Assigned as a final project, this website is the culmination of the coursework for HIS 515 (History and Digital Media), which is a component of the core curriculum for an M.A. in Public History at the University of Illinois - Springfield. Like most time-sensitive assignments, the scope is limited not by creativity or interest, but to what can be accomplished within the confines of a semester.
The buttons on the right side of the Main page of this project offer a brief overview of the U.S. Civil War, Camp Butler and Fort Donelson's respective roles in the conflict, and a synopsis of each man's life, as much as time and resources could allow.
This project, like any other literal or figurative exhumation of facts, will forever be incomplete. But the rediscovery of these men's partial pasts demonstrates the importance of individual histories. The war was fought and paid for with the lives of common men and women. These southern infantrymen are just two threads that weave a thick, decorative, sometimes dark national blanket that covers us all. Perhaps by revealing these micro-histories, we can learn to maintain the warmth and let in the light.