Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spring Cleaning. . .

(Spring "Organizing" is more like it. . .)

This past weekend was an especially wet one here in Gettysburg. So with the rain falling and all hopes for a few pleasant battlefield soirees dashed, I thought I'd make the best of it and spend some quality time with my mountains of 48th PA notes/files/et cetera.
What you are looking at is more than 15 years of research and note-gathering, currently filling up three bookshelves. And all of it pertains to just one single regiment. Buried within this mountain of paper are copies of the 48th's muster & descriptive rolls, transcriptions of soldiers' letters and diaries, folders on the soldiers' burial sites, assorted newspaper clippings, and just notebook after notebook of, well, notes. I even think I have a hand-copied transcription of the entire 1860 census records for Schuylkill County somewhere in there.
Laura, my wife, sometimes thinks I'm nuts. And no doubt some of you will now agree with her. She collects--and sells-- baskets, which are admittedly more aesthetic than those plastic green, blue, and white notebooks, and certainly more eye-pleasing than those over-stuffed red and blue file folders. As you can see though, we have learned to co-exist.
I spent several hours going through and organizing all these papers, taking to heart the message embroidered on one of my wife's decorative hand towels, which can be seen draped over the large basket on the upper left shelf. Here's a close-up:

And although it still has the appearance of simply a messy pile of papers, I am very happy that I have everything organized and in its place.

Now all I need to do is make time to dive right in and work on some of those article and book projects that have been on the back burner for so long!

Anyone up for a social portrait of the 48th Pennsylvania in book form, or a biography of James Nagle. . . ? How about a closer look at those soldiers who actually did the digging of the Petersburg Mine?


Anonymous said...

Speaking of Spring cleaning....we're having a cleanup of Pottsville's Presbyterian Cemetery on May 17 (9AM-1PM). Everyone is welcome to join us.

Tom Shay - Cressona, PA

Don said...

Thanks, now I can show this picture to my wife and say, "Look, honey, he has much more stuff on his regiment than I do on mine...." 8^)