For Immediate Release
SPRINGFIELD – The tragedy of war often inspires great music – songs to rouse the troops, to cheer up homesick soldiers, to comfort grieving families. The Civil War was no exception, and on Oct. 10 the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will offer a special peek at its collection of Civil War music.
Dr. Christian McWhirter, the presidential library’s chief Lincoln historian and an expert on music of the era, will talk about songs ranging from romantic ballads to patriotic marches to funeral dirges. He’ll also explain the ways people could buy music in that era, including sheet music, song sheets and music books.
The best way to learn about music is to hear it, of course, so a violinist will be on hand to play selections from these songs, including “The Battle Cry of Freedom” and “I Love You Like Lincoln Loved the Old Red, White & Blue.” (Yes, we admit “Red, White & Blue” came out after the war, but the title is just too good to pass up!)
This free “Tales from the Vault” event begins at 12:30 in the library building (112 N. Sixth Street, Springfield). It is presented in conjunction with the Illinois State Museum.
Another “Tales from the Vault” takes place Oct. 24 at the Illinois State Museum’s Research and Collections Center (1011 E. Ash Street, Springfield). Erika Holst will display examples of hair wreaths and mourning items.
The presidential library is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology. It also serves as the Illinois historical library. The library maintains an unparalleled collection of Lincoln documents, photographs, artifacts and art and also has some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history.