Litchfield Historical Society’s Civil War Exhibition, Opens in April 14 – Nov. 25

Litchfield History Museum

Opening April 14, 2012, the Litchfield Historical Society’s new exhibition The Hour of Conflict will examine the ways in which the American Civil War im­pacted the residents of Litchfield, Con­necticut in the 1860s. This fascinating exhibit will run through November 25th.

Although no battles occurred in Con­necticut, local Litchfield families were directly affected by the events of the Civil War. Men departed town to enlist in the Union army, leaving their families behind to worry and wonder, waiting for a letter to make its way from a campground or battlefield. Women spent their time sewing clothing, wrapping bandages, and sending packages to their loved ones on the front lines. How did Litch­field families deal with the anxiety of war? How did they mourn, celebrate and cope?

The Litchfield Historical Society in­vites visitors and families of all ages to examine these questions through let­ters, diaries, photographs, and artifacts from the Historical Society’s collec­tions. Articles carried by local soldiers, everyday objects used by Litchfield’s children, and items related to Dr. Josiah Gale Beckwith and the Litchfield Peace Movement are just some of the col­lection pieces that will be highlighted. Visitors will also have the chance to view Civil War uniforms thanks to the Museum of Connecticut History and the Cornwall Historical Society.

The exhibit will also incorporate hands-on activities and the opportunity to ex­perience camp life as Litchfield’s men did more than a century and a half ago. Students of the Litchfield Montessori School will act as Junior Curators to re­search, design, and create a special por­tion of the exhibition.

The Hour of Conflict will run through the 2012 and 2013 seasons at the Litchfield History Museum, located at 7 South Street in Litchfield. There will be a special exhibition opening for members on Friday, April 13 at 6:30 pm following this year’s Annual Meeting. The exhibition will open to the public on April 14. For more information visit or call (860) 567-4501. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 to 5 and Sunday 1-5. The admission costs are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students, and children over 14. Members, law students, and children under 14 are free. These prices include the cost of admission to the Tapping Reeve House and Law School.

About the Litchfield History Museum

The Litchfield Historical Society, founded in 1856, is dedicated to collecting, preserving and interpreting the history of Litchfield County, Connecticut through its museum, research library and historic house. The Ingraham Memorial Research Library houses local business and organizational archives, manuscripts and family papers, reference books, and genealogical material. The Tapping Reeve House, built in 1774, and the 1784 Law School interpret the family and home life of Tapping Reeve and his role in the development of American legal training. The Historical Society is a private non-profit organization supported by an active and growing membership.

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