No, sorry, no deep, emotional reflections on the year past. I just wanted to take a few minutes after having a week or so to review ‘the state of the blog,’ and look at where I’d like to see it go in 2008.
2007 was very enlightening, as I started on this new project with very little preparation. I think it’s been reasonably successful thus far, though there’s definitely room for improvement. Thanks to Eric Wittenberg, J.D. Petruzzi, Brian Downey, Drew Wagenhoffer and a host of others who have provided tips, comments and other support, both publicly and privately. Special thanks to those family members who have been gracious enough to send information on your ancestors. It was greatly appreciated, and hopefully I did them and you justice with my posts.
I ended the year with 176 posts and 7,543 visits. I must conclude I did something right, because at least a few of you keep coming back. 8^) I would like to get the visits up from 25-30 per day, and the best way that I can think of is to improve the content.
I decided over the holidays that I’d like to be a little more deliberate in my approach to the blog in 2008, for my own piece of mind with a very busy schedule and also in hopes of gaining and retaining readers. So in addition to the topics that just seem to pop up, there will be some planned offerings as well.
The Fiddler’s Green series will continue. They have been the most popular posts on this blog by far, and they’re a lot of fun to research and write. I may implement the “three day rule,” however, since almost without exception new material pops up within that period no matter how diligent my research has been. I’ll finish the officers of the 6th Cavalry this year, as well as some others at random. I haven’t yet decided which regiment will be next, most likely the 2nd or the 4th.
The Charles E. Bates series of letters will continue. There are ten letters for 1863 and a few others for 1864, so that project will definitely finish this year.
A new series will begin this month following one of the regular cavalry regiments through each month of a year of the war, primarily via theirregimental muster rolls. 2008 will feature the 6th U.S. Cavalry in 1862. I’ll introduce the regiment in a few days, and then begin following their activities in January 1862. I’m also doing this as a forcing function to make myself thoroughly review the binders of material that have somehow accumulated over the last year or so.
I plan to do more exploring of the western theater of the war this year, particularly with the 4th Cavalry, but also with the 3rd. I lacked the references to do so effective;y last year, but my library has made some serious strides in that direction over the last few months.
I also hope to investigate the summer of 1864 and how it affected the Regular Brigade. This was a critical time for the regiments, and saw their strength numbers plummet due to expiring enlistments. This seriously limited their contributions through the remainder of the war.
The Harpers Ferry and First Bull Run projects continue, and will hopefully also wrap up soon.
Hopefully this year will bring more interesting and more engaging posts. Together we’ll find out. Thank you as always for stopping by, and I’ll see you on the high ground.