When Duty Whispers: Concord and the Civil War
April 26 - September 18, 2011
As 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War, the Concord Museum in historic Concord, Massachusetts, is commemorating the occasion with a special exhibition, "When Duty Whispers: Concord and the Civil War."
On April 19, 1861, the town of Concord was united in readiness for war, arguably more ready and more united than on the famed date of April 19, 1775. Just one week after Fort Sumter had been fired on, the men of the Concord Infantry answered President Lincoln’s call for troops, and the town as one family saw them off. The scene, with variations, was repeated that April in countless communities in Pennsylvania, New York and New England. Still, although Concord’s experience was in some ways typical, Concord can rightly claim a distinctive role in formulating the public opinions that made the devastating war seem not just right, but necessary.
"When Duty Whispers: Concord and the Civil War" features objects from the Concord Museum collection—some never before exhibited—including portraits, uniforms, firearms, swords, flags, broadsides, engravings, correspondence, and newspapers. The exhibition also brings together selections from the remarkable collections of the William Munroe Special Collections at the Concord Free Public Library; an extraordinary group of Gettysburg relics from the Carlisle Historical Society; a charcoal study for the monumental painting “Memories of Antietam” by Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts from the Concord Art Association; and representative examples from a private collection of Springfield arms. In addition, a recently-conserved flag of the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of two black infantry regiments from Massachusetts during the Civil War, is included courtesy of The Middlesex School.