My Life in the Civil War — A Historical Memoir, of Sorts
I have been fascinated with the American Civil War my entire life. I cannot point to any single reason why this is so. I was not raised on stories of distant ancestors wading with honor through the carnage. There is no familial connection to speak of, really. I am not driven by ideological fervor or the arcane sectional sparring that lingers, finding most of these spats a waste of time picking over settled historical fact and detracting from the process of exploration and discovery. There is no one thing I can point to as a root inspiration. There is only the visceral, often mystical reverberations of a long ago cataclysm flooding over me when I stand on the lands where it all went down.
Ghost On The Hill is not your typical Civil War history project. It bypasses a strict linear interpretation of events, opting instead to magnify specific events that tether together transcendent themes. It runs out fine detail on battles and campaigns, military strategy and biographical profiles; but all in support of a different take on a period that has been done over more than any other in American history. For this is also a personal story. It traces a lifetime of wrangling and digesting history not as a collection of staid dusty facts severed from the modern era, but as an organic conscious thing. It follows my evolution in coming to grasp this as a grounding element and allowing it to serve as a most trusted guide: clarifying the world as it is, verifying the continuum that ferried us all here, and all the while lighting up my fitful attempts to quantify—in flesh and blood terms—the larger ideas and ideals that this process stokes.
At its core, Ghost On The Hill is the documentary of a life-long event, parsing the mysterious fascination of living a life dominated by a subject. Regardless of setting, the Civil War in all of its myriad threads is with me all of the time. That is odd, that is fascinating; and that is this story. It is a history project leavened with the backstory of my making sense of it all and slowly, swing-by-swing, forging the presentation of an overtly-popularized topic at an angle that no one else could: my own experience processing the resonant energy that radiates from Civil War lands.
Ghost on the Hill is an ongoing long-form series, with each stand-alone part delving into a specific theme. Here are introductions and samples for each so far planned. (Destruction and Mortality are complete.)