Bruce’s Bully Pulpit

Bad news for me: I’d almost finished writing my first book: The Maple Leaf Affair. It covers the prisoners aboard the US transport Maple Leaf rising up on their guards and capturing the ship, making a successful escape to Richmond after spending a couple of weeks dodging Federal patrols in the swamps of eastern North Carolina. I hadn’t decided yet whether to self-publish it or to use an established publisher. Unfortunately, I fell down three steps into the FROG the last Thursday in May. Cartilage on the labium was damaged. This left shoulder injury required surgery on December 6, 2016. Then I fell down steps at a cousin’s house a week before Christmas, setting back my recovery 8-9 more weeks. Being left-handed, my work came to a screeching halt just I had uncovered two important pieces of information for the tale.

Charles McDonald discovered an Archer bolt on the South Mills battlefield on 18 February 2017. The orientation of the bolt indicated it had been fired from the position of the two Confederate 6-pdrs. stationed in the Camden Court House Road near the mouth of Sawyer’s Lane. The only Confederate rifled gun in the battle was stationed there.

Photos of Forts Hatteras and Clark can be seen in the blog section of my 7th NC Volunteers page (http://7thncvols.wordpress.com/ ) . Dr. Larry Tice of East Carolina University had hi-res scans made of the only known photos of these historic forts at Hatteras Inlet.

Volume 19 of NC Troops is now available from the State Archives. The NC Defenders and Jonesboro Guards from Camden County are included in this volume, as are the Currituck Guards, a 3-month company stationed briefly at Oregon Inlet.

Work continues on the Civil War NC Sailors Project at http://rblong.net/sailor/ . Feel free to e-mail sailor information to me at rblong@rblong.net . Terry Foenander died last year, but the project will be continued. Terry’s son Chris gave us approval to keep posting Terry’s work. The information will be shared with the NC Archives for inclusion in the naval edition of their NC Troops series.

I plan to get back to work on my 7th NC Volunteer page at http://7thncvols.wordpress.com/. I’ve been tied up acting as an interim athletic director twice since I retired 21 months ago and I’ve been researching the new Maple Leaf Affair book. Who knew it would lead to me ignoring my blog sites and web pages for an entire year!

Michael C. Hardy posted a useful link to Cornell University’s online versions of the Official Records of the Navies and the Army Official Records. These resources can be accessed here.

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