This year marks the 150 Anniversary of the Civil War and Connecticut is one of many states that have commemorated this important anniversary in our nations history with a vast range of evocative events. The Civil War was perhaps the most trying time in our nation’s history, as this war rocked our nation to its very core. It is estimated that 620,000 soldiers perished and every aspect of society was impacted in the north as well as in the south.
Connecticut sent 55,000 men to war; a figure that reflected 12% of Connecticut’s total population and for men that were between the ages of 15 and 50, this number reflects 47% of the population, a figure that is unparalleled in Connecticut’s history. Connecticut organized 29 regiments and supplied a full third of Union weaponry.
Support for the Union and its War against the South is only one aspect of Connecticut’s history, as 40% of the state’s population opposed the war and gave tremendous political strength to the Peace Democrats, a group that tried to stop Governor Buckingham from supporting President Lincoln and the war. Understanding the history of the Civil War helps to define Connecticut’s past as well as our future. The many events that commemorate the Civil War helps us to understand where we have been, where we are and where we are going.
A special Civil War artifact appraisal day will take place on Saturday October 15 from 12-3pm in the Gunn Museum in the charming town of Washington. The public is invited to bring their Civil War artifacts to be evaluated by Thomas Zanavich, a long-time dealer and the guest curator of the current exhibit. He will answer your questions and verbally appraise items for estimated age and value. Do you have artifact that you suspect might be from the Civil War? It is always interesting and fun to bring in a suspected “treasure” for evaluation by an expert that knows the period and can identify authentic artifacts.
There is no charge for admission or appraisal, but donations are greatly appreciated. Registration is required, call 860-868-7756 to reserve your spot.
The Gunn Museum’s exhibit, Letters from the Battlefield: Stories of Washington’s Civil War Soldiers, will be open for viewing from 10am-4pm this day. The exhibit ends on October 30th. The Gunn Museum is located at 5 Wykeham Road, at the intersection of Wykeham Road and Route 47, on Washington Green. Call 860-868-7756 or view www.gunnlibrary.org for information.