10 August 2005

Stonewall

This past Monday, my youngest daughter, Olivia, along with my wife and older daughter Mollie, took a trip to visit Patrick Henry College. We are hoping and praying Olivia will be accepted at PHC. Traveling down the Great Valley of the Shenandoah, we passed through many battlefields. Here, in what was known as the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy” Stonewall Jackson led a clan of rag-tag schoolboys into immortal fame with his world-renowned “Valley Campaign.” His army, which bore the name, “The Stonewall Brigade” rattled the nerves of Abraham Lincoln and caused many sleepless nights for the federals. Jackson seemed unstoppable. As we made the trip, my daughters and wife watched Ron Maxwell’s wonderful movie about Jackson - Gods and Generals. As I drove over ground where Southern boys spilled their blood in defense of their homes, I could hear actor Stephen Lang as he portrayed Jackson utter the very words that Jackson had spoken on many of those same battlefields over 140 years ago. Returning home, we drove south on US Route 340 through more battlefields and past Port Republic, the final battle of the Valley Campaign. Having put my book about Jackson and his black Sunday school class on the back burner for the last month, the trip inspired me to dive back in with gusto! So last night, I sat down in my basement office and put the final touches on the last two chapters. An appendix about Jackson's famous horse, Little Sorrel, and an epilogue still need a little work, but that will not take long. After a fact-checking trip to Lexington this coming Friday, these last chapters will be sent to the copy-editor on Monday and then off to the publisher by the first of September. My hope is that the book will be available by the spring of next year. Another exciting announcement related to the book will be forthcoming soon!