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On the Demise of Civil War Times, and Introducing a New Column

The storied magazine Civil War Times ceased publication this spring after its parent company scaled back its operations, eliminated the print edition, and explored an expanded digital edition. Its decline and death have left me grieving the loss of a publication that educated, informed and inspired me and so many others for decades.

It is fitting that we remember the magazine’s contributions. Born as Civil War Times Illustrated during the centennial commemoration of the war, it provided fresh and insightful views on the conflict’s battles, leaders, soldiers, sailors and other participants with engaging stories and compelling images. As a teenager in the late 1970s, I remember asking my mother to write a check so that I could subscribe. Each issue deepened my knowledge and left me wanting more.

William C. “Jack” Davis shaped and influenced Civil War Times Illustrated from 1969-1990, and served for many years as its editor and publisher. You’ll find Jack’s retrospective on those formative years in the magazine’s distinguished run on pages 68-69.

I often use the aphorism “a rising tide lifts all boats” to describe the mutual relationship between individuals with an active interest in history and the publications that feed and nurture them. As content creators, we have the responsibility to serve our audience well. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity. Though we’ve lost one of the largest boats, and others in the HistoryNet fleet of magazines, others remain. And for those of us publications afloat, the loss of Civil War Times is a reminder of our shared mission to keep the stories and history of the Civil War alive and relevant. Morever, that we need to meet and engage audiences wherever they consume history. We owe this to those we serve now and into the future—and to the generation of Americans who lived and sacrificed during our unprecedented national crisis 160 years ago.

Introducing a New Column: “Of Arms and Men”

I am thrilled to welcome Phil Spaugy as a Senior Editor and columnist. His inaugural column, Of Arms and Men: At the intersection of photography and ordnance technology, debuts in this issue. I’ve known Phil for some years now, and he’s the trusted source I’ve turned to time and again to identify long and side arms in photographs. His knowledge, enthusiasm, and collaborative spirit are infectious. A longtime member of the North-South Skirmish Association (N-SSA), Phil has served in numerous offices, including National Commander and the Board of Directors. He has also been active with the N-SSA’s Union Guards, 19th Indiana Infantry. Phil studies arms and accouterments of federal infantry soldiers with an emphasis on his home state of Ohio, firearms of the U.S Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, and the Iron Brigade. Huzzah!

Ronald S. Coddington
Editor & Publisher

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