My Reply to Gerry Regan www.thenewwildgeese.com

 

Regarding your request to describe the Civil War sites I visited. I’d like to help you out Gerry, but I rank among the least observant people on the planet … likely due to my years as an accountant, investigating abnormalities in numbers. I believe research, and not detail description, is my strength, and I apply this technique to my writing.

The following are examples of how it separates The Civil War’s Valiant Irish (Available for $6.99 on:        Kindle         Nook ) from other books on the subject.

  • When researching the Battle of Shiloh, I Goggled Matthew Martin’s name, and came across a publication from a well-known Civil War publication, claiming Martin had not fought at Shiloh. The critic was incorrect for Martin did participate, and was wounded there. We know this because General Cleburne mentioned him, by name, in his official report. Then there’s the George Pickett Society who had Rooney Lee at Pickett’s Shad Bake instead of Fitz Hugh Lee.

 

Research isn’t done for the sake of correcting errors. It should highlight people and events overlooked by conventional historians.  For example:

  • The deeds of the Pennsylvania 69th Volunteers at Gettysburg have long been overlooked. If these 258 Philadelphia Irishmen hadn’t secured, loaded, and kept at the ready three to six guns each, General Armistead may have broken through at Cemetery Ridge.
  • Nor, do I believe that Cavan’s Patrick O’Rorke received his just due for his heroic charge at Little Round Top.

 

My books are unique in another way. To be more realistic, they’re written in the Third Party Limited Point-Of-View. Just like normal people, each character can only reveal what they know, have experienced, or have been told. This puts the added stress on the author to find a way to bring additional facts into the story. For example: Lincoln made the following exclamation about Phil Sheridan’s short stature, “He’s the only man I know who can stand up straight and scratch his ankle.” Because I had to get Lincoln into my tale, and I knew he visited the wounded in D.C.’s hospitals, I added two characters. Named after my wife’s aunts from Skibbereen, Molly and Nellie McCarthy immigrated, and became nurses. Of course they served other functions, but their main purpose was to enable me to bring Lincoln into my tale.

I believe, as a member of The Blue, Gray and Green, I can add much to our knowledge about the Irish in the Civil War and throughout history, but describing battlefields isn’t one of them.

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