Among the things I enjoy most about blogging is being able to tell a good story. It was one of my favorite aspects of journalism and it’s part of what I relish in writing for the magazine I put together for my employer.
Nearly four years ago, I got an opportunity to tell a bigger story, one that was approximately 150 years old but had never been fully laid out in print before.
It came to fruition last month when Broadfoot Publishing Co. of Wilmington, NC, sent me a copy of To Virginia and Back With Rutledge’s Cavalry: A History of the 4th South Carolina Cavalry Regiment, a 520-page work that took me more than three years to write.
First, I should note that writing anything about myself is about as enjoyable as having teeth pulled with a rusty pair of pliers. But it would be remiss of me not to at least thank those who have supported me over the past few years.
First, about the book, or rather the topic of my book:
The 4th S.C. Cavalry Regiment suffered the most battle casualties of any of South Carolina’s seven cavalry units. Nearly all its combat deaths came during a two-week period in the summer of 1864, when the 1,000-man unit was thrown into its first real action literally hours after arriving in Virginia.
Prior to reaching Virginia shortly after the start of Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign, the 4th South Carolina hadn’t suffered a single combat death since the start of the war. Within a couple of weeks, it had lost scores of men, with hundreds more wounded and captured.