Sunday, July 29, 2007

58th update

Gloomy day here in the mountains of western NC. It seems that we have tried to make up for our year-long rain deficit in the last couple of days.

If you have emailed me in the past couple of weeks, please be patient - I am getting to them as fast as possible. I think I sent close to one hundred emails in the past week. I’ve probably still got one hundred to go.

I did take time last night to actually work on the 58th NC book. I took chapter 3 and dropped it onto the bottom of chapter 1. Chapter 2 stayed the same, and the new chapter 3 is all about Vance’s Legion. Chapter 4 deals with the actual formation of the regiment. Chapter 1 now gives background on Colonel Palmer, the bridge burners, and the formation of the Mitchell Rangers. Chapter 2 backtracks and covers some of the foundations of why we had a war, especially from a North Carolina point of view.

Chapter 4 should not be too difficult - just a lot of names and dates and brief county histories.
I’m still having a hard time trying to divide up chapter 5. This chapter, time wise (at least in my mind), covers from August of 1862, when the 58th North Carolina arrives in east Tennessee, until September 1863, when they leave and join the Army of Tennessee in time for the battle of Chickamauga. While the regiment did not fight in any battles, they did move around a lot. Plus, probably 50 percent of my primary sources fall within this chapter. Once the regiment joined the AofT, they wrote fewer letters. Original letters are such treasures, and it’s so great to tell the story in the soldiers’ own words that I like to use as much of this material as I can.

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