Tomorrow sees the first day in the archives; I've been stuck in limbo the last three days, waiting for some approval to come through in the archives, so I've been watching soccer and working on an article I'm submitting. The soccer is currently going somewhat better (Team USA: Not the class of the tournament, but they do sure enjoy putting on exciting finishes). Both are more fun than doing pushups, which is also how I've been spending the time. Eventually, you run out of things to do, you know? I'm such a bad Civil War historian; I'm about four miles from a National battlefield park, Monocacy, but I haven't been. I went last time I was here; I doubt it changed, but when I voiced that to some of my fellows they looked at me like I'm insane: But it's a battlefield!
I'm a wargamer who thinks wargames are lame, an a Civil War historian who thinks the battles are boring. It's a living. I'm reminded of a story my MA advisor, Bill Piston, told about his Phd advisor, T. Lawrence Connelly. He taught at the University of South Carolina, in the middle of the state (Columbia) but fairly close to Charleston. Dr. Piston (then "Bill") discovered that Connelly had never--in decades of teaching in South Carolina--been to Ft. Sumter. Dr. Piston asked why not. "Because it's not required," said Dr. Connelly. That's been my mantra: Knowing all the corps commanders at Gettysburg, naming all the members of the Confederate Cabinet, going to all the battlefields: Not required. Optional, and sometimes enjoyable, but not required.