Category Archives: Week 2: History past: Historical Thinking/Historiography

Trying to Make Heads or Tails from the Citeable Notes Readings

I know that I said that I would blog on my search results this time, but I promise to do so in my next one, I am just so excited about looking at my reading/notetaking/recording in a different light. I am almost overwhelmed at the many possibilities that this now presents…..now where to start?

For my choice of article to blog on this week, I chose a source, which was partly responsible for my initial idea to set out to disprove the standing history of the “ragged” rebel. This article was first published in 1989 by Leslie D. Jensen. In this series of articles, titled “A Survey of Confederate Central Government Quartermaster Jackets” Jensen provides some startling data drawn from surviving records showing staggering numbers of uniforms, including jackets, trousers, caps, and shoes. These numbers are from later in the war, which support the theory of Confederate forces being better supplied later in the war, more so than earlier in the conflict.

I chose to look at this three part article using the citeable notes fashion described in this week’s readings. In doing so, I found myself almost seeing the information for the first time, as it revealed much more this time around. I started looking at the way Jensen cited his sources, where those sources came from, the details that I had forgotten since I had read this article last, and so on. I started noting many more secondary sources, as before I had been focused on the primary accounts, etc. My article is now a marked up, highlighted, underlined, note laden research tool in itself.

I wanted to start recording my notes, or at least vital information in such a way t hat I could recall where they came from, but I began to notice myself wanting to use almost all of the article(s), especially the portions dealing directly with my research interest, (specifically on the Army of Northern Virginia) as there were too many valuable details to get left behind. This dilemma is one that I wish to bring up in class this week, as I am looking for ideas and suggestions on how to help sort the massive amounts of information found in such a resource wealthy source. I find myself trying to make heads or tails from the citeable sources readings, as I have many more questions about the research I am finding now. This week’s assignment has opened my eyes to a new way of researching and taking note of valuable information, yet, I feel that I now have a whole new source, although I have been aware of the article(s) since 1989.

Dr. Quigley also gave me a secondary source, which has been very helpful; it is a book written by Harold S. Wilson called Confederate Industry. After reading through it, (at least at a first cursory read), I found evidence that also begins to solidify my argument, which Wilson goes into great detail describing in painstakingly well researched information from original sources. (Confederate Industry, Wilson, 2002, ppg. 178-179, – uniforms issued, shoes, material, etc. run through the blockade on 84 steamers, from April – December.) 1864.

 

 

 

A Great Adviser Indeed

With the research of “Dispelling the Myth of the Ragged Rebel” a long time interest of mine, I naturally gravitated to the director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, Dr. Paul Quigley. This topic has been the source of many very helpful conversations with Dr. Quigley and it seemed only logical to speak with him about becoming my adviser for my thesis. I have had the desire to attempt to dispel the long standing premise of Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War being “ragged,” wearing only rags and fighting barefooted, with no equipment for months on end. This idea was promoted extensively during the infancy of the “Lost Cause” myth and has gained a major foothold in American history.  However, upon close look at photographs, quartermaster reports, company requisitions, and surviving Confederate material culture, a different story seems to be the case.

I met with Dr. Quigley and we discussed the idea for my thesis project and he had some very insightful thoughts and ideas for me to pursue. He was also able to give me some very good secondary resources, as well as a site to “mine” for ideas, sources, and and leads: America: History and Life: EBSCOhost , which I will write about in my next blog.

This was a very helpful meeting and he was able to help me focus on the overall significance of my argument, as it would be important to show the “so what” aspect of this idea. He said that it would hold much credence and significance, if I could start to dismantle the long standing case of the “ragged” rebel, which has been in existence for almost 150 years. The sources that I mentioned, i.e. the photographs, quartermaster reports, etc. along with the secondary sources that he pointed me in the direction of, begin to do just that.

In the end, Dr. Quigley graciously agreed to be my adviser on this undertaking and I could not have been more pleased. We discussed the possible other people that I would like to ask about being on my committee, to which I answered that I would like to talk to Dr. Milteer, Dr. Wallenstein, and possibly Dr. Thorpe, as their research interests are in my primary area of interest as well.  I am in the highest hopes that I can also speak with them in regards to my research on my thesis and that they can also be of assistance in guidance towards other untapped resources.

After the meeting with Dr. Quigley, I sat in my office to try to soak up all of the information that we talked about. It seemed like there was just such a lot of ideas and information shared in such a seemingly short amount of time, that I was left trying to take it all in. The direction that I have on this project now has taken a slightly different path, one which I am excited to explore. Overall, I am very excited and pleased that Dr. Quigley agreed to be my adviser on my thesis.

 

Thoughts and Ideas from Faculty Members

As I mentioned in a previous post, I wish to research the topic of dispelling the myth of the “ragged Rebel.” I have spoken to several faculty members on this topic and they have been quite receptive and supportive of this idea. I spoke with Dr. Quigley, who as you know, is the director for the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. He was very interested in the topic and was able to provide some very insightful ideas, as well as the titles of some books to further my research. I brought this to his attention when I was working with him on one of our upcoming projects and we have had several discussion regarding the way in which I can go about getting the most out of this project.

The second person that I have talked with about this idea was Dr. Wallenstein, although he is “not here” in an official capacity this semester, he was able to provide some very useful ideas and constructive criticism when he and I talked about the idea for my research. He was trying to help me focus on a more detailed/specific research question to help narrow my research, which I am finding to be probably the most difficult thing to do.

I also spoke with Professors Dufour and Kutz, both of whom have had some great tips for writing. I am looking to make this research something that can be drawn upon to help reinterpret many of the common misconceptions about the Confederate soldier. This research will be invaluable in many aspects of the history field, from classrooms to museums. Professor Dufour was very helpful in pointing out different ways to pose questions to help guide my research, whereas Professor Kutz was able to point out many different eras of the research over the past 150 years and was able to combine this with some suggestions on  several books that may be of great help in my research if this is the direction that I head, or this is the final project that I decide to research.

I have such a wide field of interests, which presents a problem for me, as I do not have just one area to focus on. This week, I chose to read the thesis on the role of WWII era women and the use of cookbooks to make them “kitchen citizens.” This thesis was extremely well written and thoroughly researched and footnoted extensively. I found the information both engaging and not too dry to make the reader feel bored. I thought that she was able to examine both gender studies and the culinary fields in such a way that it didn’t seem to sound like that was the case; things just flowed very smoothly. The examination of women’s roles both in and out of the kitchen and household was really well researched and the research into the roles of the OWI and OPA in the lives of women on the homefront was quite enlightening. I also found the section on how commercial companies were supporting the war effort by creating names for certain recipes, or the ingredients themselves quite interesting. I always like reading more about these often overlooked segments of history. I have several of the war ration tokens and ration booklets, as well as several of the “Cooking for Victory” cookbooks and I find that reading through these recipes, I don’t even recognize some of the ingredients, or they have changed drastically. It is true that the homefront was undergoing a transformation, although not on the scale that the front line soldiers were, it was still a transformation all the same.

One thing that I found to be a little of a problem, at least in my eyes, was the use of the illustrations, first of all, I felt that there could have been more. The ones that she did use, were off center, and very small, and somewhat dark. I think that the use of more of them would be helpful to break up the reading and help to illustrate her arguments. I would also recommend the use of a larger illustration and a lighter tint to make them easier to see. Overall I was very impressed with the topic and I hope that mine turns out half as good. Thanks for posting the link to read this, it was quite good.

 

“Boots and Saddles” has Sounded…Second Semester is Upon Us

“Boots and Saddles” was the bugle call which was sounded to tell  cavalrymen during the American Civil War that it was time to saddle up and get ready to move out. I find this to be quite appropriate for our situation in Research Methods, as we are saddling up for another semester.

My name is Kevin Dawson, but my friends call me “Tiny.” I am a first year MA student at Virginia Tech. I have been a student of history for as long as I can remember. It actually started around the time I was four years old, with my discovery of a photograph of my great uncle who had been killed in World War II. I was hooked on history from then on. I became a Civil War reenactor/living historian when I was ten years old,  to experience some of the same things that I read about in many of the Civil War books that I kept my nose buried in.  From that time forward, I have been a student of history and have had a lot of interest in the American Civil War, the “Great War”, and World War II. I also have a great interest in the United States Life Saving Service, the forerunners to the modern day United States Coast Guard. I have a wide variety of interests, that it is very difficult to decide on a particular one to write about, however, my first experience with learning about history was with my dad and our passion for the American Civil War.

For this reason, I am interested in researching the probable myth of the “ragged Rebel.” This research would be on the Confederate Quartermaster Supply System, (Post “Commutation Period,”) 1862-1865. This would include a survey of uniforms and equipment used in the field by the Army of Northern Virginia. The research will openly examine the present historiography, as well as build upon it to perhaps dispel the myth of the “Ragged Rebel.” The established popular memory is one that soldiers who fought for the Confederacy were clothed in tattered uniforms, went barefoot, and faced the problem of a dwindling supply of uniforms, arms, and equipment, as the war drug out, is something that scholars, historians, and history buffs alike, have been led to believe over the last century and a half.

Some of the sources I plan to utilize are surviving Quartermaster depot records which help to paint a picture of what the average Confederate soldier was wearing and fighting with throughout the four years of conflict, in which over 750,000 died. This research will use original photographs, period sketches, and various first – person, eyewitness accounts, as well as post war “remembrances” of the veterans themselves.

This topic is oft overlooked as it deals with studying photographs of Confederate soldiers killed in action. This is not meant to be morbid, yet this project is meant to glean as much information on the subject. For many years, I have been staring at the same pictures that everybody sees in the thousands of books on the Civil War. I used these photos to continuously try to improve my overall knowledge of the common Confederate soldier. However, through many years of reading diaries, letters, quartermaster reports and any number of other primary sources, I came to realize that the generic “Johnny Reb” fighting in the ANV, had a different appearance which changed throughout the war. Another factor to consider is the time of year, and specifically which year, and or battle that they were fighting in, (i.e. Longstreet’s ANV men fighting in the western theater in the fall/winter of 1863.)

I began noticing the little details in various photographs, from the way that the canteens were worn, whether they were wearing a bedroll or a knapsack, how they wore their accoutrements, etc. I also have read, like many others, that the Confederate army became more ragged as the war drew to a close. If you look closely at these primary source photographs, period paintings, and period sketches, I find that you begin to see a pattern emerge, which shows Confederate soldiers (in many cases,) actually looking better uniformed and more well-equipped later in the war. I began to question how this was possible and upon further investigation, discovered that the Confederate States of America were successfully establishing quartermaster depots throughout the South. The Confederacy was receiving uniforms, wool broadcloth, arms, equipment, and ammunition through the Union blockade, even as late as early spring of 1865. The blockade became more effective as the war progressed, but it was not foolproof, which allowed many Confederate blockade-runners to bring supplies in and take raw materials and goods out.

For the study of period photographs and sketches, I will examine the Library of Congress’ collection of photographs and prints. The selection of pictures located there is very clear and have been digitized for easy access, as well as clarity through a high-resolution process. One can find these pictures in books and such, but the clarity is not the same as in the digitized pictures. Many of the photographs contain very graphic, gruesome images of death, and this research is in no way any attempt to glorify war, or to show any disrespect towards those men that laid down their lives for their beliefs. This source will help research, analyze, and document the progression of uniforms, equipment and gear worn by the common Confederate soldier from the ANV, 1861-1865.

I firmly believe that the scholarly contribution of this research, will allow current and future generations of historians to get a better, and truer picture of what the average Confederate soldier looked like during the war years from 1861 – 1865. If my findings prove this to be the case, that Confederate soldiers were better equipped later in the war, then the myth of the “Ragged Rebel” can be confirmed as part of the post – war perpetuation of the “Lost cause.”

I hope to use this blog to record my thoughts, ideas, and drafts along my path towards my research project or thesis. I also welcome any input or suggestions from people who read this blog, so that I may have a source of information from which to draw along the way. It is always good to get suggestions from others, from a different point of view, as I firmly believe that one can get too close to the writing and therefore can lose focus on the end project, I hope not to do that and again, welcome any ideas. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from many of you.

 

 

Animals Equal Agency

In this week’s readings, I was upset by the many different memories that came to mind as I read. I have had many different animals in my life from dogs, cats, hamsters, horses, cows, goats, pigs, bulls, chickens, and even a hermit crab, each of who had a great impact on my life. I find myself agreeing that animals have agency in humans lives because I believe that we have an impact in their lives. I feel that since we are part of the animal kingdom ourselves then we are all interconnected in a way.

Animals are not just beings to be dominated, they are intelligent in their own sense. I look at famous animals in history, some of them more famous than others, and see human events that could not have been possible without the help of animals. Look at the space race of the 1950’s and 1960’s; America’s sending astronauts into space would not have been possible without there first being a test flight with a chimpanzee.

The United States Navy uses bottle nose dolphins to search underwater for a variety of threats and even lost items.  Law enforcement agencies use dogs to prevent threats to humans from other humans, be it searching for explosives, guns, drugs, and a variety of other purposes. I feel that animals are so important to humans in many ways other than pure companionship that there is no way that we, as humans could not keep our need for them unchecked.

Animals absolutely have agency in history, right from the outset. I mean, even a serpent/snake used language to trick Eve into eating the apple in the Garden of Eden. Many different cultures have a creation story that includes animals in them, therefore, animals equal agency.

Thoughts on Pre-History

I too, completely overlooked the posting/blogging for the readings, since I was so engrossed in the research aspect of my historiography, so I too, must beg forgiveness for the delay in my blog this week. I apologize for this oversight on my part.

I have often wondered when I came across the term pre-history exactly what that meant. I mean history is history, right? Whether it be what modern historians have tended to call it, be it pre-history, ancient, dark, etc. Pre-history was a time in the past that happened and that’s just fact. Why are there labels for periods, when these periods are what comprise mankind’s history? Smail does a good job bringing that point to light and he also makes me start to see that there is a reason why historians have  possibly done this in the past. He also was able to effectively convey the argument of the need for interdisciplinary study and working together. I remember Dr. Jones saying in a conversation that “there is a reason why we are historians”, when talking about the frustration that she and I have with math. If we can find a way to start to connect the various fields to get a better grasp on the past, or on science, math, or (fill in the discipline) then we can begin to pull pre-history into the realm of what we now know as history. I know all of this seems to be confusing, but I believe that everything can all be part one big picture instead of several different smaller pictures.

Smail explains how this history big picture has not been presented before, by talking of biology giving way to culture on page 4, when he says “In these and other ways, works of general history explained why there could be no narrative continuity between prehistory and history.” However, now that we are starting to connect the disciplines, this is no longer the case. I find it intriguing when Smail talks about how biologists start to explain Darwinian thinking in reference to “cultural evolution.” (page 95) Smail does create a case for this conection between science and history in many cases, but I found that when he talked about being scared of the dark, he was able to tie it together, or seemingly so, by saying “…at least, the findings of evolutionary psychology seem to dovetail with the archeological evidence.” This connection between science and history is a fascinating one and can only draw the disciplines together and thus allow for our fields to grow closer together, and make the world a much smaller place. By this I mean that individual fields will not each have their own ideas and be so far apart on research and connections. By bringing the fields closer, people invovled with one field, can then also find connectivity and be able to share that information, much like we share ideas and research now via the internet. Information is spreading and the distance between those that are looking for that information or connection grows much smaller day by day.

 

Onions Anyone? There’s Red, White, Yellow, and MY Personal Favorite, Vidalia…

When I first decided to pursue my MA in History, I was under the impression that I would just focus and learn more about my interests in history, U.S. military history to be exact.. I thought that I would delve into more specific studies of military history and become a “go to guy” when it came to that area. I was somewhat overwhelmed by the scope of what we were going to have to do in my first semester. WOW!, Just WOW! I could not understand at first just what all of this reading was meant to do.  It was like an onion, one that was strong and overpowering, and made me want to cry as I started into it.

Then, as I started to peel back the layers, it was like a sweet Vidalia onion. Each layer didn’t make me want to cry. I began to see why each reading, not only in this class, but my others as well, were meant to make me think about how to study, research, write, and better understand history as a whole. History encompasses everything, not just U.S. military history. It is a much bigger world than what I was looking at before, when I was wearing “blinders.” Obviously, I knew that, but gender studies was not a subject of great interest to me. However, these readings in class have really been an eye opening experience for me. PREVIOUSLY, I had always had a nagging thought process, one that I could not understand nor explain, even though I empathized, and understood women’s positions and their points of view. I had been so used to feeling (and women, I wish apologize in advance, this is not a slam directed at anyone specifically, by any means,) like, …Gender studies…again? I get it, equal rights, women’s rights, I get it, but don’t take it out on me…, I was not part of what happened in the past, so stop blaming me for what other people did. Stop trying to punish me.  NOW, after really being exposed to just the tip of the iceberg of gender studies, I realize and have a much deeper understanding and respect for the field, because like that iceberg, there is so much that is under the surface, so much more.

As we discussed last week, gender studies is an important part of history, but it has many layers, and I thought about how an onion is an important part of certain recipes, so too is gender studies. As I read Joan Scott this week, I was decidedly unsure of what to think, I had an idea of what was coming but, I was not sure about how she would write about the topic. Our conversation last week in class helped to set up my understanding of the subject of gender studies and I felt that that was a great segway into this week’s readings. After having read Foucault, I was glad to read someone with a different style of writing. Scott, was still, in my opinion, a little dense to read, but again, nothing like Foucault. One part in particular stood out to me and I think that she summed up the field of gender studies quite well.

Joan Scott writes, “Gender, then, provides a way to decode meaning and to understand the complex connections among various forms of human interaction. When historians look for the ways in which the concept of gender legitimizes and constructs social relationships, they develop insight into the reciprocal nature of gender and society…” (pg. 1070).

The field of gender studies encompasses women and men and as such, again is very complex. I feel that as the field grows and that as we, new historians, move forward into the digital age, we are becoming more and more aware of how this field is becoming more and more inclusive. This is no longer a subject that can be overlooked, swept under the rug, or ignored. It is an integral part of our history, and such, needs to be included in any study of history. Gender studies definitely  has many layers and facets, some of which, like an onion, can make you cry.

Edgy and Pushing the Envelop – What Influenced Eley?

Iggers, Foucault, now Eley, what? I mean, I am really getting bogged down with all of the dense readings. I find myself agreeing with Kate in wondering “why” are we reading this, then I begin to realize that this is part of learning to be an historian. We need to read about the thought process and how others are studying and writing about history. This is all part of the methodology and the way we need to be flexible in our own writing styles; not getting “stuck in a rut” or a routine way of researching and writing ourselves. I do feel that sometimes these writers can have a much more powerful  meaning by writing LESS or writing in a more “down to earth” style. Why does it seem that to be considered scholarly and academic, that one has to be so aloof,ostentatious, or pretentious in their writing style. (You see I can use the Thesaurus button on my computer too. Kind of reminds me of Riley in National Treasure , “Snorkel, Albuquerque…”I feel that it may have more meaning if they would just write it so that more people could connect with the writing. I found Eley to be like Iggers and Foucault in a way, and therefore it was hard for me to sink my teeth into.

Wow, as for Steedman, what a story! I was really shocked to read about how her mother felt at times, or at least how appeared to feel at different points in her life. I had a myriad of feelings come flooding back to me in regards to the readings, as some of the situations seemed very familiar.

Steedman wrote a very engrossing story, one which could draw the reader in, however, I found myself shaking my head asking why was I reading about her childhood?  Then I realized that this was an example of using a personal narrative, her autobiography and the story of her mother to tell of the experiences in a working class society from one person’s perspective. I find this to be a little dangerous, as even though it was probably a true to life accounting with the possibility of some embellishment, it was still one person’s point of view. This brought to mind the case of the “cat massacre” and it may cause people to want to find more sources to back a personal story, which could possibly be problematic.

However, for the purpose for which it is written (as a glimpse into social history, gender, work, ethics, places, and a specific time in history), it does provide a great window into the past, which people can look through to see a picture of this bygone era.

I also found it very interesting that Eley talked about how he found Steedman to be “edgy” yet he seemed to like the fact that she pushed the envelop. That showed respect and the fact the he said that he was influenced by her caused me to want to read Steedman with a different eye.

I still found it hard to pinpoint her argument as opposed to a good bit of personal narrative which led to an overall good story about her childhood and her relationship to her family…Again, I look forward to our discussions in class on Tuesday.

On Foucault – This Week’s “Glob”, Uhh…I mean Blog

In this week’s glob, and yes I did say glob, not blog, I was very befuddled by Foucault’s writing. Therefore this week’s blog will be my understanding (or lack thereof) of the enormous glob of information that was strewn across the articles this week. Needless to say, there are probably many fans of Foucault and I am sure that with a more thorough investigation, i.e. reading his works over again, and taking time to try to digest his ideas set forth, I may become more comfortable with it. However, for this week, I, like several of my fellow cohort members, found him to be very difficult to follow and I am looking forward to our class discussions to help shed some light on the subject.

I did find Patricia O’Brien’s analysis of Foucault’s work somewhat easier to follow and hope that I took away a better understanding of Foucault from it, however, my comfort level does not exude a warm and fuzzy feeling… O’Brien did point out on page 25 that Foucault has not “been recognized for what it is: an alternative model for writing the history of culture…” I am starting to see from our various readings that we are gathering a new set of tools from which we can draw to aid us in our own research and writing about history. This is of great importance, as we as up and coming historians, need to understand that the way that history has been written for the last century or two, is starting to be scrutinized in a whole different light and we need to change with the times to make history more accessible to those that want to learn about our past.

O’Brien also went on to say that “Foucault’s reception by historians has been troubled and contentious.” (pg. 27) This was eye opening for me because it sort of validated the way that I was feeling towards the readings myself. However, as I read on, I found that historians begrudgingly started to see the merits of his work, and as such, other disciplines also started to see how his concepts could be used to open new ways of interpreting the past or find a different path to investigate topics. His flagrant, fly in the face of the “norm” was akin to a “barbarous knight, galloping across the historical terrain”…with reckless abandon and disregard for “careful and meticulous research”, according to Jacques Leonard. (pg. 29) of O’Brien’s analysis.

I was just very confused by the way that Foucault, he himself a philosopher and not so much an historian , seemed very haughty and somewhat dense (not as in the “dunderhead” sort of dense) in the way that he wrote. I am glad to have read O’Brien’s analysis, because it help to paint a little clearer picture, for which I am very grateful. Like I said before, I am certainly looking forward to our class discussion next week, so that I can hopefully get a more clear understanding of Foucault’s ideas.

Thoughts From My Soap Box Pulpit…

I have always viewed myself as somewhat of a material cultures kind of historian with a bit of oral history, public historian thrown in for good measure. I started amassing military items and collectibles from the age of four and began seriously talking to/interviewing veterans from the “Great War” through Vietnam since I was old enough to want to know more about war. I mean as a kid, I was like “Whoah, wait, you were in a war? War, war, what war? What did you do? Please tell me all about it it…..” I know that I had to be the biggest pain in the butt for many veterans. I am learning now, as I move forward towards getting my MA in History, that I made several stupid mistakes along the way. I did not start recording the interviews and questions until very recently and that their stories now are not technically documented as part of the historiography of the events which I found to be so fascinating.

This frustrates me because I have so many rich and detailed stories from all sorts of veterans; Army, Navy, Army Air Corps/Air Force, Marines, and not just from an American standpoint. I have talked to veterans, survivors, civilians, victors, as well as those defeated, and family members who have lost loved ones, from the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam to name just a few.  There are always many different facets to a story and I have learned so much just from listening to their stories, some funny, some outrageous (bordering on near impossible, yet always documented with eyewitnesses and or photographs), some sad, and all extremely riveting. When you learn the true history behind history, you find that it is not always what is written in the history books. There is always a “bigger” picture. This is what the past is made up of; different cultures, different experiences, different stories, all woven together (as we learned in Thompson’s writing last week), to form a very rich tapestry of our past.

I have mentioned before that I consider myself a living historian, and try to immerse myself in the culture of past times. I have some insight into what it may have been like to live in the 18th, 19th, and early to mid 20th centuries, as I have experienced much of the daily grind of living during those time periods. This has been very enlightening and eye opening to experience these immersions, as when I read about certain events in history, I can kind of imagine, or reenact if you will, these events in my mind, as well in person. This helps me to use primary sources to help recreate, thus educate the public along the way.

As I mentioned earlier, I have amassed a large collection of original items or militaria over the last four decades, and now have a substantial amount of educational tools. These items allow me to tell of people and their lives, that without someone like myself, then these items may have been thrown away, and the people which they represent, lost to history forever.

I do feel that cultural history is a HUGE part of our history and that by incorporating this important part of our history into the historiography of our past, we can get a richer, fuller picture of the past. The old adage of “history is written by the victors” is one that proves that not everyone has had a voice in the past. As historians, we can change that, especially with the new advances in the way we are “doing” history. Those people that have not had a “voice” in the conversation of the historiography of certain topics can now be heard through us. We have the opportunity to be their voice. Their culture can no longer be forgotten or overlooked. We have the capability to “speak” for them, as long as we can verify the information as being correct. That being said, sometimes that one source, as in the case with the cat massacre, can open up a whole new dialogue, which can provoke more interest and research to be done on the historiography, which in turn gives us a much clearer picture in the end, or in some cases, gives rise to more questions about the past. This can create new ideas and hopefully will entice future generations to want to know more about their past, a past in which we now live in. Knowing this, we can hopefully provide a solid collection of information, from which they can draw from to learn more about their past.