Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Making Progress on Book (or Am I?)

I’m still working on what I hope turns out to be a book on Civil War Soldiers and Sailors from Campbell County, Kentucky, and have made some good progress recently, though if this progress creates more work is it truly progress?

I think so, at least in terms of the quality of this work.

I was working on the finishing touches of an interesting but brief story of a local soldier who had been executed while running from soldiers sent to capture him and return him to the regiment. I thought I just needed to confirm one tidbit, then do some quick proofreading and it would be finished, but, instead, I found out much more information about his family, including two of his older brothers who were arrested by Union officials for harboring him while he was AWOL.

One signed the Oath of Allegiance, a copy of which remains in his file. It is the first copy of an oath that I have found associated with any of these men. Maybe I’ll find more when I work more in the Confederate side, but this really excited me.

The other brother of the executed soldier actually ended up joining a Union cavalry regiment about fifteen months after his brother’s death. A local genealogy site includes an unsourced article claiming this brother suffered a couple major wounds in his time in the service. I need to look further into that as nothing about it was on Fold3 at first glance. The idea that he joined the Union army after one brother was executed for desertion and after he and his other brother were arrested truly blows my mind, even baffles me. It’s just a fascinating turn of events. This is now one of my favorite stories.

I will, of course, double check this latest information to make sure I did not miss something or am not overreacting, but this is the kind of find that makes research interesting, even dare I say fun, at times. 

This will allow me to add genealogical information to my original story idea, but I’m now wondering if I should keep my original story and add all this information to it or limit my story to the basics I originally found and then add a second story with more family details on it, including the oath and the oldest brother’s service.

Decisions, decisions.

Even though this might slow me down, I actually am very happy to find this additional knowledge. I’ll figure out soon enough how to handle it, but I’m glad that’s an option. This story is now even more intriguing to me.

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