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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: Looking for Expert on 54th MASS re: Mark De Mo

I have to agree with you. I have been working my proverbial tail off for the last three years doing research for this book, going through literally thousands of pages of primary documents, and I still have pages of questions that I am continually looking for answers to. As I work concurrently on the next work-which will be the transition period from the Civil War into the Black Regulars, and their service in the Southwest-I am adding more and more questions.

It's one of the best things you can do. There are a lot of folks out there with pieces to these puzzles. I ask questions constantly (probably bug a lot of folks in the process) and it's amazing where things can lead to.

I envy you graduate school-it's my dream to finish that, if only I could find a way to support myself and do it, but that piece is coming too.

Best of luck-and the best advice I can give you-If it's not a primary source, look at it with a jaundiced eye until you can prove it. As an example, The CWSS is a great resource, but hardly infallible, and as it's being transcribed by volunteers-there may be increased chance of errors. Another example-I have read a number of the Lincoln letters from the Lincoln Library, and if you just read the transcripts, you will see numerous areas that are noted as illegible by the transcriber. In looking at the originals, I haven't had any problems, BUT-I have a lot of years of practice in reading old scripts and am comfortable with a lot of the grammatical differences, stylistic differences, etc. that someone who is new to them may not recognize. So-if you find a reference that looks good, search for the source, then you can be sure. Even when it seems to be a very reliable, legitimate source.

Sharon


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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