I am now taking pre-orders for signed copies! Hardcover copies of the 400+ plus page book (with maps by Hal Jespersen) are $35.00. This is the first edition, first printing, and they are hardback, with dust jackets. If you pre-order, I'll cover the shipping, and I'll throw in a limited edition Branch-Lane brigade book mark. The hardback books will sell out fast, and once they are gone, well, they're gone. You can order by visiting my web page: Order Here! Or, you can send a check or money order to P.O. Box 393, Crossnore, NC 28616
My first regimental, a history of the 37th North Carolina Troops, came out 15 years ago. I never thought I would get the opportunity to write about the brigade itself. But four years ago, I took a chance and dropped a note to Ted Savas, asking if his company would be interested in publishing such a book. He said yes, and we will all see the finished product in just a few weeks.
Writing a brigade history is hard - you cannot put in every example you might come across in your research, only the best one or two. And trying to decide which stories are the best is a challenge. I did something different in General Lee's Immortals than what I did previously in my histories of the 37th North Carolina and 58th North Carolina. Not only does General Lee's Immortals follow a chronological history of the Branch-Lane brigade, from their creation right after the battle of New Bern to the surrender at Appomattox, but I also created themed chapters as well. There are chapters on brigade medical care; camp life; prisoners of war; and military discipline. Instead of having that material spread out over the text, I was able to concentrate on these topics, showing how brigade medical care (for example) changed over the course of the war. This was something new for me, and I do not recall seeing it in any other brigade history.
That brings me to another point: I wanted this history of the Branch-Lane brigade to be more than a brigade history. I wanted to try and show how a brigade worked (or sometimes did not work) throughout the war. I'm quite certain a book like that does not exist.
So much of my writing life seems to have been wrapped up in the Branch-Lane brigade. A regimental history, a battle history (Hanover Court House), articles for magazines and newspapers. I've blogged about it, spoken in cemeteries when grave markers have been dedicated, and participated in living histories at national parks. You could also say that books like Civil War Charlotte: Last Capital of the Confederacy and Watauga County, North Carolina, in the Civil War are products of my research into the Branch-Lane brigade.
General Lee's Immortals: The Battles and Campaigns of the Branch-Lane Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865... I look forward to signing a copy for you next month, and I really look forward to continuing the discussion about a remarkable group of men that served in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Please pre-order a copy today!