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Acknowledgments I must begin by thanking Joseph Meaher for his enduring interest in Ala­ bama history in general and my work in particular. Joe encouraged me to seek the support of Mobile’s A. S. Mitchell Foundation for this project, and the trustees happily agreed. Jay Lamar of the Ala­ bama Bicentennial Commission was also an early advocate, and her enthusiasm through­ out has meant a great deal. I am very proud that These Rugged Days is part of the state’s official bicentennial observances. One of the joys of doing any Ala­ bama history project is the generous assistance of so many dedicated and talented professionals at libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and universities. To begin with, profoundest gratitude goes to Robert Bradley, recently retired from the Ala­ bama Department of Archives and History (ADAH); Mike Bunn of Blakeley State Park; and Mike Bailey of the Ala­ bama His­ tori­ cal Commission (AHC) at Fort Morgan. These three gentlemen served as an indispensable Civil War brain trust, reviewing the manuscript and saving me from innumerable errors. Their expertise is astonishing , exceeded only by their good cheer. I consider it a privilege to have received so much of their time and attention. Numerous other individuals at vari­ ous institutions provided help in small ways and large. Thanks go to Steven Murray, Scotty Kirkland, and Debbie Pendleton (recently retired) at ADAH; Jacqlyn Kirkland of the AHC; Charles Torrey and Nick Beeson of the History Museum of Mobile; Lauren Vanderbijl, Robert Allen, Melanie Thornton, and Bob Peck of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society; Cart Blackwell of the Mobile Historic Development Commission; Ned Harkins, Zennia Calhoun, and Pamela Major of the Mobile Municipal Archives; Jane Daugherty at the Mobile Public Library, Local History and Genealogy Division ; Jo Ann Flirt of Blakeley State Park; Becky Nichols, Crystal Drye, and Stephen Posey at the Selma-­ Dallas County Public Library; Susanna Leberman of the Huntsville-­ Madison County Public Library; Judy Bolton at the LSU Libraries Special Collections; and the Rev. Danny Rasberry at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Stanton, Ala­ bama. The following friends and colleagues provided important assistance at vari­ ous points along the way: David Alsobrook, Dan xiv Acknowledgments Brooks, Hardy Jackson, E. C. LeVert, Holly Jansen, Jacob Laurence, Sheila Flanagan, Mildred Orr, Roy Hoffman, Hudson McDonald, Stephen McNair, Tracy Stivers, Walter Edgar, Robert Gamble, Ken Niemeyer, Tom Root, Mike Mahan, Ken Noe, and Jim Day. At the University of Ala­ bama Press, retired director Curtis Clark and acting director Dan Waterman expressed early and sincere interest in yet another Civil War book. Working with them and the press staff has been a distinct pleasure. Special thanks go to Nicholas H. Holmes III for the stunning map of Civil War Ala­ bama. Nick is an old and dear friend, and this collaboration has been a delight. Lastly, my family has been wonderful. My lovely wife, Lynn, edited the manuscript with her usual eagle eye for clarity and served as an invaluable sounding board. Our children, Matthew and Elena, both living upstate, have endured more than their share of historic site visits over the years with remarkable good humor. Their love and support buoys me. And then there’s my mother, Jeanne Arceneaux Sledge, who read this book as I wrote it and offered helpful insight and encouragement. It is easy sometimes for a writer to get lost in the forest, but family always helps me regain the path. There are no doubt errors herein, but they should be laid solely at my door. ...

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