descriptive image

“I Recall the Experience Sweet and Sad: Memories of the Civil War”

Civil War Exhibit banner

Date: 6 January-31 March 2012
Location and Time: Perkins Library Gallery during library hours
Contact Information: Meg Brown, 919-681-2071 or meg.brown(at)

“Memories of the Civil War” shares personal reflections and memoirs of Civil War participants from a variety of backgrounds: an escaped slave, a Union volunteer, a Southern woman, and an army field nurse. Also featured is the memoir of poet Walt Whitman, whose poem, “The Wound Dresser,” is quoted in the exhibit’s title. Despite the different backgrounds of their authors, the memoirs have remarkably common themes of triumph, tragedy, hope, and pain. Though the Civil War lives on in American memory and legend, this exhibit seeks to ground that legend in the experiences of those who lived it.

Accompanying the memoirs are supplementary manuscripts, photographs, and memorabilia from the Civil War itself, including maps, scrapbooks, and artifacts such as this amputation kit from the Rubenstein’s History of Medicine Collection. Original Whitman letters, flag remnants from the Battle of Fort Sumter, and handmade playing cards are other exhibit highlights.

amputation kit
Amputation kit used during the Civil War, now on display in the Perkins Gallery.

During your next visit to Perkins-Bostock Library, please swing by the library gallery to see the new exhibit on display now! If you can’t visit in person, be sure to check out the online exhibit, which includes additional letters and photographs that didn’t quite fit in the Perkins cases.

Also, please plan to join curators Jessica Janecki, Meghan Lyon, and Kim Sims for a gallery talk on Monday, January 23, from 3-4 p.m. The Devil’s Tale will have more information about this event posted soon!