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Friday, February 18, 2011

Sesquicentennial huh? by Valeria

April 12th, 1861, Confederate troops fired on Ft. Sumter, effectively starting the Civil War, and this year marks the 150th anniversary ("sesquicentennial" ).  Joining the nation in remembering this event, Oklahoma has a special event of its own. The keynote event will take place April 29-May 1 and features a special reenactment of the Battle of Honey Springs which took place just outside the town of Checotah, OK.

In addition, the Oklahoma Historical Society encourages you to take advantage of several preservation efforts for the anniversary.  Some of these projects include the Fort Gibson, Fort Towson, and Fort Washita Historical sites, as well as the George Murrell Home.

If travel is not in on your schedule, I suggest the alternative of a good book.  If you want to read about Oklahoma during the Civil War, try some of these histories:

  • “Honey Springs depot, Elk Creek, Creek Nation, Indian Territory” by Jess Epple (973.734 EPP).


If you’re more interested in reading historical fiction, then try “Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara, “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, or “Sarah's Ground” by Ann Rinaldi.  “Killer Angels” won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and is one of the best historical fiction books written, regardless of whether you are interested in the Civil War.  The library has a book club kit with ten copies of the book, so it would be a perfect April choice for book discussion groups.

If you are interested in researching your family history during the Civil War, come in to use our database or use Heritage Quest from your home.  Heritage Quest includes the Freedman’s Bank which is especially useful for anyone with African-American genealogy.  The genealogy room also houses helpful local materials, including Mahlon Erickson’s “Mexican and Civil War veterans buried in Payne County, Oklahoma” and “Schedules enumerating Union veterans and widows of Union veterans of the Civil War microform : Oklahoma and Indian territories.”

Ask for assistance at the Help Desk.  However you choose to take part in Civil War history, we’ll be glad to help.


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