Soldiers of the Cross: Advance Praise and Index (Updated)

(Updated April 29, 2019 with new release date and new blurb by Barbra Mann Wall).

In a marathon sprint to the finish, Father David Endres and I just finished off both the proofs and index for our edited volume, Soldiers of the Cross. This was my first time indexing a book, let alone one that is 500 pages long, and I hope our readers will find it a useful guide to this important work. Between the index and Conyngham’s summary of each chapter’s contents, you should easily be able to find what you’re looking for.

Indexing: not for the faint of heart!

Notre Dame Press tells me that the book should be available by the end of June.

In the meanwhile, they Fr. David and me the blurbs that will grace the book’s cover. Written by Lawrence F. Kohl (modern editor of Conyngham’s The Irish Brigade), James Schmidt (author of Notre Dame in the Civil War), George Rable (author of the best work on Civil War religion, God’s Almost Chosen Peoples), Randall Miller (Civil War historian and expert on Irish Catholic soldiers during the war), and my UVA colleague Barbra Mann Wall, I hope they will make you as excited for the book’s release as I am.

“Conyngham’s work, its subject, its language, and its tone, reveal much about what the editors call ‘the state of the church and its uneasy place in American society at the time.’ There is much new here, and by comprehensively bringing together information about both priests and nuns, it suggests the direction and provides some of the facts for a full history of Catholics in the Civil War.”—Lawrence Kohl, editor of David Power Conyngham’s The Irish Brigade and Its Campaigns

“The most important contribution of Soldiers of the Cross is that it democratizes access to a very important document on the Civil War experience of Catholic chaplains and sister-nurses. The book will appeal to lay readers, especially those who research particular regiments or have ancestors associated with particular units.” —James M. Schmidt, author of Lincoln’s Labels: America’s Best Known Brands and the Civil War 

“To have David Power Conyngham’s invaluable Soldiers of the Cross available in a well-edited edition is of great benefit to students and scholars alike. The fine introduction by David J. Endres and William B. Kurtz offers a perceptive assessment of the entire work. Anyone interested in the wartime story of the Catholic Church and the religious life of soldiers will learn a great deal from Conyngham’s book.” —George C. Rable, author of God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War

“Students of the Civil War, Catholic, and women’s history, among others, will welcome the publication of David Power Conyngham’s Soldiers of the Cross. Brilliantly edited, this ‘authoritative text’ speaks to the uses of remembrance, hagiography, and memorialization in creating an ‘American’ Catholic identity and ascribing a religious meaning to the war.” —Randall M. Miller, co-editor of Religion and the American Civil War

“This edited work of David Power Conyngham’s unpublished manuscript is a tour-de-force—a much needed history of the significant work of Catholic chaplains and sister nurses during the American Civil War. The editors bring alive the many stories of well-known and more ‘hidden’chaplains and sister nurses from both the North and South who helped change larger societal perceptions of Catholics, all for the positive.”—Barbra Mann Wall, Thomas A. Saunders III Professor of Nursing, University of Virginia