Last month, I had the opportunity of presenting at The Journey Through Hallowed Ground's annual conference in Waterford, Virginia. The Journey oversees a national heritage corridor that stretches from Gettysburg to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Each year, speakers, public historians, and engaged citizens congregate to discuss history that occurred within that region but also to strategize innovative ways to enhance education, outreach, and collaboration among sites and organizations.
My presentation was entitled "Heroines of History: Gettysburg's Women at War." Delving into the lives and struggles of the families who were dramatically shaped by the pivotal 1863 battle, I sought to convey an intimate portrait of a community forever changed by the Civil War. We discussed how young ladies, not even old enough to drive today, were pulled into the hellish vortex of battle and field hospitals. Like all communities, divisions existed within 1860s Gettysburg. In most cases, the residents--primarily women and children--were forced to push differences aside in the name of survival. And what a story it is.
Filmed by C-SPAN at the historic John Wesley Methodist Church, home of a continuously active African American congregation from 1891 through 1968, my presentation is now available online for you to view.
Special thanks is due to The Journey Through Hallowed Ground for facilitating this conference and my filmed segment. You may tune into the presentation here.
Sites such as the Shriver House in Gettysburg offer context to the plight of 1860s civilians.