Computer Class Helps Put Perryville Battlefield Database Online

May 13, 2014

Actors re-create the battle of Perryville, the bloodiest of the Civil War fought in Kentucky
Credit Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site

A searchable database containing the names of 5,800 Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the battle of Perryville is now available online, thanks in part to a computer science class at Centre College in Danville. 

Kurt Holman, manager of the Perryville Battefield State Historic Site, has worked for three decades collecting the names. He reached out to the college looking for assistance in building an online version of the database.

Christine Shannon teaches the class and says her students not only learned technical skills, but people skills as well, as they worked with staff at the historic battlefield site.

“This notion of actually working with a real client – someone that has got their own ideas about how things should work and that’s in a different knowledge domain than we are in – it was all good experience,” said Shannon.  

The project remains a work-in-progress. There are nearly 2,000 soldiers whose names are missing and Professor Shannon also says historians and researchers may find a few inaccuracies that may need to be corrected. Perryville, fought in 1862, was Kentucky’s bloodiest battle during the Civil War.