Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Snapshots from the past, history as we lived it

First, let me thank you for reading my series of posts on my family’s letters from World War II and four years beyond. These letters deal mainly with my father’s service in the Pacific Theater and the effort to keep the home fires burning by mail. They run chronologically and encompass 15 posts beginning with this one (there is a prequel here).

My mom, Bernadine Pride, at  her parents' house in Fairfield, Conn., 1958.
In a short time these posts have generated well over a thousand page-views. I sense from this that the story has been of interest beyond my family. When I began it, I saw it as a series of snapshots from the past, history as it was lived, and hoped for just such a following.

The Our War blog has also had three other surges in readership during the last month. One was for an account of the late Sen. “Happy Jack” Chandler’s rhetoric from two decades ago. This post shot from 15th to 5th in all-time page-views during the last 20 days, increasing by nearly 300 hits.

The other two significant increases came for diaries. The third of four parts of a Confederate captain’s diary slipped into the all-time top 25 list, but all of Capt. Robert Emory Parks diary entries, which begin here, were popular. The other diary was kept by an Exeter pastor during the early years of the war. Many readers found all three years of it (1861, ’62 and ’63) during the last month.

What’s interesting about the popularity of these diaries is that they capture two scarce views of the war, one from a highly articulate, unreconstructed rebel, the other with a day-to-day account of the home front.

Here are the top 25 all-time posts based on page-views, which now range from 252 to 1.097. The numbers in parenthesis are last month’s rankings.

9. A Gettysburg journal (part 3) (8)
19. A gift from the heart (16 tie) 

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