Photographs, paintings, prints, coins and handwritten documents are among the many artifacts on display, giving visitors a much deeper understanding of the two generals who personified the struggle between North and South.
"Each of these two men became an iconic representation not simply of military valor but also of the contrasting images that northerners and southerners projected about their histories and values," says SMC professor of history Carl Guarneri.
"Since their careers spanned the tumultuous decades from the Mexican-American War to post-Civil War Reconstruction, their experiences provide prisms for viewing westward expansion, the sectional struggle over slavery, the brutal experience of civil war and the challenge of reuniting the nation under a new commitment to freedom for all."
Guarneri, who is working on a book about Charles A. Dana, the assistant secretary of war sent by President Lincoln to accompany General Grant’s Vicksburg, Chattanooga and Virginia campaigns, will present an illustrated talk, "An Inside View of Grant’s Campaign Against Lee." Guarneri is also teaching a spring course on the Civil War and Reconstruction, and he plans to use materials from the exhibit to explore questions about war’s origins, battles and aftermath.
This exhibition has been made possible through NEH On the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is brought to you by Mid-America Arts Alliance. Lee and Grant was organized by the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia.