Steve Stanley and I, as well as our publisher Ted Savas, would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate in our survey about the next "complete guide." I'm happy and gratified to say that 161 folks responded, and about 50 people left very helpful comments. The comments were probably the most useful part of the survey.
The top five choices in order of popularity were:
#1 - 1862 Maryland Campaign
#2 - 1863 Cavalry Battles
#3 - Petersburg Campaign
#4 - Chancellorsville
#5 - 1862 Valley Campaign
The Maryland Campaign was far and away the number one choice, garnering about 30% of the total vote. This confirms our decision to do that one next. Nearly all the research for the book is done, in fact. I begin writing next month, with several trips, visits, and tours to campaign sites being conducted over the summer. The book has already been contracted and we expect it to appear in time for the spring 2011 season. Antietam Chief Historian Ted Alexander has already agreed to write the Forward for the book.
I have to admit to being surprised that the 1863 cavalry battles (the Brandy Station fights, Aldie, Middleburg, Upperville) came in second. It may be that folks know my interest in the cavalry, and the lack of information about, and interest in, the fall Brandy Station fights, etc. may have driven the interest. We are definitely taking this under consideration. The fact that Petersburg was also so popular in the poll was very interesting.
I was surprised that the 1862 and 1864 Valley Campaigns did not score higher. Our thoughts were to do either separate volumes, or a combined volume, on these following the Maryland Campaign volume. That would coincide with anniversary dates, and we would also be working with the state and local historical societies - who have all expressed interest in a guide on these and working with Steve and I on them.
Next year, we will likely post a similar poll just to see how the choices come out then. I want to especially thank everyone for the very helpful and interesting comments left on the polling page. They were extremely fun and educational to read. One respondent reminded me of a Maryland Campaign skirmish I'd forgotten about, for instance. This poll has turned out to be an extremely useful tool and we heartily thank all who participated!