Posts tagged ‘Museum’

Civil War stories on display at Henry Ford Museum

RoNeisha Mullen/The Detroit News

The Henry Ford Museum is offering an extensive look at the Civil War beginning Saturday through Sept. 5. A preview will be Thursday. (David Coates/The Detroit News)

Dearborn— Booming cannons shattered the still of morning just before sunrise on April 12, 1861. Southern Confederate forces had unleashed a barrage of fire against the Union-held Fort Sumter in Charleston, S.C.

The Civil War had begun.

Now, 150 years later, the Henry Ford Museum will commemorate the historic event with its “Discovering the Civil War” gallery.

The extensive exhibit is composed of letters, photos, petitions, receipts and artifacts from the Civil War holdings of the National Archives.

The 6,000-square-foot gallery features touch-screen interactives, enlarged copies of documents and videos.

A preview of the exhibit will be Thursday. The gallery opens to the public Saturday and runs through Sept. 5.

Among the artifacts will be the original Emancipation Proclamation.

Issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of the bloody Civil War, the emancipation declared all persons held as slaves were free.

The document, a landmark in American history, will on display at the museum from June 20-22. Until it arrives, a replica will hold its place.

The Henry Ford will stay open around the clock and offer free admission while the document is on display.

“We’re expecting a healthy visitation,” said Brian Egen, special programs manager at the museum. “This is a unique experience for us. We’re treating it like a vigil.”

Performers will read the document at the top of each hour, while actors re-enact battles and scenes from the war.

In addition, the original copy of the final 13th Amendment will be on display next to the Emancipation Proclamation.

Ratified by the states on Dec. 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment formally abolished slavery.

Passing over the traditional chronological approach, the exhibit tells the story of the war in 12 themes.

Within the themes, guests will discover artifacts such as a telegram from a Southern governor rejecting Lincoln’s call for troops, a “substitute book” listing names of men who were paid $300 to replace draftees and the original Louisiana ordinance of secession.

The exhibit will highlight “everyday people of the war,” Egen said.

One panel tells the story of Sarah Emma Edmonds Seelye, a Michigan woman who portrayed herself as a man so she could fight in the war.

Others tell the stories of women on the home front and the experiences of African-Americans in the war.

“A lot of what’s been taught is about the leaders and the battles,” Egen said.

“This exhibit puts a human face on these events that are 150 years old. It brings to the forefront the everyday people of this battle.”

The war ended with the surrender of the Confederates on April 9, 1865, in Virginia.

Carrie Nolan, media relations manager for the museum, said the story of the Civil War is still relevant.

“It was such an instrumental turning point in our history,” Nolan said. “It’s the story of our country.”

(313) 222-2309.

If you go

The Henry Ford Museum is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. Admission is $15 for adults; $14 for seniors and $11 for children ages 5 and older. Children under 4 are free. Entrance to “Discovering the Civil War” is free with admission.
On June 20-22, the museum will exhibit the original Emancipation Proclamation. The museum will be open around the clock and admission will be free while the document is on display.


Pa. museum displays Civil War-era medicine

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — Nothing like the sight of a bone saw to cut the romance from your Civil War dreams. After all, the last full measure of devotion takes on a new shade of meaning when you imagine a soldier enduring a battlefield amputation, then dying of infection.

Such was the state of medicine when the Union and Confederacy clashed in the nation’s deadliest conflict. As Bethlehem marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the war, a modest exhibit at the 1810 Goundie House hints at the horrors that awaited the sick and injured of those days.

The exhibit, which runs through January, is tellingly called “Kill or Cure: Medicine in the 19th Century.” It centers largely on the apothecary talents of Bethlehem’s Moravians, but includes a few chilling reminders that we are lucky to live now and not then, at least from a medical perspective.

“What’s not well known is that two-thirds of the casualties in the Civil War were not due to combat,” said Jeffrey Jahre, chief of the department of medicine and infectious disease specialist at St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network. “Two-thirds of the mortality was due to disease … Infection played an enormous role in the war.”

Jahre, who frequently lectures on the topic, said germ theory — the idea that disease spreads through microorganisms — was still more than a decade away from development when the war broke out. So it wasn’t uncommon for a battlefield surgeon to clean his scalpel on his boot before moving on to the next patient, or to reuse soiled bandages.

The war also coincided with advances in weaponry. Armies were equipped with more accurate and powerful rifles capable of extraordinary damage to flesh and bone.

“The only real (medical) advance doctors in the Civil War could take advantage of was anesthesia,” Jahre said.

Soldiers were also stricken down far from battle, victim to diarrheic illnesses, measles and other conditions exacerbated by poor nutrition and filthy camp conditions.

The war, as wars tend to do, propelled some advances in medical treatment. It led to the development of the triage system — in which casualties are addressed in order of severity — and of ambulance and nursing corps. And even without the germ theory, doctors recognized that disease outbreaks were worse in dirty conditions, so efforts were made to clean camps and improve nutrition.

Within 20 years of the war, the germ theory had been widely accepted. One of the exhibits at the Goundie House is a container of Vapo-Cresolene, a whooping cough remedy from 1880. One side of the box bears a brief explanation of the idea that diseases are generated “by the agency of bacteria and other low forms of life.”

That nod to science is absent from some of the other remedies. Advertisements for Burdock’s Blood Bitters (“Invalid ladies, this is for you”) and Perry Davis’ Vegetable Pain Killer exude more snake-oil dubiousness than nostalgic charm.

“Some of it was pretty scary stuff,” curator Amy Frey said. “Opium was in pretty much everything.”

Civil War Sites in Maryland


Baltimore Sun

Burnside Bridge at Antietam

While the first shots of the Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina, the first blood spilled in fighting occurred in Baltimore on April 19, 1861, when a mob of Southern sympathizers clashed with Massachusetts soldiers who’d debarked from a train on their way to Washington. Eight rioters, one bystander and three soldiers were killed, while dozens were wounded.

Situated as it was on the border between North and South, Maryland is home to Civil War sites large and small, from the sweeping landscape of the Antietam Battlefield National Park in Sharpsburg, where 23,000 men were killed, wounded or went missing in the bloodiest single day in US history, to the Surratt House Museum in the outskirts of Washington, where the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and other top government officials was hatched.

Here is a listing of key Civil War sites in the state:

Battlefield Map - Antietam

Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, 301-432-5124, The battle fought here in September 1862 ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s first invasion of the North and led Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves held in areas under Confederate control.

Fort McHenry, 2400 E. Fort Ave., Baltimore, 410-962-4290, The harbor fort that repelled a British fleet in the War of 1812 also served as a prison camp for Southern sympathizers and Confederate prisoners of war. Exhibits and April events.

Maryland Historical Society, 20 West Monument St., Baltimore, 410-685-3750. The society’s museum opens the state’s largest and most comprehensive exhibit on the Civil War on April 16: interactive displays, storytellers in period costume and a “time tunnel” to transport visitors back to 1861.

Samuel Mudd House, Waldorf, 301-274-9358. The house where Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was treated for a broken leg as he fled Washington. Dr. Mudd was imprisoned but later pardoned.

Monocacy National Battlefield, 4801 Urbana Pike, Frederick, 301-662-3515, Union troops under Gen. Lew Wallace confronted and delayed a Confederate army led by Gen. Jubal Early as it marched on Washington in 1864.

National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Frederick, 301-695-1864, Exhibits devoted to treatment of sick and wounded in the war. Main museum at 48 E. Patrick St. in Frederick, but also field hospital at Antietam battlefield and house used by Clara Barton in Washington.

Point Lookout State Park, 11175 Point Lookout Road, Chesapeake Beach, Scotland, 301-872-5688. Peninsula where Potomac River meets Chesapeake Bay, used as prisoner-of-war camp for captured Confederate soldiers. Museum and nature center opens in May, with living history events planned in May, June, July and August. 11175 Point Lookout Road

South Mountain State Battlefield, Middletown, 301-791-4767, A trio of sites in Maryland state parks on the ridge where Union and Confederate soldiers clashed before the climactic battle at Antietam in September 1862. Main site is in Gathland State Park. Events and self-guided driving tour.

Surratt Tavern in Clinton, Maryland (formerly Surrattsville)

Surratt House Museum, Clinton, Former inn where John Wilkes Booth and other Southern sympathizers met to discuss assassinating President Lincoln and key members of his government.

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