11 February 2013

Mystery Contributor To My Latest Book

After my computer crash last year and the subsequent loss of many of the related files and documents, I more or less had to rewrite the book from scratch. (Yes, I know BACKUP.) As I reworked the manuscript, I made several changes and decided I wanted to add another perspective to make the book more complete and less one-sided. Though I make no secret of my admiration of Confederate heroes and my Confederate ancestors, I certainly understand that there were those who fought for the Union who were just as brave and who deserve honor and respect as well. I also realize that the decision facing those in Lexington and Rockbridge County in regards as to whether they would remain faithful to the Union, or whether they would remain faithful to Virginia, was not always an easy one. In the book, I included an essay about Lee's struggle with this decision as representative of what many in Lexington, Virginia, and others throughout the South went through. These folks were patriotic Americans with Divided Loyalties (the name of the chapter which discusses this topic) and were driven by some of the same motivations, though from different perspectives, as those who chose to side with the Union. One's upbringing, family, education, political leanings, and understanding of patriotism all influenced these decisions and the journey it involved in choosing sides. While it was easy for some, it was a struggle for others.

But I did want both perspectives. I wanted readers to understand both sides of these divided loyalties. I immediately thought of Robert Moore who has ancestors who fought on both sides during the WBTS. Robert hosts his own blog and has published 12 books. He is a fellow Virginian and, like me, a native of the Shenandoah Valley. Robert has spent a lot of time studying Southern Unionists. Though we don't always agree, Robert understands and respects the sacrifices of Confederate soldiers and I believed he would be balanced with his approach. I was correct. Robert's essay makes a nice contrast and will allow readers to consider both perspectives.

Another contrast in the book is in regards to African-Americans in Lexington and Rockbridge County and how some made contributions to the Confederate cause, while others sided with and aided the Union. Robert also shared some little-known information about United States Colored Troops from the area which adds another dimension to the book.

So Robert is my "mystery contributor" and, in addition to the essay included in the book, Robert also provided a fair critique of the manuscript. I'm grateful for Robert's contribution. 

The book is due to be released on March 10th. You may pre-order the book from Amazon here. I will also have signed copies available to order here, once the book is released.



Kevin said...

Great news Richard. I had a feeling that Robert might be the mystery author. He will add an important perspective to the story, but I especially like that this is a collaboration forged in the blogosphere.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Kevin. Robert and I have known each other for a few years, maybe even pre-blogosphere days. But that certainly played a role as I became aware of his research via his blog.

Robert Moore said...

Very kind words, Richard. Thank you. As I've mentioned in our exchanges over the last month, very glad... and honored... that I could contribute something to your book. Thank you again for the opportunity. Looking forward to more exchanges and perhaps... collaborations... pertaining to various aspects of Valley history.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Well-deserved Robert. The Valley is rich in stories and history yet to be mined.


Brother Juniper said...

"whether they would remain faithful to the Union, or join the Confederacy"

Just me, but I would replace the phrase above with:

"whether they would remain faithful to Virginia"

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Bro. J - a fine distinction, but a correct one, particularly in Lee's case. Correction coming.

Cotton Boll Conspiracy said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. I'm looking forward to seeing it when it comes out.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thank you CBC.