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 Posted: Sat Jul 28th, 2007 04:20 pm
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booklover
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My interest in the war came about more so through my exposure to Lincoln. Living in Illinois, it is a state law that every school child must travel to Springfield at least once in their life (OK, it's not, but I like to say that). Shortly after my father died, my mother was trying to figure out a career that would let her raise her children (me at age 5, my oldest sister at age 13, two others in -between) and stay at home. She chose to go to beauty school. She had to take her state boards in Springfield so she brought me home a wooden bust of Lincoln that I still have to this day. The next year we went back to Springfield and visited all the Lincoln sites and New Salem. After that I began to read whatever I could on Lincoln. Another sister bought me the Golden Book history of the Civil War, which I also still have. From there, I started to read everything I could until my interest shifted to World War II. After college, I picked up McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom and realized what I had been missing. I wrote McPherson a letter telling him how much I loved the book. He wrote back and I have his reply hanging on my wall, below a letter written to me by C. Vann Woodward, whom I asked about the advisability of going to graduate school. From there the fever came back. In 1996 I started to research the life of Everton Conger and from that point on, my Civil War and Lincoln library has grown from about 15 books to well over 500.

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Rob

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