The February meeting of the Prattville Dragoons was held at Shoney’s on Cobb’s Ford Rd. this past evening. Over 30 compatriots were in attendance and the meeting room was rearranged and was very attractive and comfortable. Our speaker was Meredith McDonough from the Alabama Archives and History who explained the new on line availability of newspapers published during The War in Alabama. She explained how to find the newspaper links on the website and also told us that the Alabama Department of Archives and History would soon be launching a new improved website. All the newspapers are not uploaded yet but they will be on line and digitized soon; the first phase of the project at ADAH completed last June was to scan their collection of actual newspapers and upload these and the next phase will be to digitize their collection of newspapers which are currently on microfilm.
Meredith was most knowledgable in her subject matter and stayed after the meeting to answer individual questions about the project and the Archives in general. She demonstrated search capability and process from the ADAH website homepage - Search Our Collections - Digital Collections - Civil War Newspapers. Under Digital Collections are included also Photographs and Pictures, Maps Collection and Textual Collection (under which Newspapers are found). You can search the newspapers section for titles, dates ans counties in which the newspaper was published. Thumbnails are available for viewing and these can be enlarged to read, print or download. One interesting newspaper shown was the Montgomery Weekly Mail which under the newspaper title stated, "State Rights Without Abatement". Other period newspapers from the Montgomery area included the Daily Confederation and Montgomery Daily Post.
Commander Waldo also presented a $500 check to Ms. McDonough as our annual contribution to Confederate flag conservation at the Archives. This was made possible by the proceeds from our annual Dixie butt sales and other contributions to the camp.
Compatriot Tyrone Crowley read a proclamation from the Dragoons honoring one of our charter members, Harry Rawlinson, who recently passed away. He also took some of Harry’s Q & A that he used in presentations to Historical Organizations to help them learn about Southern Heritage as an impromptu quiz for the Dragoons. Commander Stuart Waldo announced that camp elections will be held in March at our regular meeting time and anyone who is interested in nominating themselves or someone else for an officer position to let one of our existing officers know. Chaplain Tom Snowden showed slides of our camp activities and members before the meeting which was very enjoyable.