This week, our group proposed our contract for the National Park Service project that we have been assigned. Needless to say, some tweaking was required. Our group did a great job brainstorming yesterday and ironed out the wrinkles. A few of us have started the process of scanning the cemetery register. It has definitely been a learning experience. With that said, we have made a huge dent in it. As of yesterday, we had completed 230 pages of approximately 470! Not bad. We are still working on the naming convention with the NPS but I am sure it will soon be resolved.
On my own work, I am proud to say that I did some scanning yesterday and was fairly productive. I misnamed a few files (trial and error) but with the help of Angie (Archivist Librarian at UWM) we were able to easily change the file names.
On an even more personal note, I find myself privileged and humbled by the experience. The register contains the running list of over 15,000 Union soldiers who were buried in the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Of those, only a little over 3,000 are identified. The rest are listed as “Unidentified” under the name column. I was deeply saddened over the thought that these men (most rather young) were buried in a state that prior to the war they had most likely never visited. Their families likely never knew where they were buried other than somewhere in the Fredericksburg area. Some may never have been told exactly at which battle their soldier was killed.
Again, the experience is deeply humbling and offers a fresh dose of perspective.