Tuesday, April 12, 2011

History comes to Goochland

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War is coming to Goochland this Saturday, April 16.

According to the Goochland Historical Society newsletter, from 9 to 4 on Saturday, archivists from the Library of Virginia, who are working with the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission (Commission) to preserve materials for a statewide collection on original Civil War manuscripts, are coming to Goochland.

A team of these archivists will be at the Grace Church Parish House on River Road West in Goochland Courthouse Village to scan privately held Civil War era materials for inclusions on the website of both the Library of Virginia and the Commission.

To schedule an appointment for a scanning session, please call the Goochland Historical Society at 804.556.3966.

They are looking for materials that reflect the social, political, military or religious life of Virginia during the period the Civil war (1861-65) and the early reconstruction period. These materials may include letters, pension documents, military passes, discharge papers, diaries, and hand drawn maps and so forth. Items must be owned by the individual presenting the materials for digitization.

This is a great opportunity to share family documents and have them digitally preserved. Visit the Library of Virginia website www.lva.virginia.gov for additional information.

This event is the product of much hard work by the Goochland Sesquicentennial Committee, which includes: Phyllis Silber and Dr. Bruce Venter from the Goochland Historical Society; Paul Drumwright from county administration; Peter Gretz from Goochland Public Schools and Marion and Richard Turner of Goochland.

Even if you do not have any family documents to scan, please plan to visit the grounds of Grace Church on the same day where F Company of the 21st Virginia Infantry will be encamped in a living history exhibit.

According to Venter, F Company is a non-profit living history re-enacting group that is headquartered in Richmond but has members from Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The group is dedicated to the study of army life during the Civil War period. They will be sharing their knowledge of uniforms, equipment, training and army experiences. This is a great way to bring history to life for children of all ages.

The original F Company was formed in 1859, serving the 1st Regiment of Virginia Volunteers that was sent to Harper’s Ferry (then a part of Virginia) during John Brown’s raid on the arsenal there. In June, 1861, the Company was transferred to the newly formed 21st Virginia Infantry. In 1862, the 21st Virginia fought under “Stonewall Jackson” during the Valley Campaign. F Company saw action in many of the major battles of the war and only a corporal and three privates surrendered at Appomattox.

Living history helps us to understand that wars are fought by ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Their experiences put grand themes into personal perspective.

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