Award winning author Dan Masters has been actively engaged in Civil War research for the past 20 years. With a focus on Ohio infantry regiments and documenting the thousands of letters contained in Ohio's newspapers during the Civil War, he founded Columbian Arsenal Press in 2017 with the mission of ensuring that these incredible accounts were made available to a wider audience.
My personal journey of discovering the Civil War began with the receipt of my great-great-great grandfather's discharge certificate more than 20 years ago. Private James Morrow of Co. H, 1st Ohio Volunteer Cavalry served three years with the Army of the Cumberland- the more I learned about his service, the more I became intrigued about how it was that the ordinary foot soldiers of the Civil War actually fought the war. Generals and admirals may direct battles, but it is upon the extrordinary endurance and courage of the men in the ranks that battles and wars are won.
I view my role as a writer as introducing the reader to the main characters of the scene, providing context to what occurred, and then letting the participants describe their experiences in their own words. General William Tecumseh Sherman may have said it best in 1865 when he told a rapturous crowd in Columbus, Ohio:
"I can tell you nothing new about the war, can describe no new scenes in our long campaigns for, from Columbus to Portsmouth, from the Ohio River to Lake Erie, you will find in every house and every hamlet a bluecoated boy who marched and has told the story better than I can do it, because he saw it inside and outside."
By giving voice to the common soldier, we ensure that their sacrifices are remembered, honored, and given their due place in our history. Our mission at Columbian Arsenal Press is to provide a platform to those long silent voices who saw the war "inside and outside."
I will be speaking at the Rededication ceremony for the Brigadier General Joshua W. Sill monument on Saturday September 25, 2021 at 1 p.m. The event will be held at Grandview Cemetery in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Author Dan Masters was a guest on Fred Lefebvre's morning show on WSPD 1370 AM Toledo on Thursday May 25, 2017 at 8 A.M. Here are the links to the podcast of this interview:
Roy Wilhelm referenced Sherman's Praetorian Guard in his recent column in the Fremont News Messenger of April 5, 2018.
I am working on a three volume battle letters compendium featuring hundreds of accounts from Ohio soldiers entitled "Echoes of Battle." The manuscript is complete and this looks to be an exciting series once released. Hoping to release the first volume in late 2021.
Future projects include regimental histories for the 67th Ohio, Launcelot Scott's memoir of life in the 18th Ohio Infantry, and a volume devoted to telling the story of Ohio at Stones River.
The study of the Civil War is a neverending but most pleasant journey through the libraries, historical societies, museums, cemeteries, backroads, and forgotten spaces of America. The focus of this log is to highlight the battle experiences of Ohioans during the war, but I do occasionally delve into other aspects of the conflict.
If you're looking for a speaker to discuss the Civil War, particularly with a focus on Ohio's contribution, please feel free to contact me. My specialty is the war in the western theater, but with thousands of pages of accounts in my collection, I can develop a presentation to meet nearly any request for a specialized topic.
Please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mother, father, brother, sister, wife, sweetheart, keep that bundle sacredly! Each word will be historic, each line invaluable. When peace has restored the ravages of war, and our Nation's grandeur has made this struggle the most memorable of those conflicts by which ideas are rooted into society, these pen pictures of the humblest events, the merest details of the routine life led in winning national unity and freedom will be priceless. Not for the historian's sake alone, do I say, keep those letters, but for your sakes who receive them, and ours who write them. The next skirmish may stop our pulses forever, and our letters, full of love for you, will be our only legacy except that of having died in a noble cause. And should we survive the war, with health and limb uninjured or bowed with sickness or wounds, thos letters will be dear mementos of dangers past, of trials borne, or privations suffered, or of comrades beloved.