Introduction – Purpose and Intent

Never been one to be fond of the “Hi, how are you doing?” blogs or the “Today I went to the store” type entries. As a consultant pushing all sorts of collaborative solutions out to customers, I stress the rule that content should have a purpose beyond just the words on the page. Otherwise it is less than information and far less than knowledge. Good information should aid in the achievement of some awareness.

That said…..

What’s this blog’s purpose and intent? Well simply, to aid the organization and presentation of my research, notations, and observations regarding the study of American history, in particular the Civil War. This study currently manifests itself in two directions – cataloging of historical markers and site visits to Civil War battlefields.

For the former, which I call “marker hunting,” I post my trophies on the Historical Marker Database site. I’ve contributed there since last summer (2007), and now have over 800 3000 entries posted. Most of course are Civil War related. My most recent set cataloged the Trevilian Station Battlefield. I find it rewarding to locate these markers, and see how the fabric of history lays across the geography to tell the story. Later, as the weather warms, I hope to complete the catalog of Virginia State markers pertaining to the 2nd Manassas Campaign and later the Virginia and Maryland markers related to the Gettysburg Campaign.

For the later, my battlefield walks often beget more walks over the same sites searching out the intricate details of the flow of battle. Years ago, when living in Georgia, I spent the better part of a summer fighting sand gnats and mosquitoes in order to see for myself the routes of march and important points of the closing stages of Sherman’s March to the Sea – in particular around Fort McAlister. Unfortunately those were the days before digital. Otherwise I’d have more than memo pads full of diagrams and strip maps. Now days, I’m apt to return from a battlefield such as 3rd Winchester with 400 or more photos.

My leanings in the study of the Civil War are first to the artillery and then cavalry. I was a scout early on in the Army, and the affinity remains. However, over the years I’ve become somewhat of a cannon aficionado. These relics (and reproductions) are often the only man made objects on the field that are “as it was” in the war. An artillery display at a National Park is often the key from which to extrapolate today’s reality into yesterday, in my opinion. We can always discuss the effectiveness or the in-effectiveness of artillery on the Civil War battlefield, but regardless one must admit the artillery batteries became the focal points of many engagements. So I study the red-legs and their equipment.

In closing and summary, I hope this blog will serve a useful purpose not only for myself, but for others criss-crossing the same grounds.

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5 responses to “Introduction – Purpose and Intent

  1. Hello Craig,
    Sorry to pop this in a comment, but I couldn’t find an email address.
    This message is from a group of history educators in Pennsylvania who have developed a Civil War project that is in the process of raising a modest amount of money to build prototypes for gathering additional partners.
    Our project, the Civil War Augmented Reality Project, is intended to enhance the experiences of visitors to Civil War sites. It is also intended to increase attendance and revenue for historic sites by offering both “high” and “low” tech experiences to best reach the majority of the population.
    We feel that our project is fulfilling a need that educators, park workers, technology enthusiasts, and Civil War enthusiasts have discussed in the past: How can historic sites both raise public interest in their institutions though technology, and not alienate the non-technical history fans?
    We have worked hard on the answer, and are interested in promoting our creative solutions.
    We would like to make clear that the project is not intended solely for Pennsylvania. It is our hope that the project will expand to other venues, as we feel that we have the ability to use our ideas to enhance the experiences of all Americans at historic sites.

    If you have a chance, please check out our blog:
    http://acwarproject.wordpress.com/

    And our fun, Civil-War flavored funding campaign on Kickstarter:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jmummert/the-civil-war-augmented-reality-project

    If you think that our project has merit, we would be delighted if you could help spread the word, and mention it in your blog.

    Here are a few other links of interest regarding our project:

    A recent newspaper article:
    http://www.ydr.com/ci_15435690

    Other recent blog posts:
    http://electricarchaeologist.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/civil-war-augmented-reality-project/
    http://www.yorkblog.com/yorktownsquare/2010/07/linked-in-with-neat-york-count-48.html

    Our Facebook page:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Civil-War-Augmented-Reality-Project/126003620773256

    Our Twitter account page:
    http://twitter.com/ACWAR_Project

    Thanks very much for considering us!

    The Civil War Augmented Reality Project
    Jeff Mummert- Hershey High School and York College of Pennsylvania
    Art Titzel- Hershey Middle School
    Jay Vasellas- Red Lion Area High School and York College of Pennsylvania

  2. Hi Craig,

    This is a great compilation of knowledge! You’re doing a great service by pulling all of these facts together in a cohesive way. I came across your site looking for a picture of artillery in Fort Morgan. I’m working for Stella, an architecture firm for Historic Structures. I am doing a public interest sign for the project “Stabilization of Casemates at Fort Morgan.” The sign will be on site in the fort describing the details of the project, and I was interested in using the photo you have of the cannon in fort morgan. I would be happy to give you credit on the sign. Thanks so much!

    Ben Martin

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