This past Sunday, January 26th, I spent my day at the Visitor Contact Station at the park. During my shift, I manned the center and eagerly waited the arrival of visitors (unfortunately no one showed up). During this time I was able to read up some more on the Second Battle of Kernstown and get a broad understanding of the battle. At this point, I feel comfortable enough in my knowledge of the battle to hold a conversation with another person. No where near the knowledge I need for my program.
There is no definitive, book long study on the battle. Therefore, I am reading Scott Patchans, Shenandoah Summer, which has among other things two chapters on the battle. The book contains a lot of great information but I do not like his writing style. He includes too much biographical information on commanders that could have been left out. Also, he seems to be trying to much to make the book sound like a novel. Using extraneous adjectives and verbs where they could have easily been left out. Regardless, I am reading his work because it contains great information after you see through the fluff.
Also, I have read the new biography on George Crook, George Crook: From Redwoods to Appomattox. I received this via Inter-library Loan and read the chapters on the summer campaign and Second Kernstown. Ironically enough, the author, Paul Magid, cites Patchan’s work extensively during his study. But, his book and account of Second Kernstown provides the reader with a succinct, to the point account of the battle.
I also met with my academic adviser this week, Dr. Dillard. Since he is the “Civil War” guy on campus, I asked him if he knew any reading material off the top of his head I would find useful. He did not, but said he would let me know if he thought of anything in the future. He also wants me to share with him my findings as the semester goes along.
Next week on Monday, February 3rd, I will meet with Eric Campbell and Gary Crawford, to discuss the logistics of my program in July.
Hours Completed this week: 8
Total hours: 29