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(updated 1/9/15)

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Künstler Exhibit At Rockwell Museum

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — ”Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure” is on view through March 8 at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

The latest in its Distinguished Illustrator Series, the exhibition explores Künstler’s body of work as an illustrator and historical painter.

It is the first to follow his career, which ranges from paperback book jackets and men’s adventure magazine illustrations, to movie posters, model kit boxes, and advertisements for prominent corporations.

On Feb. 21 Künstler and Lincoln scholar and author Harold Holzer will hold a 5:30 p.m. conversation about the Civil War. Holzer wrote an essay for the exhibit catalog. On March 1 families are invited to an afternoon featuring a talk by Künstler, living history, music, tours and art-making activities.

The Civil War works in the exhibit include “Rendezvous with Destiny,” showing Brig. Gen. John Buford rushing to hold the field outside of Gettysburg; “Rush’s Lancers,” the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, practicing with lances; “None to Caress: Jackson’s Valley Campaign, May 5, 1862,” with Stonewall Jackson reviewing the VMI cadet corps in Staunton during the McDowell Campaign;

Also “Absolution Before Victory,” with Irish Brigade soldiers receiving last rites from Father William Corby before their assault on Bloody Lane at Antietam; and “Mr. Lincoln Comes to Gettysburg” depicting Lincoln’s Nov. 18, 1863, arrival for the next day’s Soldiers’ National Cemetery dedication.

Winter Rockwell museum hours are 10-4 Monday through Friday, and 10-5 on weekends and holidays. Information  is at  


Mingus Receives Book Prize From Lee Civil War Library

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. — Scott Mingus Sr., author of Confederate General “Extra Billy” Smith: From the Statehouse to Gettysburg Scapegoat, received the 2013 Annual Dr. James I. Robertson Jr. Literary Prize for Confederate History.

It is awarded by the Robert E. Lee Civil War Library & Research Center of the Robert E. Lee Civil War Round Table of Central New Jersey.

The Robertson Prize Committee applauded Mingus for bringing to the forefront the life and exploits of an extraordinary political-general in the Army of Northern Virginia.

While Smith is not one of the Confederacy’s heralded generals, the committee felt his story should be told. Mingus did that in a deeply researched work written in an engaging and lively manner.

The annual Robertson Prize annually recognizes the best original work of published scholarship in the field of Confederate military, political and social history.

The Robert E. Lee Civil War Library & Research Center is accepting submissions for the calendar year 2014 until July 30, 2015. Publishers are asked to send three published copies with contact information to the Civil War Library & Research Center, Robertson Prize Committee, 124 Hanover St., Gettysburg, PA 17325.

Reprints of earlier works are not eligible, but edited collections of previously unpublished source material qualify. Publishers are welcome to submit more than one work for consideration.

Next year will be the Dr. James I. Robertson Jr. Literary Prize for Confederate History’s 15th year.


Galena Remembers

GALENA, Ill. —  Ulysses Grant’s hometown plans to commemorate Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Grant and the war’s end in a big way in April with “Peace In Union” remembrance events.

Grant lived in Galena before and after the war. His postwar home, the U.S. Grant Home State Historic Site, is open to the public, as is his first presidential campaign headquarters at The DeSoto House Hotel.

Also open is the Washburne House State Historic Site, where Grant received telegram notification of his first election to the presidency.

His prewar home survives as a private residence. Other surviving buildings include the church he attended, the building which housed the family’s leather store, and the train depot from which Grant left for Washington as president-elect.

Thomas Nast’s “Peace in Union” 12 foot x 9 foot oil painting portraying Lee’s surrender to Grant is on permanent display at the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum.

A life-size Grant statue stands watch over Grant Park, which includes a historical cannon. It is a 3.5-inch, 12-pdr. Blakely rifle, type 1, cast by Fawcett, Preston & Co. of Liverpool, England. The first Blakely sent to the Confederacy, where it fired on Fort Sumter from Morris Island, it was illustrated in the May 18, 1861, Harper’s Weekly.

Scheduled events include musical and dramatic performances, bells tolling, a lamplight tour of the Grant Home, fashion show, art exhibit and concert. 

For information visit or phone 815-777-9129.


Ford’s Theatre To Premiere Drama About Mary Lincoln

WASHINGTON – The Ford’s Theatre Society 2014-2015 season continues with the world premiere drama “The Widow Lincoln” from Jan. 23-Feb. 22 at Ford’s Theatre.

The theater commissioned the work as part of “Ford’s 150: Remembering the Lincoln Assassination,” a series of events marking the 150 years since Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at the theater.

The drama by James Still and directed by Stephen Rayne features Mary Bacon in the title role. All of the cast members are women. The play is set in the White House during the weeks following the assassination.

Tickets may be bought through Ticketmaster online or by calling (800) 982-2787.



Chambersburg Art Print Shows Ransom Demand

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – The Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce recently released “The Ransom of Chambersburg,” a print that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the July 30, 1864, ransom and burning of Chambersburg.

The Chamber, sponsor of Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours, has 150 signed and numbered prints available for purchase for $100 each. A portion of the each sale will be donated to battlefield preservation.

Historical artist Jeff Trexler was commissioned to depict the scene commemorating Brig. Gen. John McCausland’s ransom demand on the Courthouse steps, in collaboration with historical consultant Ted Alexander.

The limited edition print is available at the Heritage Center in Chambersburg and online at

Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours information is at the website and 717-264-7101.



CWRT Honors Authors Of Gettysburg Guidebook

GETTYSBURG, Pa. — The Gettysburg Civil War Round Table recently presented its annual book award to Dr. Carol Reardon and Col. (Ret.) Tom Vossler for their book, A Field Guide to Gettysburg (2013, University of North Carolina Press).

Both are residents of Gettysburg. Their collaboration resulted in a book which the round table said, “will stand for years as the premier guidebook for the Battle of Gettysburg.”

It breaks the battle into 35 “stops” and describes the combat that took place in each location. It also tells who the commanders were in each part of the field and identifies some of the men who fell at each place. In addition, the book introduces readers to the people who owned and lived on the land affected by the battle