Well, I have truly decided to put together a guide to the various War Department tablets found at Fort Donelson. I find their story in telling the Fort Donelson story to be rather interesting. My trip in May will help detail some of the locations more precisely, both the existing and the half dozen or so missing tablets (such as the 2nd Kentucky Infantry and some of the brigade markers). Long term it would be grand to work with various organizations (Civil War round tables, reenactment groups, heritage groups, etc.) to raise the funds to have the missing tablets replaced. I've always been a believer in giving more for folks to study and see on a battlefield.
For the guide I am already at forty pages, with about 50% of the tablets left to cover, and this is before adding pictures and location information for each tablet. Once completed I am seeing the guide coming in around 80-100 pages. Then the search for getting it published will begin, most likely going the print on demand method, printing off some to donate to the park. Proceeds most likely will go to the Civil War Trust for any Fort Donelson land acquisitions. Apparently the Fort Donelson Civil War Round Table as well as the Friends of Fort Donelson have both gone by the wayside otherwise I would work with these organizations to see how any proceeds might be donated. Shame about both of these groups; while the area is rural there are enough small cities within thirty miles that should have been able to sustain both entities. The round table had some excellent speakers in the past. Wonder if it is the old classic lack of regional advertising and failure to work with partner organizations that doomed them? A national battlefield should be able to draw enough local support to sustain a friends group at the very least. Regardless, I digress, and living five hours away would prevent me from even considering getting involved with a revitalization of either organization.
More on the tablet project after the Donelson trip!