The initiative for starting a thread dedicated to historical research was started by the Britabroad who posted first few articles in the month of October, 2010. After initial "thrust" more and more forum members joined in, providing a vivid and quite abundant quantity of information. However, up to this date, Britabroad still remains number one contributor to historical research thread.
With my joining to the ACW Team, I offered my abilities to that time Team leader shokh who has agreed that Historical research Thread could use some polishing and organization. With blessing from TWC Forums administrator Aradan, the work started in the summer of 2012. The amount of information was sometimes overwhelming and it took me almost two months to organise things properly. It is important to state that much of the information was taken from Wikipedia and as such must be valued with certain criticism kept in mind. The information is good for some basic knowledge, but if you seek some greater knowledge or better information you should turn to some other sources also (especially e-books). Where possible I provided the link to the best source available for free on-line (as in the case of Gregg's or McGowann's Brigade).
All available information is divided in following categories:
- Text Data
- The Civil War Calendar
- TWC Forum Member's Articles
- Battle Reports
- Visual Data
- Uniforms and Equipment of American Civil War
- Video Data
This part of HRT contains written information on famous units such as the Stonewall Brigade, Iron Brigade, 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry etc. Reader can get good basic information on most of the famous units of American Civil War. Also information can be found regarding West Point and Virginia Military Institute as well as articles about civil war tactics and strategy, causes for the war, spying during the war, as well as several episodes that preluded the ACW such as Bleeding Kansas, Battle of Black Jack etc. There is some information about number of units raised by certain states that can give good impression of the scale and magnitude of the war.
We included biographies of most of the best known commanders in the ACW (such as Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson or Ulysses Simpson Grant) but oddly enough we are missing Robert E. Lee's biography. The descriptions aren't very extensive and provide reader with information on persons ACW exploits and life. In some cases (such as biography of John Brown) we tried to provide information on persons and events that lead to ACW.
The Civil War Calendar:
This month by month summary of ACW was started by Britabroad. It has been done to the July, 1861. In such incomplete state it still provides valuable info on opening months of the war. This work influenced introduction of Civil War chronicles that can be seen in the ACW "The Brother vs. Brother" mod.
This part features mostly forum member's conversations about certain topic ("Stonewall" Jackson and generals that superseded him, Quantrill's Raiders etc), various links to Civil war related sites that are good for getting further information, information on Civil War ships and rail-road system in 1860s America.
TWC Forum Member's Articles:
Articles related to various aspects of warfare, equipment and organization in the ACW era armies (emphasis on US and CS armies).
These are official battle reports written by the commanders and generals themselves. They are taken from the Official Civil War Archives and prove invaluable source of information for any debate regarding certain personae of ACW, as well as discussions regarding the necessity or failing of famous "Pickett's Charge" on the 3rd day of Gettysburg Battle (July 3, 1863).
Contains member's contributions in form of Civil War Era photographies, various art sources etc.
Uniforms and Equipment of American Civil War:
A comprehensive and large amount of visual information regarding uniforms, flags and other stuff during ACW. The pictures are Osprey Publishing's plates that can be found in the Osprey books. The plates used are the ones freely available to any user who registers at Osprey on-line site.
Small but valuable contribution, especially clips referring to Confederate Yell.
The Historical Research Thread should give you enough information about units, events and political relations that appear in the game. It will also help to achieve greater immersion when playing the mod. In the end, its greatest value appears when any user starts to research ACW thematic for his own record and digs ever deeper and deeper. This way we can look to the future with a smile on our faces knowing that our little effort kept the knowledge alive.