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ix Acknowledgments R The process of writing this book has ranked among the most rewarding undertakings of my life. This was a journey I could never have completed alone, and numerous people have earned my heartfelt gratitude for helping me along the way. First, thanks to Sharon Carlson and the entire staff at Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections for allowing me the opportunity and honor of publishing the James W. King Collection. Next,I would like to recognize everyone at Kent State University Press for making the entire publishing process a pleasure. I am particularly indebted to Joyce Harrison, who recognized the merit in these letters at a time when the manuscript was at best a diamond in the rough. Without her support and encouragement, this project might never have seen the light of day. Brian Craig Miller and Timothy J. Orr pored over the text and offered meticulous feedback and invaluable suggestions for improvement. Both of these gentlemen perceived value and significance in this letter collection from angles I had not even considered. Thank you both for enabling me to do justice to the topic. Copyeditor Margery Tippie was a pleasure to work with as well and saved me from numerous potential embarrassments.Any remaining errors and omissions are solely my responsibility. Many archivists and librarians deserve mention here as well.Karen Jania and thestaff of theBentleyHistoricalLibraryaretobecommendedfortheirefficiency and professional courtesy in ensuring convenient access to Bentley’s expansive and indispensable materials. Kevin Driedger at the Library of Michigan was instrumentalinprovidingaccesstoresourcesvitaltounderstandingJamesKing’s career as a journalist. The staff of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library cheerfully processed a mountain of interlibrary loan requests. John Allison at the Morgan County (Alabama) Archives shared his wealth of knowledge about x · Acknowledgments Decatur in the immediate aftermath of the war and pointed me to sources that easedthedetectiveworkrequiredtomakesomesenseoutof theKings’ harrowing, and poorly documented, experiences down South in 1867. A big thank-you to noted Civil War cartographer Hal Jespersen, whose stunning maps grace this book. It is my fervent hope, Hal, to send more business your way soon. Thanks for not laughing when you saw my own abortive attempts at map making. ResearcherVonnie Zullo was extremely helpful in obtaining materials from the National Archives. Thanks to her knowledge and experience, her archive visits proved just as fruitful as if I had been there myself. I was not, by a far cry, the only King descendant who was aware of, and fascinated by, these letters. But for a twist of fate, this volume would likely have been written by my cousin, John Dudd. My thanks to his wife, Joan, for generouslysharinghisnotesandtranscriptionswithme.Threeothercousins— Rebecca Shank and Michael and Howard King—joined me for an immensely rewarding genealogy rap session one day at the Three Rivers Public Library, and helped to ensure that I had my facts straight regarding the Kings of the nineteenth century. In such a massive undertaking, the degree of support received from one’s family and friends can make or break the entire endeavor.Our children,Adrian and Nina, cheerfully put up with their father disappearing now and then to visit some archive or battlefield in a faraway land. An occasional pat on the back, or its verbal equivalent, sustained my efforts long before I was fortunate enough to obtain the feedback and encouragement of the publisher and peer reviewers.Mymother,PriscillaCamarillo,mybrother,Trent,andmywonderful wife, Aleksandra—with her unbounded, unconditional supportiveness—all perused early drafts of the manuscript and shared in the joys of the countless discoveries that illuminated my path. ...


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