Thursday, February 13, 2020

Emerging Civil War Review of The Fight For the Old North State

Ryan Quint at Emerging Civil War has written a great review of The Fight For the Old North State. The full review is posted at the Emerging Civil War website. Here are some excerpts:

Newsome’s pages present a perfectly mastered monograph on the subject ... In summation, it is difficult to imagine any writer approaching the subject of the 1864 North Carolina Campaign with the same degree of thoroughness that Newsome has accomplished in this book. He has proven to be among the best Civil War authors writing today.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Upcoming Speaking Schedule

Photo by Skip Riddle

Over the last several months, I've had a great time speaking at various groups including the Pender CWRT in Rocky Mount, the Outer Banks CWRT, the Petersburg CWRT, and the New Bern Historical Society. I also want to thank Gerry Prokopowicz for having me on Civil War Talk Radio. I'm grateful for the recognition The Fight For the Old North State has received, including Best Book of the Year from Civil War Books and Authors. Thanks so much to everyone who has bought the book!

Here is the upcoming (and revised) speaking schedule. If you live near one of these places, please come by and say hello. Also, if your group is looking for speakers, please feel free to email me.

Old Baldy CWRT of Philadelphia - April 7, 2020
Wilmington (Delaware) CWRT - May 6, 2020

Charlottesville CWRT - May 18, 2020
Raleigh CWRT - June 15, 2020
Puget Sound (Seattle) CWRT - October 8, 2020
Richmond CWRT - April 13, 2021 


Monday, January 20, 2020

Thanks to the New Bern Historical Society

Many thanks to the New Bern Historical Society for a great program yesterday. It was an honor to deliver the Annual Ed Bearss Civil War Lecture at the N.C. History Center at Tryon Palace. There was a great, capacity crowd (about 200) at a fantastic venue.

Most of all, I enjoyed talking with so many knowledgeable people before and after the talk signing including Mickey Miller (the Society's Executive Director), Jim Hodges (the Society's Curator), Jim Reifinger, Steve Shaffer, David Skaggs, John Klecker, Jon Miller (New Bern Battlefield Park), Lindy Cummings (Tryon Palace), Alan Hawkins, Skip Riddle (Kinston CWRT), Steve Dembickie, and many others. I also want to give a special shoutout to my cousin, Asher Brinson, who attended as well.
Photo by Skip Riddle

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Book of the Year: The Fight For the Old North State at Civil War Books and Authors

I learned today that The Fight For the Old North State was picked as the Book of the Year at the Civil War Books and Authors. Andrew Wagenhoffer, who publishes this excellent blog, reviewed the book earlier this year. I'm happy and honored at the recognition. I want to thank the University Press of Kansas and everyone who helped out with this project.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Time is At Hand: Robert E. Lee's Plan To Attack New Bern

On January 2, 1864, Robert E. Lee wrote: “The time is at hand when, if an attempt can be made to capture the enemy’s forces at New Berne, it should be done. I can now spare troops for the purpose, which will not be the case as spring approaches.”
Lee's proposal led to a large expedition against New Bern led by General George Pickett, an operation detailed in The Fight For the Old North State (Univ. Press of Kansas, 2019).  Lee believed success at New Bern would alleviate the supply crisis plaguing his army and quell an emerging peace movement. As N.C. Supreme Court Justice Walter A. Montgomery later wrote:  "A great majority of the people . . . thought that the time had arrived when the question of peace with the United States government should be considered. It was thought that the contest was hopeless after the surrender of Vicksburg and the defeat . . . at Gettysburg, and that the further effusion of blood and destruction of property should cease.” These developments spurred Confederate leaders to focus on military efforts in North Carolina.
Though the New Bern expedition in February failed, Lee’s plan triggered one of the last successful Confederate offensives, culminating in the capture of Plymouth in April. The Fight for the Old North State captures the full scope, as well as the dramatic details of this struggle for North Carolina.

Some recent review excerpts from The Fight For the Old North State:

"... an excellent history of an understudied late-war offensive ... Highly recommended." - Civil War Books and Authors blog

  "... meticulously researched and confidently written new monograph ...." - America's Civil War

"... a detailed, fact-filled journey through joint land and water operations by the Federals and Confederates in their struggle for North Carolina during the early part of 1864 ... recommended." - Joan Wenner, Civil War News

"Well-researched, well-written, balanced, and well-illustrated, if this book doesn't win some awards, people simply aren't paying attention." - Civil War Navy, the History Profession, and Other Historical Musings blog

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Holiday Sales! The Fight For the Old North State and Richmond Must Fall

The Fight For the Old North State and Richmond Must Fall are both temporarily sold out at Amazon. But fear not. During the Holidays, you can get them at a great discount straight from the publishers (order details below). If you've already bought either of these through Amazon (and you are not my mother, etc.), feel free to leave a customer review there - always appreciated.

Order The Fight For the Old North State at 30% off and free shipping direct from the University Press of Kansas until December 16. Use code GIFT30 at:

Order Richmond Must Fall through the the Kent State University Press for 25% off until December 31. Use code HOLIDAY19 at:

Monday, November 25, 2019

John Horn's New Book: The Petersburg Regiment

So happy today to receive a signed copy of John Horn's new book: The Petersburg Regiment in the Civil War.

I helped out on this one by creating the maps and diagrams - there are 40 in all. This is a meaty study of an important regiment, originally commanded by William Mahone. The unit was involved in nearly every major campaign in the east.

A star-studded cast provides the blurbs on the back including Bearss, Rhea, Sommers, Mackowski, Robertson, and Trudeau. Here's a bit from one of them: 

"The culmination of years of study and research, John Horn's definitive The Petersburg Regiment narrates the wartime adventures of the 12th Virginia with the skill of a master storyteller." - Gordon Rhea