government policy was such a far-cry from the imagined romantic image of serving on the field in battle.”
He said the idea for the
book came from him looking for a dissertation topic on the subject of being a Civil War soldier, which hadn't experienced a great deal of research. He also factored in current events.
“All of this was taking place in the late 2000's, 2008, 2009,
2010, when the United States was experiencing really trying circumstances in the Middle East, seven, eight years into the Middle Eastern wars in which we're trying to define what it means to win the peace, to negotiate the aftermath of invasion,” Lang said.
Lang also credited his own mentors and academic advisors, including John B. Boles, Ira Gruber, W. Caleb McDaniel and Richard Stoll at Rice University, as well as Gary W. Gallagher from the University of Virginia and T. Michael
Parrish of Baylor University. While a student at Rice, Lang won two dissertation awards. In addition to master's and doctoral degrees from Rice, Lang holds a bachelor's and additional master's from the University of North Texas.
“I'm just happy to contribute to a long-standing reputation of this university being a place to study the Civil War,” Lang said. “The rank of mid 19th century Civil War era scholars here goes back decades. I'm just happy to be among that long list.”