John Hennessy: “The Gift That Keeps on Giving”

by Brett Schulte on September 29, 2012 · 0 comments

Editor’s Note: I also posted this short blog entry over at The Siege of Petersburg Online, which is where I’m spending most of my “Civil War time” these days.

Harry Smeltzer at Bull Runnings often refers to historian John Hennessy of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park as “the gift that keeps on giving.” After I commented on one of John’s recent posts at Mysteries and Conundrums, he was kind enough to email me with an offer to send along the Siege of Petersburg materials he has come across while scouring thousands of old Civil War newspaper articles.  Naturally I jumped at the chance.  John’s first email full of Petersburg newspaper articles came in tonight, and I’ve been going through the articles with a definite sense of excitement.  John typically collects articles which are reprinted soldiers’ letters, so I’ve got a lot of new first person accounts to transcribe and post.  I’ll probably be transcribing these myself as I find the time.  Keep an eye out for these accounts in future months at The Siege of Petersburg Online.  Harry often uses the term FOBR (Friends of Bull Runnings) to describe those who have helped him in the way John has.  Is John now also a FOSOPO (Friend of the Siege of Petersburg Online)?  Eh…I may need to work on that one!  In any event, thanks to John Hennessy, Bryce Suderow, Ken Perdue, Jackie Martin, Kathryn Lerch, John Horn, and the literally dozens of regimental historians and authors who have helped me in the last 3 1/2 years of this massive, massive project.  I owe a great deal to these folks, all extremely helpful and giving of their time and expertise while asking little to nothing in return.  If you are reading this and you have newspaper clippings, letters, diaries, and other unpublished material on the Siege of Petersburg, please consider using the Contact form on this site and getting in touch with me.  The Siege of Petersburg Online cannot be what I want it to be without your help.


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