Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Project

The biggest project by far this semester (Fall 2013) is to research into the lives of three Civil War (henceforth "ACW") veterans interred in The Grand Army of the Republic's portion of the Chico Cemetery. My three vets are:
  • Truman Camp
  • Cornelius Cashman
  • Lewis T. Clark
The purpose of this blog will be to chart my progress in narrative form, note what works and what doesn't in the research process, provide avenues for ACW research, and discuss my experiences in general. Hopefully, this information will be of some use to someone - anyone - down the road.

That is not to say that there are not plenty of very helpful guides for ACW genealogical research out there already - there certainly are, and I will provide links to every one I find.  I fear, however, that my greatest contribution to the field will be to document my failures, in order that others might avoid them in the future.

I would like to thank Professor Magliari of the history department at CSU, Chico, for assigning this intriguing project; this is the first semester it has been the focus of his archival research class. All of us, Professor Magliari included, are sailing in uncharted waters. This has the added benefit of making it a group project for everyone, and we are all learning from each other as we go.

My next post will discuss the beginnings of this project as it relates to my research of the three veterans - all served with the Union - listed above. After that will come a discussion of resources discovered and/or utilized to date, followed by the type of information each provided, and where it led next. At some point I'll discuss the vets themselves, what I have learned, and what I would still like to learn, although the short duration of this project - a single semester - makes it virtually impossible to write a proper biography (the actual assignment) of any of them. Regardless, the challenge is enticing and I find myself swept away by the process. I've written, and published, a lot, but this is my first "real" history project. Exciting stuff!

This will all be dealt with in more detail as this blog progresses. For now, back to research!

- Rodney

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