Mt. Vernon Register-News

January 15, 2014

Historical program highlights songs of Civil War

The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — The Jefferson County Historical Society will host a program, “A Soundtrack for Wartime: Songs of the Civil War,” on Jan. 25.

Presented by Nancy Caldwell, and Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar, the program will include examples of Civil War songs and explore the specific appeal of the songs to Americans during the war — and beyond.

Caldwell is a music instructor at Lake Land College in Mattoon. She was selected as a Road Scholar by the Illinois Humanities Council for the 2013-14 year, which runs from Nov. 1, 2013 to Oct. 31, 2014.

The IHC Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has been operating for the past 12 years, and sends writers, poets, historians, anthropologists and living history actors to present to audiences across Illinois, according to information from the Humanities Council.

“The Civil War took a terrible toll on Americans in the mid-nineteenth century,” information about the program states. “Generals, soldiers on the field, their spouses and children left behind to wonder whether they would ever see their loved one again: Everyone was affected by the war and the scars it left behind were deep. Music was an important emotional outlet during the war. Songs rallied the troops; passed the time for encamped soldiers; captured the drama of military campaigns; and most of all, created a feeling of inclusion.”

The program is provided free to the public, due in part to an award from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly.

The program will be held 2 p.m. Jan. 25 in the museum at the Jefferson County Historical Village.

Additional information about the program is available by contacting the Jefferson County Historical Society at 246-0033.