Claire and Jeff Halsey

Claire and Jeff Halsey

Jeff Halsey

We started our latest book, The Regimental History of the 26th NC Infantry because my great-great-grandfather, Elijah Smith, was a sergeant in Company A of the 26th. He was wounded at Gettysburg and family history says, he "carried the bullet till he died."

Elijah was captured on October 17, 1864 at Petersburg and in researching the book we found that only one man from the regiment was captured at the battle at Hatcher's Mill that day. Like so many others, he was sent to Point Lookout Prison in Maryland.

We have a tintype of Elijah, made before he left for the war holding a pistol with knives in his belt that were surely the photographer's props.

I doubt he had the same look in his eye after completing the whole adventure. My granddaddy always said his granddaddy's table was always "full to overflowing" - that in his years in the war he was so hungry he never wanted to be that hungry again.

I think my favorite book has to be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Having been made to read it in Freshman High School English, I've re-read it at least four times. The dialogue, the description of the situations are so familiar, so real, it could have been taken from life. Growing up, of course, we never saw anthing like Tom's trial or Boo Radley's scissor stabbing, but the kids and their adventure and their relationships with each other and the adults were familiar ground to me. The whole book had a late-summer, Halloween-is-coming feel that I just never got over.

Claire Halsey

I'm originally from Kansas City and until recently only had mysterious Swedish ancestors with only a few vague details in my Kansas family.

I wanted to learn more about my Swedish heritage, so I just started looking. In my research, I was able to find a lot of information on my ancestors that I wanted to share with my family. Instead of trying to make hundreds of copies of primary source materials, I compiled the information in a book.