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BTC Petersburg Campaign Progress Report: 3/08/2010

BTC Petersburg Campaign progress reports are a way to keep readers informed about new changes to my Petersburg Campaign web site, especially new pages to explore which do not show up in the RSS Feed.  Look for these reports about once a month, sometimes more often, sometimes less often.

It’s been about a month since my inaugural report, and I’ve made some steady progress.  Here are several of the most active areas of the site in tbe last month:

  1. Petersburg Campaign First Offensive Order of Battle: I am happy to report that all Union and Confederate forces down to division level are now complete for the First Offensive of the Petersburg Campaign.  Leaders are listed and images shown where available in the Public Domain (more on that in a later post).  Knowing the sheer scope of the OOB portion of the Petersburg Campaign, my plan has been to go in steps.  Step 1 is to  complete an OOB to the division level, which is now complete for the First Offensive.  I can now go in one two ways, either further burrowing down into this OOB or creating the Second Offensive OOB down to division level.  I haven’t decided which way to go yet, and may simply do a mixture of both.
  2. June 1864 Newspapers: I recently obtained permission from NewsInHistory.com to transcribe newspaper articles pertaining to the Petersburg Campaign from their collection and post them here at Beyond the Crater.  With the able help of volunteer transcriber Ken Perdue, steady progress has been made.  The ultimate goal is to have newspaper articles posted for every single day of the Petersburg Campaign.  Obviously, since these are being transcribed by hand, this is going to take a long time.  If you’re interested in transcribing (for the love of it, no pay available), please use the Contact form and let us know.
  3. MOLLUS Papers, Battles and Leaders, and Military Historical Society of Massachusetts Papers:  All three of these sources were written by veterans of the Civil War, though the MOLLUS Papers and MHSM Papers obviously have a Northern slant.  All of these men, North and South, wanted to make themselves look good after the war.  All of these sources offer valuable information as long as you read with a critical eye.  I’ve mainly been focused on the Bermuda Hundred Campaign for the Battles and Leaders series.  I’m literally working my way through Volume 4 of Battles and Leaders and posting according to the articles’ order in the book.  The MOLLUS Papers are not all available on Google Reader, so I’ve been working on those states which have articles on the Petersburg Campaign and which are available on Google Books.  The MHSM Papers consist of three volumes (5,6, and 14) which contain Petersburg Campaign articles.  I’m working my way through Volume 5 now.  Continue to watch for more firsthand accounts in these areas as well as when I launch my Southern Historical Society Papers section, coming soon.
  4. Regimental Histories in the Bibliography Section: Another area I’ve made a little progress in is the Regimental History subsection of the Bibliography area.  I am in the process of compiling spreadsheets of Union Regimental Histories and Confederate Regimental Histories, available HERE and HERE, respectively.  These spreadsheets list out every possible unit history, diary, letter, or reminiscence I could find for a given regiment which participated in the Petersburg Campaign.  My main sources are the regimental histories in the Library of Congress and Google Books.  Each book mentioned will eventually get its own page at Beyond the Crater.  By going to this section you can already see some examples, each of which links to the full version on Google books where available and also takes you to Amazon.com to buy.  My goal is to make it easier for researchers to not only find these books but also to be able to access them more quickly as well.

Whew, that’s it for now.  Be sure to keep checking back, and, if you enjoy this site, please spread the word via email, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and any other Social Networking sites you may belong to.  Thanks!

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