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Charles Welsko
2010-2011 Honors Student

Name: Charles R. Welsko
Honors in: History
Hometown: Nazareth, PA
Major: History

Charles WelskoTitle of project: We Have Come Father Abraham In Lieu of a Draft: The History of the 153rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment During the Civil War, 1862-1863

Abstract or brief description: This is a history of the 153rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment during its nine months of service in the Union Army from October to July 1863. It is not just a history of a regiment during the war but also the history of a regiment along with the community from which it came. While addressing the motivations of why soldiers enlisted in the 153rd and examining the regiment’s military activities at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, this study examines the role that community played throughout all aspects of the their history.

How did you get interested in your topic? I have always had an interest in the Civil War and when I was deciding what to research for my honors project I remembered that I had a small book on the 153rd. After rereading that book I decided that I wanted to do my research on that.

Do you intend to research your topic further? If so, how? I do hope to continue research similar to this when I reach graduate school. My research may not focus on the same soldiers, but I do know that I want to keep researching similar concepts in my future graduate level studies.

How did you benefit academically by conducting research/participating in honors? My honors project brought research into a whole new perspective for me. It was an incredible experience that tested my limits at times, but truly helped improve my writing and research abilities. I have honed these skills through more than a year working on this project. More importantly, I learned a lot about my limits and abilities. I feel that the whole experience was worthwhile and helped me understand what it means to be a historian.

How has the department (or faculty advisor) prepared you for the future? Both the department and my advisor (Dr. Paxton) gave me the necessary tools to continue researching history. After studying and working within the history department, I feel confident that I can leave Moravian with a superior grasp on research and understanding how to construct intricate arguments.

What advice do you have for other students interested in honors? The most crucial piece of advice I can give is to start early and set deadlines for yourself throughout the process. Set dates for completion of different portions of the project and then use them as stepping stones throughout the process to complete everything on time.