Friday, April 16, 2010

"Next Guide" survey results are in!

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!


  1. Enjoyed the survey. I really wish that the 1864 Valley Campaign would be tackled eventually as it really has the opportunity to be a illuminating subject in your hands. The excellent maps that grace the Gettysburg books would bring much clarity to the sometimes confusing battles. A question, where would a study of the campaign begin? Would it just be Early vs Sheridan from Third Winchester to Cedar Creek or would it encompass other operations like New Market and Monocacy?

  2. Hi Chris,

    We would definitely want to encompass other operations for the 64 volume. Steve and I have talked extensively about the 62/64 Valley operations - combined volume, separate volume, etc. I'm pretty sure they'll be separate volumes in order to get it all in and make them comprehensive. Where they will come in the order, though, is undecided yet - but we are still leaning toward doing them after the MD Campaign volume... the historical associations are interested in working with us on them since the anniversary dates are around the corner.

    Thanks for the kind words about the Gettysburg book - I don't think anyone's maps compare to Steve's! And he already has mapped a huge amount of the Valley actions...


  3. I should mention - regarding Monocacy - I have a huge interest in that battle and have collected a large amount of material on it over the past couple years... including a large primary account by one of the Federal officers that has never been used before. A researcher friend found it, and it's never seen the light of day, including everything that Ben Cooling has written on it.

    Monocacy will definitely be included in the 64 work.


  4. Thanks for the info. I'm really look forward to your future works.