Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Getting the right Sibley

I don't subscribe to it, but I thumb through Civil War Historian magazine at the local B&N when I get the chance. In the latest issue, there is a short piece about the 1862 Dakota War. This is at least the third publication that I've come across that's inserted a picture of Confederate General Henry Hopkins Sibley (famous drinker, tent&stove designer, and desert fox) for Union officer Henry Hastings Sibley. It's such a consistent mistake that it's become almost expected. Perhaps the old whiskeykeg's face isn't instantly recognizable to most people, but why has no one sufficiently questioned the fact that he's wearing his Confederate uniform in the picture? [see this Wikipedia page for the most commonly published picture of Henry Hopkins Sibley]

The most interesting tidbit I found in this relatively new magazine was a photocopy of the govt. form that requires the magazine to provide circulation data. I've always wondered about circulation numbers for the less popular "popular" CW mags. If I recall correctly, they mail issues to 8,500+ subscribers and send a few thousand more to bookstores, retailers, etc. This compares with the figure of almost 64,000 paid mail subscribers to Civil War Times. Now, if all those people actually bought Civil War books on a consistent basis we'd be in business! (BTW, if you're wondering about truly popular magazines, the same form in my latest National Geographic shows that over 4.1 million copies are mailed each month to paid subscribers!)

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Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and a safe long weekend!

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