My book on Andrew Jackson Lacy in the Civil War is finally finished and published!
MISSING IN ACTION, 1863: Lieutenant Andrew Jackson Lacy and Tennessee's Confederate Cavalry.
In the summer of 1863, my great-great-grandfather, a young lieutenant in the Eighth (Dibrell’s) Tennessee Cavalry (CSA), disappeared and was never seen again. He left behind a grieving family, including a young wife and infant son (my great-grandfather). Once the war ended, and the remnants of the Confederate army headed home, including prisoners released from Union prisons, Lieutenant Lacy’s family waited anxiously to see if he might return. He did not.
This was a 150-year-old missing-persons cold case. I had to investigate. Did I find him?
The honest answer is no. I have pursued this mystery for decades, searching for needles in all kinds of haystacks. I started with the many letters that Andrew Lacy wrote to his family during the war, and the letters they wrote to him. (How the family happens to have letters written to him is another mystery surrounding his disapperance.) I spent many hours (even days!) in front of microfilm readers at the Tennessee State Library & Archives, went cross-eyed following the tiniest bread crumbs across the internet, and searched through dozens of books on the Civil War. I researched the men he served with on the remote chance that one of them might lead me to him, and accumulated notes on over 2000 men in the process. I studied the movement of troops and the rise of guerrilla warfare in Middle Tennessee. My conclusion, as explained in the last chapter of the book, is that he probably died sometime in the last half of August 1863, within 25 miles of home, likely at the hands of guerrillas.
I must be an optimist because, while the book is finished, I can't help continuing to look for him. Someday maybe I'll stumble across what we need to know.
If you’re interested in the Civil War, historical detective work, or genealogy, you’ll be interested in reading MISSING IN ACTION, 1863: Lieutenant Andrew Jackson Lacy and Tennessee's Confederate Cavalry.