Kenneth L. Alford, "Acknowledgements," in Civil War Saints, ed. Kenneth L. Alford (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012), 556–560.
The American Civil War has always held an interest and fascination for me. I remember my excitement as a young child during the centennial celebration as I collected stamps, articles, and magazines about the war. I thought it was only fitting that the war’s sesquicentennial celebration should include some contribution regarding the way the Civil War affected Latter-day Saints and Utah Territory. This book is the result of that desire, and it is with great pleasure that I am able to acknowledge and thank the many people and organizations who have made this volume possible.
I am deeply grateful for Robert C. Freeman for helping me to better understand how to take an idea such as this from concept to publication and to William P. MacKinnon, who has been both a mentor and friend, providing a steady stream of good ideas and encouragement.
I am indebted to the historians who have spent countless hours researching, writing, and rewriting the chapters in this book. I believe that the final publication presents a more complete and nuanced portrait of both Utah Territory and Latter-day Saints during the Civil War than any one of us alone could have provided. I also wish to express my sincere appreciation for the numerous historians and professors who contributed both their time and expertise to serve as blinded peer reviewers for the chapters and appendices within this book. Each chapter was improved because of their efforts.
I am pleased that we are able to introduce by name many of the Latter-day Saints who participated in the Civil War—soldiers who served in Union and Confederate forces. As is often the case with large research efforts, it is probably good we did not realize how much work creating that list would ultimately require. Preparing that information was far more involved and time-consuming than I initially imagined, but I believe that the results are well worth the effort. The majority of the day-to-day digging, searching, comparing, checking, deciphering, and rechecking was completed by a group of enthusiastic student researchers from Brigham Young University who spent many hundreds of hours in pursuit of this information. I am indebted to Joseph R. Stuart, Mary E. Moberly, Ian S. Lindsay, Nathan Freeman, Phil Abbott, Scott Lovejoy, Trevor Slezak, Elizabeth DeFranco, and Amanda Van Leuven Campos for their positive attitudes, inquisitive natures, attention to detail, and good humor throughout this project. Their help has been invaluable. Financial assistance received from Brigham Young University’s Religious Studies Center made this research possible, and I am grateful to the many donors who made those funds available. We have also been assisted in this research by several individuals who each contributed to the growing list of Latter-day Saint Civil War veterans. Curtis Allen, Ken Nelson, DeBorah Bankston, Robert Hall, LaMar Merrill, David Safranski, Robert L. Davis, and Gerald Davis were especially helpful, and I express my appreciation for their kind assistance.
The patient assistance from knowledgeable and helpful librarians and archivists at the Church History Library and Archives, Brigham Young University’s L. Tom Perry Special Collections at the Harold B. Lee Library, the Utah State Historical Society, and the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah was also most appreciated. Additionally, I wish to thank the editors at Utah Historical Quarterly and Mormon Historical Studies for allowing us to reprint journal articles that fit so well with the rest of this volume.
The directors, editors, artists, and staff at Brigham Young University’s Religious Studies Center made the work associated with preparing this book for publication a pleasure. Devan Jensen, Brent Nordgren, Heidi Sutherland, Jeff Wade, Joany Pinegar, Dana Kendall, Jonathon Owen, Nyssa Sylvester, Art Morrill, Katie Skovran, and Allison Swenson deserve special recognition and thanks for their assistance, good ideas, and professionalism.
I am grateful to my parents, Ken and Dolores Alford, who shared their love of learning and who have always supported me with their love. I am also grateful to my children, their sweethearts, and my grandchildren; they make life meaningful and fun. My deepest appreciation, though, is reserved for my wife, Sherilee, who is simultaneously my best friend, head cheerleader, therapist, and confidant. Thank you for supporting me on this project and the opportunity costs associated with it. I’m a better person because of you, and I love you with all my heart. —Kenneth L. Alford