Civil War event scheduled for Carnegie

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Federal and Confederate forces clashed in Gettysburg in 1863 in what is regarded by many historians as the bloodiest battle and turning point of the Civil War.

In recognition of the momentous battle in which nearly 7,500 Americans lost their lives, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie will commemorate the event Saturday during its ninth annual Civil War event. The library's first Civil War event took place in 2006

This year's program, which is supported by WesBanco and the Massey Charitable Trust, will address the social impact of the war on the town of Gettysburg.

Diane Klinefelter, curator of the library's Civil War room said attention to this aspect of the war is appropriate.

The library is home to the Capt. Thomas Espy Post of the Grand Army of the Republic.

"The Espy Post received its charter in 1879. As a veterans' group, the GAR itself is all about the aftermath of the Civil War," she said.

Kristopher D. White, a local historian and author who will start the day with an 11 a.m. talk, "The Dead Lay All Around," commended the library for its annual Civil War programming.

"The Espy Post is such an extraordinary asset. It's great that the library and music hall is doing programming that keeps the public attention on the defining chapter in our nation's history. The Espy Post helps keep it living and breathing," he said.

The post is generally regarded as the most intact GAR in the nation.

The Civil War day program also will address the Battle of the Crater, which took place in and around Petersburg, Va., starting in May 1864. The battle involved the use of underground tunnel explosives to blow up the rebels' fort, but poorly-prepared Union soldiers found themselves surrounded by Confederate troops. Both sides suffered massive casualties.

Ms. Klinefelter is a developing a photographic exhibit of Petersburg and the Battle of the Crater.

The program will feature tours of the Espy Post, guns of Gettysburg display, museum of Civil War images, a photo exhibit, "Petersburg & The Crater," Civil War author book signings, Civil War used book sale and drills by Company A, 9th Pennsylvania Reserves, 

“Sweet Glory: a novel” will be presented by Lisa Y. Potocar at 1 p.m. in the reception hall, the Almost Famous Bluegrass Band will perform at 3 p.m. and there will be tours of the GAR section of Chartiers Cemetery at 10:30, 12:15 and 1:45. There will be shuttles to the cemetery.

Parking shuttles will operate from the Main Street (Old Post Office) parking lot from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Information: www.carnegiecarnegie.org.


Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

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