Not So Exciting After All

9 11 2009

RichardsonI was excited.  Author Jack C. Mason had discovered a hundred or so letters written by Israel B. Richardson – mortally wounded as a major-general at Antietam and a colonel and brigade commander in Daniel Tyler’s division at First Bull Run – and used them to produce Until Antietam: The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U. S. Army.  Great – fair usage would allow me to add to the resources section Richardson’s letters pertaining to Blackburn’s Ford and Bull Run.  After a long wait for the publication, I ordered the book from Amazon and received it last week.  The book is 202 pages of text, and in addition to other sources used Richardson’s unpublished letters as a basis for a full biography.  But silly me, I assumed by something in the title (oh, I don’t know, maybe the Life AND LETTERS part?) that the letters were included.  Sadly they are not.  This may be a kick-ass biography (I don’t know, I haven’t read it yet), but it is not a Life and Letters book.  Oh well, you live and learn

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5 responses

9 11 2009
Terry Johnston


Wow, that’s disappointing. I’ve been waiting for this book to come out (having heard about the project several years ago), but considering there aren’t any of Richardson’s letters in it, I think I’ll pass—at least for now. Talk about false advertising…



10 11 2009
Mike Peters


I have been waiting for some time to read Greasy Dick’s “Letters.” Say it ain’t so man!

Mike Peters


11 11 2009
Jack Mason


Hope you find some new insights to IBR’s career as a soldier once you find the time to read it through. This is my first book, and I would be interested in anyone’s comments.



11 11 2009
Harry Smeltzer

Thanks for stopping by, Jack. I’ll surely read the book in the near future, but in the meantime can you expand on why the letters themselves were not part of the book? Do you plan on publishing a separate volume of the letters?


11 12 2009
Brands and Bandages « Bull Runnings

[…] to the Civil War, so I’m going to read this one as soon as I finish my current read, a biography of Israel B. Richardson.  I’ll read at least a few of the essays in Years of Change since I read Doctors in Blue […]


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