I received an email from a lady this afternoon, of a type I receive from time to time, who reads the board but has never posted anything or asked a question. She said she had a "stupid question" that she was reluctant to post because all the "experts" would think she was ignorant.
I answered her question, but to her and others who may feel the same way, I'd like to say something --
No one who posts on this board is an "expert on the Civil War." There's no such thing. The Civil War is too big and complicated for anyone to be an expert on it. What we do have are experts on different aspects of the Civil War -- weapons, uniforms, specific battles, navy gunboats, quartermaster procedures, etc. The purpose of this board is to provide a forum where people can share their specific knowledge with others, and hopefully put a couple of puzzle pieces together. As far as I know, no one here has ever insulted someone because they asked a question.
I well remember an instructor in a service school I attended many years ago. He said, "There are no stupid questions -- just stupid people who fail to ask questions." While I would not be as blunt as that, I endorse his point.
It really bothers me that anyone would feel intimidated by this board. If anyone has a question or comment, post it! No one is going to insult you or laugh at you. In fact, some of the most interesting and lengthy discussion threads have resulted from someone's so-called "stupid" question.
So jump in; the water's fine.