Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Civil War blogging at its best

I was thinking of doing a year-end roundup of Civil War blogs, mainly as a vehicle for highlighting the five or ten favorites to which I am regularly drawn. I suppose I’ve avoided that in the past, because the Civil War blogosphere is a pretty small place, and I don’t want to have to explain why some blogs pique my personal interests and others do not. It’s all about the content.

For now, however, I want to take a moment to draw your attention to Mysteries and Conundrums, an unofficial blog maintained by NPS staffers at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National MilitaryPark, born of discussions about the string of battlefields in their jurisdiction, to include Chancellorsville and the Wilderness. The blog began just this past March, but the authors have made it chock full of meaty content. It is intended that readers accept the open invitation to join in those discussions, to better understand what happened in those historic venues, and to participate in the ongoing challenges of preservation. 

This post by historian John Hennessy is a masterpiece -- The legacy of misplaced assumptions -- and really highlights the value of blogs as a living resource for students of American history. Preservation strategies have necessarily evolved over the years, and this brief history explains a lot about the present state of four major battlefields, including how their close proximity to each other ultimately short-shrifted each of them in terms of total park acreage.

The bulk of the entries come from resource managers Eric Mink and Noel G. Harrison, and chief historian John Hennessy, whose published works are well regarded in the Civil War community. In entry after entry, the contributors to Mysteries and Conundrums draw the reader into an intriguing discussion, and enrich their offerings with period photographs and useful maps. Look at Mr. Harrison's labor-intensive offering in another recent post, Finally Found: the Location of Waud's Fredericksburg Pontoon-Laying Sketch? 

Take a gander at their sister blog as well,
Fredericksburg Remembered.

Nicely done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind words, David. Noel H.