Willie Parker Peace Prize winners: Chris Hartley and Ann Greenleaf Wirtz

The North Carolina Society of Historians has presented two of our authors with the Willie Parker Peace History Book Award! Chris Hartley, author of Stoneman’s Raid, 1865, and Ann Greenleaf Wirtz, author of Blair-distributed The Henderson County Curb Market (Parkway Publishers), were honored on October 22nd at the 71st annual meeting of the NC Society of Historians in Mooresville. The society, whose mission is to “collect and preserv[e] North Carolina history, traditions, artifacts, genealogies and folklore,” presents the Willie Parker Peace Award annually to “encourage the writing and publication of the history of a North Carolina county, institution or individual.”

Chris Hartley’s Stoneman’s Raid, 1865 is a comprehensive account of Federal major general George Stoneman’s cavalry raid—one of the longest in U.S. military history—into the heart of the Confederacy, and of the fierce skirmishes and destruction that ensued. Stoneman’s 1865 raid devastated areas across six Southern states and impeded postwar recovery in the South. To this day, the raiders’ legacy lives on in The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Award-winning Civil War historian Eric J. Wittenberg calls Stoneman’s Raid, 1865 a “deeply researched and eminently readable narrative [that] brings George Stoneman’s raid of the spring of 1865 to life,” and “a must-have for anyone interested in the campaigns of 1865.” Clint Johnson, author of Touring the Carolinas’ Civil War Sites and Touring Virginia’s and West Virginia’s Civil War Sites, states that Mr. Hartley’s use of “personal anecdotes from that time period accurately details what Tar Heels were thinking and feeling as the war’s loss hit home.”

Ann Greenleaf Wirtz’s The Henderson County Curb Market: A Blue Ridge Heritage Since 1924 recounts the history of Hendersonville’s farmer’s market from the establishment of the Henderson County Farmers Mutual Curb Market in 1924 up through the present day. Ms. Wirtz focuses especially on “the people who made, and still make, the curb market possible through hard work, commitment, and creativity,” and concludes that “the curb market has always been, and remains, the essence of Appalachian industry and family.” When judges presented Ms. Wirtz with the Willie Parker Peace Award, they stated, “This unusual history of a curb market reads like a reunion of sellers and buyers from the past to the present.  It has been expertly researched and lovingly written by an author who has an affectionate relationship with the place and the people associated with it.”

Congratulations to both Mr. Hartley and Ms. Wirtz!

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