150 Years after the Civil War, an NEH-sponsored exhibition assesses the conflict through the lives and careers of the two generals.
Lee and Grant provides a major reassessment of the lives, careers, and historical impact of Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. It also encourages audiences to move beyond the traditional mythology of both men and rediscover them within the context of their own time—based on their own words and those of their contemporaries. Lee and Grant presents photographs, paintings, prints, coins, reproduction clothing, accoutrements owned and carried by the two men, documents written in their own hands, and biographical and historical records to reveal each man in his historical and cultural context, allowing audiences to compare the ways each has been remembered for almost 150 years.
By the end of the Civil War, most Americans considered either Robert E. Lee or Ulysses S. Grant to be a hero. The reputations of the two generals, molded in part by a sectional bias that would enhance the achievements of one often to the detriment of the other, would wax and wane over the next 150 years. Learn more...
Schedule of EVENTS
Description: This exhibition provides a major reassessment of the lives, careers, and historical impact of Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. The exhibit encourages audiences to move beyond the traditional mythology of both men and rediscover them within the context of their own time—based on their own words and those of their contemporaries.
Exhibition Contents: Military equipment, uniforms, photographs, original objects carried by the two Generals, color and black and white engravings, books, maps, coins, medals, political campaign items, stereoview cards, commemorative items and souvenirs, flags, study table, period music, films, a summary of the Mexican-American War, and two life-size interactive, replica tents.
Sunday, January 30
Opening Day Lecture
When: Sunday, January 30 at 2:00 p.m. Where: Soda Activity Center
Only a Question of Time and Patience By Carl Guarneri, Ph.D., professor of History, Saint Mary’s College and NEH Humanities scholar-advisor to the exhibition
Living Historical Displays
When: Sunday, January 30 at 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m. and 3:00-4:30 p.m. Where: Soda Activity Center Living History Displays by members of the National Civil War Association and the California Horse Artillery Society On View: period clothing and uniforms, battlefield medical care and equipment, feeding the troops, a cannon.
February 1 - February 28
On View in the Saint Mary’s College Library: Original Civil War letters and diaries
When: The month of February during regular library hours. Where:Saint Mary's College of California Library
Description: "This morning the 16th ordered to advance, carried the enemies rifle Pitts and advanced to the brow of the Hill, when I was shot in the right thigh. … [T]he surgeon has been unable to trace [the ball], but I know what he thinks. He thinks that it has passed into the bowels and that I will die…. Alas poor Yorick." So reads the diary entry of Michigan Captain Edward Hill for July 1 and 2, 1864, when he was wounded at the Battle of Cold Harbor. Expecting his imminent demise, Hill quoted Hamlet's soliloquy from the famous graveyard scene to reflect on the fleeting vanity of earthly life. Hill's Civil War diary is a part of the College Library's Civil War digital archive, where it joins the letters of Vermont private Forrest Little. View a transcription of the diary, as well as images of the original diary and an essay on Captain Hill and the 16th Michigan Volunteers in the Army of the Potomac entitled "When Will the End Come?" http://library.stmarys-ca.edu/about/special/hill/index.php ».
Saturday, March 19
Re-enactment and Living History Activities
When: Saturday, March 19 - 12 noon to 4 pm, Saturday, March 19, 2011 Where: Intramural Sports Field
Description:The exhibition, Lee and Grant, 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. The exhibition was organized by the Virginian Historical Society and is on view in the Hearst Art Gallery though Sunday, March 20.
Cannon Firing and Skirmishes
The middle of the field will be the site of firing of Union and Confederate cannon, times TBA. The cannon are crewed by trained, experienced artillerymen and do not fire projectiles. No bullets, shells or cannonballs are used in any part of the re-enactment, however the gunpowder-only charges in the cannon, muskets and rifles are loud, and when fired, emit a noise and a puff of smoke that may disturb pets being walked near the front of the campus or may set off security alarms in automobiles parked next to the intramural field. Carefully planned skirmishes will also take place on the middle of the intramural field, times TBA. Visitors will not be allowed on the field, which will be clearly marked and fenced.
Living History Encampment
The re-enactors will set up encampments on the outskirts of the battlefield, with original and replica documents, uniforms, clothing, medicine, books, maps, soldiers’ kits, weapons, a battlefield surgery tent, cooks, food, seamstresses, dyers, weavers, Brigade Command, Signal Corps, sharpshooters, musicians, and more! They look forward to sharing their knowledge and their love of the history of the Civil War and encourage questions from visitors to the event. Visitors will not be permitted to touch weapons, surgical instruments, tools, or telegraph equipment, which will be in the care of their re-enactor owners.
A schedule of events, campus map, parking pass, and information on designated parking areas will be available at the Public Safety entrance office.
Saint Mary’s College and the Hearst Art Gallery gratefully acknowledge the commitment of time, talent, and expertise from members of the National Civil War Association and the California Historical Artillery Society. We thank our program partner, the Contra Costa County Libraries. Visit your library branch to learn about Civil War books and programs this year! Don’t miss the displays of original letters, diaries, weapons and books in the Saint Mary’s College Library!