Join us at 7:15 PM on Thursday, June 8, at Camden County College in the Connector Building, Room 101. This month’s topic is
Steven Knowlton on “Thirteen Months in Dixie, or, the Adventures of a Federal Prisoner in Texas”
Thirteen Months in Dixie tells a rollicking tale of adventure, captivity, hardship, and heroism during the last year of the Civil War—in the protagonist’s own words. After being hidden away for decades as a family heirloom, the incredible manuscript is finally available, annotated and illustrated, for the first time.
Steven A. Knowlton is Librarian for History and African American Studies at Princeton University. His historical research has been published in many peer-reviewed journals. He is the recipient of the William Driver Award from the North American Vexillological Association and the Marshall Wingfield Award from the West Tennessee Historical Society and has won the Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award twice. This is his first book.
Join us at 7:15 PM on Thursday, July 13, at Camden County College in the Connector Building, Room 101. This month’s topic is
Randy Drais on “Women at Gettysburg”
Most, if not all, Battle of Gettysburg buffs have heard of Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg, and women such as Lydia Leister (whose home was used as General Meade’s headquarters), Mary Thompson (whose property was the site of General Lee’s headquarters), and others like Tillie Pierce and Elizabeth Thorn. But what about the many other women who were there during or after the battle?
Join independent historian Randy Drais to learn not only about the more well-known women, but also the more lesser known ones like Marie Tepe (“French Mary”), Cornelia Hancock, Catherine Heagen, Lucinda Horne, Rose Quinn Rooney, and many more. We will also learn about the monument on the battlefield that has not one, but two women mentioned on the plaques of that monument!
Jim Remsen and Brad Upp on “Back From Battle: The Forgotten Story of Pennsylvania’s Camp Discharge and the Weary Civil War Soldiers It Served”
In the final year of the American Civil War, a special Union Army post was constructed just outside Philadelphia to handle a jumble of returning citizen-soldiers.
Many soldiers bore bullet wounds, broken bones, and other scars of combat. Some had lost limbs. Some were laid low by illness. Hundreds arrived half-dead as survivors of wretched prison camps. Others were blessedly unscathed—but all grappled with the fresh, ferocious memories of their time at war.
The post, known as Camp Discharge, did its best to move the young Union veterans on to their next assignment or, more often, back to civilian life. During its brief existence, it sat on a bluff overlooking what is today one of the nation’s busiest highways, the Schuylkill Expressway. The post was quickly dismantled, its story forgotten. The authors reclaim that remarkable history and trace the often tumultuous lives of the Pennsylvania volunteer soldiers who passed through Camp Discharge’s gates.
Jim Remsen is a journalist and author of several prior books; The Intermarriage Handbook; Visions of Teaoga; and Embattled Freedom. Since retiring as Religion Editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jim has pursued his keen interest in history, with a focus on underappreciated aspects of our nation’s local histories.
Brad Upp is a board member of the Lower Merion Historical Society and a former educator. His upbringing near Camp Discharge stoked a fascination with history and led him to become a Civil War historian, relic hunter and re-enactor representing the 69th Pennsylvania Infantry. Brad is a skilled collector of artifacts from various periods of history, a passion that has taken him to a myriad of locations throughout the United States.