Did you know that 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War? To commemorate this sesquicentennial anniversary, the Department of Archives and Special Collections collaborated with Dr. Carla Bittel’s Fall 2014 History 550: The Civil War seminar in order to curate an exhibit titled Not Silent: Finding Voices in Civil War Artifacts. This exhibit will be on display for the entirety of the Spring 2015 semester.
In addition to the exhibit in Archives and Special Collections, I (Paraprofessional Library Assistant Rachel Deras) will be following the diary of Frederick J. Bartlett (1832-1899). Frederick was a white man who was a commissioned lieutenant in the 27th infantry, United States Colored Troops (UCST).The USCT were regiments of the United States Army during the Civil War composed of African American Soldiers. UCST regiments were led by white officers, and rank advancement was limited for black soldiers.
I will be posting weekly entries from Bartlett’s diary to recreate the winter and spring of 1865 for all of those following along. You can find these diary entries (and more!) on Found, the LMU Library’s Tumblr.
Frederick J. Bartlett’s Diary
Photo courtesy of: http://www.doylenewyork.com//Full//643/844643.jpg
The Department of Archives and Special Collections acquired Bartlett’s diary last summer as an addition to our Civil War Collection. While many of Bartlett’s entries are casual and describe the mundane day to day activities of the war, it is an accurate representation of life in the 19th century. The issues associated with slow communication are highlighted (especially when it comes to Lincoln’s assassination) as is the feeling of constantly wondering about what would happen next.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.bhgre-shallotte.com/shallotte_local/shallotte_attractions/
Fort Fisher protected Wilmington from Union assaults and provided a safe haven for vessels that succeeded in running the naval blockade of Confederate ports. Bartlett helped capture Fort Fisher in January 1865.
One of the primary focuses of Not Silent is to remember the lives of the soldiers who fought who aren’t the Civil War giants we have come to learn about such as Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Ulysses S. Grant, to name a few. Of course, these men are important but so are the many men who fought whose stories we don’t know, men like Bartlett. Through Bartlett’s diary we will discover the reality of the Civil War and what it meant to serve during a time of so much flux in US history.
We invite you to join us for the opening reception of Not Silent on Thursday, February 5, 2015 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm in the Von der Ahe Family Suite (library level 3). The opening features a keynote by historian Ronald C. White, Jr., “The Voice of Abraham Lincoln: The Second Inaugural Address.” For more information and to RSVP, please click here.
Please also be sure to follow @LMUlibrary on Twitter and Instagram for a behind the scenes look at the artifacts highlighted in Not Silent as well as other artifacts housed in our Civil War Collection.