A Lifeline of Letters: Illinois Civil War Soldiers Write Home

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 

  • Research & Collections Center, Springfield

Event Venue: 

Special Programs Room

Event Audience: 

Adult
Teen

Fee: 

Free, donations appreciated

Brown Bag Program presented by Mark Flotow

What would you write from a war? “A Lifeline of Letters” is a chapter title from Mark Flotow’s new book, In Their Letters, In Their Words: Illinois Civil War Soldiers Write Home. Flotow will discuss some basics about Civil War era correspondence, why soldiers’ letters were important then, and why they are important 155 years later. Using the lens of personal correspondence, this talk will focus more on the social history of the war than on the political and military history.

In this interactive presentation, audience members are encouraged—in fact, needed—to read selected letter quotations and, in effect, be the voices of past Illinois soldiers as they wrote or their family members reading aloud at home. Discussion and questions will be encouraged throughout his presentation.

Mark Flotow is a former advisory board member of the Illinois State Historical Society and has written articles for the Society's magazine, Illinois Heritage. He currently is an adjunct research associate in anthropology for the Illinois State Museum, and a volunteer interviewer for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s Oral History program. More information about In Their Letters can be found at www.markflotow.net. A few copies of the book will be for sale and Flotow will be available for autographs after the presentation.

Bring your lunch and join us for a different speaker and topic on the third Wednesday of each month. Brown Bag Lectures are held at the ISM﹘Research & Collections Center at 1011 E. Ash St. in Springfield. For additional information, please contact events@illinoisstatemuseum.org or (217) 558-6696.

Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

Civil War soldiers at rest - national archives

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