Some folks have expressed concerns that my book is part of the flag-waving celebration of the Civil War as expressed by a minority who would love to see the continued division of the states. I would like to allay these fears, and I encourage anyone who questions my intent to purchase the book.
The focus of Poems of the Battlefield is not on the mythical glory of war, the attempt to preserve a culture based on slavery and prejudice as if those were justified, or a call to remain divisive. Rather, it is my attempt to piece together the fragments of Civil War society through persona. Who were these people, and what were they thinking? What were their experiences? How did color and diversity fit into the mix? How did war between brothers and sisters impact our country’s history?
The book begins with a modern comparison to that time–a cultural war we now rage against one another, one that could very well end in violence. The book then describes my journeys through the local battlefields and museums and how I came to relate to the people of the time through historic preservation. Thus, there are two sections: the present and the “Long, Supposed Past.”
I am no fan of war, prejudice or injustice. I am still trying to reconcile the tenets of our Constitution and union with a war that almost destroyed us. And I do think those messages come through loud and clear.