Please join me in welcoming to the Civil War blogosphere a dedicated young student of the great American conflagration, Dan Vermilya, who has launched a blog titled "Our Country's Fiery Ordeal," or "Fiery Ordeal" for short. It can be found here, or under my blogroll.
I first met Dan last year when he began work at Antietam as one of our summer visitor use assistants, but as far as I am concerned, Dan is a park ranger--and a good one, at that--for he proudly wears the gray and green and understands the importance and significance of what it is we are doing at Antietam.
More than this, Dan is passionate about the study of the Civil War and has recently completed his master's thesis, which focused on the experiences of Ohio troops during the Atlanta Campaign. He allowed me the pleasure of reading this manuscript, and it was excellent work. Dan provided an insightful soldiers' perspective during this 1864 campaign. I expect great things from him in the future.
While we may disagree about certain, non-Civil War topics, such as sports teams (he's a Cleveland Indians' fan, while I cheer for the Yankees), Dan is a good friend of mine. If possible, I see in him a younger version of myself. As you will read in his "Inaugural Post," his love for the study of the Civil War began at young, young age. . .as did mine. And it all started with a family trip to Gettysburg. . .as it did with me. Some of Dan's earliest and best childhood memories involve traveling to Civil War battlefields, including, of course, Antietam, where a photograph of him was snapped while he walked the Sunken Road. About ten years before this, a photograph of another young visitor was taken walking the very same ground. It's just a little funny that now, here we are, working together at Antietam, fulfilling our childhood dreams of one day wearing the gray and green of the National Park Service at one of America's most hallowed and most serene Battlefields.
Our newest Civil War blogger, Dan Vermilya, walking the Sunken Road, ca. 1996.
Yours Truly in the Sunken Road, ca. 1986.
Please make Dan feel welcome; head on over to his site, become a follower, offer your comments, and add his blog to your daily reading lists.