One of the Pleasures of Writing II

Thirtieth Division in the World WarOne thing about the projects that is about subjects that are limited in scope s that people who are expert in the topic enjoy sharing what we know with other experts. Several weeks ago I wrote about Mitch Yockelson of the National Archives in Maryland. There is another expert in the actions of the federalized Thirtieth Division, Old Hickory, and the 118th Regiment, soldiers from South Carolina.

He is Jim Legg, military archaeologist, University of South Carolina. About a year ago we talked and exchanged e-mail addresses. Then, by chance and good fortune, I was finishing a presentation at the South Carolina Civil War Relics and Military Museum while Jim was installing an exhibit of some of his World War I trench maps. A week later Jim took me on a tour of the maps, from which I learned a lot about World War I military cartography and cartographers.

Since then we’ve met twice. After the first Jim lent me a ledger box filled with Thirtieth Division files (one box of three) for me to use. The second visit he lent me a rare and greatly treasured 243 page The Thirtieth Division in World War I (1936.) The book is filled with wonderful photographs, maps, drawings, and text. In return, I have told him of discoveries I am making. It is likely that I will use Jim’s artillery bombardment map for the battle of Bellicourt Tunnel for the Thirtieth Division as a cover for my novel, The Battle of Bellicourt Tunnel.

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