Sesquicentennial News Briefs
(as printed in the)
August 2011 Issue
Civil War News

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August 2011

B&O Museums To Host 150th Special Exhibits

BALTIMORE, Md. — The B&O Railroad Museum on West Pratt Street recently opened “The War Came By Train,” a five-year commemoration of the Civil War’ 150th anniversary.

The 40-acre museum houses a large collection of American railroad artifacts, 19th and 20th century railroad equipment, the 1851 Mt. Clare Station, the 1884 Baldwin Roundhouse and the first mile of commercial railroad track in America.

The world’s largest collection of Civil War railroad equipment, in the Roundhouse, is presented with signage, videos, interactive displays and life-size dioramas. Six locomotives from the Smithsonian Institution are in the exhibit.

The Alex. Brown & Sons Gallery will show annual exhibits related to the corresponding war year, featuring artifacts from the museum, Smithsonian and other collections.

Narrated train rides to and from the terminal in front of Mount Clare Mansion, the site of the Union Camp Carroll, will be given through December, weekends in January, and then resume in April.

The B&O TV Network and Web site will produce school curricula, programming content related to the exhibits and railroads’ impacts on the war and access to educational materials, archival images, schedules and program news.

The B&O Railroad Museum at Ellicott City Station will host a major exhibit, monthly programs and Civil War events, and an HO model layout. The National Historic Landmark station, built in 1831, is the country’s oldest.

Contact the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore at (410) 752-2490, and Ellicott City Station at (410) 461-1945,


Boston Is Site For Trust Regional Teacher Event

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War prompting discussions in classrooms across the country, the Civil War Trust has produced a new interdisciplinary curriculum of lesson plans, supplementary materials and other resources for students of all ages.

The Trust’s Civil War Curriculum covers the prewar period through to the war’s lasting legacy and modern efforts to preserve its memory. Available at three skill levels — elementary, middle and high school — the curriculum is designed to be presented over a two-week period and can be downloaded free.

Its nine individual learning goals allow students to explore the causes and effects of the Civil War on political, economic, military and cultural levels. According to the Trust, the curriculum was developed with the input of veteran classroom teachers with more than a century of combined classroom experience and aligns with the National Council for Social Studies Standards and fits easily into most state Social Studies and Language Arts standards.

Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and analysis of primary sources, including period documents, photographs and maps. Beyond lesson plans and handouts, the curriculum also provides interdisciplinary materials and multimedia presentations designed.

Maryland Inaction

There still appears to be little interest in Maryland, which had men serving on both sides in the war, officially observing the 150th anniversary.

The Maryland Sons of Confederate Veterans has a petition asking legislators to recognize the 150th and Maryland’s role. The Chesapeake Department, Sons of Union Veterans, and the Menare Foundation, which preserves Underground Railroad history and sites, have signed on, but there is no other progress to report.

To join the petition effort go to and click on “Civil War Sesquicentennial” on the top right.

Loudoun Events

LOUDOUN, Va. — Destinations throughout Loudoun County will host reenactments, lectures and exhibits to commemorate the county’s Civil War heritage.

The Oct. 21, 1861, Battle of Ball’s Bluff will be reenacted for the first time from Oct. 21-23 at Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park in Leesburg. A weekend schedule, tickets and information are posted at

That same weekend the public is invited to an encampment at nearby Historic Morven Park in Leesburg to see drill demonstrations, camps and explore a Virginia HistoryMobile traveling exhibit.

Morven Park will also commemorate the sesquicentennial with an Oct. 8-30 exhibit of relics and artifacts that tell the story of Ball’s Bluff and its impact on the Civil War and Loudoun residents. More information is at

The Loudoun home front will be interpreted Oct. 22 and 23 at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg. Confederate Gen. Nathan “Shanks” Evans had his headquarters there before the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. Tours will begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., $10 for adults, $9 seniors, $7 for students. Additional information is at

General information about Loudoun’s Civil War history can be found at


Tennessee Plates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -­ Tennessee Governor Haslam signed into law a bill that will extend the official Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial License Plate sign up/pledge period until June, 2012.  

About 630 orders have been placed —  370 more are needed.  They can be ordered at

Proceeds will support Tennessee Civil War Battlefield preservation and the Tennessee Civil War Trails program.

Monument Restoration

ATLANTA, Ga. — The Georgia Sons of Confederate Veterans has launched a statewide effort to restore and erect Confederate monuments and gravestones in connection with the War Between the States sesquicentennial commemoration.

Work has been completed on the John B. Gordon equestrian statue on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol.

The bronze statue of Gordon on his blooded mare Marye was unveiled on May 25, 1907. Equestrian sculpture Solon H. Borglum created the work, which is the only equestrian statue in Atlanta. It was cast by the Roman Bronze Works of New York where the works of Frederic Remington were cast.

Gordon was a Georgian who served under Robert E. Lee at many of the war’s best-known battles. After the war, he opposed Reconstruction, served as a U.S. Senator from 1873-1880 and was governor of Georgia from 1886 to 1890.  He also was the first Commander-in-Chief of the United Confederate Veterans when the group was organized in 1890 and held this position until his death in 1904.

Funds for the restoration came from the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ specialty auto tag license fees. For more information go to

Virginia Database

RICHMOND, Va. —Visitors can track the movements of a soldier or regiment with the new “Walk In Their Footsteps” program at

The Virginia Sesquicentennial of the Civil War Commission’s interactive Web site enables visitors to walk in a soldier’s footsteps when visiting a Virginia battlefield. The site  provides a database of regiments that served in Virginia and identifies the battles in which they fought.

Military records, census data, birth and death records and a state-by-state listing of sources are also available. The site provides regimental histories and descriptions of     battles fought and casualties sustained. An accompanying map pinpoints each battlefield, troop        movements and offers links to available photos, illustrations and historical narratives.

For information about visiting Virginia go to or call (800) VISITVA for a free travel guide.

N.C. Conference

HATTERAS, N.C. – Leading experts on the Civil War and its impact will take part in the Flags Over Hatteras Sesquicentennial Commemoration conference Aug. 25-27.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, part of the North Carolina Maritime Museum system, will host keynote speakers James McPherson, Craig Symonds and Ed Bearss.

Significant battles were fought in August 1861 on the Outer Banks when two Federal expeditions were sent to Hatteras Inlet. The Union attack produced several firsts in the war including the first combined Army and Navy operation, first amphibious assault and the first African American gun crew fire on Confederates.

Conference registration of $175 includes refreshments, three evening events and three dinners. Thirty spaces are reserved for students at $75 each.

A new exhibit opening Aug. 22, “Flags Over Hatteras,” will focus on Eastern North Carolina activities and the Aug. 28-29, 1861, Battle of Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark. 

Living history demonstrations will be held at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on Aug. 27 from 9-6 p.m. and Aug. 28 from 9-3.

An Ol’ Time Civil War Auction will be held Aug. 27, at 5 p.m. at the Hatteras Village Civic Center.

For general information and conference registration go to

Atlanta Campaign

HAMPTON, Ga. — The Atlanta Campaign Inc. Board of Directors announced events in 2013 and 2014 to recreate Civil War battles fought around Atlanta during 1864.

The Nov. 1-3, 2013, and Sept. 19-21, 2014, events will be held at the Nash Farm in Hampton, site of the campaign’s events the past several years.

Atlanta Campaign Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization that sponsors living histories and battle reenactments to commemorate area wartime activities.

For information email Earl Zeckman,, or John Nash Jr.,, or visit

Reenactors Needed

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — The Coastal Discovery Museum and the Lowcountry Civil War Round Table need reenactors for a Dec. 3 and 4 encampment.

It will be part of a four-day Lowcountry Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration of events that took place in the area in 1861-62.  Additional activities will include historian lectures, a historically-themed theatrical performance and evening receptions. 

Contact John Monkaitis at (843) 671-2236 for additional information. 

Manassas Exhibit

MANASSAS, Va. — Four temporary displays of loaned objects related to the First Battle of Manassas are on exhibit through December at Manassas National Battlefield.

The exhibit includes a Mexican Army officer’s sword belt plate Thomas J. Jackson brought home as a trophy from the Mexican War that his widow believed he wore at First Manassas.

The buckle and a double-barreled percussion shotgun that John Singleton Mosby carried in 1861 when he joined the Washington Mounted Rifles, a company assigned to J.E.B. Stuart’s 1st Virginia Cavalry, were loaned by Patti and Greg Paxton of Winchester, Va.

An original James Hope oil painting showing the 2nd Vermont Infantry at Bull Run was loaned by Howard Coffin of Montpelier, Vt. Hope was a veteran of the regiment.

The silk flag of Co. K, 5th Virginia Infantry, and Keith Rocco’s painting “Baptism at Manassas,” which depicts the flag being carried into battle on Henry Hill, were loaned by a descendant of George Washington Kurtz, a native of Winchester, Va., who carried the flag at First Manassas.

Atlanta Series

ATLANTA, Ga. — A summer 150th anniversary series of speaker, film and entertainment programs about the Civil War and its impact on Atlanta ends Aug. 27. The series will resume each summer leading to the 2014 Battle of Atlanta anniversary.

The City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs and The Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum initiated the four-year series that began with “The American Civil War: One-Hundred-Fifty Years Later.” Most events are free and held at Grant Park on the Cyclorama campus.

On Aug. 6 and 27 at 2:15 p.m. museum consultant and living history interpreter Anthony Knight will present living history vignettes that express the challenges faced by those who dared to demand their freedom in unconventional ways.

On Aug. 18 at 6:30 p.m. a discussion “From Civil War to Civil Rights” will be led by Atlanta Daily World newspaper Publisher Alexis Scott, African American Civil War Museum Assistant Director/Curator Hari Jones and Atlanta History Center Senior Military Historian and Curator Gordon Jones.

“Cyclorama Experience” tours by admission fee are given Tuesday through Saturday. For information call (404) 658-7625 or visit


Philadelphia Exhibit

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — The Library Company of Philadelphia is exhibiting artifacts from a collection of some 50,000 items that tell the story of Philadelphia during the Civil War.

“John A. McAllister’s Civil War: The Philadelphia Homefront” is open free Mondays through Fridays, 9–4:45.

The collection amassed by McAllister, which he donated to the library in the 1880s, includes political broadsides and leaflets, tickets, trade cards, cartoons, patriotic envelopes and stationery, song sheets, recruiting posters and items such as ribbons and buttons.

Collectors throughout the North supplied McAllister with material and soldiers sent him Confederate ephemera. A seven-foot-tall broadside recruiting poster imploring “Men of Color to Arms! To Arms! Now or Never” is one of the collection’s highlights.

 The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library concentrating on American history and culture from the 17th through 19th centuries. In addition to public programs related to the exhibit, the library offers comprehensive reader services and online public access catalog. For information go to