Civil War Week At The Library Starts July 12th

July 7, 2011

Thanks to a generous grant from Citizens’ Bank, July 12 through July 16 is Civil War Week at the Essex Library. The week includes programs, talks, exhibits, and concerts for all ages. Artifacts from the Essex Historical Society’s collections are on display in the Adult section of the Library and we have a display of books about the Civil War for patrons to check out.


Tuesday July 12 at 7: “It Was the Hardest Trial of my Life”:  The 16th Connecticut Regiment and its Imprisonment at Andersonville and Florence Stockades, an illustrated lecture by Connecticut Historical Society scholar John Potter about a harrowing and little-known aspect of Connecticut soldiers’ experience.

Thursday, July 14 at 7: Letters Home; the Letters of Private Henry Brown, presented by John Proctor. A dramatic and moving illustrated talk about the wartime experiences of one young soldier, as seen through his letters to his father, performed by local Civil War buff (and relative of young Brown) John Henry Proctor.

Friday, July 15 at 12 to 4:30, it’s our Gone With The Wind-a-Thon! Watch this classic film while munching delicious ham biscuits and sipping sweet tea, just like Miss Scarlett. Hoop skirts and/or beaver hats optional. This is an American classic in which a manipulative woman and a roguish man carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Saturday, July 16, brings two family-friendly events;   10 – 11:30am: Civil War Fashion Show with Kandy Carle. Ms. Carle takes her audience on a journey of discovery by using clothes and fashion as a tool.  Throughout the presentation she shares insights into clothing, lifestyle, manners and etiquette of men, women and children. Included are interesting anecdotes and ‘myth busters’ for the Civil War time period. The performance is full of audience interaction and is geared toward participants aged 8 and up. Ms. Carle is Artistic Director of the East Haddam Stage Company.

 12:30 – 2 “The Greatest Hits of the Civil War: America’s Earliest Professional Songwriters” with Rick Spencer. At the Main Street Park Gazebo in downtown Essex (rain location: The Essex Library Program Room). This entertaining and educational music program presents songs that were among the most popular of the era.  The years just prior to the War were times of remarkable cultural development in America and during that period, for the first time in our history, it was possible for musicians to make a living writing songs.  Writers like Daniel Decatur Emmett (“Dixie”), Stephen Foster (“Oh Susanna”), George F. Root (“The Battle Cry of Freedom”) and Henry Clay Work (“Kingdom Coming”) composed songs which became the great “pop hits” of the 1860s. 

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