I began collecting a few papers several years ago, by way of genealogy. For years I had been researching my family tree, started by an obituary of my gg-grandfather that mentioned that he fought in the civil war and was from Kentucky. Research led me to find out many things about where he came from and also some records from the war. One thing I found out was the unit he was fighting with and date that he was taken prisoner. To put together a book for the family, I began to look for more information to fill out the story other than who begat who. During this time I found old newspapers I began to look for anything that mentioned his commander or unit and papers around the time of his capture. What I found was amazing several papers from the days before and after contained first hand accounts and reports of the battles he was in. Information on where they were on specific days and time and what they were encountering told at the time, became invaluable to filling out his story. One story in particular locked me in, one that told of troops sneaking upon the enemy (my ancestors unit) early one morning and taking several prisoners. That was the day my ancestor was taken captive, and here was a newspaper article from 1864 describing the actual event. This was news of the day written in the day, not some glossed over or condensed history book and who knows he could have possibly read the same newspaper article at some point! I was hooked. I still look for things related to him and also now look for what was going on in other locales where other ancestors lived. It has made for fascinating genealogical research to see what was reported then and what they would have been seeing as current news, filling out the story of our ancestors lives. Well that’s my story. I am thankful for the www.rarenewspapers website.
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