News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 9, 2012

Traveling Civil War exhibit makes history personal

Special to the Tribune-Star
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SULLIVAN — Civil War history will come alive for visitors to the Sullivan County Public Library who experience “Faces of the Civil War,” a traveling exhibition created and managed by the Indiana Historical Society.

The exhibition is on display through March 5 at the library at 100 S. Crowder St., in Sullivan.

“Faces of the Civil War” was conceived as an exhibition for the Indiana History Train, which travels throughout the state each fall.

Nearly all images used in the new traveling exhibition come from the collections of the Indiana Historical Society.

Hands-on, interactive elements have been added to enhance the viewer experience.

The exhibition brings to life stories of many Hoosiers whose lives were touched, and in some cases taken, by the Civil War. Not all are well-known or revered — many were everyday citizens fulfilling duties to friends, family, state and country. Rather than focusing on statistics and large battles, “Faces of the Civil War” illustrates how regular people coped with the tragic experiences of the day — all from an Indiana perspective.

“So many of the Civil War soldiers pictured in our library’s collection are acknowledged at best with name and rank — we don’t know their stories,” says Faith Revell, director of IHS Exhibitions. “So when you come across real people who are so young and handsome and vital, and realize that their lives are cut short, it brings this history home and makes it relevant.”

Other stories featured in the exhibition include those of women who served both on the homefront and on the battlefield. Lovina Streight followed her husband into battle and was captured more than once by the Confederate army while tending to her husband and his wounded and dying comrades. Streight, along with her husband, was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis with full military honors.