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Richard, Allan C., Jr. 1946-2006

Richard, Allan C., Jr. 1946-2006

PERSONAL:

Born May 15, 1946, in Pascagoula, MS; died in a car accident, December 7, 2006; son of Allan C., Sr. (a chemist) and Dora C. (a homemaker) Richard; married Mary Margaret Higginbotham (an educator and librarian), August 30, 1969; children: Allan C. III, and James A. Education: Louisiana Tech University, B.S., 1970. Politics: Republican. Religion: United Methodist.

CAREER:

Construction manager. Last employed with Balar Engineers, Shreveport, LA, project representative.

WRITINGS:

(With wife, Mary Margaret Higginbotham Richard) The Defense of Vicksburg: A Louisiana Chronicle, foreword by Terrence J. Winschel, Texas A&M University Press (College Station, TX), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS:

Allan C. Richard, Jr., was an American who worked in the field of construction management for most of his life. Born on May 15, 1946, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Richard was the son of a chemist. While an undergraduate student at Louisiana Tech University, Richard met Mary Margaret Higginbotham, whom he married on August 30, 1969. The following year Richard graduated with a bachelor of science degree. Richard worked for a number of companies, performing duties in construction management. He last worked for Balar Engineers in Shreveport, Louisiana, as a project representative, when he was tragically killed in a car accident on December 7, 2006. Along with his wife, Richard is survived by his two sons, Allan and James, and his parents.

Despite his career in the construction industry, Richard had a strong interest in history. He served as president and symposium chairman of the North Louisiana Civil War Round Table. Not surprisingly, his first book, The Defense of Vicksburg: A Louisiana Chronicle, deals with this very topic. Written with his wife, The Defense of Vicksburg retells the stories of Louisiana soldiers during the American Civil War through their diary entries and letters to family. The account tells of the soldiers based in the Mississippi River town of Vicksburg on the Louisiana-Mississippi state border and their fortunes and misfortunes through the course of the war and continuing after the official surrender.

Thomas A. DeBlack reviewed The Defense of Vicksburg in the Journal of Southern History. DeBlack explained that despite the fair amount of scholarship on Louisiana soldiers' role during the American Civil War, little exists on the significance of Vicksburg. By writing The Defense of Vicksburg, DeBlack remarked, "the editors of this volume have attempted to fill this historiographical void by publishing a collection of largely unedited letters and diary entries, which they hope will provide a true history of how these men viewed the epic conflict in which they were engaged." As for the personal accounts throughout the book, DeBlack commented that "the entries in this volume paint a vivid portrait of an army under siege, with privation, disease, and death as constant companions." DeBlack concluded that the book "is a work of remarkable scholarly research, and it adds greatly to our knowledge of the plight of these southern soldiers and of the great campaign of which they were a part."

Richard's wife, Mary Margaret Higginbotham Richard, told CA: "Allan was a gifted researcher who began his first serious project as a paper for Tarshar Society and as a family history for his sons, who saw the possibilities in what he discovered, and who tirelessly saw his work through to publication. He researched at every opportunity and wrote at night, while also pursuing a career in construction management. He once advised college students to learn all they could from their core-curriculum courses, allowing that he would never have dreamed that he would write a book."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Civil War History, March, 2005, Timothy B. Smith, review of The Defense of Vicksburg: A Louisiana Chronicle, p. 100.

Journal of Southern History, May, 2005, Thomas A. DeBlack, review of The Defense of Vicksburg, p. 459.

Southwestern Historical Quarterly, October, 2004, Charles Waite, review of The Defense of Vicksburg, p. 262.

[Information and sidelights essay provided by wife, Mary Margaret Higginbotham Richard.]

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