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Researching Local History

My name is George Diamond. I am a Junior History major at the University of Lynchburg. I started working at Historic Sandusky at the beginning of the 2019 fall semester. I was naturally drawn to working at Sandusky due to its importance in the local history of Lynchburg. The manor house was used as the Union Army headquarters during the Battle of Lynchburg in the Civil War. This and the presence of many primary source historical documents piqued my interest and thus began my work there.

Since then I have mainly been involved in transcribing letters pertaining to the life of Edward H. Lane, a lawman from Louisa County who fought in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Later in the spring semester, I worked on writing a short biography of his life which involved cross referencing the date and events in his letters with secondary sources of information. I found that he served under the Morris County Artillery during the war and following its conclusion he became the 1st Louisa County Court Judge. As a student of History and someone who loves the discipline of it, it has been incredibly interesting to actually see and read letters that are more than a hundred and fifty years old. I felt that my skill as a historian grew through my work. Although many of the contents of the letters themselves are about the mundane aspects of life, transcribing them and researching the events and people mentioned in them is valuable experience for any History major.

I have also enjoyed meeting the other students who work at Sandusky. It was very fun last year to meet more people from the University of Lynchburg community who shared similar interests. The few times when we had an open house or an opportunity to collaborate together on projects stand out in my mind due to the good workplace environment. I am looking forward to returning to work when the fall semester starts in August and continuing at Historic Sandusky for the foreseeable future.

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