SCOTLAND NECK – The Civil War savaged lives yet secured the future of generations in North Carolina and the rest of the nation, and altered the course of American history. The injustices faced by African Americans were some of the most significant factors leading to the American Civil War (1861-1865). The fight for liberation is just one of many moving features of the “Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory: Civil War Sesquicentennial Photography Exhibit”, which the Scotland Neck Memorial Library will display Feb. 4-28.
“The Civil War occurred when photography was just becoming popular and became the first conflict to be widely recorded in this manner,” explains N.C. State Historic Sites Division Director Keith Hardison. “Battlefield images fascinated the public and acquainted them, in a dramatic way, with the horrors of war. The ‘Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory’ exhibit presents images that compare and contrast the conditions of war, then and now.”
The exhibit will commemorate the bravery and resiliency of North Carolinians throughout the Civil War with stimulating images gathered from the State Archives, the N.C. Museum of History and State Historic Sites. A total of 24 images will be displayed by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources in 50 libraries throughout the state from April 2011 through May 2013. A notebook will accompany the exhibit with further information and also seeking viewer comments.
The collection depicts African Americans, women and militiamen, and includes images of artifacts and official documents. One of the images is a sketch from Harper’s Weekly in 1867 titled “Slavery Is Dead?” that questions the effectiveness of the Emancipation Proclamation. President Abraham Lincoln signed the document on Jan. 1, 1863, with the intent of freeing slaves in the Southern states.
For information on the exhibit in Halifax County call the Scotland Neck library at (252) 826-5578. For tour information contact the Department of Cultural Resources at (919) 807-7389.