From staff reports
The Mid-Ohio Valley Civil War Roundtable (CWRT) invites residents interested in local history and the Civil War period to a series of local programs and events to be presented in May by organizations in the region, including:
¯ May 14 – The Castle Historic House Museum will host Cemetery Tours: Anti-Slavery and Freedom in Harmar at 10 a.m. and noon. Scott Britton, Executive Director of The Castle and Vice President of CWRT, will serve as guide and interpreter.
From the first founding of Marietta’s oldest neighborhood, Harmar was a headquarters of the anti-slavery movement as well as a home and refuge for multiracial families. Narratives will include the stories of an Underground Railroad leader whose local trial had national implications; the legacy of a family that inspired John Brown to champion his cause; four freeborn brothers who served as bodyguards to Union Civil War generals; and a resident who escaped slavery and bravely served with his liberators in the Iron Brigade.
Visitation will begin at the Harmar Cemetery entrance at 129 Wood St., Marietta. Advance reservations recommended at https://mariettacastle.org/events/.
¯ May 14 – The Fields of Gettysburg (FOG) will perform live at 8 p.m. at the Peoples Bank Theater in Marietta. The FOG is a song cycle centered on the personal stories of six people whose lives intersected at Gettysburg during the battle fought there from July 1-3, 1863.
This historically accurate musical narrative features 12 songs that bring the stories together, all supported by an illustrated presentation featuring vintage photographs and the Gettysburg landscape and the people involved.
The main characters include two generals, one Union and one Confederate, who provide the moral bookends to the song cycle, and three young Gettysburg natives who grew up together – only to be torn apart by war. FOG will be performed by local musicians John Walsh, Todd Burge, Justin Arthur, Sarah Burton, Craig Heath, Sadie Johnson, Raquel Ravaglioli and Bill White.
The production will be narrated by Larry Groce and accompanied by the acclaimed Appalachian musicians of Mountain Stage, including two-time Grammy winner Tim O’Brien.
Advance reservations recommended at https://peoplesbanktheatre.com/event/the-fields-of-gettysburg/.
¯ May 18 – Eric Wittenberg, Columbus lawyer, author, and historian, will present Seceding from Secession: The Civil War, Politics, and the Creation of West Virginia at the next regular meeting of the Civil War Round Table.
The presentation will examine the unprecedented social, legal, military, and political factors that led to the birth of West Virginia as the nation’s 35th state in 1863.
This assessment will take into account the debates in the counties of West Virginia after the election of President Lincoln, the first and second Wheeling conventions, the United States Congress on the admission of West Virginia into the Union and the division of the Lincoln’s cabinet on the new state.
These debates continued until finally resolved by the United States Supreme Court in 1871. The event is free and open to the public. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg, 724 Market St., Parkersburg. See www.cwrtmov.org for more information.
Tours of the Anti-Slavery and Freedom Cemetery in Harmar are hosted by The Castle Historic House Museum in Marietta. The Fields of Gettysburg performance is sponsored by The Adelphia, the Mid Ohio Valley Civil War Roundtable and the Ohio Arts Council. Secession from Secession: Civil War, Politics, and the Making of West Virginia, a presentation by Eric Wittenberg, is supported by the Mid-Ohio Valley Civil War Roundtable and the Ohio Arts Council.