Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Recent Review

The reviews of My Old  Confederate Home: A Respectable Place for Civil War Veterans have been uniformly encouraging. I was particularly pleased by Richard Hatcher's review in the Charleston (SC) Post and Courier. (Click here to read it.)

Though he wouldn't have remembered it, I met Hatcher during my first visit to Fort Sumter National Monument several years ago. My son and I went to the island and I found it fascinating (as I always do when visiting battlefield or historical locations) to judge the distances and sightlines for myself. The view of the harbor reminded me of some half-forgotten Civil War story (that I won't try to recount here), and I began asking park service employees to flesh out the details for me. All were polite, but none could quite recognize the event from the few fragments I was able to recall. "See Rick Hatcher," they all said.

Richard W. "Rick" Hatcher III is the Fort Sumter park historian, and I caught up with him near one of the gun emplacements. The man was an encyclopedia! Of course he knew about the incredibly obscure event I was trying to recall, and he gave my son and I a fifteen-minute lesson on it. He was clear, informative, patient, and never for a moment condescending. I could have listened all afternoon, but we had to catch the boat back to the mainland.

I later learned that the Hatcher is a prolific author and a regular speaker at Civil War Roundtables. His book reviews for the Post and Courier and for some blogs are spot on.

And that's why I'm particularly flattered by Hatcher's review of My Old Confederate Home.

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