I’m pleased to announce that my biography of Union officer and engineer Orlando M. Poe has been accepted for publication by Kent State University Press. The 126,000-word manuscript will contain fifteen maps commissioned especially for the book as well as 20 or so period photographs and drawings, at least five of which are previously unpublished.
I believe Poe to be one of the more underrated and overlooked individuals from both the Civil War and the late nineteenth-century. As important as many of his wartime engineering contributions were, I make the case that his post-war career spent largely on the Great Lakes had a far greater impact on society as a whole. Much of his work affects Great Lakes mariners to this very day. This work will tell his life’s story in depth for the first time ever.
I’m currently considering two titles. The original working title was Great Lakes Engineer: The Life of Civil War General Orlando M. Poe while a more recent idea is “An Approving Conscience is Sufficient Reward:” The Life of Civil War General Orlando M. Poe. I find the former to be more descriptive (think marketing) though the latter seems more “artsy.” Opinions are welcomed.
With the contracts now signed, it’s time to settle down into all the fun pre-production stuff! Also, an article-length version of Poe’s life, entitled Orlando Metcalfe Poe: General William T. Sherman’s Right Hand Man, will be published in North and South magazine. Editor Keith Poulter informs me it should appear in the upcoming issue.