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The Power of Music in the Civil War
04-04-2014, 12:18 PM
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The Power of Music in the Civil War
From the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum:

[Image: battlehymn.jpg]

The Power of Music in the Civil War
Wednesday, April 23, 6:30 p.m.

Music was everywhere during the Civil War. Tunes could be heard ringing out from parlor pianos, thundering at political rallies, and setting the rhythms of military and domestic life. With literacy still limited, music was an important vehicle for communicating ideas about the war, and it had a lasting impact in the decades that followed. On Wednesday, April 23, in our Union Theater, Christian McWhirter will analyze the myriad ways music influenced popular culture in the years surrounding the war and discuss its deep resonance for both whites and blacks, South and North.

Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War is the first book to explore what Americans actually said and did with music published and enjoyed during the Civil War. By gauging the popularity of the most prominent songs and examining how Americans used them, McWhirter returns music to its central place in American life during the nation's greatest crisis. The result is a portrait of a war fought to music.

The museum will open at 6:00 p.m. for a book signing, with the discussion beginning at 6:30 p.m. In addition, the museum's journeys and galleries, including the photography exhibition Pilgrimage, will be open as well.

Christian McWhirter is assistant editor for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln based here at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.

The event is free, but reservations are required. Please visit for reservations or call 217-558-8934.
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