I’ll be fighting the Battle of Gettysburg—three times—in June: in Connecticut, in New Jersey, and on Long Island. Gettysburg: One Woman’s War is among my favorite programs. Its author, Elsie Singmaster, wrote powerful, engaging prose; and knew well the physical and emotional terrain of the conflict. She was popular in her time, as both a regional writer (Pennsylvania German) and a knowledgeable conjurer of Gettysburg and the Civil War. Doubtless she fell out of favor soon after the 1913 publication of Gettysburg: Stories of the Red Harvest and the Aftermath because during World War I and the aftermath, German Americans were demonized.
In July 1863, the Gettysburg battlefield WAS the home front. Women and children had nowhere to flee. Two hundred thousand soldiers fought for three days IN the town and for miles around it. When, four months later, Abraham Lincoln arrived to deliver his few remarks at the dedication of our first National Cemetery, bodies were still being exhumed. Townswomen were exhausted by days of terror; weeks of caring for the wounded and dying; months of struggling to remake households and gardens and lives, amid sights and sounds and smells of death.
Gettysburg: One Woman’s War concludes with hope and the promise of healing, looking back on the battle through the eyes of an old woman who has seen “beauty change to desolation . . . desolation grow again to beauty.” I hope that on June 25, 28, or 29, you’ll be in the audience, to discover Singmaster and her remarkable heroine.
Sunday, June 25, 2 p.m. Gettysburg: One Woman’s War
Norwalk Public Library System—South Norwalk Branch
10 Washington Street, Norwalk, CT 06850
RESERVATIONS/QUESTIONS: (203) 899-2790
Wednesday, June 28, 12:30 Gettysburg: One Woman’s War
Wayne Public Library
461 Valley Road Wayne, NJ 07470
RESERVATIONS/QUESTIONS: (973) 694-4272
Thursday, June 29, 12:30 Gettysburg: One Woman’s War
East Meadow Public Library
1886 Front Street, East Meadow, NY 11554
RESERVATIONS/QUESTIONS: (516) 794-2570
We'll soon learn what's ahead for the summer.
Do come again :-)