“Methinks that even after thirty-three years I once more hear the gamecock voices of the sergeants detailing their artillery and ammunition squads, and ordering us to appear with canteens, haversacks, and blankets at four A.M. Still silence reigned. Then, as company after company broke ranks, the air was rent with wild cheering at the thought that our hour had come at last.”
That’s how John S. Wise remembered the moments after General Breckinridge’s orders arrived for the Corps of Cadets from Virginia Military Institute to join his gathering army at Staunton, Virginia. After long weeks of begging parents’ for permission to join the army, devising schemes for sneaking off, or trying to acquire enough demerits to get kicked out, the eager young men felt their chance had come. They had little idea of the realities they would face on the march and battlefield or how their lives would be changed five days later in the battle at New Market against a new invading army of Yankees.
And that’s the quote that came to mind when my mom texted me at work to say that the boxes of books had arrived. It was May 10! The 155th anniversary since the VMI cadets had been “called out.” Since my new book is about them and the Battle of New Market, it seems like a perfect historical coincidence…
I don’t get to go to war (for which I am very thankful), but I do get to head out on a book tour. If you’re in Virginia, here is my schedule during the next week. Come say hello and I’d love to personalize and sign a book for you.
- May 15: Virginia Military Institute, booksigning at the museum store in Jackson Memorial Hall; witnessing the memorial ceremony
- May 16: Powhatan County Civil War Roundtable
- May 17: Booksigning at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War at New Market State Historical Park, 1pm to 3pm
- May 18: Presentations and booksignings during the New Market battle reeneactment
- May 19: Presentations and booksignings during the New Market battle reenactment
Call Out The Cadets is the 33rd book in the Emerging Civil War Series published by Savas Beatie and is now available for purchase.
The books arrived. And I feel like cheering! It’s been a journey that’s taken me thousands of miles, sleepless hours, hours of editing, tracking down the little details, and lots of email correspondence, but I wouldn’t trade it. It’s the fourth time now that I’ve opened book boxes for the first time and it gets better each time. A new book that needs a new place on the shelf. A new story to be shared. A new book that – now that it’s in my hands – will still send me on a journey of learning, growth, and personal challenge.
That’s part of writing and authorship, and I’ll give it a hearty cheer…