The last shots were fired 130 years ago, but the Civil War lives on. Every year, re-enactments draw thousands of people with their vintage coats and antique muskets. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge how to turn an old war into living history.
Tony Horwitz, author of "Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War," tells Jim Fleming about his experiences with some colorful Civil War re-enacters. Also, Civil War re-enacter Stephen Oreck (an orthopedic surgeon in real life) talks with Steve Paulson about the educational efforts of the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry (the so-called Iron Brigade) and how there are moments when the past truly comes alive on the battlefield.SEGMENT 2:
Gary Gallagher teaches Civil War history at the University of Virginia. He is scornful of most Civil War re-enacters, but takes his students on field trips to battlefields. He also has them read period writings, especially diaries kept by 19th century people their own age. Also, high school senior Ryan Lester tells Steve Paulson what he learned in class last year about the Civil War. And, State Historian at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Michael Stevens talks about the career of Robert Beecham, a white Union officer who believed in racial equality and commanded a black regiment. Stevens edited Beecham's memoir, called "As If It Were Glory."SEGMENT 3:
Novelist Kaye Gibbons tells Jim Fleming that she wanted to break the stereotypes people have of Southern women, and describes some of the characters in her latest book that do just that. The book is called "On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-10-04-C.
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