Hello, my name is Daniel Blattau, a rising senior studying history and German at the University of Maryland, College Park. This summer I am excited to join Owen Lourie and Jeff Truitt in a project to establish the identities of the soldiers who collectively made up the Maryland 400.
My own background with Revolutionary War history revolves principally around a research paper I wrote in the Spring of 2012 examining the role and behavior of Hessian mercenaries during the war. To research this project I made use of a range of primary documents including Hessian diaries and journals, war propaganda printed in American newspapers, letters of military officers, ect.
Most of those primary sources, however, were either published or available online through a database. The reason I’m most excited to be working on this project is to be able to view the actual contemporary documents, not just online scans or reprints. Archives are indispensable for a historian who wishes to do original research and so I applied to this internship in the hopes that such an experience will equip me with the necessary skills to be able to dive into the often intimidating world of primary resources.