Saturday, September 1, 2012

To Preserve the Nation

150th Anniversary Commemoration of the Loyal War Governors' Conference

The War Governors' Conference took place in the immediate aftermath of Lincoln's preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.  Spearheaded by Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, the Altoona, Pennsylvania conference was meant to aid Lincoln with political support at a time when he desperately needed it.  The thirteen state executives present offered firm support in the name of emancipation and also called for 100,000 supplementary troops to help quell the rebellion.  The governors pledged that their states would raise the appropriate quota of troops to serve on the front lines.  The Loyal War Governors' Conference could be considered one of the great political events of the Civil War era.  Its ramifications on the war effort could probably never be fully recounted.  In the end, the governors stated that the conference and the Emancipation Proclamation gave "new life, new vigor, and new hopes to the hearts of the people" with a renewed sense of "devotion to the national cause."

Join us for a four day commemoration featuring lectures, films, new exhibits, interactive displays, reenactments, and the Pennsylvania Civil War Roadshow.  Below is a complete listing of events (subject to change).  Check back soon for additional details.  Call 814-942-3916 for more info!

Thursday September 27, 2012

To Preserve the Nation: Penn State Altoona’s Seminar Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Loyal War Governors’ Conference
101 Misciagna Building, Penn State Altoona Campus – Ivyside Park
(12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.)

Jared Frederick, Penn State Altoona
A Turning Point: The Military Situation in September 1862
By Jeffry D. Wert, Civil War Historian and Author
By September 1862, the course of the Civil War had reached a decisive crossroads.  Union military fortunes had suffered reversals in the preceding two months in the East and in the West.  Confederate advances in Kentucky and across the Potomac River into Maryland, heralded the possibility of Confederate independence.  At stake was not only Abraham Lincoln's secret proposal for the emancipation of slaves but the Union itself.  At Sharpsburg, Maryland, along Antietam Creek, would come a reckoning and, with it, a reshaping of the conflict.

The Meaning of Loyalty: The Context of the Loyal War Governor's Conference
By Robert M. Sandow, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
The Loyal War Governor's Conference is remembered as a statement of political support for the Lincoln administration in the wake of Antietam and the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This presentation will situate the conference in the military and political context of Fall 1862. In addition to summarizing Governor Andrew Greg Curtin's motivations for calling the meeting, it will discuss the partisan implications of notions of loyalty and treason so frequent in the writings and speeches of its attendants. Lastly, it will suggest ways in which we can read traces of those partisan debates over patriotism in the final resolutions of the meeting.

Fighting a War Worth Winning: Civil War Governors and Northern Strategy
By Dr. Aaron Sheehan-Dean, West Virginia University
Early in the Civil War, Massachusetts Governor John Andrew proposed that the North incite a slave insurrection in the South as a way to undermine the Confederacy.  Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin objected, demanding that U.S. forces fight according to "civilized methods."  The disagreement between these two prominent political leaders reflected the divisions among northerners themselves, some of whom urged the administration to pursue Union and emancipation at all costs while others believed that in order for the U.S. to retain its standing in the world northern armies had to fight with restraint and respect for non-combatants. This paper will examine how Civil War governors shaped northern military affairs. In the Civil War, as in today's conflicts, Americans struggled with the ethical and moral dimensions of armed violence:  against whom could lethal violence be used?  Under what conditions?  Even more than the president or congress, governors understood the needs, hardships, and attitudes of civilians, which makes them an ideal source for understanding how the Civil War's participants answered these timeless questions.

"A Viler Enemy in Our Rear": 
Pennsylvania Regimental Resolutions of 1863
By Dr. Timothy Orr, Old Dominion University
The Civil War represents a unique moment in the span of Pennsylvania's political history. During the spring, summer, and autumn of 1863, a massive disturbance spread through the ranks of Pennsylvania's volunteer regiments. Provoked by the antiwar rhetoric of the commonwealth's Democratic "Copperheads," dozens of Pennsylvania regiments passed political resolutions and proclamations. This talk will analyze Pennsylvania's resolution-drafting campaign to suggest that, contrary to popular theory, the commonwealth's two-party system did not moderate partisan conflict. Pennsylvania soldiers embraced political extremism, using the hiatus in active campaigning to dictate wartime policy to the people of their state, amounting to a “democracy of bayonets” as yet unseen elsewhere in American political history.

Book Signing by Seminar Participants
Misciagna Building, Penn State Altoona Campus

Showing of the movie Glory.
Devorris Downtown Center, 1431 12th Ave.
(7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
Join us for a screening of the 1989 Civil War classic starring Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington chronicling the 54th Massachusetts, whose members included central Pennsylvanians.  Pre-movie introduction by historian Jared Frederick.
Devorris Downtown Center - 1431 12th Ave. Altoona, PA

Friday September 28, 2012
Ceremony and Tree-planting with state and local representatives at Baker Mansion
3419 Oak Lane Altoona, PA
(10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.)
Join us for recognitions and speeches by state and local representatives to commemorate the War Governors’ Conference at one of the area’s most historic landmarks.  Tours of Civil War exhibits at Baker Mansion to follow.

Opening Ceremony of the Pennsylvania Civil War Roadshow
DelGrosso’s Amusement Park
4352 E. Pleasant Valley Boulevard, Tipton, PA
(12:00 p.m.  Roadshow open all day!)
Pennsylvania Civil War Roadshow travelling museum and exhibits open throughout the weekend.  See the debut of local exhibits at the state-sponsored mobile museum in conjunction with Harvestfest--one of the premier cultural festivals in the state!
Pennsylvania Civil War Roadshow interior exhibits.

Saturday September 29, 2012

Pennsylvania Civil War Roadshow at Harvest Fest
DelGrosso’s Amusement Park
4352 E. Pleasant Valley Boulevard, Tipton, PA
(All Day!)
PA Civil War Roadshow, Lectures, Exhibits and Reenactments. Featuring talks by historians, displays by historical groups, Civil War music, Berdan Sharpshooters, Civil War medicine, unique gifts, and battle demonstrations at 2:30 and 4:00 p.m. both days!

Battle Demonstrations:
2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Tipton Creek Railroad at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park.

Lectures at the PA Civil War Roadshow:
11:30 a.m. - Caring for the Wounded: The Daughters of Charity by Julie Decker
12 p.m. - The Story of the 110th Pennsylvania: A Blair County Regiment by Michael Gherrity
12: 30 p.m. – Adventures of the Berdan Sharpshooters by Calum Monroe
1 p.m. РCivil War Heroines: The Story of the Vivandi̬res.
4:30 p.m. - Curtin Turns the Tide in Pennsylvania by Robert Broadwater

Ongoing demonstrations and displays by:
Civil War Reenactors at the Tipton Creek Railroad at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park.
Armed Forces Mothers
The Blair County Historical Society
The Blair County Genealogical Society
The Tyrone Historical Society
The Penn State Altoona History Department
The 110th Pennsylvania Infantry Reenactors
46th Pennsylvania Regimental Band

Civil War Reenactor Display
 Sunday September 30, 2012

Pennsylvania Civil War Roadshow at Harvest Fest
DelGrosso’s Amusement Park
4352 E. Pleasant Valley Boulevard, Tipton, PA
(All Day!)
PA Civil War Roadshow, Lectures, Exhibits and Reenactments. Featuring talks by historians, displays by historical groups, Civil War music, Berdan Sharpshooters, Civil War medicine, unique gifts, and battle demonstrations at 2:30 and 4:00 p.m. both days!

Battle Demonstrations:
2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Tipton Creek Railroad at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park.

Lectures at the PA Civil War Roadshow:
12 p.m. – Civil War Nurses by Julie Decker
12:30 p.m. - Pennsylvania’s Civil War by Dr. Steven Andrews
1 p.m. – The Loyal War Governors’ Conference by Jared Frederick

Ongoing demonstrations and displays by:
Civil War Reenactors at the Tipton Creek Railroad at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park.
The Blair County Historical Society
The Blair County Genealogical Society
The Tyrone Historical Society
The Penn State Altoona History Department
46th Pennsylvania Regimental Band 
46th PA Regimental Band

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

2011 Calendar of Events

Explore and More in Blair County

The year 2011 marks the first year of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Throughout Blair County, as well as the entire country, special events and commemorations will be taking place to honor the sacrifices of the soldiers, civilians, and politicians who reforged America itself. In that time, numerous community organizations, history aficionados, and young people will be coming together to participate in this momentous a 150th anniversary of the Civil War. During that time, we ask for community input and ideas from people of all backgrounds as how best to remember the sacrifices of our ancestors a century and a half ago. Upcoming special events will include reenactments, Living History demonstrations, encampments, historical tours, lectures by prominent scholars, and special educational programs for area students and teachers. Please contact us with any questions or ideas so you and your family too can be a part of history!

Descendants of Civil War Veterans
Monthly Meetings, the fourth Wednesday of the month from February through November at the Bellwood-Antis Public Library. Speakers and special guests discuss a wide variety of topics dealing with the social, military, and political aspects of America's bloodiest war. Call ahead at the library to confirm dates, times, and speakers. (814) 742-8234.

April 16 - Victorian Faire Gala Fundraiser
Saturday, April 16 from 6:00 – 10:00 pm; Join in the fun at our Annual Gala Fundraiser. This year we are presenting a Victorian Faire at the Calvin House where you will enjoy delicious food, decadent desserts, a beer tasting (21 and over), music, games of chance, a silent auction, and more. RSVP. Nonmembers: $75.00 per person/$140.00 per couple. Members: $70.00 per person/$130.00 per couple. Corporate table (10): $650.00. RSVP by April 8th to 942-3916; 934-2956; or Please make checks payable to the Blair County Historical Society and mail to: BCHS, P.O. Box 1083, Altoona, PA 16603-1083

April 21 - Finding Your Ancestors Through Land and Estate Records in Blair County
Join Mary Ann Bennis, Registrar of Wills and Recorder of Deeds, Blair County Court House, at this special presentation at the Blair County Genealogical Society to discover and trace the personal stories of your ancestors in the area. Find where they came from, where they settled, and how they lived their lives. The program is free and open to the public.

April 30 - Mayfest in Huntingdon
Mayfest presents a living history with period-correct dancing, music, reenactors and demonstrators using music, games and dance. Local non-profit organizations offer children’s activities and educational fun along with food and craft vendors. You'll also want to visit our local Huntingdon businesses who will be offering interesting gift and clothing items along with food specials. Visitors are encouraged to wear a costume to join in the fun. Plan to spend the day—there is so much to see and do!

May 2 - Press Event and Tour of Blair County Civil War Sites
10 a.m. to noon at The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art
The Allegheny Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau, in partnership with Allegheny Ridge Corporation, has very recently been extended an excellent opportunity by the PA Tourism Office to serve as hosts for a national media kick-off of the Appalachian Regional Commission's efforts in commemorating unique sites and experiences surrounding the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Several sites/experiences within Blair County have been chosen to be featured in an insert to appear in the spring issue of American Heritage Magazine; they include the story of the 1862 War Governors' Conference (held at the former Logan House), the Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark (and its affiliation with the Altoona Railroaders' Memorial Museum), Baker Mansion, and the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Landmark.

The historical and cultural tourism community of Altoona/Blair County views this as an excellent opportunity for outstanding exposure and potential for increased visitation and is extremely honored to be chosen as the site for this national media event! Call 1-800-842-5866 for more information.

May 29-30 - Memorial Day Parade and Cemetery Services
Join the Keystone Regiment and the Colonel Crowther Foundation in Tyrone, PA for Memorial Day Activities including a special tribute to the community's Civil War veterans.

June 11-12 - Meet the Confederate Generals
Old Bedford Village is pleased to welcome back a select group of living historians who portray famous Generals from the Civil War. The Generals and their Ladies will be living in the Village all weekend and will be offering audiences with the public to discuss all aspects of their interesting lives, as well as the Confederate history of the Civil War.

June 18-19 - Civil War Reenactment
Hundreds of reenactors from the Blue and Grey set up their camps at Old Bedford Village, bring their horses, cannon and give you an unrivaled opportunity to take a look at life in the 1860s during the civil war. Battles both days. (note: Village closes on Sunday at 4pm).

July 22-23 - Mountain Days
Experience Pennsylvania Heritage at Gallitzin State Park's Mountain Old Fashioned Mountain Days Festival which includes music, food, crafts, and history demonstrations by the 110th PA Infantry.

July 29-31 - Civil War Reenactment at Baker Mansion
Experience history with Union and Confederate soldiers as they encamp on the lawn of the great Baker Mansion across from Altoona's Mansion Park. Witness demonstrations and the firing of a Civil War cannon! Tours of the mansion and the Blair County Historical Society will also be offered along with period refreshments.

August 6-7 - Colonel Crowther Weekend
Join Union reenactors at Tyrone's Reservoir Park to witness firing demonstrations, encampments, and other exhibits relating to the life of Tyrone native Colonel James Crowther (killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863) and the 110th PA Infantry he led into combat.

August 27-28 - The Confederation of Union Generals Weekend
Shake hands with famous Generals from the Union at Old Bedford Village who shaped the outcome of the Civil War. With programs throughout the weekend, these living historians will guide you through the lives of the Generals they represent. Children's programs throughout the day.

September 24-25 - Harvest Fest at DelGrosso's Amusement Park
Take part in the colorful festivities including arts, crafts, ethnic foods, and living history and Civil War demonstrations amidst one of the best amusement parks in Pennsylvania!

November 13 - Blair County Historical Society Annual Dinner
Jared Frederick, a local historian and seasonal park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park, will make a presentation entitled Real to Reel: The Civil War in Cinema. Call the society via the link above to check availability.

More events to be listed soon! Please contact us if you wish to add an event to the list!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

2010 Calendar of Events

A sharpshooter from a local regiment searches for the Confederates.

A number of educational and interpretive events regarding the Civil War are held in Blair County and the Central PA area throughout the year. These events range from living history/reenactment programs, guest lectures, film series, exhibits, free events, historical tours, and bus trips. The events listed below are those scheduled for Blair County thus far for this year. If you know of or are hosting an event you would like included on the list, feel free to contact us. Thank you!

4th Wednesday of Each Month - Descendants of Civil War Veterans meeting - A guest lecturer leads the historical discussion at this monthly meeting at the Bellwood-Antis Public Library.

March 20 - The Logan Guard will be present at the Irish Heritage Parade, Tyrone, PA. 2 p.m.

April 9 - History Encampment - Hosted by the Penn State Altoona History Society. Come see a history village composed of Civil War and WWII reenactors. Free and open to the general public. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

April 10 - Antiques Sale - Join us for our 5th Annual Springtime at Royer Mansion - ANTIQUES, CRAFTS, & MORE FOR SALE. It will be held on Saturday, April 10th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $2 per person (children 12 and under, free). Stroll through historic Royer Mansion and browse the great selection of affordable antiques and gifts for sale.

April 13 - Sisters and Surgeons: A Brief Lesson in Civil War Medicine - Presented by Julie and Doug Decker at the Tyrone History Museum. Julie will portray Sister Camilla O'Keefe, and Doug will portray Maj. John H. Brinton, M.D. 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

May 15 - The Logan Guard will have a Civil War Encampment on the grounds of Altoona's VA Hospital. This even is free and open to the public throughout the day.

May Date TBA - Memorial Day Parade and Service including the Keystone Regiment, the Colonel Crowther Foundation, and Colonel Crowther Camp 89 of the Sons of Union Veterans. Held in Tyrone, PA.

May 31 - The Logan Guard will be featured in Bellwood's Memorial Day Parade. Celebration begins at 9 a.m.

June 5 - Bus Tour
- The Colonel Crowther Foundation is pleased to announce a special bus trip to Winchester, Virginia for guided interpretive tours of the 1st Kernstown Battlefields and the Pritchard House. This battle, Stonewall Jackson’s only defeat, was the first significant engagement for two regiments from central Pennsylvania, the 110th and 84th Pennsylvania Volunteers. The battle, fought on two adjoining farms, is considered the beginning of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign. Participants will tour both properties and the Pritchard House. We will travel on a 55 passenger Fullington Trailways bus from Tyrone to Winchester and return.

The bus will leave Tyrone at
8 a.m. We will make one stop at Bedford Square for people there who are joining the tour. We will arrive at the Kernstown Battlefield Association’s Visitor’s Center around 10:30 am. Dr. Bob Hileman, volunteer interpreter for KBA and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley at Rose Hill, will lead a tour of the Pritchard House and battlefield in the morning. A catered lunch will be served after the tours on the battlefield in KBA’s activities building. KBA President Gary Crawford will speak on the history and future plans for the Pritchard property. After lunch the group will move to Rose Hill where the second phase of the battle was fought. Dr. Hileman will lead a tour of that property in the afternoon. It is anticipated that we will leave Winchester around 3:45 pm. The bus will stop at the Bob Evans Restaurant in Breezewood for dinner. Participants will order what they like from the menu. Cost of the dinner is not included in the cost for the tour.

The cost for the tour including lunch is $55.00 per person. Included in this price is the cost of the bus, the driver’s tip, cost of lunch, and a per-person donation to the Kernstown Battlefield Association and the Museum of the
Shenandoah Valley. The Foundation contribution box will be onboard for those who would like to make a donation to support the foundation’s living history educational programs.

Reservations should be made as soon as possible. For details and Reservation Form contact the Colonel Crowther Foundation,
318 Mifflin Street Huntingdon, PA 16652
or call Bob or Carol Hileman at 814-641-0353. Full payment in advance with the completed form is requested. Seats will be filled in the order that reservation payments are received. Credit card payments are accepted. A $5.00 service charge will be added for credit card payments to offset the Colonel Crowther Foundation’s cost of processing electronic payments through Hileman House.

June 19 & 20 - Encampment and Battle Reenactment at Old Bedford Village featuring hundreds of troops, cannons, and horses.

July 31-August 1 - Camp Crossman Encampment during the Colonel Crowther Days in Tyrone, PA's Reservoir Park.

September 26-27 - Civil War Encampment at Delgrosso's Amusement Park's Annual Harvest Fest. Come learn about life during the War Between the States between roller coaster rides.

October 2 - Tuckahoe Street Fair in Bellwood - will feature the The Logan Guard along with the Bellwood Historical Society, crafts, food, and music.

October 30 - Halloween Parade - Begins in Hollidaysburg at 6 p.m. The fall festivities will include Civil War reenactors.

More events to be listed soon!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sesquicentennial Planning Begins!

...with a bang!

Welcome to the official blog of Blair County Civil War, a website utilized by a number of historical groups and civic organizations to prepare for the upcoming Civil War Sesquicentennial in our area. We will be operating numerous educational events from 2010 through 2015 that will focus on the collective efforts of soldiers, civilians, and political leaders who made history in Blair County 150 years ago. More information on events and local history in addition to articles and photos will be updated in the near future and continue throughout the anniversary. Contact us to learn more or become involved. Let us work together to make this a productive and memorable commemoration for our community!

Watch this video to learn more about the PA Civil War 150 campaign.