My passion for the American Civil War and historic research in this field is strong. I maintain memberships and leadership positions with a number of Civil War organizations, as noted below. I am also in the process of researching and writing a new regimental history.
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. They include:
- Based on an original, handwritten journal, I edited and published A Memorandum of the 80th Illinois Infantry: Civil War Notes of Pvt. Armgstrong McGee. This work documents this unit’s activities in the American Civil War from 27 October 1863 to 17 June 1865.
- “Dear Lizzie” (1862–1865) is a collection of letters written by James “Jimmy” Garvin Crawford to his sweetheart Martha Elizabeth “Lizzie” Wilson during the Civil War. After being transcribed and published by Elizabeth Ethel Parker Bascom in 1978, the original letters were presented to the Illinois State Historical Library in Springfield, Illinois.
- The Civil War letters written by James Monroe Stookey to his brother Daniel Stookey (1861-1865). These letters, edited and compiled by Mary Elizabeth Stookey Owen, were first donated to the Illinois State Historical Library and are now on file with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
- The Civil War papers of James VanCleve Bruce includes letters, a diary, and photographs pertaining to Mr. Bruce’s Civil War service.
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)