Well 5 days into the journey and I am in Chicago, IL, visiting my family. Yesterday we went into town and Michigan Ave. where I was able to spend some time at Borders (bookstore) and check out their Civil War selection. I thought it was impressive. I wanted to pick up a good battlefield guide in preparation for Gettysburg. I decided on Jeff Shaara’s Civil War Battlefields: Discovering America;s Hallowed Ground, and am happy I did. I found its section on Gettysburg to be insightful and engaging. He also gives a suggested “sequence” for what you should visit first, second, third, ect. which I think I will following to a point.
I also picked up a copy of Eric’s regimental history of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, “Rush’s Lancers”, which I have read through a bit and am enjoying. (NOTE: Eric had several books available at this store, so congrats!) Eric has a nice narrative style, great command of the story, and of course his research is incredible. He is very close to the regiment and has been studying them for some time now. I actually think his narrative style and mine are somewhat similar. Though his experience as a writer is an obvious separation point.
Today I drove up to the Wisconsin Historical Society on the campus of the Wisconsin University in Madison. I spent 5-6 hours in the archives looking through all the materials I had requested (photocopied) for me during my research of the 11th Wisconsin, and also made a few more copies of some things that I might include if able. I also found some as-yet-to-be transcribed letters by the regiment’s head surgeon, Dr. Strong, who I am preparing a biography on as my next project. (More on that later.)
Well, will report in when I get to Pennsylvania and my wife’s side of the family which was the main reason we made the trip ya know, to see the in-laws. It’s been 7 years since we have been back there and at that time I did not make it to the Hallowed Ground.