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Civil War Re-enactors Consider The Use Of The Confederate Flag

(WXXI) With the removal of Confederate statues happening across the country, how does that backlash affect Civil War re-enactors? Captain of the Western New York Federal re-enacting unit Reynolds Battery L John Beatty said some groups representing the Confederacy are moving away from using the red flag with the blue “X” completely in their re-enactments, since it has become associated with so many hate and white supremacist groups. He said the actual flag of the Confederacy looks much different, but those are also more difficult to come by. People are often surprised to hear about Confederate re-enactors living in western New York, says Beatty. “It’s basically because they can point to an ancestor that did it; it’s not that they’re big into any political agenda whatsoever.

New York and the Civil War | Chords of Memory

This episode of Chords of Memory highlights photographs of New York State soldiers who fought during the Civil War. Brian Hyland provides the music and plays “An Mhaighdean Mhara” on his concertina. Photographs courtesy of the Chemung County Historical Society, the Delaware County Historical Association, and the Library of Congress. https://youtu.be/L6nVm-26Pxw

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives.

Did You Miss the Latest Episode of 'Mercy Street'? Watch it Now!

Based on real events, PBS’s new Civil War drama Mercy Street follows a diverse and colorful cast of characters — doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists — and brings to life the chaotic world of Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia, and the Mansion House Hospital in the early years of the Civil War. Get caught up on Season 2 below and watch new episodes Sundays at 8PM on WSKG TV. Watch Season 2 | Episode 4

Watch Season 2 | Episode 3

Watch new episodes Sundays at 8PM on WSKG TV.

Lt. Benjamin Loring | A Civil War Story

Benjamin Loring was born on October 14, 1824, in Duxbury, Massachusetts. During the Civil War, Loring enlisted in the U.S. Navy and participated in a number of important battles, serving with distinction on three different warships. After the war, Loring settled in Owego, New York where he lived out the rest of his days. Today, the Tioga County Historical Society Museum in Owego preserves an item from Benjamin Loring’s military service that was present at one of the defining moments in American History. https://youtu.be/Df5GIyI6yt8

If you enjoy Civil War history or great television drama be sure to tune in for the second season of PBS’s Civil War medical drama Mercy Street, Sundays at 8PM on WSKG TV.

Get a Sneak Peek at the Second Season of 'Mercy Street'

Join us at WSKG Studios in Vestal as we preview the first episode from season two of Mercy Street on January 19 at 6PM. The screening is free and open to the public, but space is limited and an RSVP is required. Write to rsvp@wskg.org . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tP5QjOfqGg

Inspired by real people and events, Mercy Street goes beyond the front lines of the Civil War and into the chaotic world of the Mansion House Hospital in Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia. Mercy Street takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of Americans on the Civil War home front as they face the unprecedented challenges of one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history. Season 2 of Mercy Street premieres January 22, 2017 at 8PM on WSKG TV.

Holding the Line: The 137th New York Volunteer Infantry at Gettysburg

On July 1, 1863, the Army of Northern Virginia, led by Robert E. Lee, and the Army of the Potomac, led by George G. Meade, collided outside the sleepy Pennsylvanian town of Gettysburg. For three days, over 175,000 men fought across the rocky hills, fields, and orchards that surrounded the town. Over 50,000 would be killed, wounded, or go missing. It was bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, and one local regiment, the 137th NY, played a vital role in securing the pivotal Northern victory. David Cleutz, author of the books Fields of Fame & Glory: Col.

Oscar Barton

On January 1st, 1863, as the Civil War entered another hellish year, President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in areas under rebellion and allowing the federal government to recruit African Americans into the Union Army, was enacted. At the time, thirty-year-old Oscar Barton was living in Vestal, New York. A descendent of free-blacks from Rhode Island, Barton’s grandfather had been a soldier during the American Revolution and Oscar would follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P1BxnI0A7M

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/PTH
Tioga County Historical Society: http://tiogahistory.org/

Photos Courtesy of:
Tioga County Historical Society
Library of Congress

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How Southern Tier Farmers Fought To Hold The Union Line

Many books and movies have been written about Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and his valiant success at Little Roundtop, but very little has been said about the right end the line where Colonel Ireland was with his regiment. Today, they’re getting a little time in the sun. The 137th New York and their leader Colonel David Ireland held down the right side of the line on Culp’s Hill. Culp’s Hill is actually two hills sloping down into a ditch or a swale. On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, General Lee and the Confederate army attempted to get around the Union line.

John W. Jones

John W. Jones was born in 1817 on a plantation in Virginia. At the age of 27 he and four others fled their plantation and made a hazard filled 300-mile journey to Elmira. Jones settled in the area where he learned to read and write, and by 1851 he was an active agent on the Underground Railroad helping over 800 slaves escape to Canada. In 1864, Jones was caretaker of Woodlawn Cemetery when he was contracted to bury the confederate dead from Elmira Prison. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAiKHcWNa5Q

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Historian James M. McPherson Discusses his Role as a Historical Consultant on 'Mercy Street'

Recently, noted Civil War historian James M. McPherson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom” (1988), visited Binghamton University to deliver the ninth annual Shriber Lecture. Professor McPherson sat down with WSKG History to discuss his career and Civil War history. In this clip from our interview, Professor McPherson discusses his involvement as a historical consultant on PBS’s Civil War medical drama MERCY STREET. MERCY STREET is currently in production on its second season. 

(The partial transcript below has been edited for clarity.)

Highlights from the interview
There were a half-dozen different historical consultants, each of them with a different expertise. My role was, as a Civil War historian, to make sure that they got the references to what was going on in the war… right.

Historian James M. McPherson on the Continuing Impact of the Civil War Today

Recently, noted Civil War historian James M. McPherson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom” (1988), visited Binghamton University to deliver the ninth annual Shriber Lecture. Professor McPherson sat down with WSKG History to discuss his career, Civil War history, and his involvement as a historical consultant on PBS’s Civil War medical drama MERCY STREET. In this clip from our interview, Professor McPherson shares his thoughts on some of the lasting impacts of the Civil War. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwlGXNyb3jQ

(The partial transcript below has been edited for clarity.)

Highlights from the Interview
Well, we would not have a black man as president of United States had it not been for the changes accomplish by the Civil War – the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of course framing those changes. We might not even be one country had it not been for the outcome of the Civil War.

Historian James M. McPherson Discusses the Influence of the Civil Rights Movement on his Career

Recently, noted Civil War historian James M. McPherson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom” (1988), visited Binghamton University to deliver the ninth annual Shriber Lecture. Professor McPherson sat down with WSKG History to discuss his career, Civil War history, and his involvement as a historical consultant on PBS’s Civil War medical drama MERCY STREET. In this clip from our interview, Professor McPherson discusses the influence of the Civil Right Movement on his career. 

 

(The partial transcript below has been edited for clarity.)

 
On the influence of the Civil Rights Movement and his career
When I got to Baltimore, and this was at the end of the 1950s and in the early 1960s, I was surrounded by the Civil Rights Movement and by a kind of historical deja vu. Because, in the 1960s there was this confrontation between the Federal Government and southern political leaders who were vowing massive resistance to national law, talking about interposition of the state sovereignty between people of the state and the national government, violence in the South, federal troops being sent into the South… On a different scale, a massive scale, this had happened a hundred years earlier and what was going on in the 1960s had a direct relationship to what went on in the 1860s. So I decided to do my dissertation on the civil rights activists of the 1860s, the abolitionists…

Benjamin Bennitt

On April 12, 1861, confederate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor and America was thrust into Civil War. Three days later President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion, and individuals from across the Southern Tier answered the call. The first person to enlist from Urbana, New York was Benjamin Bennitt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMJG6X_UF-Y

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Steuben County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Steuben County Historical Society
Library of Congress

The Grand Army of the Republic | #tbt

In today’s throwback Thursday photograph, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) members in Delaware County, New York, pose for the camera. The GAR was a fraternal organization that offered support to northern veterans of the Civil War. Benjamin F. Stephenson founded the GAR on April 6, 1866, in Decatur, Illinois. Members were required to be Union veterans who had served between April 12, 1861, and April 9, 1865, and had received an honorable discharge. By 1890, the organization had over 400,000 members in community Posts across the country.

Historian James M. McPherson Talks Civil War History and 'Mercy Street'

Recently, noted Civil War historian James M. McPherson visited Binghamton University to deliver the ninth annual Shriber Lecture. Professor McPherson sat down with WSKG History to discuss his career, Civil War history, and his involvement as a historical consultant on PBS’s Civil War medical drama MERCY STREET.  

Dr. James McPherson is the George Henry Davis ‘86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom” (1988). He taught American history at Princeton University for 42 years and served as president of the American Historical Association. McPherson’s work mainly focuses on the American Civil War and Reconstruction and he is the recipient of two separate Lincoln Prizes.

Jedediah Hotchkiss

Jedediah Hotchkiss was a Windsor, New York native and a graduate of Windsor Academy. He was constantly curious about the natural world and developed a keen interest in geography and geology. At the age of 19, Hotchkiss moved to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and became a teacher. In his spare time Hotchkiss taught himself how to make maps. During the Civil War.

James Hope

On September 17, 1862 the Battle of Antietam exploded across the streams and fields of a sleepy Maryland town. It would be America’s bloodiest day of the war. Years later, a former soldier from the battle would immortalize the sweeping events of that day in five paintings that were almost lost to history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMVTbBXLyP4

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Schuyler County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Schuyler County Historical Society
Library of Congress
National Parks Service

PBS Announces Second Season of 'Mercy Street'.

In a press release today, PBS announced that it has given the greenlight to a second season of MERCY STREET, PBS’ first original drama in more than a decade. The first season, executive produced by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, Thelma and Louise); David W. Zucker (“The Good Wife” and “The Man in the High Castle”) of Scott Free; Lisa Q. Wolfinger (“Desperate Crossing, The untold story of the Mayflower”) and David Zabel (“ER”), drew 5.7 million viewers for the January 17 premiere. Based on real events, MERCY STREET follows a diverse and colorful cast of characters — doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists — and brings to life the chaotic world of Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia, and the Mansion House Hospital in the early years of the Civil War. Season two picks up directly from the dramatic events at the end of the season one finale, continuing to explore the growing chaos within Alexandria, the complicated interpersonal dynamics of Dr. Foster, Nurse Mary and the Mansion House staff, the increasingly precarious position of the Green family and the changing predicament of the burgeoning black population. The season will introduce a number of new elements, taking us closer to the fight and into the halls of Confederate power, all set against the intensifying war, starting with the Seven Days’ Battle and culminating with Antietam. To ensure historical accuracy of the first season, the producers engaged a team of advisors headed by noted historian Dr. James M. McPherson and including leading experts on Civil War medicine, military history, African-American history, women in the Civil War era and more. The list of prominent historical advisors has been expended even further for the second season.

The Empty Sleeve: Amputees and the Civil War

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, graduate student Erika M. Grimminger discusses the causes and effects of amputations during the Civil War. Note: this post contains a graphic illustration of gangrene. The Empty Sleeve: Amputees and the Civil War
In Episode 4 of Mercy Street, Ezra Foster , the brother of Union Doctor Jed Foster and a Confederate soldier, comes to Mansion House Hospital with a serious leg wound that requires amputating. Ezra Foster’s story represents the stories of thousands of soldiers who suffered though amputations during the American Civil War and returned home missing body parts. While these Union and Confederate soldiers luckily survived serious trauma, their reintegration into society and with their families after the war was, at best, a hard process of readjustment and, at worst, an almost impossible struggle.

Medical Care at Elmira Prison Camp

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new Civil War medical drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, graduate student Gary Emerson discusses the medical care at the Elmira Prison Camp. Medical Care at Elmira Prison Camp
Although medical care improved over the course of the Civil War, prisoners often received inadequate and sometimes negligent medical care in prison camps. When prisoner exchanges broke down in the summer of 1863, both the Union and Confederate armies began placing large numbers of captured men into prison camps. Both sides were unprepared for this turn of events, and what followed proved disastrous. In the summer of 1864, the Union established a prison camp in Elmira, New York to house captured Confederates.

The Battlefield is Hard on a Boy: Suicide in the Civil War

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, Professor Diane Sommerville discusses the topic of suicide and the Civil War.  

Warning: this post contains spoilers. The Battlefield is Hard on a Boy: Suicide in the Civil War
In Episode 4 of Mercy Street, the daring escape of Confederate private Tom Fairfax ends with his suicide. Tom’s boyhood friend Frank Stringfellow spirits him out of Mansion House Hospital under cover of darkness and escorts him to nearby Confederate lines so that Tom can rejoin his regiment. As Frank prepares his departure, Tom begins muttering, looking pre-occupied and anxious.

Women, Abolitionism, and the Coming of the Civil War

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, adjunct professor Kevin Murphy discusses the important role women played in the Abolition Movement. Women, Abolitionism, and the Coming of the Civil War
While the miniseries Mercy Street largely focuses on the practices of wartime medicine, the creative team behind the show also exposes viewers to the integral role women played in nineteenth-century reform. In the show’s opening scene, Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a transplanted New Englander, is interviewed by Dorothea Dix (Cherry Jones), a leader in the fight to reform care for the mentally ill and the Superintendent of Army Nurses during the Civil War. To the middle-aged Dix, Phinney stands out as an assertive but uncontroversial figure, the perfect young woman to become head nurse at the Mansion House Hotel. Well, almost uncontroversial.

Invisible Wounds: PTSD, the Civil War and Those Who "Remained and Suffered"

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, graduate student Jonathan Jones discusses how historians are just beginning to understand how PTSD may have affected Civil War veterans. Invisible Wounds: PTSD and the Civil War
The Civil War was the greatest health crisis in American history. Some 750,000 soldiers died, and another 500,000 were wounded or maimed. From violent bullet and bayonet wounds, results of poor medical care like gangrene and infection, or debilitating illnesses like dysentery and malaria, the bodies and minds of those who survived the Civil War were scarred in a myriad of ways. For decades after the war’s end, thousands of survivors carried reminders of their wartime experiences with them in the form of amputations.

The Civil War And Challenging the "Cult of True Womanhood"

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, Binghamton alumnus, and WSKG producer, Shane Johnson discusses the 19th century concept of domesticity and how women challenged that notion during the Civil War. The Civil War And Challenging the “Cult of True Womanhood”
When Nurse Mary Phinney arrives at Mansion House in the first episode of Mercy Street, the camera circles around her as she tries to comprehend the overwhelming sights and sounds of a Civil War hospital. She has entered a new world. In many ways, the dramatized story of Nurse Phinney mirrors the stories of thousands of women who left their domestic worlds and enter the public sphere during the Civil War. In the process, these women challenged 19th century gender norms, the “cult of true womanhood,” and their acceptable place in American society at the time.

Dying a “Good Death” in the Civil War

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, graduate student Melissa Franson discusses the 19th century concept of a “good death” and how the Civil War challenged that notion. Dying a “Good Death” in the Civil War
In the first episode of Mercy Street, we are confronted with the gruesome injuries and carnage that men inflicted upon one another during the Civil War. One of the most poignant moments in the series comes when a young soldier is brought into the hospital literally attached to the Union flag. Blood from the young soldier’s wounds has glued his hands to the flag. Having already lost his father in the war, the un-named soldier was unwilling and unable to relinquish his sole responsibility – making sure the flag did not fall. The young, scared soldier desperately tries to assert his masculinity while being comforted by the Army Chaplain, Harry Hopkins.

The American Civil War and the Origins of Government Surveillance

What do the American Civil War and the NSA have in common? That’s the questions explored in the most recent video of the web series Time Capsule. In “The Origins of Government Surveillance,” the Time Capsule team reveal how both the Union and Confederacy used spies and surveillance during the Civil War, and how these tactics laid the foundation for modern government surveillance. Watch Now:

Time Capsule is made by The Good Stuff from PBS Digital Studios, in association with PBS LearningMedia. Each episode looks at what happened in the past to make now possible. PBS LearningMedia also has a number of helpful tools for educators designed to teach students about the Civil War.

Books to read if you're loving 'Mercy Street'

PBS’s new Civil War medical drama Mercy Street follows a diverse cast of characters through the horrors of a Civil War hospital and the hectic world of Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia. Set in the spring of 1862, many of the show’s characters and events are based on real people and actual happenings. If you want to learn more about the history behind the show, check out the reading list below. I based it on suggestions from PBS, as well as a few selections from my own library. It is by no means comprehensive, but should be a good starting point!

Charles Hallet of Company K | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph comes from the Library of Congress and shows a young soldier from the 137th New York Infantry Regiment posing for the camera. The Library of Congress officially lists him as “unidentified,” but according to its notes, the young man is most likely Charles Hallett of Company K.

The 137th was organized in Binghamton, NY and mustered into service in 1862. While recruits came primarily from Broome, Tioga and Tompkins Counties there were also enlistees from other parts of Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. The regiment was led by Col. David Ireland and saw action at a number of important battles, most notably Gettysburg and Lookout Mountain.

The Toll of Office

Since President Obama’s State of the Union address last week, I’ve seen a number of images floating around the web and on social media highlighting how the job of president has aged him over the last eight years. It’s not the first time that the media and the public have noticed this phenomena. The role of Commander-in-chief also took its toll on President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. Not to make it a competition, but whenever I see these types of comparisons my mind automatically turns to President Abraham Lincoln. The photo on the left was taken in June of 1860, when Lincoln was a candidate for president.

Join Us For a 'Mercy Street' Exclusive Sneak Peek

UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE REACHED CAPACITY at our preview screening of MERCY STREET on January 7th at 6PM at WSKG Studios in Vestal. However, you can still watch the show’s premiere January 17, at 10PM on WSKG TV. Based on true stories, MERCY STREET takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of a distinctive cast of characters — doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists — realizing the chaotic world of Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia, and the Mansion House Hospital in the early years of the Civil War. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He5ncAPB82M

Set in Virginia in the spring of 1862, MERCY STREET follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict; MARY PHINNEY, (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a staunch New England abolitionist, and EMMA GREEN, (Hannah James), a naive young Confederate belle. The two collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel that has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army Hospital in Alexandria, a border town between North and South and the longest-occupied Confederate city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria is now the melting pot of the region, filled with soldiers, civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded fighting men from both sides, runaway slaves, prostitutes, speculators and spies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5XOW0PTmKY

The intersection of North and South within the confines of a small occupied town creates a rich world that is chaotic, conflicted, corrupt, dynamic and even hopeful — a cauldron within which these characters strive, fight, love, laugh, betray, sacrifice and, at times, act like scoundrels.

What if Ken Burns had directed 'Star Wars'?

Have you ever wondered how Ken Burns might have told the story of Star Wars? Well thanks to Alyssa Rosenberg, a writer for The Washington Post, you don’t have to wonder any longer. To celebrate the release of  The Force Awakens and her love of Ken Burns documentaries, Rosenberg imagined how the pioneering documentarian might have told the story of the Galactic Civil War in a four minute video parody. It has all the hallmarks of a Ken Burns’ documentary. A calm narration, slow pans across still photographs, talking heads, and a letter home from a soldier who did not survive the conflict.

Group Plans to Preserve Last Surviving Structure of "Helmira"

A hundred and fifty years ago this summer, the Civil War prison camp in Elmira, New York closed its doors for the last time. At a recent press conference, the Friends of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp officially kicked off their fundraising efforts to preserve the last known surviving piece of the prison. Between 1864 and 1865, roughly 12,000 Confederate prisoners were held at Elmira Prison. Nicknamed “Helmira” by the inmates, nearly 25% of prisoners detained there would die as a result of unsanitary conditions. Today, the former site of the prison is a residential neighborhood and the only visible reminders of the camp are a few stone markers scattered amongst the houses.

Civil War Reenactment | Delhi, NY

On November 30th, 1864, Union and Confederate soldiers clashed at the Battle of Honey Hill in South Carolina. This July the battle was recreated for a group of onlookers at the Delaware County Historical Association in Dehli, NY. https://youtu.be/DXOMw6NzbDc

This was the second annual Civil War Reenactment held at the DCHA. In addition to the reenactment of Honey Hill, the weekend event included living history exhibits, a Civil War wedding, kids drills, scavenger hunts, and period photography and film demonstrations. One highlight for visitors was meeting the history horses “Big Red” and “Rebel Yell.”

The Battle of Honey hill was chosen because of the important role the 144th NY infantry regiment played in the battle.

The Rockwell Museum offers tours of its Civil War photography exhibit

Rockwell Museum of Western Art in Corning is offering guided tours of highlights of its current exhibit of Civil War photographs. Beth Manwaring of the Museum explains that many of the photographs in Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War are from the George Eastman Collection.  Tours will also include information about the Museum building and its history.  

The Sultana

WSKG and local musician Jeff Stachyra partner to produce a musical/historical look at the greatest maritime disaster in United States history. Told thru songs written by Jeff this hour long program details the demise of The Sultana, which went down in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination. Also included are historical and personal vignettes which chronicle the history of the disaster and Jeff’s own journey to put his album and this program together. Jeff is joined by The Sultana Band, The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton, a ten piece orchestra and local actor Bill Gorman in this ambitious hour of history and music. https://youtu.be/MFV9qperaGo

For more information, please visit: facebook.com/thesultana

New Exhibit at Binghamton University Highlights True Costs of the Civil War

The lower gallery of the Binghamton University Art Museum is abuzz with activity. A group of graduate students huddle around a tape measure debating the best way to hang a large picture frame on the wall. Around them on the floor, other frames and labels lay in neat rows. The students are setting up for a new exhibition, entitled The Civil War: Images of Ruin. “This is actually the first exhibition I’ve worked on,” explains Kasia Kieca, an art history student at Binghamton University.

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From Slavery To Citizenship: The Story Of John W. Jones

 

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We continue our series that highlights notable black residents of the Southern Tier with John W. Jones. (If you missed the first installment, click here.)

Shane Johnson of WSKG’s history department writes: “Between the summers of 1864 and 1865, nearly 3,000 Confederate prisoners died at the Civil War prison camp in Elmira, New York. The monumental task of burying the dead fell upon Jones, a former runaway slave.” Shane has more on this epic here.

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How Oscar Barton’s Drum Embodies Owego Civil War History

 

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For Black History Month, we are highlight notable black residents of the Southern Tier, starting with Oscar Barton. Barton was from Owego and, in 1863, he enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer. For two years, he carried his drum across the South as a member of the 26th United States Colored Troops. Barton’s drum is now on display at the Tioga County Historical Society Museum.

Historic Civil War Drum is Given New Life

In 1863, Oscar Barton enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer. For two years, he carried his drum across the South as a member of the 26th United States Colored Troops. Today, the Tioga County Historical Society has given his drum a second lease on life. OSCAR BARTON

In 1863, the Civil War was in its second hellish year, and thirty year old Oscar Barton was living in Vestal, New York. He was a descendant of free-blacks from Rhode Island, and his grandfather had been a soldier during the American Revolution.