Article Comment 

Library celebrates 150th anniversary of the American Civil War


Special to The Dispatch



The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library will hold a series of speakers and exhibits this May discussing various aspects of the American Civil War in honor of the 150th anniversary of that momentous event. 


The series will kick off May 1 at 5 p.m. with a presentation by six students from the American Social History class at Mississippi University for Women. They will share what mysteries they uncovered while researching local Civil War history in the Billups-Garth Archives this spring semester. Discoveries include everything from Civil War hospitals to the experiences of Freedman's Bureau teachers sent to Columbus to educate former slaves.  


Immediately following, associate professor John Neff, from the University of Mississippi's Center for Civil War Research, will present "Do Not Think I Have Not Seen, Or Have Not Understood: The Gendered Memory of the Civil War." Neff's program will explore the differing roles played by men and women in the commemoration of the war.  




Other events 


Also in May at the library: 


  • Tuesday, May 7 - "Chimneyville, The Destruction of Jackson during the Civil War, Fact or Myth," presented by historian Grady Howell with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History at 2 p.m. 


  • Tuesday, May 14 - "The Old Army and the Coming of the Civil War," presented by Dr. John Marszalek from Mississippi State University at 2 p.m. 


  • Thursday, May 23 - Showing of the documentary "The Underground Railroad" at 2 p.m. 


  • Thursday, May 30 - "Patriarchy in the World Where There is no Parting: Confederates and Their Views on the Afterlife," presented by Ted M. Ownby, director at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, at 2 p.m. 


    The library will also host the traveling exhibit "Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant Saving and Changing the United States: The Impact on Mississippi" which explores Lincoln and Grant's effect on the Magnolia State and the changes in Mississippi following the War. The exhibit was created by the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University and made possible through a grant from the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. 




    On display 


    Other exhibits will include Civil War family memorabilia from the collection of local historian and author Rufus Ward as well as items from the Billups-Garth Archives at the Columbus Public Library. 


    A list of events and further resources can be found at  


    The grant is part of Civil War 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Lived It, a major three-year project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. 


    Components of the grant include a $500 stipend to host public programs on themes relating to the Civil War and a collection of Civil War 150 readers in digital form, for reading and discussion groups. 


    Partners include the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Library of America, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Mississippi Humanities Council.  


    For more information contact Mona K. Vance at 662-329-5304 or by email at [email protected]



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