Today I added the 3,000th quote to my database. Actually when I called it a day, I was up to number 3,018.  I was in the middle of “deep reading” Unfurl those Colors by Vince Armstrong when I crossed this threshold.  For me, deep reading is reading with a highlighter and an ink pen.  Every quote that I eventually enter into my database is highlighted and I read the footnote that (hopefully) goes along with it.  As I read, I draw maps, scratch dates and sometimes times of day in the margins as well as anything else to help me understand the material.  If I dont already have the quote in the database, I add it. If there is another reference in the footnote or bibliography of the book, I add that as well.  So far, I have “deep read” 42 books on the Civil War in general, and the Maryland Campaign in particular to get where I am today.

My quote collecting started in January 2009 when I created South From the North Woods.  It wasnt until I discovered the WordPress format and created this blog that I found a way to begin making many of my quotes available online.  There are still a lot of quotes that are not linked.  These are mostly the quotes about personalities where I only have a small number of quotes.

The data is still in an Excel spreadsheet and it is getting to be very large and bulky.  I have to migrate it one of these days to a database.  My good friend and West Woods blogger is working with me to come up with a good solution.  I have not been able to link all the quotes (yet) but I am working on that.  Quotes by and about George McClellan were among the first that I added to Antietam Voices last January.  When I created the McClellan quote page here, I had just 79 quotes about him.  Today, I updated that page and there are now 272 quotes on one of my favorite Civil War figure.  Check out the McClellan page here.

I have learned a lot in the process, but I have only scratched the surface.  I realize that more emphatically as I continue down this road.  I hope you will ride along with me.


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