Thursday, November 10, 2016

Cautionary Tale

Hi all,

This isn't my typical kind of a post. I recently went on a research trip to a famous city and spent many hours in the historical society. The end result was that very few people stayed in the city during the Civil War period I was researching. Here's the kicker it didn't feel right. The information seemed logical but I left frustrated and confused. I've spent several additional hours researching and there were many people living in that city during the war.

Here's where the problem came from. The historical society had no letters, diaries or journals from the women who stayed behind as their husbands, fathers and brothers fought in the War. The society for some unknown reason didn't have any records from the women. The possibility that it was strictly because their aspect was from the female perspective is more than likely the reason for the society not having saved those papers so many years ago. Whereas they had several from soldiers writing home, their diaries, or men who stayed behind in the city. The other problem is that the papers at the time rarely reported social events. And (here's the kicker) I was told that no one stayed in the city. The wives were sent out to the Plantations to run them. The houses in the city were social, summertime events.

Here's what got me confused. I'd read literature in the past that said the contrary. So, were the fictional accounts I read previous wrong? Were there no women in the city during the war?

I continued my research and thankfully I've found that there were in fact women still in the city, that social events did occur, not often but they still did and while the research is very very slow I am making progress.

Why am I sharing this with all of you? Because that is the way of historical research. We need to scratch below the surface, dig deeper until we find the truth. I have a long way to go but I'm still digging up tidbits. When I've verified this information, I'll share some of my findings with all of you.

In the meantime, have a great day and enjoy your research.

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