My name is Robert Welch. I received my PhD through the Agricultural History and Rural Studies program at Iowa State University in the fall of 2011. I ‘m an independent scholar living in Vermillion, South Dakota. This project began while I lived in Macomb, Illinois, so yes, I’m very close to the sources for this project. My research interests center around the Civil War era in general, but I’m fascinated by the intersections of agriculture and warfare, as well as how civilians played a role in those interactions. I am a member (when I have the money) of the Organization of American Historians, the Agricultural History Society, and the Society of Civil War Historians.