Internship Journal: Week Eleven

After some fruitful effort and researching, I was able to find a map showing the action during the Second Battle of Kernstown. This has helped me clarify some of my questions regarding the battle and make some of the movements clearer to me in my head. I really enjoy this map, however I do not think I will use during my program in July. I want to hand out maps to visitors so they understand the flow of battle, but I still think that this one is too confusing for the everyday visitor.

Map depicting the Second Battle of Kernstown

Map depicting the Second Battle of Kernstown

Also, as I have completed a rough draft of my outline, I am moving to the final phase of my research. I am starting to write a short piece about the battle for Cedar Creek and Belle Grove’s NHP website. This is a skill all in its own. Now that I have all the information about the battle in front of me, I need to synthesize it into a compact and succinct document. This type of writing, known as interpretative writing is a completely different monster than writing research papers. The writing needs to be short, to the point, powerful and of course get the history across. Most people would be familiar with this type of writing when they see historical markers, waysides or interpretative exhibits. So, I am working on putting all of this research down on paper and ready to post to our park’s website.

I also found out this week that come this summer I will be conducting a brand new History at Sunset. I will be conducting two of these special programs this summer. First, I will be doing my Heater House program in July. This was such a well received program by the public, that we are going to repeat it. Also, I will be conducting a program on George Custer’s Role during the Battle of Cedar Creek. Since I will be doing lots of this research for the LBHA group in June, it only makes sense to transfer this to a special event. Also, George Custer is a name that people reconginze the second they see it. Whether they like him, or find him the devil, they still recognize the name. Hopefully this will get locals and other visitors to the site to hear a little about his role here at Cedar Creek. The date for this has not been decided but will be sometime in July or August.

In the coming months I am going to have lots of research to complete for park programs. These include finishing up my Second Kernstown program, George Custer at Cedar Creek, the role of Signal Knob during Sheridan’s 1864 Campaign and preparing a stationary program on the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864. I will be using my new found research and anylaitical skills from HIST 395 during these next summer month.

feel so grateful that I am able to have this great opportunity to be apart of these special events as a student. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP is a small park and does not have the visitation of an Antietam or Gettysburg. But, this means that I get to be involved in the development of the interpretative program here on a level unconceivable at these other parks. I am learning so much through my job here, that I do not think I could learn anywhere else.

Hours completed this week: 16

Total hours: 116

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