I will usually try to keep my posts formal and avoid “I” and “you”, but I would like to let you all know that I am home in Jerseyville, IL for a month. You may be asking, “What does this have to do with the Civil War?” Here is the answer, I am home to both visit my parents and research for my Master’s thesis. My thesis will be on camps of instruction in Illinois during the Civil War. These sites were where the Union volunteers took basic training. There were many around Illinois in towns such as: Springfield, Chicago, Cairo, Jacksonville, Carrollton, etc. Many of these camps were set up on the county fairgrounds of the various municipalities and resulted in some cancellations of fairs. I have already written a paper on Camp Carrollton and the historiography of the camps. I now hope to both expand on these two papers and set up an organizational structure for my thesis. I have narrowed it to either looking at a camp used early in the war (early 1861), a camp used in late ’61-early ’62, and a camp used in late ’62-early ’63, or looking at different aspects of the camp life. My research will primarily be from manuscripts of soldiers housed in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. Aside from my committee members, I will also update you all on my progress on this Civil War thesis. It is my goal to write the bulk of my thesis this summer to have less to do during the year, which will give me more time for edits. With that, let the research begin.