It seems like every week I discover a new research database that helps me with conducting better and more thorough genealogy searches. One of my favorites is the National Park Service’s Soldiers and Sailors Database. Compiled using thousands of Civil War records, the Park Service indexed the names of participants who served during the American Civil War. A successful search will list the ancestor’s name and their service record, along with a detail of the action seen by their units.
I belong to a book club. One of the many benefits is that I read books I might not have chosen on my own. Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year, by David Von Drehle, is one of those titles. The premise of this book is that the year 1862 determined the outcome of the Civil War and cemented the reputation of Lincoln as one of our greatest presidents.
While working with one of the Midwest Genealogy Center’s archival collections, the Titus Family Collection, I came across an interesting bit of history. In the course of my transcription of letters written by Private Square Holt during the Civil War, I came across a reference to a “gun that fired a thousand pound shot.” This description intrigued me, so I decided to look into the gun and to find the history of this “monster” cannon.