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Songs and Poetry of the Civil War Period at Dennysville Museum

Posted Aug. 12, 2013, at 8:37 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 28, 2013, at 1:48 p.m.

This summer’s exhibit at the Academy/Vestry Museum in Dennysville is focused on honoring the men from Washington County who served in the military during the Civil War. Last month, Stephen Sanfilippo shared a selection of maritime songs of the period, interspersed with personal letters from some of the down east area soldiers. The songs were heard or sung by the more than 800 men who served in the U.S. Navy during the conflict.

This month, on Saturday, August 24th at 2:00 p.m., the focus will be on the music of Stephen Foster. One of America’s most popular composers of the period, Foster’s songs were sung around many a hearthside and campfire during the war by soldiers and civilians alike. Interspersed among these tunes, will be a few poems expressing the national feeling of the time by Walt Whitman, John Greenleaf Whittier, Julia Ward Howe and others. Since such songs were often sung around the parlor pump organ, at least some of the songs will be accompanied by Jane Hinson on what is called a Missionary organ, which can be collapsed into a large wooden case with double handles for easier transportation.

These presentations of music, letters, and poems have been chosen to complement this year’s exhibit by the Dennys River Historical Society, which focuses on the experience of down east soldiers, sailors, and their families during the Civil War. Entitled “No Rich Men’s Sons,” it is open every Saturday through Labor Day from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, please call 726-3905.

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