning in the Branch-Lane manuscript.
Living in western North Carolina and doing a host of interpretive programs (and fielding a host of questions) in North Carolina and Tennessee has shown me a need for a book about the War along the North Carolina-Tennessee border. We have a couple of books about each side, like Inscoe and McKinney's The Heart of Confederate Appalachia: Western North Carolina in the Civil War, and Fisher's War at Every Door: Partisan Politics and Guerrilla Violence in East Tennessee. However, there is not a book that really ties these two places together. For example, everyone is familiar with the actions in the Laurel community of Madison County, North Carolina, in January 1863. Did you know that these actions are just one of three movements by troops in western North Carolina-East Tennessee that month? And another - Kirk's raid into western North Carolina in June 1864 is just one of two Union raids launched from Greenville, Tennessee, on the same day.
George W. Kirk is the ribbon that will run through the text. But, he is just one of many cast members on a stage of unequal bloodletting in the 1860s in the mountain counties of North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. There were no winners in this war.
I've already approached the History Press about publishing this book, and they have agreed. I'm looking forward to sharing with you more of my findings, and frustrations, as I tackle this new project.