May 16, 2013 "The Civil War in America" Exhibition Will Feature 230 New Items

Exhibition Hours to Change June 3-14 to Allow Placement of Items

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Cheryl Regan (202) 707-3610

The Library of Congress exhibition “The Civil War in America” will feature 230 new items starting Friday, June 14, including Union and Confederate recruitment posters; handwritten pages of Lincoln’s first and second inaugural addresses; and the haversack Walt Whitman carried as he attended to soldiers in Washington, D.C. hospitals.

To conduct this rotation of materials, the Library will close the Civil War exhibition, and the adjacent exhibition “Thomas Jefferson’s Library,” each day from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday, June 3 through June 14. The galleries will reopen to the public each day at 11 a.m. Hours will not be affected on Saturdays.

The rotation is necessary to limit the light exposure to collection materials, in keeping with the Library’s commitment to preserving items from the past for generations to come.

“The Civil War in America,” which opened Nov. 12, 2012, will run through Jan. 11, 2014. During its first five months, the exhibition drew nearly 300,000 visitors.

The exhibition, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, features items that reveal the complexity of the war through those who experienced it first-hand. Through diaries, letters, maps, song sheets, newspapers and broadsides, photographs, drawings and unusual artifacts, the exhibition chronicles the sacrifices and accomplishments of those—from both the North and South—whose lives were lost or affected by the events of 1861-1865.

Additional items to be displayed beginning in mid-June include: Antonia Ford Willard’s lace collar, which she crocheted while jailed as a Confederate spy; Charles Wellington Reed’s Medal of Honor, awarded for bravery at the Battle of Gettysburg; an illustrated guide for Confederate surgeons on the field of battle; a rare volume of Confederate sheet music; images of musicians during the Civil War; and a Union map showing the forts ringing the boundaries of Washington, D.C., during the war.

The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the James Madison Council. Additional funding is provided by Union Pacific Corporation, the Liljenquist family and AARP.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 155 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at


PR 13-097
ISSN 0731-3527