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Blue & Gray Magazine Ceases Publication

I had just turned 30 when my late wife Robin and I launched the premiere issue of Blue & Gray. That was more than a third of a century ago. Then, a few years ago, as I entered my 60s, folks started asking about an exit strategy. Did I have one? My answer was no, I don’t. I will continue publishing Blue & Gray until someone tells me to stop. Well, that time has come.

The handwriting is on the wall. After the Civil War Sesquicentennial the subscriber base has declined to the point we can no longer afford to pay the printer and the post office, the costs of preparing the driving tour — which is the hallmark of the publication — and rising health care costs. Furthermore, our book business, which helped support our publishing efforts through the years, has all but disappeared with the advent of online discount booksellers, against which we simply can not compete. The staff at Blue & Gray headquarters for most of the last decade has consisted of just two people — my son Jason and me.

While there will be no more issues of Blue & Gray, we will continue to maintain the website. We are also exploring ways to convert unfulfilled subscriptions into credits that can be used for back issues and our book titles, while supplies last. So, continue to visit the website for updates.

This has been a very difficult letter for me to write. Since you’ve gotten used to me signing myself “The General” at the end of every driving tour, I’ll quote a real general, one who faced a far more difficult decision, and bid you all an affectionate farewell.

d roth sig

51 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sad news indeed. Very much enjoyed your magazine over the years.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  2. Brad #

    So sad to hear this. I was an early subscriber and left and came back a few years ago. I always enjoyed the articles and the generals tour. Very sad. But I understand. Something you have to walk away. But you can walk away knowing you kept many people happy.

    Best of luck in the future

    Sincerely

    Brad Dunleavy

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  3. Frankie Hamrick #

    My late husband was a devout student of the war, a writer, and book collector. I used to say I had slept with many generals, because most nights he went to bed with a book. (lol) I just wanted to tell you how much he enjoyed your magazine and how sad I am to know that it will no longer be published.

    Best wishes.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  4. Douglas Delong #

    I’m numb.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  5. Tracy Chernault #

    Thank you for your time, energy and wisdom in the preparation of your magazine. It will sorely be missed in the Civil War touring community. I hope you enjoy your retirement even if it is wasted watching the Yankees play ball.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  6. Wow, sorry to hear this..

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  7. deardoff #

    Yours is the finest ACW magazine ever. I have subscribed for years and have purchased all the earlier issues. Thank you for enriching my knowledge of the War. You will be missed!

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  8. infsgt127 #

    Sorry to hear this. Just recently started purchasing the magazine. A quality product. Enjoy your retirement.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  9. Sam Cuthbert #

    “Blue and Gray” has had an enormous impact on Civil War studies and battlefield preservation! I am very sorry to see you go! Since 1990 I’ve known the joy of finding “Blue and Gray” in my mailbox every two months or so. Your magazine set the standard!

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  10. Robert Carter #

    David, a simple but heartfelt “thank you.” You done good, General.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  11. Doug Richardson #

    Words cannot express how important your issues on the Forts Henry and Donelson campaign were for a special visitor experience while I worked at Fort Donelson National Battlefield. The Sesquicentennial edition was spectacular, with Jimmy Jobe’s narrative, John Walsh’s outstanding narrative on the often forgotten Battle of Dover in 1863, and the great maps. You did great work. Best wishes.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  12. Steve Reilly #

    Enjoy retirement, you made it. The good thing about getting old enough to retire, is now you have no dead lines.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  13. Walter Schwaneberg #

    I’ve been a subscriber since the very first one- Harper’s Ferry. I am shocked by this. I dropped virtually all of my other CW magazines but have kept this one since the General’s tour cannot be matched anywhere else. This truly is an end of an era. Thanks for all of your great articles and tours of battlefields that I have visited over the years and plan to visit others.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  14. Whoa! This is sad news indeed! I’m so sorry to hear that you’re closing up shop. Your loss is our loss. I have every single issue of Blue and Gray having started my subscription on day one way back when. I treasure every issue and pull out the appropriate ones when I travel to different battlefields. You will be missed!

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  15. Mark Terry #

    Words are meaningless. I am so sorry that you need to pull the plug but I certainly understand. I’ve been a subscriber since 1986 or ’87- I remember that it was the Johnson’s Island issue. I have learned so much about the War from you and your writers. “Thank you” doesn’t come close. God bless you and your endeavors in the future.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  16. Bill Browning #

    This is a great loss to the Civil War community. Thank you for the great job you did during the run of your magazine.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  17. Andy Papen #

    I’m not sure that any mail delivery pleased me more than when the latest issue of Blue and Gray would arrive. Very sorry to hear this, but thanks for a super product for all these years.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  18. nitrofd #

    Very sorry to hear this but moving on in years and financial problems can hurt everyone.yours was the best publication out there and it will be sorely missed.first it was Morningside Press and now you guys.enjoy your retirement and come down to Florida and have a PinaColada.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  19. Louis Drew #

    Very sad to hear this, Mr. Roth. But I thank you and your family for thirty years of education and enjoyment. My best wishes to you and Jason in your future endeavors…

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  20. Warren Dickinson #

    I was there for the start, and an early subscriber. Even when I didn’t subscribe, I’d pick up issues at my local bookseller. This truly saddens me, but I guess it was inevitable with the world changing as it has.
    Thank you so much for enriching my life.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  21. Carolo Foote #

    So sad. This is a terrible loss to all people. Computers and web-booksellers are a wonderful thing, but they can never replace the feeling of books in the hand. Thank you so much for all the work you have done through the past. May new doors and challenges open for you. Your most obedient and sincere servant for teaching Civil War Medical Living History, Mrs. Carol Foote

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  22. Darrell Didson #

    I have every issue! Been a joy to read over and over. I’ve also taken many of the General’s tours! I will miss then very much, but you deserve your retirement. Thank you for all your effort and the pleasure the magazine has given me.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  23. So sorry to hear the news. I’ve subscribed since 1988 and have enjoyed every issue. Blue & Gray has been an iconic addition to the Civil War community. I was just going through my issues this morning and thinking I need another magazine holder (have 8 of the B&G ones). I feel like I have grown up with B&G, and your personal loss of your wife Robin felt like our loss as well. B&G is family. God bless you for the efforts over the years!

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  24. Gary Cornett #

    This is so very sad-I so enjoyed your mag, especially the Tour

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  25. Peggy Vogtsberger #

    Thank you for all your hard work and commitment these many years.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  26. Sean Dail #

    Wow. This is truly the end of an era. I started subscribing in 1988, but have a complete collection, with many duplicates. My Blue & Gray magazines will always be a treasure. Thank you, Dave, for the wonderful gift you have given to the Civil War community over the years.

    My wife and I visited Blue & Gray in the mid-90s and you took several hours out of your day to give us a tour of Camp Chase and the Ohio Penitentiary while it was still standing (in fact, thanks to you, we have a couple of bricks from the spot where John Hunt Morgan climbed over the wall)! It is a day we will always remember…

    Best of luck in your retirement. May it be a long and happy one.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  27. Denise Sass #

    So sorry to hear this but perfectly understandable. I myself recently retired and life is good! Thank you for all the years you and your family put in to make a very good magazine and one I will surely miss.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  28. Fred Mossbrucker #

    David, as a Charter Member I am shocked to say the least! I heard this sad news from a CW Forum. Will those of us who have subscriptions receive a notification in the mail informing us? Otherwise, in today’s day and age of hacking, fake news, etc., how do we know if this is real? Forgive me if I sound arrogant. That is NOT my intention. It’s just that hearing about it on a public forum rather than directly from you the publisher makes me feel a little suspect.
    Your magazine has been critical to my learning and education of the war, especially the General’s Tours! I am holding out hope that this is not true. I am holding out hope that your magazine continues on and on and on and….

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  29. Another great general once mentioned something about old soldiers not dying, but only fading away. Sad to see your magazine go, but I’m sure it’ll morph into something else down the road. Over the years I either bought your magazine from a local Barnes & Noble bookstore or subscribed to it when funds allowed. Good luck in future endeavors.

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  30. Tom Orr #

    I found this magazine by chance at the news stand in the late 1980’s and became a muti-year subscriber (one year at a time), and when I forgot to renew, I always bought it at the news stand as soon as the new ones would come out. This has been by far the absolute best War Between The States magazine I have ever seen, and over the years I’ve seen most. I’m from Iowa, so my interest was and still is in the Western Theater. We took a vacation south many Springs, and I always took your magazine with us. The General’s Tours were absolutely incredible. I love that kind of detail, and no other magazine could come close. I truly am very sad to hear you are stopping publication. However, I retired at 62 last year and I highly recommend it – good luck in all you do! You will be missed!

    Like

    May 31, 2017
  31. David Graff #

    This is a sad day for battlefield enthusiasts. This is the only magazine I have a subscription to —
    and I live in Canada. If I visited a battlefield, I always got a much better idea of what happened because of this magazine.

    Like

    June 1, 2017
  32. Scott Sweeney #

    Like a lot of people very sad to hear this but nothing is forever. Hands down, the best Civil War mag ever! Thank u for everything Dave and Jason and Robin!

    Like

    June 1, 2017
  33. Brad Greenberg #

    Thank you for educating, informing and entertaining me for all these years. Is there a chance of you and the staff continuing the magazine as a totally online paid subscription based entity?

    Like

    June 1, 2017
  34. Walt Witkowski #

    Thanks Dave for the years of education and entertainment you have provided to me. Sorry to see this end, but so it goes. You most certainly deserve to lay down the burden. Enjoy whatever the future brings.

    Like

    June 1, 2017
  35. Dan Paterson #

    Sorry to hear this as this was the best CW publication over the years for me. Of course I am biased as this magazine interviewed my late grandmother for your first edition. Check the article “Daughter-in-Law of a General!” I still have my copy and this magazine has been and will continue to be etched in our family memories.

    Like

    June 2, 2017
  36. Hi Dave,

    I hope you would consider having the entire run (I’ll assume you have every issue in either electronic form – from using some sort of publishing software for the past decade or so – or a reserve of back issues for your own posterity) digitized so that the entire 34 year run does not get lost to time. You may also be able to monetize it by either selling the entire run digitally directly to customers or by selling the database to another web site. This kind of project may qualify for a kickstarter type deal or gofundme or something to help defray the costs of having it digitized.

    Thanks for your many years of service to historians and genealogists,

    Tom Sluder

    Liked by 1 person

    June 2, 2017
    • That is an excellent idea, Tom! I hope B&G can act upon it as I am missing six issues from the early years to complete my collection, and having them in electronic format, while not my preferred method, would be better than not having anything at all!

      Like

      June 3, 2017
  37. Bill Holschuh #

    You lived your dream for 33 years. Few are so fortunate, and even fewer do it with as much passion, wisdom and enthusiasm as you. The ever-shrinking Civil War community will miss Blue & Gray Magazine, and nothing will ever take its place. Well done, old friend.

    Like

    June 2, 2017
  38. Robert Bruce Ferguson #

    Enjoy your retirement, sounds like your deserve it … I’ll submit my article somewhere else … thanks for the effort.

    Like

    June 3, 2017
  39. Allen Helms #

    Crap

    Like

    June 3, 2017
  40. Tom Elmore #

    Dave, I just want to thank you for all that you have done for me. The Burning of Columbia issue proved to be a life changing event for me (and I mean that in the best way possible) and I have enjoyed remaining a part of the family as a book reviewer for the last decade.

    Though I will miss the magazine, I do wish you and fun and enjoyable retirement. God bless you.

    Like

    June 5, 2017
  41. Theodore P. Savas #

    Dave and Jason

    I am just back from traveling, limited Internet, to learn this sad news.

    You know, that I know, how hard you worked for those decades. Your contribution to the literature, to authors, to independent publishers, etc was and remains enormous.

    Let’s catch up soon, and figure out how to smoke a cigar together before too much longer.

    I am sure Robin is smiling, knowing how well you carried on.

    Job well done.

    Ted

    Like

    June 5, 2017
  42. Ed Flanagan #

    Thanks Dave & Jason-

    As a long time subscriber and keeper of every issue, Blue & Gray Magazine was everything a student of the American Civil War wanted in a periodical: battles and campaign tours by top historians and tour guides with maps, photos and Order of Battles. Maybe you could post your tours for those who tour Civil War sites?

    A job well done. Thanks.-ED

    Like

    June 16, 2017
  43. Dorothy Goowin purcgaser - gift to Josephine G Munda #

    My gift subscription for my daughter to “The Blue & Gray” has not even begun yet. And you are ceasing publication!! How do I get my money back?
    email: dorothyggoodwin@gmail.com
    .

    Like

    June 16, 2017
    • Chris Shelton #

      That’s a tough one. When I renewed, I usually went for multiple years – in part to show my commitment to the magazine.

      Like

      June 17, 2017
  44. Alex #

    I always loved your publication and will miss it greatly. Never have I encountered a finer magazine, the quality of research, battle maps, and “The General’s Tour” segments were the gold standard for researchers and battlefield enthusiasts such as myself. Best wishes to you and your future endeavors. B&G will be missed.

    Like

    June 16, 2017
  45. Chris Shelton #

    I just heard the bad news today from the folks that run the Doubleday Inn in Gettysburg. I’m quite saddened by this news. This is worse than when Johnny Carson retired. It kind of sickens me thinking about all the folks who SHOULD have been subscribing to this mag for years.

    Like

    June 17, 2017
  46. Chris Shelton #

    Lots of thoughts in my head now, but one at the top is of all the issues being sold at countless visitor centers, museums, and historical site gift shops. I saw a few for sale at Sailors Creek battlefield. It’s a shame if they cannot be replenished. Is there no publisher available to take ownership and continue to reprint issues if not produce new ones?

    Like

    June 17, 2017
  47. Dan Reigle #

    Dave and Jason–

    Your work on B&G has been of such high quality for so long that it simply has no peer, in my opinion. Not only reading every issue as it has appeared, I have consulted the back issues many, many times in working on research projects and preparing for site visits. (In fact, I saw the posting this morning as I went to the index for Chancellorsville issues that my son could use when he visits there next month.) I know that you are making the right decision at the right time for both of you … when it is time, it is time. But always be assured that your work … choice of subjects, choice of authors, quality of the text, quality and quantity of your SUPERB maps, careful documentation of sources and references … has been of the very highest quality. And, I am glad to hear that you will keep the website alive.

    So, I just add my words to those above … Congratulations and Thank you!

    Like

    June 19, 2017
  48. George J. Bratsakis #

    The sounds of the guns are finally silent. Best of luck and stay well.

    Like

    June 19, 2017

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  1. Blue & Gray Magazine to Cease Publication – Robert Redd Historian & Author

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