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ix Acknowledgments The writer must write alone but he nevertheless accumulates many debts. This book began in late 2000 as a dissertation at Louisiana State University . At LSU, I want to thank my advisor, Charles Royster, who took me on as a graduate student and nearly saw my dissertation to its conclusion. Illness in the spring of 2005 prevented him from attending my doctoral defense, and I want to thank Bill Cooper not only for seeing the project to its end, but for providing me with valuable advice on proceeding from dissertation to book. At LSU, Gaines Foster always found the time to provide me with help and advice. I also must thank Mark Thompson and David Culbert for serving on my dissertation committee and giving me valuable feedback. The history department, furthermore, provided me not only with six years of graduate assistantship funding, but also a T. Harry Williams fellowship , which gave me much-needed time to complete the dissertation. The archivists at Hill Memorial Library saw a lot of me while I was at LSU. Their help, especially that of Mark Martin, was much appreciated during frequent trips to the research room. Rand Dotson at LSU Press took an early interest in my book and assured it was in much better condition than when I first showed him the manuscript. David Gauthier and Keith Finley were good friends during the dissertation process and continued to be so after graduation. Keith read the manuscript in its entirety and gave me compliments at a time when the book project seemed stalled. The Virginia Historical Society helped me in many ways. A Mellon research grant enabled me to conduct my first archival research outside of Louisiana. The grant gave me access to the VHS’s wonderful resources and exceptional staff, and it brought me to Richmond, which I fell in love with instantly. Living in the former Confederate capital helped me better understand the war. Trips to the Byrd, Deep Groove Records, and Scuffletown Park, furthermore, were inspiring. The VHS employed me as an archivist while I was revising the manu- acknowledgments x script. Nelson Lankford was kind enough to read several chapters of my book and provide feedback and encouragement. A VHS staff fellowship, furthermore, enabled me to visit the archives at Chapel Hill in 2009. In 2008, I was honored that Duke University awarded me a two-week John Hope Franklin research stipend. My days in Durham allowed me to add much-needed literary color and geographic diversity to my group of Confederate soldiers. One of my greatest debts is to Aaron Sheehan-Dean, formerly an ac­ quisitions editor at the University of Virginia Press. Back in 2008, I opened my e-mail one morning to find him asking about whether I was interested in sending him my book manuscript. Eventually, I did. And he, more than anyone, is responsible for this book becoming part of the Nation Divided series. At UVA Press, I wish to thank my editors, Dick Holway and Morgan Myers, for their time and patience, as well as the other staff who contributed . I am also indebted to the outside reviewers who read and commented on the manuscript and recommended it for publication. My copy editor, too, Ruth Steinberg, deserves many thanks. My greatest debt of all is to my wife, who has been extremely supportive throughout the writing of this book. She endured my many hours of solitary research and slogging through revisions. Her love has made me much stronger than I was before this project began. She also gave me a daughter, who has made my life even better. This book is dedicated to my parents, who assured that I put a high value on writing, thinking, and the truth. ...


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