Letter from Executive Director

It is difficult to believe that so much time has gone by since COVID-19 has been ravaging the nation and the world. We are receiving some visitors to both of our museums and our reading room. Although many of our volunteers are in high-risk groups and have decided to wait until conditions improve before they return to regular volunteering, we have added many MSU students to fill in the gap. They have been doing a great job, but we do miss many of the volunteers who cannot be with us right now.

Mississippi, in general, and Starkville, in particular, are having an increase in virus numbers (Yesterday over 2,000 new cases and all too many deaths have been reported).

Because of age and some health issues, I have been working from home since March. Fortunately, Jeanne and I have received the first dose of the vaccine, and next week, we will receive our second shots. In other news, Eddie Rangel, my assistant, and editors David Nolen and Louie Gallo are doing great work. Amanda Carlock, Ryan Semmes, Bryan Mathison, and a variety of graduate and undergraduate students are all continuing important work on long-term projects during this pandemic time. Other members of the department are out of the office for a little while longer, but we hope to see them back soon.

We will try to have a USGA meeting this year, but it will be virtual. The dates will be April 30th and May 1st. The USGA board will try to meet virtually on April 30th. A short program and the general body meeting will take place virtually on May 1st. This is not ideal, but we did not think we could miss another year. There will be no cost for members or anyone else participating in our virtual program. However, we do hope that you consider making a donation. (As you might suspect, our donations are down this year considering the difficulty we are facing.) Finally, many of you remember Duffy Neubauer, the owner of the Starkville Civil War Arsenal. The USGA visited his museum in one of our meetings. Duffy is in the process of acquiring a Field Howitzer, a new and final piece for his collection. He is raising funds to make this purchase. I am including the link to his page for those of you who might be interested in supporting his efforts: Click here for more information.

Please feel free to contact any one of us, if you have any questions. You can email Eddie Rangel directly at erangel@library.msstate.edu. We hope that many of you can attend our first virtual USGA annual meeting, and we will send out the access links to the meeting when we get closer to the date.

Sincerely,

John F. Marszalek

USGA Executive Director