A Community at War

The Civil War, that is. This March, the Trumbull (Conn.) Library will hold its third annual “One Book One Town” event. This year’s book is Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, “an extraordinary novel about a soldier’s perilous journey back to his beloved at the end of the Civil War … a magnificent love story and a harrowing account of one man’s long walk home …” The library will be offering a variety of programs for all ages, and the book also dovetails nicely with Civil War Sesquicentennial–related programming.

“One Book One Town” kicks off with a Civil War re-enactment. The 14th Regiment, Company G, Connecticut Infantry re-enactors will demonstrate authentic muskets, uniforms, and equipment, and how they were used during the War. Volunteers will set up an encampment and demonstrate meal preparation over a campfire. The library partnered with the Trumbull Historical Society Museum for the event.

For adults, the library is offering:

  • a lecture series with historian and Civil War expert David Koch, covering such topics as African-Americans from Connecticut in the Civil War, Connecticut’s role in the Civil War, and the end of the war;
  • a Cold Mountain book discussion and authentic soup luncheon;
  • an evening book discussion on Cold Mountain with Susan Boy Back, a popular book club facilitator;
  • Mary Lou Pavlick’s portrayal of her great-great-grandmother, who was married to a Civil War doctor, based on letters from the Civil War;
  • a Civil War genealogy session with expert Harlan Jessup, who will share examples from two of his great-great-uncles, one who fought for the Union and one for the Confederacy;
  • an afternoon tea with Juanita Leisch, who will describe what was worn and “who wore what,” as well as what women’s lives were like during in the Civil War era; and
  • a presentation by Mary Ann Cordeau, PhD, RN, on nursing during the American Civil War, based on the lives and letters of seventeen nurses who provided care in the hospitals, battlefields, and camps.

Events for all ages include:

  • a presentation by David Koch on the animals that men brought with them or adopted during the Civil War;
  • “Resolved That Desertion During Time of War Is Treason,” a debate between two high school debate clubs;
  • an old-fashioned family hoedown;
  • traditional folk and bluegrass music with Phil Rosenthal, a nationally known singer/songwriter;
  • build your own Monitor boat with the Eli Whitney Museum; and
  • pizza and a screening of the Cold Mountain movie adaptation, starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renee Zellweger.

The library is also holding a poster contest for children, teens, and adults. Posters are to be designed around the theme “United We Stand,” and prizes will be awarded for each age group.