Great Amazon Review for Boys of Diamond Hill

Diamond Hill CoverFrom time to time, I will revisit my past books on the online outlets to see if there is any activity and am always gratified to find a new review. This fine review (5 stars) copied below is for “The Boys of Diamond Hill: The Lives and Civil War Letters of the Boyd Family of Abbeville County, South Carolina,” a book I am very proud of and was thrilled to have won a gold medal for history from the Military Writers Society of America. I appreciate the reviewer taking the time to share his thoughts on my book.

I approached the writing of this book with a bit of trepidation.  In many ways I felt like I was intruding on other people’s lives, and in many ways I was.  I soon found out from a number of folks, including descendants of the Boyd brothers, that any intrusion I was responsible for was a good one.  Reviews like this one make me glad I wrote this book all over again.

Now, if only my readers will begin to do the same for “Echoes From Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images” so others will also discover it.


For those of us fortunate enough to escape going to war, this book provides a glimpse into the horror and tragedy that is always a part of war. The letters to home from members of the Boyd family of Abbeville, SC bring home the personal losses suffered by one family, losses that were seen on both sides of this war.

I picked up this book because my grandparents lived in the Diamond Hill District in the late 1870s thru about 1915. While none of my known relatives are mentioned, nevertheless, my grandparents had to have been familiar with the stories of this and other nearby families. Most historical accounts of wars are somewhat impersonal, say the view from 20,000 feet. This,however, is the ground level account. It’s easy to become attached to the characters, worry with them about how their families are doing, and grieve when they are lost in battle. Accounts such as this are the only way, short of actually participating, to learn what war is really like. For that reason, I think it provides an invaluable lesson.

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Looking for Pictures of Georgia’s Gettysburg Troops

GRG_FrontCover150Now that “Echoes From Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images” is out in the marketplace, it is time to take the work I did in “Georgia Remembers Gettysburg” and go it one better. “Georgia Remembers Gettysburg” is now out of print and copies on the secondary market — at last check — are going for around $600 and up. Never fear, it will soon be back. Fox Run Publishing will be releasing an updated and improved edition as a follow-up to the South Carolina edition.

EchoesGettysburgSC_Front_lowerresThe superlative maps of Phillip Laino will once again make an appearance to illustrate the positions and movements of Georgia’s soldiers at Gettysburg just as they do in the South Carolina edition of “Echoes From Gettysburg.” Add to this the stories from “Georgia Remembers Gettysburg” along with additional material I have discovered and photographs of Georgia veterans who fought in the battle and it will reemerge as “Echoes From Gettysburg: Georgia’s Memories and Images.”

Here is where you come in. I need your help. If you have photographs of a Georgia ancestor who you believe fought at Gettysburg, I want to hear from you! Of course, war time images are the prize, but I am interested in post war images as well. I know these are out there and if you want to see your ancestor honored in print, here is your opportunity.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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Echoes From Gettysburg – SC Official Press Release

EchoesGettysburgSC_Front_lowerresThe official press release announcing the new release of Echoes From Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images is now ready for general distribution and may be accessed by clicking this link.

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J. Keith Jones Interview about Echoes From Gettysburg – South Carolina

EchoesGettysburgSC_Front_lowerresI was recently honored to be a guest on Kathleen Rodgers’ blog in the form of an interview she conducted with me about my latest release, “Echoes From Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images.”

You may read the full text of the interview here.


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A Box Full of Books

BoxOfEchoesSCIt is always a great day when you get to see that first full box of books of your latest work.  So I am sharing this with you.  Echoes From Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images is now available to purchase.

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Echoes From Gettysburg in Amazon’s Hot New Releases lists

2016-0815_HotNewGettysburgAmazonOn Amazon today, “Echoes From Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images” is among Amazon’s Hot New Releases on two categories. It shows up as number number 96 in overall American Military History releases, but it shows up as number THREE in the Hot New Releases for Civil War Gettysburg History.


Hot New Releases in American Military History on Amazon – 08/15/2016

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Echoes From Gettysburg in top 100 Gettysburg books on first day of release

EchoesGettysburgSC_Front_lowerresIn the first full day of its release, “Echoes From Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images” quickly climbed into the top 100 list of Gettysburg books on Amazon.

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Echoes From Gettysburg: SC now available on Amazon

EchoesGettysburgSC_Front_lowerresAs of this evening, the soft cover version of “Echoes From Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images” is now available for order through Amazon.  The hard cover version will be available soon.  Check back for more on this.

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Echoes From Gettysburg – SC set for Aug. 15, 2016 release

EchoesGettysburgSC_Front_lowerresEchoes From Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images is set for release on August 15.

Stay tuned for ordering information.  In the meantime, checkout the advance praise from the back cover:

Virginia often steals the public’s attention at Gettysburg, but J. Keith Jones’ research on the actions of all of the South Carolina units at that three-day battle brings that state to the forefront of battle accounts. This book fills in gaps for South Carolina descendants and history readers with letters, diaries and newspaper accounts. Get this book. You need it!
Clint Johnson – Author of numerous Civil War books including “A Vast and Fiendish Plot: The Confederate Attack on New York City”

EchoesSC_BackCoverJ. Keith Jones has assembled a comprehensive collection of first-person accounts, allowing these diverse South Carolinians to speak for themselves about what they did, thought, saw, and felt during the most iconic battle of the American Civil War. Their voices provide a rich and complex narrative of the individual soldier’s experience during those grueling July days in 1863. This volume belongs on the shelf of every student of South Carolina’s role in the war.
Michael C. Hardy – 2010 North Carolina Historian of the Year

With Echoes from Gettysburg: South Carolina’s Memories and Images, author J. Keith Jones has compiled capsule histories of South Carolina’s contributions to the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as collecting the accounts of those veterans that fought there. Amply illustrated with images of the participants and with Phillip Laino’s excellent maps, Echoes from Gettysburg is a must-have for the bookshelf of anyone interested in the words of the veterans who fought at Gettysburg themselves.
Eric J. Wittenberg – Award winning Civil War historian

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A Company of Officers – My Latest Article in Gettysburg Magazine

CompanyOfCooks_titleI just got my copy of the latest Gettysburg Magazine, Issue 55, which contains my latest article, “A Company of Officers Commanded by a Cook.”  This is an interesting incident that happened in Northern Virginia during the retreat from Gettysburg and illustrates how seriously many commanders took Gen. Robert E. Lee’s General Order 73 prohibiting the violation of private property in the north.

GettysburgMag_CoOfCooksCoverAs a result of fence rails being stolen from a farm the Third South Carolina Infantry was camped near, Col. James Nance placed nearly all of his company commanders under arrest, including his own brother. They were forced to march at the rear of the regiment to the jeers of other soldiers, teamsters and laborers they passed. To compound their shame, Capt. John Nance’s cook was detailed to call cadence and convey orders to this group of captains and lieutenants. The piece is titled “A Company of Officers Commanded by a Cook.”

My previous piece “Angel of the Wheatfield” was published in Gettysburg Magazine Issue #52 in January, 2015.

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