I've just gotten off the phone with Tim Smith, author of "Champion Hill; Decisive Battle for Vicksburg". I called to inform him of the outstanding support for the new book and these message boards, that our visitors and contributors have thus far offered. The success of the book sale was no surprise to him, as he has already visited and perused our postings on the message boards and was aware of the outstanding response.
Dr. Smith was very impressed by the historical content and the scholarship that was practiced on our message boards and has offered to become a regular visitor and where appropriate a contributor to our discussions. At my request, I have asked him to delay his participation in our discussions, until after the completion of the book sale and a proposed online interview.
Be aware, that Tim is very appreciative of the support and interest and looks forward to the interview and future communications. Tim is not only a professional historian and scholar, but is also a very personable, friendly and helpful individual. I'm sure if you visit the Shiloh National Military Park, where he is a historian/interpreter, he'll be happy to give you a friendly "hello".
Regarding the "online interview", for those who have participated in our group book purchase, I am currently working out the details. What I foresee is a moderated online "chat", where questions will be forwarded to the moderator (I don't know if that will be me or someone else) and then selectively, presented to Tim for his response in "real time" for everyone to see. If we had a smaller group, it might have been possible to let everyone communicate directly with Tim, but as it looks like fifty to one-hundred people may be involved, it will be necessary to select a limited number of questions and comments to Tim, so we can have a more orderly progression of questions and answers, that can be followed easily by our participants.
I'll be making an announcement to our book purchasers, by email, no less than a week before the interview of when, where and by what means it will occur.
Thanks again for your outstanding support of Tim's book and your ongoing efforts for the message boards.