GCC Explores Unique Civil War Perspectives

Exhibit, Speakers Continue College's Civil War Initiative

Batavia, NY- Genesee Community College continues to explore the Civil War as America marks the 150th anniversary of the historic conflict that defined our nation. The College this fall is bringing a National Library of Medicine exhibit to campus. In addition, several speakers are planned who will discuss different aspects of the War, from its impact on families to its influence on the practice of medicine. The exhibit and all lectures are free and open to the public.

Many of those wounded during the four year battle (1861-1865) lost limbs. It’s estimated about three quarters of all surgical operations performed during the Civil War were amputations. The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health has created a traveling exhibit that delves into this often-overlooked aspect of the war and its impact. GCC is honored to bring this exhibit, “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War” to the Alfred C. O’Connell Library on the Batavia campus. The exhibit will be open from Monday, September 16 – Saturday, October 26, 2013. An opening ceremony is planned for Monday, September 16, 10 -11a.m.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the staff at GCC’s Library is developing an extensive online resource guide available at http://guides.genesee.edu/lifeandlimb. The site includes lesson plans and instructional materials for middle school and high school classrooms as well as an updated schedule of events.

Prior to the opening of the exhibit, the fall Civil War Lecture Series will welcome to campus author Wayne Mahood on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 7 p.m. in Room T102 of the Conable Technology Building. Mahood, a distinguished service professor emeritus of education at SUNY Geneseo, has penned a number of books about the Civil War. They include:
•“The Plymouth Pilgrims: A History of the 85th New York Infantry in the Civil War”
•“Charlie Mosher’s Civil War: From Fair Oaks to Andersonville with the Plymouth Pilgrims”
•“Written in Blood: History of the 126th New York Infantry in the Civil War”
•“General Wadsworth: The Life and Times of Brevet Major General James S. Wadsworth”
•“Alexander ‘Fighting Elleck’ Hays-The Life of a Civil War General, From West Point to the Wilderness”

His most recent, “Fight All Day, March All Night: A Medal of Honor Recipient’s Story,” features the descriptive letters of Civil War Captain Morris Brown, Jr. At age 21 Brown, of Penn Yan, NY, left his studies at Hamilton College to fight for the Union. By 22, Brown was a captain and eventually received the Congressional Medal of Honor. The book chronicles his courageous story through articulate letters he wrote to his family in Penn Yan.

On Wednesday, September 18, 2013 an evening reception is planned for the Life and Limb exhibit from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. in the Library. David Armitage and Dona LaValle will provide music from 6:30 - 7 p.m., followed by a presentation at 7 p.m. in room T102 by Eleanor Stearns who will bring the life and times of Clara Barton to stage. Barton, often referred to as “Angel of the Battlefield” for her work as a nurse on the front lines, spent considerable time in Dansville, NY after the Civil War. Her influence and leadership led Dansville to become the home of the first local society of the American Red Cross in 1881.

On Saturday, September 21, 2013 Dr. Spencer Annabel of Hornell, NY will speak about the “Myths and Realities of Civil War Medicine.” His talk will be held in Room T119 of the Conable Technology Building on the Batavia Campus from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Dr. Annabel, a practicing surgeon by day, has participated in Civil War reenactments and has extensively studied medical care provided on the battlefield.

On Tuesday, September 24, 2013 visitors have a chance to learn about modern prosthetics from George Hall, Jr., senior prosthetist at the Amputee Treatment Center of Batavia. The Center’s founder, Michael Love, developed and patented a pneumatic socket design for prosthetics, Pump It Up. It aims to solve fitting problems faced by most amputees. Hall has worked with Love at the Amputee Treatment Center for 22 years and is experienced with all aspects of prosthetics. He will speak from 12:30 - 2 p.m. in Room T102 of the Conable Technology Building on the Batavia campus.

In addition, Civil War Initiative coordinator and assistant professor of History Derek Maxfield will present two lectures. On Wednesday, October 2, 2013, Maxfield will talk about Confederate General Robert E. Lee's war career and then will be joined by Tom Schobert, who will talk about Lee's postwar career in character. On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Maxfield will present “Ancestors in Peace and Pieces,” a look at the life of his great grandfathers – who served in the Union ranks - after the Civil War. Both lectures are at 7 p.m. in Room T102 of the Conable Technology Building.

For more information, go to the Civil War Initiative website (http://civilwaratgcc.wordpress.com) or contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.

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Editor’s Note:
Photo courtesy of the National Library of Medicine showing Civil War veterans.