I knew that you had not endorsed the mss. (you haven't seen the book as of yet).That was the point of my email. If you will remember, I told you that you wouldn't like the mss. before I sent it to you.I guess we can agree that I was at least right on that front.But, if we are truly honest with one another, I think we both know that your disapproval has little to do with factual content and more to do with interpretation.I apologize that I could not find justification or nobility in Ben Bickerstaff's actions during the Civil War or Reconstruction.
Nevertheless, thank you for the invitation to discuss the matter further by way of your private email.
However, given the nature of your comments toward the subject matter of the book, I do not feel that future discussions will be necessary.Such debates would not be informative or productive.As you mentioned in your earliest emails to me, you really didn't have any new material on Benjamin Bickerstaff other than most basic facts surrounding his life.And, listening to someone espouse the Dunning school (William A. Dunning) of Reconstruction, does not appeal to me.
However, I do respect your opinion of the mss. and that you have expressed your views in that regard. I suppose that I am a little dissappointed that you did not grasp the nuances of the work, but I understand that what some view as a "soapbox on Reconstruction" others will understand as historical truth based on archival research (including documents located at the National Archives).You must remember, there are no other studies (book-length anyway) on Benjamin Bickerstaff.We are the only historians that have attempted to examine his life (beyond birth and death) outside of a few popular articles.Besides, the book is more designed for students of history, not genealogy.
Finally, three last comments and you will forever be free of me.First, I doubt that your curiosity would have led you to buy the book.If that had been the case, I would not have had to send you a mss. copy.Second, you started the debate on this forum--you could have simply emailed me at my home email with your criticism. Third, if my book is so wothless, unimpressive, redundent, repetitive, and meaningless, then I invite you to write the historically correct/accurate/exciting story of Ben, his fellow desperadoes, and Reconstruction.However, don't send me the mss., I will buy it off the shelf.I also will not tell others in vague terms why they should dismiss the book without turning its pages.
Best Wishes and thank you for your time.I shall not bother you further.