Ask the Webmaster!
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        In the event you cannot find what you are looking for on my website, it is my policy to help when I can. However, since this is a totally non-commercial website and I am just a one man operation with a library and a scanner, I have a few rules I ask that you abide by when seeking help.

(1)     Because of the traffic the site gets (60,000+ hits a day during the school year) and the email this traffic generates (25-30 a day), I have found it necessary to limit my research time to 15 minutes per question. Even at this, you can see where I spend about 3 hours a night just answering questions. So make your questions, clear, concise, and to the point.

(2)     Please do not send an email requesting information that is due in a report the next day. You probably won't receive it in time. I answer questions based on a first come, first served basis, not on the time requirements of the requester. I try to answer questions within 24 hours of receipt. However, as you might guess, I am not always successful.

(3)     When requesting information be specific. Do not just say, "send me all the information you have on a specific subject about the Civil War." These type questions will be ignored. If you do not care enough to define your needs, I do not care enough to help. Also tell me what the information is going to be used for. It makes a difference on the type of information that I send. For instance, information required for an 8th grade history report is not the same as that required for a college term paper.

(4)      All information over one paragraph in length, unless otherwise specified, will be sent to you in .htm (for text) and .jpg (for images) format. These files will open automatically on your end. Or if you so specify I can put the text in a WordPerfect or MS Word file and the images in a .bmp format. Your choice.

(5)       If you are just looking for a site that may contain the information you need, here are two of the best Civil War Link sites on the Internet.

LSU Civil War Center

Dakota State University, The American Civil War

If you can't find it from a link from one of these sites there is a good possibility that it is not on the Internet.

(6)     I can't respond to genealogical questions, or questions about the value of antiques, heirlooms, or rare books,  so please don't ask. My data base is large and varied but it does not contain that kind of information.

(7)      Please note that courtesy is always in style. Remember it is you that is asking for help, not me. If you demand information  (i.e. "Send me" in lieu of "Please send me" or "Can you help me")  I will ignore the request. If you use email shortcuts  (i = I, u = you, etc.) or don't sign the email (first name or handle will do just fine) I will ignore the request. Words mean things! If you use oversized and colored fonts to get attention this will also get you ignored (however, because there are those that have to use the "large fonts" because of a disability, if the rest of the rules are adhered to, I will be glad to respond). I do not do these things to other people and will not allow them to be done to me.  If you don't receive some kind of an answer within a few days, go back and look at how you send the mail and see if you broke one of these "courtesy" rules.  I am very serious about the fact that if you don't follow them, I will send your mail to the "trash bin." If you followed the rules and still did not receive an answer, please resubmit, email is not perfect you know and I may not have received it. I try to answer all mail that requires an answer.

(8)        If you simply need permission to use something on the site, feel free to use what you like.  Most of what I have there is fully documented as to where it came from, therefore my site should be treated no different than the library.    Additionally, there is no need to recognize my site in anything you may be writing.  I maintain the site because I want to, not for any kind of recognition.

    Now my friends, I hope that these simple rules do not deter you from asking questions about the Civil War. I received over 3,000 pieces of mail last year and most required an answer. So as you can see, answering email is not new to me, nor is it a bother. I enjoy helping when I can.
    In most cases I have defined the source of the information found on the website. If you need additional info such as the date the book was published, who published it, the ISBN, etc. I would suggest you go to Amazon. com and just plug the name in. They have all that information listed.  This will be a lot faster than waiting for me to respond.  If you need bibliography info for the site you will find it here.

Webmaster Letter

        If you enjoyed the site, let me know. If you think the site could use some improvement, let me know in what area. If you have criticism of the site, I really need to know that too.

Now, on with the mail! Mayhap I can help!

Shotgun's Mail Box