I am the great-great grandson of James Touchstone, a blacksmith from Port Deposit in Cecil County who served as an officer in the 6th Maryland Volunteers. About ten years ago a strong interest in genealogy caused me to learn quite a bit about him and his regiment. I presented this data in a page on my genealogy web site. This one web page evolved over time into the 6th Regiment of Maryland Infantry Descendants Association when another descendant began working with me to gather and share information with many other descendants who were making contact via the Internet. The history that we have gathered and the friendships generated by this effort have been most gratifying.

Knowing that the "descendants association" format has been most successful for the 6th Maryland, I want to encourage the formation of other such informal Internet organizations that will bring as much satisfaction to those participants as it has for the good folks of the 6th Maryland Descendants Association.

Another observation is that Civil War regimental web sites come and go as the owners lose interest or change ISP's. The number of broken links and "not found" sites seem to exceed the number that do open, causing frustration and disappointment for the person seeking information.

For this reason I have registered the domain name "PetersburgBreakthrough.Org" to create a stable, on-going platform for regiments of both sides that participated in the decisive battle on Boydton Plank Road below Petersburg when the Union Sixth Corps broke through the Confederate defenses, bringing an abrupt end to the war. The heroism of soldiers of the North and the South was exemplary in this under-appreciated battle. These were the soldiers who had stayed the course; they were, one and all, patriots in the finest sense of the word.

As you will note on the home page, a basic web site for each regiment is either in process, or has been created, with a "Descendants Roll Call". I trust that over time volunteers for each will come forward to help build their regimental site into a worthwhile source of information and inspiration for people who want to remember and honor the accomplishements of these American soldiers.

David H. Jones


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