Museums to Visit

I’m back in Plano, Texas after a busy three weeks away. Most of the time was spent on some hard work at my mother-in-law’s house in Binghamton, New York. Before we arrived in New York, we stayed several days at National Harbor, Maryland. We spent two days in Washington, DC visiting museums.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

What an amazing place that provides a chronicle of the ongoing struggle of African Americans in America. The museum is both educational and sobering.

Don’t be afraid of long lines and difficulty obtaining tickets. You can order on-line for daily tickets. Please try the variety of foods available at the museum cafe.

African American Civil War Memorial and Museum

A must visit for Civil War historians. I guarantee you will learn new things about how African Americans helped win their freedom and preserve the Union.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The African American Civil War monument is across the street from the museum.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

National Museum of the American Indian

This is a fascinating museum devoted to the many Native American tribes. try the variety of foods available at the museum cafe. The museum explores some of the popular myths about famous American Indian people and events.


We were very impressed by the Inca Road exhibit and the ability to create a 25,000 mile road linking the west coast of South America.

The National Civil War Museum

The American Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA presents a year-by-year overview of the Civil War. This is a good place to begin your own exploration of the American Civil War. The exhibits illustrate the arms, equipment, and uniforms of the Union and Confederate forces. Briefly explore this museum before visiting Gettysburg National Military Park.

Perhaps we will see you on the road as we continue our Civil War Journeys.

Posted in Scratch Pad | Leave a comment

McFarland Publishing Book Sale

Beginning on June 1, McFarland is offering a website promotion for their books about military history. Online orders for books on military history will be discounted by 25% June 1 through June 15. The website coupon code will be Military25, and it will apply to any book that is a part of the military history category.  McFarland has 1,077 titles to choose from.  Please see McFarland Publishing – Military History.

For example, my book Teacher of Civil War Generals, regularly $39.95 (see Teacher of Civil War Generals) is available at a 25% discount or $29.96. Just enter the code Military25 at checkout. You can also preorder my new book (see Preparing for Disunion).


Posted in Scratch Pad | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Some Research Ideas

I spend a great amount of time doing research for my writing. I would like to suggest a methodology that might make your research more effective.

  1. Start with a simple Google internet search on the topic. Record significant research.
  2. Visit the Wikipedia link – Wikipedia is the subject of much criticism, but it’s a great place to begin. The listing, if there is one, provides the basics on the subject. Record significant research. I like to use Microsoft Notes.
  3. Check the references and citations at the bottom of the Wikipedia web page. Record research.
  4. Search Google category books to find references. Record research. Make note of all significant books.
  5. If you are searching for a person, go to Ancestry or FamilySearch. Record dates, family members, and images. Record research.
  6. Search old newspapers ( for articles. Make sure you extend the date of your research. Add modifiers to narrow the search field – start with time period, then state(s), and put topic in quotations.

You can do all of these things in your pajamas or clothes you spouse wants to throw out and at a time convenient to you.

  1. Visit library and see if they have any of the books you found in step 4. Order books using inter-library loan. Check out library editions that you can only access from home. Take pictures or pdfs of information (be sure to document the details of the source.)
  2. Check local college libraries.
  3. Check local museums.

You have not spent too much money at this stage.

  1. Contact significant museums and libraries by phone and ask them what they might have on topic. Record research.
  2. Call historic organizations to determine if they have any resources. Record research.
  3. Contact descendants from genealogical research and ask to have access to their information.

Well this is a start from immediate thoughts. Please comment on my suggestions. Also, please add any books or websites that you have found useful.

Posted in Scratch Pad | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Coming in August – Preparing for Disunion


The ad for Preparing for Disunion is on Amazon. The book is available for pre-orders with a publication date of August 25, 2018. 


Posted in Scratch Pad | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Preparing for Disunion: West Point Commandants and the Training of Civil War Leaders

McFarland just notified me that the official title of my new book will be Preparing for Disunion: West Point Commandants and the Training of Civil War Leaders. 

Posted in Scratch Pad | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Rewriting History – Revision vs. Negationism

I am putting the finishing touches on a presentation for First Methodist Church of Plano. The PowerPoint talk will be on March 15 lunch hour.   Please see the following outline:

  • “Lost Cause” of the Confederacy
  • Causes of the Civil War
  • Blacks Fought for the Confederacy
  • Slaves were Treated Well
  • White Supremacy
  • Confederate Statues – Leave or Remove

Please contact me if you would like more information on talk.

Posted in Scratch Pad | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Manuscript Completed and Mailed

There is great satisfaction in completing a manuscript and sending it to the publisher. I was pleased to complete the task for my new (unpublished) book, Preparing for Disunion. Not surprising, it took more time than I thought it would. There were many items that needed checking: content, size of citations, and dimensions of images.  The book is in the hands of McFarland Publishers. Now I am slowing returning to the land of the living and all those jobs I postponed the last four months.

Posted in Scratch Pad | Tagged , | Leave a comment