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The question of my area of specialization in relation to historical study comes up fairly frequently.  This especially happens when people find out about my educational background or that I am an adjunct professor.  My challenge is that I have such a wide variety of interests my patterns of study go something like this:

As an undergraduate I was interested in the American Civil War and read almost exclusively in that field.  I did have access to Dr. William Gillette’s collection of letters from New Jersey troops and even did a paper using those sources.  On the other hand for an internship I also worked with Monmouth Battlefield State Park looking for Washington’s camp on the night before the battle – so I got a little Revolutionary War experience too.

At MTSU I started out in Public History but quickly switched to traditional history.  I discovered an interest in Cherokee History, Tennessee History, and the Age of Jackson.  After leaving MTSU I went to work at two Civil War battlefields which rekindled my interest in the Civil War.

Working for the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church fostered an interest in Christian History specifically Adventist but also Millerism and other religious movements.  The time period (1840s-1860s) also rekindled my interest in the Jacksonian and Civil War eras though with a different slant.  I also created three courses: Age of Jackson, History of the South, From Colony to Nation which added to my studies.

Now working for Colonial Williamsburg I find myself reading/studying in the Colonial-Revolutionary periods in American History.  Guess it is a good thing my wife doesn’t mind me collecting all these books!