I spent my day at the National Archives II in College Park, Maryland, pouring through War Department records related to the establishment of Stones River National Military Park. I am not sure what a true sign of a dork is, but if deriving sheer excitement from some eight-decade year-old government documents is not a sign, I don't know what is.
I found many supporting evidences for my thesis. I also found some new information that may help my argument in my last chapter. The true treasure in the day lay in the inspiration the whole day provided. I have a huge name to include in my "Acknowledgments" page, a volunteer there I met almost two years ago at the battlefield (Tim is the man). He helped guide me through the whole NARA experience. The security in the building is stricter than that of going through an airport. He also helped me find the correct files, as well as a few other things (like some maps of the Battle of Stones River that the battlefield may not have in its collection).
Between the excellent feedback from my presentation earlier this week, the conversations I had with many individuals at the GWS meeting, and today's discoveries, I am itching to get home and finish my thesis. I have a deadline by the end of April to finish my rough draft before I head to England and wrap up all of the revisions by early June. Then BAM! I will be done and gradeeeeeated by August. Then I will be a big girl! No longer a student! Today is a shiny day.