There have been three special sources of inspiration for me as I entered into writing: Harriet Phillips, a special grandmother; Natalie Phillips, a special mother; and Sue Phillips, a special and patient wife. Special thanks must be reserved for one who went before: Beuhring H. Jones, who served as a Confederate officer until the fatal day at Piedmont when he and his 60th Virginia Infantry Regiment formed a rear guard to slow a rout and were overwhelmed. Captured and imprisoned at Johnson's Island, he wrote of his experiences in The Sunny Land, a manuscript he smuggled out of prison inside a false compartment in a canteen. Of the study of the Civil War, Jones wrote: "It is a duty we owe ourselves and to posterity, to preserve a faithful record of the events that occurred during that fearful period, and thereby to warn all future generations to avoid the fatal whirlpool of civil contention." This most excellent West Virginia Confederate died while serving as a member of the Constitutional Convention of the young Federal state.

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