When we published the first book in the Emerging Civil War Series, Simply Murder: The Battle of Fredericksburg, back in December 2012, I remember a reviewer saying how glad he was that we started the series with something other than an “obvious” choice like Gettysburg or Antietam.
That comment now strikes me as a little ironic, I guess, as we launch our latest book series with perhaps the MOST obvious topic: The Summer of ’63: Gettysburg.
But there’s a good reason for the selection, I promise!
The Emerging Civil War 10th Anniversary Series, published by our good friends at Savas Beatie, is a way for us to celebrate the first ten years of Emerging Civil War. We turn 10 on August 18. On May 22, 2020, we celebrated our 5,000th post (we’ve exceeded the 6,000-post milestone in the 14 months since then).
There’s been a lot of great material over those ten years.
We thought it would be a cool idea to collect some of the “best of” ECW from that first decade. Ted Savas thought so, too, and gave us the green light. “Think ‘series,’” he told me.
For our first collection, we originally intended to have a single volume that covered the summer of 1863 and the monumental turn of events that resulted from Union victories at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Tullahoma. But as co-editor Dan Welch and I began to sift through the material we had on the blog about each of those three engagements, we faced an embarrassment of riches. We had so much stuff—and that was without tapping into podcast transcripts or Symposium talks.
Once we looked at some of the material we had from those other media, we knew we had to split the book into two volumes, especially because we also wanted to include some original material. Approaching that pivotal summer as two volumes would give some of our authors some room to write a few pieces exclusive to the book.
The first book, focusing on Gettysburg, came out in early July, and the second, focusing on Vicksburg/Tullahoma, will be out just in time for our symposium in early August. Between the two, we’re able to show off the work of more than thirty ECW contributors.
We have several more volumes in the works, too.
To go behind the scenes of these first two books, please join my co-editor, Dan Welch, and me for a video chat about the making of The Summer of ’63. (And if you want to order a copy of the book, click here; Savas Beatie will send you a free signed bookplate, too.)