Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So many regiments, so little time.

First, thanks to everyone who commented on my recent posts both here and on facebook regarding regimental histories. It seems that most people are interested in the regiment in which their ancestors served. Funny, I’ve never written about the regiments in which my direct ancestors served, but I did have numerous cousins in the 37th NCT and 58th NCT.

The consensus from my little, unscientific survey was that every regiment needs to have its service chronicled. The problem is that doing it right takes a great deal of hard work. No, we probably don’t need to know where the latrine was when a regiment was camped at Orange Court House or Tullahoma, even though there are probably some relic hunters who would like this information to be included. However, there are all kinds of little nuggets that are waiting to be found. Maybe I should teach a class on the subject…

It would probably come as a surprise just how few regimentals I own (this does not include the ones I read during my formative years). They include only six Federal: Pullen’s 20th Maine, Silo’s 115th New York, Jenkins’s 15th Kentucky, and Scott & Angel’s 13th Tennessee, Bumgarner’s 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry, and Killan’s 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry. (Harry – I did order the book on the 57th Massachusetts). As far as Confederates go, I own almost everything on North Carolina, two Virginia, two Alabama, one Florida, one Tennessee, and one Missouri. This list does not include brigade histories, not does it include theses.

While my regimental collection might be small (and like I said, this list does not include others that I have simply read), I do have large amounts of books on how the army works, from common soldiers, to military justice, to the provost department, to armament. I think, in writing regimental histories, it is imperative to understand how a regiment worked. I will admit that I am no master of the subject, but I strive to understand these things.

And yes, I have decided what my next regimental history will be. I’ll have a big announcement here soon.

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