The June, 2010 issue of Civil War Times magazine ushers in the first installment of a new department I’ll be writing called In Harm’s Way. These columns will feature homes on or in the vicinity of battlefields. While the structures or the grounds they occupy will typically have played some role in a battle, the focus will be on the occupants and their stories before, during, and after the action. This is an idea I pitched to editor Dana Shoaf, who saw something in it and gave me the go-ahead for the first article on Gettysburg’s Lydia Leister house, site of Union General George G. Meade’s headquarters on July 2 & 3, 1863.
I made arrangements with Ranger Scott Hartwig at the park and at the end of January spent a couple of days there, first in the library where Ranger John Heiser gave me access to the park files on the house, and the next day at the house where Ranger Troy Harman unlocked the door and allowed me to photograph practically every square inch of the tiny log cabin. Not many interior photos made the article, so let me share a few here (click the thumbs for a larger image):
I’m looking forward to this new project, which is scheduled for 6 issues. It presents some interesting creative challenges, and will also require me to make new contacts since I won’t be able to travel to all the sites. The subject of the next article has been chosen, inquiries have been sent, materials have been received, and writing has commenced. Let me know what you think of the articles, and if you really like them, let the magazine know!