Douglas Southall Freeman History Award
My Old Confederate Home: A Respectable Place for Civil War Veterans
By Rusty Williams
University of Kentucky Press
663 S. Limestone St.
Lexington, KY 40508-4008
Basil W. Duke Award
One of Morgan’s Men: Memoirs of Lt. John M. Porter of the 9th Kentucky
Kent Masterson Brown, Editor
Univ. Press of Kentucky
663 S. Limestone St.
Lexington, KY 40508-4008
Contact: Mack McCormick, Publicity Mgr.
One of Morgan’s Men: Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Cavalry, edited by Kent Masterson Brown, documents Porter’s personal participation in what he called “The War of Southern Independence” through a series of entries written in 1872. Brown’s version draws from four existing copies of the original manuscript, and Porter’s passion for his cause and for the preservation of history are clearly evident. He draws the reader into his world of gunpowder and Rebel spirit as he tells of his personal war experiences and incarceration, emphasizing his devotion to freedom and his opposition to the “tyranny” of the North.
Porter gives extensive insight into one of the most defining periods in American history, detailing the war from the point of view of a dedicated soldier. He describes the cavalry’s long treks across the western theater, the experience of battle, the successes and failures of his troops, and the thrill of capturing enemy generals. Porter goes far beyond the battles though, detailing the joy of returning home to Kentucky, memorable events such as Morgan’s wedding in Murfreesboro, and his close friendship with Captain Thomas H. Hines, who later orchestrated Southern sympathizers and anti-Lincoln “Copperheads” in Illinois and Indiana in a conspiracy to free Confederate prisoners of war.
After spending nineteen months as a prisoner of war at Johnson’s Island Prisoner of War Depot in Sandusky Bay, Ohio, he returned to Butler County at the war’s end. He began practicing law in Morgantown, but later moved to Bowling Green where he entered a partnership with Hines. Only sixteen years later, at the age of forty-five, Porter died, probably as a result health complications contracted during his imprisonment.
One of Morgan’s Men is the story of a man whose political beliefs led him on the biggest adventure of his life under the command of one of the Civil War’s most recognized figures. He tells his story with passion and earnest, and his writings provide an excellent view into some of the Confederacy’s most noted military operations. Porter’s memoirs not only provide in-depth historical documentation, but they also reflect the ideology of a movement that possessed the power to divide a country.
(Summary courtesy of Mack McCormick, University Press of Kentucky)
Kent Masterson Brown is a long-time lawyer and nationally recognized Civil War authority. His books include The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State and Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign. He has also written, produced, and hosted several historical documentary films, including The Long Road Back to Kentucky, Retreat from Gettysburg, and Bourbon and Kentucky: A History Distilled, and his new book One of Morgan’s Men: Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Kentucky Calvary by John M. Porter.
Mr. Brown was the first Chairman of the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission and the Perryville Battlefield Commission. He created and was the first editor of the magazine The Civil War, and he has received many awards for his work on historic preservation as well as his books and articles.
(Mr. Brown’s bio credit to Civil War Symposium)
John Esten Cooke Fiction Award
Noble Cause: A Novel of Love and War
By Jessica James
1505 Knoxlyn Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Praised by readers of romantic and historical fiction since its publication in 2008, the award-winning historical fiction novel Shades of Gray now has a new ending in this special 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Commemorative edition.
This is the tale of Colonel Alexander Hunter, a dauntless and daring Confederate cavalry officer, who, with his band of intrepid outcasts, becomes a legend in the rolling hills of northern Virginia. Inspired by love of country and guided by a sense of duty and honor, Hunter must make a desperate choice when he discovers the woman he promised his dying brother he would protect is the Union spy he vowed to his men he would destroy.
Readers will discover the fine line between friends and enemies when the paths of these two tenacious foes cross by the fates of war and their destinies become entwined forever.
Author Jessica James uniquely blends elements of romantic and historical fiction in this deeply personal and poignant tale that, according to one reviewer, “transcends the pages to settle in the very marrow of the reader’s bones.”
(Summary courtesy of Patriot Press Books)
Jessica James is a former newspaper editor who spent 18 years in a newsroom before turning her attention to writing fiction. She enjoys reading 19th century fiction and non-fiction, and writing about the honor, traditions and principles that were prevalent in the South during the Civil War. James holds a master’s degree in communications and a bachelor’s degree in public relations/journalism. She is featured in the book, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading, which was published in 2010.