"The Famous Among Us"
The North Carolina CWRT is fortunate to have among its membership quite a few Civil War authors
of note. Here follows a run-down of "the famous among us":
Mark is a past president (2000) and Program Chairman of the NC CWRT. He holds a B.A. in History from North Carolina State University, an M.A. in History from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Doctorate in History from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is currently a staff historian with the Center of Military History in Washington, DC.
Michael Briggs is a native of Greensboro. He was educated at Ben L. Smith High School and Rockingham Community College. He is the President & C.E.O. of Call Coverage, Inc, a 39 year old business that specializes in Unified Communications Technology.
He has been interested in history since he was fourteen years old. He is the founder of two local historical organizations, The Col. John Sloan Camp, 1290, Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Sitting Bull Society. He is the President of the North Carolina Civil War Round Table.
Mr. Briggs is the author of six books: The Longrifle Makers of Guilford County; The Longrifle Makers of Forsyth County & Davidson County; Piedmont N.C. Banded Powder Horns and Hunting Bags; Guilford Under the Stars and Bars; The Longrifle Makers of the Rowan School; and The Longrifle Makes of the Mecklenburg School.
He has given programs on these subjects to numerous organizations including the National Park Service and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. He is a member of the Historical Arms Collectors of the Southeast, the Kentucky Rifle Association, and the American Society of Arms Collectors. He has been a collector and student of Piedmont North Carolina Decorative Arts including Longrifles, Powder Horns, Furniture, North Carolina made War for Southern Independence items and local history for over 35 years.
Mr. Briggs lives in Greensboro with his wife Nancy.
Chris, a native of Wilkes County, North Carolina, has an understandable interest in General James B. Gordon, one of North Carolina's finest cavalrymen and himself a native of Wilkesboro, NC. General Gordon (not to be confused with his cousin, John B. Gordon) was a landowner and successful businessman and politician when the Civil War broke out, and he raised an infantry company and joined the Tarheel Cavalry in the Army of Northern Virginia. His story is chronicled in Stuart's Tarheels: James B. Gordon and His North Carolina Cavalry, and Chris used many never-before-published sources to tell the story of Gordon and the North Carolina Cavalry Brigade of the ANV.
In addition to Stuart's Tarheels, Chris is also the author of A True History of Company I, 49th Regiment North Carolina Troops, and of a history of Wilkes County during the Civil War entitled To Restore the Old Flag. He has also published several articles about the war. He's currently working on a book about General George Stoneman's 1865 raid into the Piedmont and western part of North Carolina.
Chris is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. He lives in Clemmons, NC and works as the director of advertising and promotions for Blue Rhino Corp. in Winston-Salem, NC.
Martin is the author of The 111th New York Volunteer Infantry: A Civil War History. The book chronicles the history of the 111th New York Volunteer Infantry's service from muster in August 1862 until the end of the war. Drawing on many first-hand accounts and primary sources, the book provides details on the towns from which the regiment was organized and the backgrounds of the men who served in its ranks. Battles in which the regiment fought, including Harpers Ferry, Gettysburg and Petersburg, are covered in detail, with close unit-level coverage as well as information on the overall strategy and the regiment's place in the greater conflict. An appendix covers in depth the October 1864 capture of eighty-three men from the regiment and their subsequent imprisonment at Salisbury Prison. Martin lives with his family in Cary, North Carolina.
Clint, who has resided in Winston-Salem since 1989, is a native of Florida and descendant of Confederate soldiers from Florida, Georgia and Alabama. He started studying the war in grade school when a teacher told an exciting story about the Battle of Natural Bridge (in Florida on March 6, 1865), where a militia of old men and young boys banded together to stop an invasion. Clint's articles have appeared in more than sixty magazines and newspapers. His books include: Touring the Carolinas' Civil War Sites, Touring Virginia's and West Virginia's Civil War Sites, Civil War Blunders, In the Footsteps of Robert E. Lee, In the Footsteps of J.E.B. Stuart and Bulls-Eye & Misfires: 50 People Whose Obscure Efforts Shaped the American Civil War (Dec. 2002 Military History Book Club selection). His most recent Civil War travel guide is The 25 Best Civil War Sites: The Ultimate Traveler's Guide To Battles, Monuments and Museums.
Military historian and author Lee Kennett had written books on both World Wars as well as French military history when he decided to focus on Gen. William T. Sherman and his famous March to the Sea. In Marching Through Georgia: The Story of Soldiers and Civilians During Sherman's Campaign, Lee presents views of the campaign from both "fronts", relating experiences of the soldiers who fought it and of the civilians who witnessed it. By blending descriptions of life in antebellum Atlanta and Savannah with those of the battlefields themselves, he gives us a vivid picture of life in the South both before and after "Uncle Billy" and his men came along and changed things forever. Lee's most recent work is a biography of General Sherman, published in May of 2001, entitled Sherman: A Soldier's Life. In it, he explores the life and exploits of the controversial commander whose name is written indelibly in America's history books.
In a new autobiography entitled The Class of 1861: Custer, Ames, and Their Classmates after West Point, Ralph has allowed the West Pointers of '61 to tell their stories in their own words. Using letters, journals, and published writings, the life stories and careers of these men are related by the men themselves. We learn not just of their Civil War battles, but of their post-war experiences as well, and how better to do that than in their own words? Also included in the book is a foreword by George Plimpton, who was the great-grandson of Adelbert Ames.
Ralph is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, and he holds an M.L.S. from Long Island University and an M.A. from the University of Maine.. He is a contributor to the Dictionary of American Biography (articles on Bell Wiley and T. Harry Williams) and the American National Biography (entries for Generals Emory Upton, Thomas Lafayette Rosser, and P.M.B. Young).
When Richard joined the staff of North Carolina State University as a professor of history, we were fortunate to have him also join our round table. When he left Raleigh to return to his native Georgia, we made him an honorary lifetime member! In addition to his numerous articles for magazines and scholarly journals, Richard has written several excellent books on the Southern war effort, the most recent being Atlanta 1864: Last Chance for the Confederacy, in which he examines that campaign's major role in deciding the war's outcome. In Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History, Richard compares and contrasts the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee, and he takes on the youngest full general in the Confederacy with John Bell Hood and the War for Southern Independence.
Besides being a lifetime member, Richard is also a former editor of our newsletter. He is currently living in Roanoke, Virginia.
Growing up in the Washington, DC area afforded Johnnie the ability to visit most of the historical sites in Northern Virginia. One of his favorite sites was Lee’s Mansion (Arlington House), which he visited often. In college he majored in history, but received a BS in Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration. After his military service he became a Veterans Advocate with the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs from which he retired as the State Service Officer. At his retirement he was honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor Michael Easley. His book Lee and Jackson’s Bloody Twelfth: The Letters of Irby Goodwin Scott, First Lieutenant, Company G, Putnam Light Infantry, Twelfth Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Voices of the Civil War Series, was released by the University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Book Awards include the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board Award for Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of an Archives, and the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal from the Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Living in Hickory, North Carolina, he devotes his time to the local Eagle Scout board of review, his church, and most of all to his family and two grandsons. He is currently working on another set of Civil War letters for publication.
Herb has chosen as the topics of his books some campaigns that don't often get as much "press time" as others. In his first book, Bermuda Hundred Campaign, he took a look at Union Major General Benjamin Butler's attempt in the spring of 1864 to threaten the cities of Richmond and Petersburg from his base at Bermuda Hundred Landing. In Sumter is Avenged! : The Siege and Reduction of Fort Pulaski, he covered the Federals' attack on and destruction of the fort that had enabled Savannah to thrive as a Confederate seaport. In destroying Fort Pulaski, the Yanks ensured that the Union blockade of Confederate shipping would be effective. Herb also wrote The Autobiography of Major General William F. Smith 1861-1864, and compiled the Civil War writings of a North Carolina Confederate officer in Captain's War: The Letters and Diaries of William H. S. Burgwyn, 1861-1865, published in 1993.
In the recently-published From Ashby to Andersonville: The Civil War Diary and Reminiscences of Private George A. Hitchcock, 21st Massachusetts Infantry, Ron presents the tale of a young soldier's personal war story, from his service in the Army of the Potomac to his capture at Cold Harbor and subsequent imprisonment at Andersonville. Unlike many prisoners, Pvt. Hitchcock survived to tell his story, and Ron provides the historical backdrop for that story in a book that is both "riveting and heartbreaking".
Ron is a retired high school principal, and he and his wife Carolyn live in Pittsboro, North Carolina.