Internship Journal: Week Four

Unfortunately for a second time in two weeks due to snow, my meeting with Eric Campbell and Gary Crawford was postponed due to snow. The meeting planned for February 3rd was rescheduled for this coming Monday, February 10th. Barring no more snow!

I was however able to compile what seems to be, the last of my secondary sources for the battle. One of the perks of having a Civil War enthused girlfriend, is that you never know what kind of material she will pull up. Come to find out, she had volunteered at the Kernstown Battlefield back in high school. After digging through some drawers she pulled out a big binder containing historical information on all the actions during the Civil War at Kernstown; including a manual for being a volunteer at the Kernstown Battlefield Association.

Kernstown Volunteer Handbook from a couple years back

Kernstown Volunteer Handbook from a couple years back

I was ecstatic! As I started to flip through the pages, something became very clear to me. All of the narratives written about the Battle of Second Kernstown was by Scott Patchan. I was hoping that this binder would have information written by another historian. The information seems to be (based on my knowledge of the battle) accurate. But as a historian, it is better to get accounts of events written by different scholars and or authors. However, most if not all of the recent material on the Battle of Second Kernstown is by Scott Patchan. (Including his work, Shenandoah Summer which has two chapters on the battle).   This means, that most of, if not all, of the current scholarship on the battle is by one author. I was able to find an article written on the battle by noted Civil War historian Jeffery Wert. But, this was from 1983.

Interpretive booklet on the Kernstown Battlefield that was inside of the binder

Interpretive booklet on the Kernstown Battlefield that was inside of the binder

So what does all this mean? Now that I have read most of the current scholarship on the battle, I want to start to dive into primary source material and match that up against the secondary sources. I will use the bibliographies from Patchan’s Shenandoah Summer and Jonathan Noyalas’s article to guide me to some primary sources.  In the weeks to come, I want to find the Official Records of the campaign and read through the reports and correspondences of each side.

Chronology of the Second Battle of Kernstown by Patchan

Chronology of the Second Battle of Kernstown by Patchan

Interpretative Write Up by Patchan

Interpretative Write Up by Patchan

Also during this past week, I reached out to another colleague of mine at the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives at the Handley Library in Winchester Virginia. I was in Winchester for some errands and figured I could stop by and ask archivist, Rebbeca Ebert, about her knowledge on Second Kernstown. I did not have a lot of time, but I asked her if she knew anything the archive contained about the battle off the top of her head. She said that she does not, but directed me to look at the various search and finding guides on the Civil War collections. She took my email address and said she will contact me in the near future if she comes across anything pertaining to my research.  There was one thing she did say I should come back and check regardless. Apparently, there is an additional companion to the Official Records of the Civil War. These are not usually included in the sets libraries or parks contain. So, she said to check these, in conjunction with the regular O.R.’s to see what they may contain.

Hours Completed this week: 6

Total hours: 35

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