Well this has been a great experience for me this far, as I found out a lot more information about this great source for research. I had dabbled into WorldCat before, but not with the variations on search terms. I think that I was looking for one set of ideas in my previous search terms, i.e. just Confederate uniforming and the “ragged” rebel myth. I had been finding some information, but after this week’s searching, I began to have my eyes opened, not only open, but, WIDE open to the possibilities of what might be out there.
I was surprised to find several new sources which really are almost exactly what I have been hoping were out there. I found leads to other thesis’ that might have new source materials, as well as other insights into Confederate uniformology and material culture. This is very helpful in my research and I am very excited about the possibilities in the next few weeks. I have a lot of sources to request on Monday. I am looking forward to getting into these, as well as many others that I have just put on my list of findings.
I started out searching Confederate, uniforms, then moved into more detailed searches, including the terms, quartermaster, requisitions, blockade runners, invoices, imports, shoes, accoutrements, etc. These search terms led me to many different sources, which I hope will lead to support for my thesis, yet if they point to a different finding, well, I guess the “ragged” rebel theory will stand, as it has for almost 150 years. However, I feel that with just reading through some of the new information, (even if it is just cursory look to start with), and combining these new sources with the digitized photographs from the Library of Congress, the myth is just that, a myth.
This evidence is important to me, as this has been a great learning experience for me this week and I am excited about moving forward on this project. These sources have helped to focus my research not only on the Confederate uniforms, but also on the other parts of Confederate material culture, i.e. mills, depots, developing a working quartermaster system from a non – existent entity to a fully functioning system, etc. I am also looking forward to sharing my recent findings with Dr. Quigley and the other faculty who I am considering consulting with on this topic and possibly on my future committee.