Murray/Slaughter Digital History Group Contract

Mission Statement:

Our mission, at the behest of the National Park Service, is to digitize a collection of letters from Montgomery Slaughter, the wartime mayor of Fredericksburg, and from George Murray, a Union soldier from Pennsylvania. The letters, part of a collection of documents currently located at the UMW library, but in possession of the National Park Service, range across the entire timespan of the war for both men. The long-term goal of our project, after digitizing all the letters and transcriptions, is to create a digital archive to display the letters, with accompanying transcriptions and additional historical information about both men. We will reach out to a broad audience with this project; our website will be linked to the National Park Service, bringing in traffic from much of the Civil War tourist crowd that comes to Fredericksburg. In addition, we intend to contact local organizations such as the Civil War Trust, advertise at local tourist sites and visitor centers, and reach out through social media in order to drum up greater interest in the website. We hope to attract interest in the Murray and Slaughter letters from groups including historians, students, and tourists/Civil War enthusiasts through this project.



  1. Omeka.This is what we are currently using to create our website. We believe Omeka is well-suited to our project due to its usefulness in creating digital archives and ability to handle whatever metadata we want to add. URL:
  2. Flatbed scanners. These are what we are using to scan the project documents and the existing transcriptions of the documents, in order to convert them into a usable format to upload to our website.
  3. Google Docs. We are using Google Docs so all members can collaborate on work such as this contract, and to keep important information and notes on our project where everyone can easily access it.
  4. StoryMapJS (for Murray). We intend to use this tool to display Murray’s travels during the Civil War and provide context on battles he was involved with, etc. The website will contain a link to the StoryMap.
  5. iMovie. We will use this to produce an introductory video for our website.
  6. YouTube. We will post our introductory video to our website on YouTube in order to attract more traffic and interest for the site.
  7. Video camera. We will obtain a quality camera from the ITCC to use in filming our introductory video to be placed on the front page of our website that visitors will encounter before browsing the collections of letters.  We will film the video at locations such as Slaughter’s grave in the Confederate Cemetery at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Amelia Street in downtown Fredericksburg as well as the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center which contains George Murray’s possessions.  Additionally, we would like to film at any site we can connect to Murray’s experience in the Battle of Fredericksburg, which will be determined by reading his letters. We will also incorporate reenactment footage of Civil War battles for engagements Murray was present at.



  1. Scanning Slaughter’s and Murray’s letters
  2. Scanning the transcriptions of Murray’s letters/OCR
  3. Typing the transcriptions of Slaughter’s letters
  4. Film and edit introductory video about Slaughter and Murray
  5. Research on Slaughter and Murray. For Murray, this will mostly consist of reading his letters and looking at his unit’s history to determine what he did and where he was during any major battles he was involved with, and putting that information into the StoryMap and his introductory blurb on the exhibit that contains his letters. For Slaughter’s introductory blurb, this will primarily consist of explaining his significance to Fredericksburg throughout the war and describing any major events he was involved with, such as the Union occupation of Fredericksburg in 1862.
  6. Choose letters for the StoryMap and for audio recordings
  7. Creating a StoryMapJS to track Murray’s movements throughout the war and putting the link on the website
  8. Build exhibits on the website for the letters.
  9. Upload scans of letters and transcripts.
  10. Create organized metadata for the exhibits.
  11. Audio recordings for Slaughter’s letters and a selection of Murray’s letters a selection of Slaughter and Murray’s letters and uploading recordings of the letters.
  12. Create a references/bibliography page


Division of Labor:


  • Research on George Murray and Montgomery Slaughter
  • Making and editing introductory video
  • Uploading materials (letters, transcriptions, StoryMapJS–which will be linked to our site as it cannot be embedded–and background information) to website
  • Creation of the StoryMapJS for George Murray


  • Scanning George Murray’s letters
  • Reading/organizing Murray’s letters (23 total: catalog numbers FRSP 3746-FRSP 3768 24 total: catalog numbers FRSP 3792-FRSP 3942) to add to StoryMapJS
  • Uploading Murray’s letters (FRSP 3746-FRSP 3768 FRSP 3792-FRSP 3942) to website and creating metadata
  • Write-up about Murray for the website


  • Scanning Montgomery Slaughter’s letters and transcriptions of Murray’s letters (as well as OCR)
  • Reading/organizing Murray’s letters (23 total: catalog numbers FRSP 3769-FRSP 3791) to add to StoryMapJS
  • Uploading Murray’s letters (FRSP 3769-FRSP 3791) to website and creating metadata
  • References/bibliography page for website



  • Audio recordings of Slaughter’s or Murray’s letters
  • Typing transcriptions of Slaughter’s letters transcriptions
  • Write-up about Slaughter for the website
  • References/bibliography page for website


  • Create and set up Omeka site
  • Audio recordings of Slaughter’s or Murray’s letters
  • Reading/organizing Murray’s letters (24 total: catalog numbers FRSP 3792-FRSP 3942 23 total: catalog numbers FRSP 3746-FRSP 3768) to add to StoryMapJS
  • Uploading Murray’s letters (FRSP 3792-FRSP 3942 FRSP 3746-FRSP 3768) to website and creating metadata


Schedule of Milestones:


February 23: Scanning letters and transcriptions (including OCR) completed; have Omeka site created


March 4: The visits to the Chancellorsville Battlefield Museum and Confederate Cemetery (to be shown in the video) completed


March 11: Reading through letters completed


March 14: Exhibits for letters on the website created


March 16: Have research completed on Slaughter and Murray as well as group meeting. All letters uploaded to their correct exhibit (including metadata)


March 22:  StoryMapJS completed for Murray and linked on site; letters for audio recordings chosen

April 1: Audio recordings of letters completed


April 8: Introductory video edited and completed. Audio recordings uploaded to website.


April 15: Bibliography completed


April 19: Finish and publish website