I am excited to tell you about a new book with its origins in this magazine: Gettysburg Faces: Portraits and Personal Accounts, the culmination of a project nine years in the making.
After becoming editor and publisher in 2013, I did so with the knowledge that content produced over many issues could be curated into books. Gettysburg Faces is an initial effort during my time in the editor’s chair, but not the first for MI. That honor belongs to founding editor Harry Roach’s 1988 book, Photographs of American Civil War Cavalry, co-authored with Harris Andrews, Chris Nelson and Brian Pohanka.
Gettysburg is the focus of this book for two primary reasons. The collecting community places a high value on portraits of soldiers and stories connected to the battle. Also, 159 years after the momentous clash of arms, the battle continues to resonate with Americans.
I dedicated a significant part of each summer issue to Gettysburg and parts of other issues to the battle and campaign. Over time, more than 150 portraits of participants appeared in the magazine, each accompanied by a story.
Meanwhile, I made the acquaintance of Kevin Drake, owner of Gettysburg Publishing. He and I share much in common. We both manage small, independently owned businesses. He embraces his authors as family. I embrace the photo collecting community as family. We discussed the possibilities of working together and concluded that the missions of Gettysburg Publishing and Military Images are aligned. It is a winning combination.
In early 2021, we signed a contract to publish Gettysburg Faces. I reviewed and selected 100 portraits published in the magazine. The criteria included image quality, compelling stories, covering both armies and all military branches, and representing as many collections as possible.
The final selections tell a powerful human story about Gettysburg through the faces and experiences of officers, enlisted men in the artillery, infantry and cavalry, sharpshooters, Signal Corps, medical staff, chaplains, and nurses.
The original stories published in the magazine differ in format, ranging from captions to full-length features, and written by multiple contributors. This is to be expected in a quarterly publication. A book, however, demands consistency of style from a single voice. To meet this need I rewrote, re-edited or otherwise adapted all 100 stories for a book format. This effort included re-researching to confirm facts and adding primary source material unavailable when each story was first published in MI.
As of this writing I am collaborating with the Gettysburg Publishing team on the book’s production. I am confident that the design, paper and other aspects of the printed book will be on par with the high quality you have come to expect in this magazine.
I am counting on your support by purchasing Gettysburg Faces for you, your family, friends and others interested in Gettysburg, the human experience in the Civil War, and American, military or photo history. Pre-order signed copies now at shopmilitaryimages.com.
Ronald S. Coddington
Editor & Publisher
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