May 1st, 2009

History Symposium

Last Friday I attended the history symposium with the talks on John Wilkes Booth, The Kennedy Assassination and Cotton Mather and the Devil in New England.
The first talk was on Cotton Mather, I did not know much about him. Apparently he was a minister in New England sometime during the Salem Witch Trials. I did not find the subject that interesting and the person giving the talk kept the same slide up the entire time. At the end he quickly flipped through the rest of his slides giving very little explanation.
The reason why I chose this section was because the last two talks. I was a little disappointed with the one on the Kennedy assassination. Not the way the speaker gave the talk but the content. I wanted to know examples of the conspiracies such as the grassy knoll theory but he did not touch on any of these. He concluded his talk saying he believed the Kennedy Assassination was some sort of conspiracy but since he didn’t give examples as to why. When someone from the audience asked for some information about some of the conspiracies he finally gave the info saying, “It was too much to give in a 10 minute speech” I however would’ve liked a few examples.
The third talk was about John Wilkes Booth. The speaker was a very good public speaker but he kept moving around so it was hard to focus on what he was saying. He spoke about John Wilkes Booth’s life and the lead up to the Lincoln assassination. Overall it was incredibly interesting. During the audience question part he came to the conclusion, with Professor Ferrel, that the John Wilkes Booth of today would be Sean Penn.

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April 24th, 2009

Research Paper

It’s a little late but I posted my research paper on the Writing Assignments page.

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March 20th, 2009

Update: 3/20

My research is going well, I’ve gotten several things from the ILL. Some of the items seemed more useful but have not proven to give me much for my paper. I think I have enough books for the moment but I’m always looking out for more that could aid in writing my paper. One thing I’m looking for in particular are Jubal Early’s letters. Early was a general for the Confederate Army and he is one of the main reasons why historians question the validity of Loreta Janeta Velazquez’s claims to having been disguised as Harry T. Buford. Jubal Early is said to have known Loreta’s alias Buford and met Velazquez later and says there is no way that Buford and Velazquez can be the same person. Early apparently wrote a letter to Velazquez and Velazquez a response back though I’m not sure how I’m going to find it.
I recently had an idea of checking out books about civil war soldiers and their lives after the civil war or their letters and to try to compare that to their female counterparts. I should probably look into getting those books as soon as possible. The idea is kind of obvious but I think it will help me write my research paper.

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March 16th, 2009

Literature Review

My literature review has now been put onto the page labeled Writing Assignments.

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February 20th, 2009

Update/Book Review

Well, I’ve found many more sources than I thought I would. Through proquest I mananged to find at least 8 newspaper articles from the time about female soldiers being found out which proves very useful to my topic. I have also received several items from the ILL, actually I received an e-mail that the library got one more of my ILL in today so I need to pick it up. By using Garold L. Cole’s Civil War Eyewitnesses (1988) I have managed to find some letters from male soldiers writing about female soldiers being discovered as well. One I managed to request through ILL the other request was denied because apparently it’s not circulating but another set of letters I found online.

As for my book review I read one by Lisa Tendrich Frank and she reviewed The Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War( 2002) by DeAnne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook. Frank saw too that the authors of this book wanted to write the book because they believed that no book before theirs accurately recognized the female soldier’s contributions and they believed the other books merely painted this women “as a romantic and heoric archetype.” Frank pretty much calls them hypocritical on this point because she says the book “tends toward the laudatory. At every turn, Blanton and Cook remind their readers that female soldiers fought valiantly for their nation.”

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February 16th, 2009

Annotated Bibliography

Time for my annotatedbibliography1 only 6 sources right now but that will change as I read more.

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January 22nd, 2009

Working Title + Research

I suppose my working title can be just… Women Soldiers of the American Civil War, since it is just a working title, hopefully I’ll think of something more interesting. Anyways, right now I have checked out about a dozen books from the library on my subject (at least I hope so I haven’t been able to skim through most of them) but the shelf they were on is pretty much cleared out because of me. I also looked at several reference books Encyclopedia of the American Civil War¸ Civil War America 1850-1875, Amazons to Fighter Pilots, and Women and War. They had some suggested readings, some of which I already got from the library.

Unfortunately, most of what I have found is secondary sources only one, I believe, can be counted as a primary source. Dr. McClurken said that my topic was not overdone but the reason why is the lack of primary sources which I am finding about now. At the end of some of the reference book sections they included some information on articles that they used from newspapers or journals from the time. I just need to find them.

There’s one woman in particular that I think there would be a lot of government paperwork on her. Her name is Jennie Hodgers, however she lived under the alias of Albert Cashier for most of her life. She applied for pension and was denied, and was buried under the name of her alias.

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January 14th, 2009

Women Soldiers in the American Civil War

I know my topic right now is incredibly vague but I have gone back to my idea about Women Soldiers in the American Civil War. It really needs to be narrowed down more, perhaps by focusing on a battle or one woman’s experience or something. I think just find the day-to-day challenges of these women interesting. The fact they were willing to risk their lives, and would not let anything stop them from fighting for the Union or the Confederacy.

As for narrowing down the topic more, I have down a little research and found out that at least four women soldiers were known to have fought in the Battle of Antietam, one of the bloodiest battles in America’s History. If I were to narrow it down to perhaps one women I suppose I could focus on Sarah Rosetta Wakeman she served under the name of Lyons Wakeman for several years and was not discovered to be a woman till her death.

Some questions I have about this topic are: Why did these women disguise themselves as men to fight in the War? Was it for patriotism or some other motive? How many were found out? How did they manage to stay undetected for such long periods of time? And, what did these women do after the war?

That’s all I have at this moment, I need to e-mail Dr. McClurken to set up an appointment to talk about my topic more.

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