In the 1920s, a sculptor planning a bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln interviewed over sixty people who had met Lincoln, including some eyewitnesses to his assassination. Although the sculpture was never completed, James Kelly's notes and papers were preserved by the New York Historical Society. In 2003, Civil War expert William Styple encountered the Kelly Papers while doing research for his book Generals in Bronze. Styple was inspired to edit and publish Kelly's interviews in Tell Me of Lincoln: Memories of Abraham Lincoln, The Civil War & Life in Old New York, which was released in 2009.
William Styple will be at the Berkeley Heights library (on the upper level due to the renovations going on downstairs) on Saturday, November 5 at 2 p.m. He will talk about Tell Me of Lincoln and sign copies afterwards. William Styple has written, co-written, and edited over 20 books on the American Civil War. His 1998 book The Little Bugler won the Young Readers’ Award from the Civil War Round Table of New York City. He has appeared on Book TV/C-Span several times over the past ten years, and most recently last April on FOX News commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Firing on Fort Sumter. William Styple also worked on the production of several Civil War films such as Glory and Gettysburg. He is currently active in battlefield preservation and is writing the biography of New Jersey General Philip Kearny.