My passion for the American Civil War and historic research in this field is strong. I am past president of the Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable and past signals officer and asst. counselor of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. At present, I am at work on a comprehensive history of the 80th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. I am also under contract with Indiana University Press (with co-editor William Bartelt) for Abe’s Youth: Collected Works from Indiana’s Lincoln Inquiry.
80th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment
This unit was comprised of ten companies that drew primarily from eight southern Illinois counties. Over the course of the war the regiment traveled approximately 6,000 miles, and was in over 20 battles. I am currently researching and writing a regimental history of the 80th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. In preparation for this work I am collecting and publishing a number of papers and diaries from this unit. Here is a sampling of scholarship relating to this unit:
- A Memorandum of the 80th Illinois Infantry: Civil War Notes of Pvt. Armgstrong McGee (2014), edited by Joshua A. Claybourn.
- 80th Illinois Recruiting Flag (2016), a brief blog post
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW)
The SUVCW (www.SUVCW.org) is a fraternal organization dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of heroes who fought and worked to save the Union. Organized in 1881 and chartered by Congress in 1954, it is the legal successor to the Grand Army of the Republic. I am involved with the SUVCW in a number of capacities and at a number of levels, as listed below.
- National Signals Officer (2014 – 2015)
- National Webmaster (2013 – 2015)
- National Assistant Counselor (2014 – present)
- Chair, Natl. Comm. on Communication & Technology (2014 – 2015)
- Department of Indiana Webmaster and Signals Officer (2014 – present)
- Camp Commander and Organizer of SUVCW John W. Foster Camp No. 2 (2014 – 2016)
Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable (SICWRT)
Begun in 1957, the SICWRT (www.SICWRT.org) is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of the U.S. Civil War and the stories of those who fought in it. I previously served as chairman of the SICWRT. I have also presented to this group with the presentations below.
- Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (May 2014)
- The Abraham Lincoln Almanac Trial (April 2015)
- Little Egypt Goes to War (January 2017)
- Civil War Photo Sleuth: A free and easy-to-use website that applies facial recognition to the multitude of anonymous portraits that survive from the Civil War, in the hopes of identifying the sitter.