It is with a heavy heart that I relate to everyone that author, historian, archivist, and my friend Richard J. Sommers, one of the leading deans of the Civil War and a Savas Beatie author, passed away quietly at his home this morning after a mighty battle with cancer.
Dick as many of you know, is the author of Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg, The Battles of Chaffin’s Bluff and Poplar Spring Church, September 29 - October 2, 1864, the definitive and monumental strategic and tactical study of Grant's Fifth Offensive at Petersburg. He helped legions of researchers, writers, students, and others during his decades at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania.
It is impossible to read a serious book about almost any Civil War topic that did not in some way receive the help of this good man.
There is no one to replace him.
I have no doubt that right about now he is chastising Grant for keeping Butler in command for as long as he did, and asking Lee why on God's green earth he attacked on the third day at Gettysburg.