Williamsport resident tells story of Maryland in Civil War

October 31, 2012|By Yvette May/Staff Photographer
  • Scott Hipp of Williamsport was inspired by the men and women of Maryland who lived during the Civil War to write Old Line Divided: Maryland in the Civil War: Volume I: Antebellum to 1862.
Photo by Yvette May/Staff Photographer

Age: 41

City: Williamsport (born in Baltimore)

Day job: United Parcel Service Inc. (20 years); The Baltimore Bookworks LLC (the publishing house I founded in 2009)

Book title: "Old Line Divided: Maryland in the Civil War: Volume I: Antebellum to 1862"

Genre: United States history/Civil War

Quick synopsis: A full narrative of the Civil War and of Maryland, and Marylanders in the Civil War.

Publisher: The Baltimore Booksworks LLC

Price: $29.95

Pages: 368, including photographs and index

What inspired you to write the book?

The men and women of Maryland, and throughout the country, who gave so much during the Civil War, inspired me to write this book. I wanted to tell their story. They deserved it.

A lot of experts say "Write about what you know." Does that apply to your book? How?

I have written — about what I know.' I have been a student of the American Civil War for more than two decades and have a history degree from the University of Maryland at College Park. I have traveled the country visiting and researching Civil War sites, have volunteered at Antietam National Battlefield and worked with some of the leading historians in the field.

Are there other, established authors whose styles are similar to yours?

I am not aware of my style being similar to any established authors.


What themes did you want to present to readers?

I wanted to present the theme to the readers that the Civil War is a combination of many things and not limited to just one. This work is a full narrative based on research and facts with some analysis.

What is your favorite part of the book?

My favorite part of my book is the photographs because they bring the persons and places to life. In short, they give the history a face, a living history.

What was easy about writing this book? What was hard?

I tell everyone that the hardest part in writing this book was deciding what could not be included. The easiest part of the book was simply letting all of my Civil War knowledge flow out onto paper.

How important was Maryland's role in the Civil War?

Maryland played a crucial role during the Civil War. As a border state having both slaves and freemen, Maryland was divided in sentiment between the Union and the Confederacy. Geographically, the state surrounded the nation's capital and was considered a sister state to Virginia.  After the occupation of Baltimore in May 1861 and the arrest of legislators later that September, Maryland remained firmly in the Union. Marylanders continued to fight for both sides and in some battles, including Gettysburg, fought each other.

Was there anything that surprised you during your research about Maryland in the Civil War?

The thing that surprised me the most in researching this book was not only the impact of Maryland but the impact of Marylanders both on the battlefield and off.  Such strong figures as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Roger Taney played such key roles of the Civil War era off the battlefield while Bradley T. Johnson and Col. John Kenly played large roles on the battlefield. Additionally, the regiments from Maryland in both armies earned a reputation as hard fighters reminiscent of the Colonial Maryland troops that fought with Washington in 1776 at Long Island.

Is there something that you believe will surprise or pique the interest of readers in your book?

I think readers will be surprised about how large a role Maryland played in the Civil War. From its men and women on the homefront and battlefront, to the major campaigns and battles that occurred throughout the state. After the Battle of Antietam, the war changed from one which sought to preserve the Union to one that would preserve the Union while giving freedom to the enslaved. That battle in Maryland, which led to the issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, was a critical turning point in the war. 

Did you learn anything about yourself while writing this book?

While writing this book, I learned that I still have a lot to learn about the Civil War.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

I hope readers take away Maryland's importance during the Civil War. From her dedicated sons who marched away to war to those who were left behind to run the farms and mills, many Marylanders went beyond the call of duty. From the industrial city of Baltimore to the ‘ruralness' of quaint western Maryland towns and villages, the entire state felt the impact of the Civil War. Though the guns have been silent for 150 years the echoes of the cannon still reverberate to this day across the Old Line State.

Are you working on another writing project?

I am currently working on the second and final volume of "Old Line Divided," which will be released in fall 2013. The continuation of the narrative will span from 1863 through the assassination of President Lincoln to the Reconstruction period.

Is your book available in the Tri-State area? Where? If not, how can a reader buy a copy of the book?

The book is available at some local bookstores, the Antietam and Monocacy Battlefield visitor centers and online retailers. The reader can obtain an autographed copy at

— Lifestyle staff

By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

Scott Hipp of Williamsport was inspired by the men and women of Maryland who lived during the Civil War to write "Old Line Divided: Maryland in the Civil War: Volume I: Antebellum to 1862."

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