Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Sunday, October 9, 2022
I'm not really sure what to title this post, but it is, again, just an update on the book project that has been my focus for the last couple of years now.
A few weeks ago, I had a copy of my "all combined" file printed. This file was a combination of all my completed stories in one large Word document. I just really wanted to see what it looked like in "real life" and not just on a screen.
It ended up being 199 pages (including front and back) and about 95,000 words, and looked terrific!
It was pretty cool to see and hold, I must admit.
It's also cool to be able to hand it to other people to look at and give me feedback. It has been positive commentary so far.
We've also uncovered a few typos ("there" instead of "three" "city" instead of "century" and two stories in reverse alphabetical order by mistake) but I had not tried to proofread every word of every story yet. This is a work in progress, and I'm sure other such issues remain in it but having something so tangible and "real" is a good feeling. It's good to see and hold it and see the information I have assembled. I hope this isn’t a case of “pride goes before the fall,” but I am happy with what I have created thus far.
I did submit a brief questionnaire to one publisher. The only response I received so far was a question if the book was only about the profiles or about the home front of Campbell County during the war. I replied and have not heard back yet, but I presume my subject did not totally interest him at first, but that is fine. It still is fascinating me, both in what I am learning and how enjoyable it has been, even if my idea is rejected.
Also, I must admit that a look at the county's home front during the war is another idea that intrigues me. I put together a quick list of ideas that could apply to such a topic. That approach strikes me at first as much more complicated and requiring more detailed research, but it's also a topic that has not been explored in this region, and I do have some thoughts on how to approach it. Some of the stories I've uncovered in my current research could fit into that topic.
I'm still working on this first project as I had planned, but maybe the home front during the war is an idea for the future. I'll keep an eye out for appropriate material as I continue to research the individual soldiers and sailors.
And I have not necessarily given up hope on having my work published as a book. Other options are available and I am actually glad to have received that suggestion and comment in reply to my initial inquiry. This project is a big one and I will keep plugging away at it especially as I continue to find interesting stuff.
In the last week or so, I found a local man who was a victim of the Sultana disaster. That was a great surprise and certainly a story I must tell.
I also was looking up a soldier’s name and found a man who had been arrested for cutting down an American flag. It was almost certainly a civilian with the exact same name and does not fit the scope of my book, but I thought it was a neat find too. I’ll find a way to share that with others (besides the blog’s Facebook page.) it’s at least one possible story of the war’s home front in Campbell County.
I also found out that the last Civil War veteran living in Campbell County was Cornelius Green Cannon, an African-American who served as an under cook in the 23rd Missouri Infantry. He died in 1944 and I’ll certainly add his story to my project.
Hopefully the discoveries keep on coming. It’s really fun to uncover stuff like the man on the Sultana or names of other Campbell County men who served. Whatever sports in thffuture,mi have learned a lot snd had quite a bit of fun so far.
Friday, August 26, 2022
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
A lot of people have seen or heard the Civil War referred to as a "brother's war" because of the instances of family members fighting on opposite sides (Mary Lincoln's Confederate brothers and Kentucky's Crittenden family are two famous examples) but there were also many cases of family members fighting on the same side, a point that I am learning more and more through my research into Campbell County soldiers and sailors.
When I started this project, I knew of the Seither brothers - three fought for the Union, but a fourth had moved to New Orleans in the years before the war and became a Confederate soldier - but did not know of any other Campbell County families that had fought in the war. I was obviously foolish, and perhaps naive, but I now have confirmed at least 30 (thirty!) instances of brothers, fathers/sons, and cousins from Campbell County fighting for the Union cause. I certainly never expected to find so many. I've even found some where three or four brothers joined the war effort. Four brothers in the war were grandsons of a Revolutionary War soldier whom the Daughters of the American Revolution are going to honor later this year. That was pretty cool to find.
Even a couple of weeks ago, when I realized I had found a few examples and decided to look into it more closely to figure out just how many I had uncovered, I did not think it was such a high number. I'm still surprised, but I do realize that there are probably even more out there that I haven't found (especially cousins or uncles/nephews - the set of cousins I know of only came to my attention because they were distant ancestors of mine.)
This whole research adventure has been quite fun and educational to me, with the presence of so many families having multiple members fight in the war being the latest example. I have started a separate document to try to track them, and I have a few more names listed to research as possibilities, but who knows what else might pop up to attract my attention and time.
I still need to decide eventually what to do with all this information. A book would be ideal, but is it realistic? I want it to be, but I wonder if anybody else wants to read all this or if my work is good enough to be published. Oh well, I'm enjoying what I'm finding and will make other decisions as I need to, but I thought this was a good excuse to publish another blog post.
Hopefully I will have other interesting finds and observations to share as this process continues.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Saturday, June 11, 2022
Friday, May 27, 2022
I know that blogs are now a thing mostly of the past as podcasts (even via video) and live streaming have come into vogue and are the major tools of social media and communication, as well as new apps and, honestly, probably some things of which I have not heard yet, but I'm still here, as is this blog.
I know my activity here has slowed down considerably. I mostly regret that. Last year just was not a productive year for me from a research or writing perspective, but things have improved in 2022. I have resumed doing research for my book (or website) project, and have started writing more. Now, that will include this blog. It may not be a daily thing, but I do hope and intend to write much more frequently.
Many of my entries will probably focus on my current research, mentioning interesting stories I find, roadblocks that confound me and other issues that come to mind, including my attempt to figure out what the final product will be and if there is any end in sight.,
Anyway, I have found more good information for my Campbell County Civil War Soldiers project. I even found a few new names in the last week or so, and have determined to write many more individual stories than I originally anticipated. These men deserve to be remembered for their service.
Recently, I created a document for the 23rd Kentucky Infantry regiment. I have over 120 names for it. My current plan, always subject to change, is to write several stories on many of these men, but also to have a separate story just on the regiment. I know of no regimental history for this group, so this will be a challenge, but I should be able to put together at least a few hundred words of a high-level look at the experiences of this unit. I think that will help me, and hopefully others, to understand better what the individuals went through during the war.At least that is the goal.
I may do something for the 53rd Kentucky as well, especially company F, another unit with many Campbell County men in it. This unit formed late in the war, but were involved in the Second Saltville Raid in late 1864, and I've found several names of men who were killed, captured, or wounded during that expedition.
Another recent addition to my project is to take a closer look at the sailors whose names I've found. I assembled a list of ship names I've found associated with these sailors and surprisingly came up with more than 50 ships. Several of these men served on multiple vessels, but I do see at least one of them was a "receiving ship" for new sailors, a concept new to me. This part of the project will probably be quite educational to me as I look into the navy and these individual ships. It will certainly be a challenge even to do a high-level, not-too-detailed study like this, but I think it has potential to be interesting to me and to improve my understanding of the war.
Several of the ships I've found were either built in Cincinnati, or the navy purchased them there, so I like the regional nature of that. It should fit in well with the scope of my book since Cincinnati is right across the river from Campbell County (though I believe Cincinnati's ship-building area was a bit further west than where Campbell County is.)
At one glance, this seems to me more like a county history than a war book and perhaps that is accurate and maybe even desirable, but it has already changed how I look at the war and study it. I may never be an expert in military tactics, strategies, and operations.
This project still comes down to studying the individual men who fought the war and who lived in my home county before, during, and/or after the war, including their lives inside and outside of their military years. There is a lot of good information that I believe is worth finding and sharing and I'm hoping this little project of mine can contribute to the understanding of Campbell County history, the Civil War, and/or the men who fought it and the people who lived through it. If I advance the understanding or knowledge of even one piece of these areas, it will be a good thing.
I'm going to go ahead and just post this now, on a Friday afternoon, without thorough proofreading or checking it on for a couple of days before I post it. Enough with such delays (though I do have another family-history post related to the war that has been in "draft" mode for a while. I'll have to complete it soon, but I do plan to come back and post more about what my research finds and where my plans and goals head in the future. This has research has been a very positive experience for me.
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
After the war ended, Orlando, who was listed as 5 feet 7 inches tall, with blue eyes, sandy hair, and a florid complexion when he enlisted, transitioned back to civilian life. In 1870 he lived with his parents and three sisters while working as a cooper. He then married Sarah Lee Nelson on November 29, 1876 in Carthage, with Reverend James Jolly officiating the ceremony.
Four years later, the 1880 census listed Orlando as a farmer living with his wife and two daughters and, according to a family history report one of his descendants assembled, became a busy citizen in Campbell County. He served multiple terms as postmaster at the Flagg Spring Post Office, from 1890 to 1895 and from January of 1900 until that office closed in 1906.
On July 19, 1897, Governor William Bradley gave Orlando another responsibility, appointing him Justice of the Peace for the Sixth Congressional District of Kentucky.
In 1900, the census listed his name as Orlando W Tarvin, and showed that he lived with his wife, five children and his wife’s aunt, quite a large household. He was still a farmer.On September 9, 1907, Orlando’s life came to an end. The Kentucky Post reported that Orlando, who was also a Mason, had just attended the Alexandria Fair before his wife discovered him dead in his bed that fateful morning. His funeral was “the largest ever witnessed in that section of the county” and he was buried in Grandview Cemetery in Mentor.
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