I couldn’t say how many Civil War regiments there were. It’s probably into the thousands, and I could have picked any one of them. So why did I plump for the 125th Ohio, Opdycke’s Tigers as they came to be known, as a home for my fictitious Private Shire? And how then did their glorious story – more fully revealed to me on a visit to the Carter House – bounce me from penning what was planned to be a standalone novel into writing a trilogy?
On my laptop, the 27th of June, 2013, shows as the last edited date on the original draft of the first chapter of the Shire’s Union trilogy. Putting pen to paper (or more likely pencil to notebook) will have preceded typing the words into Word, so the effort will have started long before then. I couldn’t tell you the conception date of book one, Whirligig, though I do know that the trilogy was first imagined in the Carter House basement in Franklin, as far back as 15th May, 2011.