Photographs from Alexandria Library Special Collections

Green Family Furniture Ad

Green Family Furniture Ad


Green Diary May 24, 1861

Green Diary May 24, 1861

 

Mansion House Hospital

Mansion House Hospital


Mansion House Hospital

Mansion House Hospital

 

Convalescent Camp Cooks

Convalescent Camp Cooks


Coal Wharf

Coal Wharf


Soldiers Rest

Soldiers Rest

 Mercy Street Programming at the Alexandria Library
                      Starts November 2016

"Mercy Street” – inspired by real events of Civil War Alexandria – is PBS’s American drama in nearly a decade. The series takes viewers into the lives of Alexandrians during the Civil War. The Alexandria Library’s Special Collections played an integral role in providing research and information to promote historical accuracy in the series.

 Join us in November 2016 as the Library celebrates the second season of this Civil War-era drama and PBS's recognition of Alexandria's place in history with a variety of programs that will provide insight regarding life in Alexandria during the Civil War.

   

Beatley Central

Mercy Street Season 1 Screening
Thursday, December 1; December 8; December 15
6:30 PM
Catch up with Mercy Street before Season 2 premiers.  We will screen 2 episodes each Thursday, starting Thursday, December 1.  

The Amazing Legacy of James E. Hanger, Civil War Soldier
Monday, December 12
7:30 PM
Historian and author, Bob O’Connor, will speak about James E. Hanger, who became the first amputee of the American Civil War. Hating the leg the Union doctor gave him, James used his ingenuity and engineering background to invent an artificial leg with a joint at the knee that hinged at the ankle. The company Hanger founded still operates today and made the artificial tale for the dolphin, Winter, in the movie Dolphin Tale.

Clara Barton and the Missing Soldiers Office
Monday, January 9 through Friday, February 3


Between braving the battlefield as a first responder during the Civil War and starting the American Red Cross, Clara Barton spearheaded the search for over 60,000 missing Union soldiers. Discover the untold story through a 10 panel display on loan from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.

Emancipation, Colonization and U.S. Civil War
Wednesday, January 18
7:00 PM
George Mason professor, Phillip Magness, will provide a contextual history of the abolition of slavery in the United States, focusing upon Abraham Lincoln’s route to the Emancipation Proclamation and the complex political challenges that accompanied it.

Preparing and Dispensing Civil War Prescriptions
Saturday, January 21
2:00 PM
Dr. Hasegawa, Director Emeritus of the Society of Civil War Surgeons, will describe how pharmacists of the Civil War era interpreted, compounded and dispensed prescriptions. The presentation will include a display of antique apothecary implements and a demonstration of how powder papers and pills were prepared.

The Murphy Farm: A Refuge against Racism
Tuesday, January 24
7:00 PM
Learn about Murphy Farm, which is part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Historian and author, Bob O’Connor, will speak about the farm’s Civil War and Civil Rights heritage.

Clara Barton: More Than Just "The Angel of the Battlefield"
Thursday, January 26
7:00 PM
Clara Barton lives in our memory as the founder of the American Red Cross. However, decades before the American Red Cross began, Barton was already braving the battlefield as a nurse and relief worker in the American Civil War, and coordinating the search for Union missing soldiers. Discover the story (and the sass) of this incredible woman and her Civil War work.

Imperfect Union: A Father’s Search for His Son in the Aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg
Saturday, January 28
2:00 PM
Author and reporter, Chuck Raasch, will discuss his book, Imperfect Union. Raasch’s book tells the story of Sam Wilkeson, a New York Times war correspondent, and his searches for his son, Union artillery lieutenant Bayard Wilkeson, in the aftermath of Gettysburg.

Barrett

Battlefield Medicine at Antietam (Rescheduled)
Saturday, March 4
1:00 PM
An overview of how battlefield medical innovations were implemented on the bloodiest day in American history. This program is presented by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.

The Fashion of Mercy Street
Tuesday, February 7
7:00 PM
The colorful characters on Mercy Street (PBS Civil War era medical drama set in Alexandria) have equally colorful wardrobes on the show. Fashion historian Deb Fuller will explore the historical inspirations for the costumes on Mercy Street and how fashion shaped the lives of the people that wore it..

Barton at Antietam
Saturday, February 18
1:00 PM
Clara Barton was new to nursing as she stood on the fields of Sharpsburg, waiting for the battle of Antietam to begin. It was also her first time on the battlefield. What she did there would not only save countless lives, but change her life forever. An expert from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine will present on this topic.

Local History/Special Collections

The Real Greens: Emma and the Green Family of Alexandria
Saturday, January 28
2:00 PM
Join us for a talk by Dr. Donald DeBats, “The Real Greens: Emma and the Green Family of Alexandria.” Find out about the actual Emma and her family. Dr. DeBats is the Head of American Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission and Director (US), Centre for United States and Asia Policy Studies (CUSAPS).

Many Comfortable Homes: Domestic life in Alexandria on the Eve of War
Saturday, February 4
2:00 PM
Alexandrians furnished their homes using a combination of worthy existing furnishings, new up-to-date options, and personal choices to create a home that was comfortable and genteel, yet functioned as dynamic spaces for a variety of family needs. This fun, informative talk, hosted by Elaine Hawes, will explore the middle class pre-Civil War house from its rear working areas to its front public rooms and upstairs private areas. Some of the questions to be addressed are: How did a typical middle class Alexandrian live just before the Civil War? How did they heat the house, cook the food, or wash the clothes? What was home technology in the mid-1800s?

Virginia Sectional Furniture with Hal Stuart
Saturday, February 11
2:00 PM
Join author Hal Stuart for a discussion of his book, Virginia Sectional Furniture, 1800-1860. The book details “the gradual rise and rapid fall of antebellum Virginia sectional furniture. Ironically, Virginia sectional furniture came about at the same time the nation was succumbing to the dangers of extreme sectionalism leading to a long and bloody Civil War.”

The Green Family of Cabinetmakers: An Alexandria Institution
Saturday, February 25
2:00 PM
How did the Greens make their money and became a prominent Alexandria family? Join Dr. Oscar Fitzgerald for a look at the family business. Dr. Fitzgerald teaches classes about antique furniture at the Smithsonian Institution/George Mason University Master's Program in the History of Decorative Arts. His publications include an exhibit catalogue, Green Family of Cabinetmakers: An Alexandria Institution and Four Centuries of American Furniture the standard textbook in the field.

Burke Branch

Children in the Civil War
Wednesday, November 2
4:00 PM
Join a National Park Service Ranger to hear about the role children played in the Civil War. Learn fun facts that you may not have known about the War Between the States. Ages 8-14.

How Sweet It Was: Sugar Trade in Alexandria
Wednesday, November 9
4:00 PM
What is a Sugar House? Examine special artifacts to learn how sugar was made in the 19th century. Learn how archaeologists identify and classify artifacts. At the end of the program, participants will get a chance to sample a tasty treat made of sugar processed in Alexandria. Ages 7-14.

Mercy Street Season 1 Screening
Friday, November 18; December 9; December 16
3:30 PM
Catch up with Mercy Street before Season 2 premiers. We will screen 2 episodes each Friday, starting Friday, November 18.

Fort Marcy – Civil War Defense
Tuesday, November 29
4:00 PM
Join the National Park Rangers from Civil War Defenses of Washington to talk about Fort Marcy. One of the Civil War Defenses of Washington located on a ridge in Virginia, Fort Marcy was strategically placed near the Leesburg Turnpike and Chain Bridge, a key crossing over the Potomac River. The Union deemed this bridgehead vital to furthering their activities in northern Virginia and worthy of protection. Come learn about Fort Marcy then and now.

Archaeology of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery
Saturday, December 10
2:00 PM
Located in Alexandria, Virginia, the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery was established during the Civil War by the U.S. Military. People who were escaped slaves as well as free people were interred at the location until 1869. Over the years the cemetery fell into disrepair and was no longer listed on maps. However, the location of the cemetery was kept in family stories and through documentation. In the 1990s, when the new Wilson Bridge Project was being planned, documentary research along with archaeology testing helped confirm the location of the cemetery. Plans were made to ensure that the cemetery would not be impacted by construction. Archaeology was done at the site which is now a memorial park that is open to the public. This program is presented by Alexandria Archaeology.

Between the Bullet and the Hospital
Saturday, January 7
2:00 PM
Clara Barton struggled to gain access into a Victorian-era workforce that limited professional opportunities for women. The Civil War set her on a path of public service where she endured some of the same terrible conditions and extreme dangers as the soldiers with whom she worked. After the war she continued in public service. This illustrated talk by a park ranger from Clara Barton National Historic Site will use photos from the Civil War era to explore the dangers Clara Barton faced and the accomplishments she achieved.

Civil War Soul Sisters: Civil War Era African American Women Who Published
Saturday, January 21
2:00PM
Join Lavonda Broadnax, a digital project coordinator with the Library of Congress, as she speaks on the accomplishments of fascinating African American women who were published during an era when it was illegal for the vast majority of African Americans to learn to read or write.

Women Soldiers in the Civil War
Saturday, February 18
2:00 PM
A discussion presented by Professor Alice Reagan of Northern Virginia Community College.

Duncan Branch

Mercy Street Virtual Tour with Alexandria Tours
Monday, December 5
7:00 PM
Take a digital tour of Alexandria and Mercy Street sites from the Civil War era.

The Battle of Monocacy and Jubal Early’s attack on Washington
Saturday, December 17
2:00 PM
Historian and author Marc Leepson will speak about the Battle of Monocacy and Jubal Early's attack on Washington, D.C. in July 1864.

Battlefield Medicine: Trauma Care in the Civil War
Monday, December 19
7:00 PM
Civil War soldiers suffered devastating casualties. Have you ever wondered who took care of them? This program explains and demonstrates medical practices of the time. Learn about Civil War ammunition and the types of wounds it caused. The speaker will also talk about casualties, how the wounded were evacuated, and where they were treated. Experts from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine will present.

Civil War Breweries and Prohibition-Era Virginia
Saturday January 28
2:00 PM
Author and historian Garrett Peck will present a history of the breweries in Alexandria in the period around the Civil War. He will also speak about alcohol prohibition during the early twentieth century.