Belfast has had a busy fall and winter with monthly Civil War presentations at the Belfast Free Library, family book discussions, and other activities as part of their Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War project.
Additionally, Belfast Historical Society and Museum president Megan Pinette is co-teaching a course for the Senior College at Belfast on “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the Civil War” based on the acclaimed book of the same title by Drew Gilpin Faust.
On October 7, 2013, the Family Book Discussion Group, comprised of young girls and their moms, paid a visit to the Belfast Museum to see the 1864 Flag Quilt and the Civil War exhibit. The group was lead by Jane Thompson, Belfast Free Library’s Youth Services Director.
As part of the “Local and Legendary: Belfast in the Civil War,” they are reading several books with Civil War themes and doing projects to coincide with the readings. One book, The Patchwork Quilt: A Quilt Map to Freedom, by Bettye Stroud, prompted the visit and the creation of the flag-inspired quilt squares.
On November 4, Peter Dalton of Northport presented the program “4th Maine at Gettysburg.” The 4th Maine, which mustered in Rockland, included companies from Knox and Waldo counties. Dalton’s talk explored the participation of the 4th Maine in the Battle of Gettysburg and their influence on the outcome of the battle. He has authored two books about the 4th Maine, With Our Faces to the Foe, and, with his wife Cyndi, Into the Valley of Death.
The Richardson’s Civil War Round Table discussed topics related to Belfast during the Civil War on December 2. Round Table members gave short talks on local Belfast Civil War soldiers and the women at home and their contributions to the war effort. The program was taped and is available through the generosity of the Belfast Historical Society.
Civil War re-enactor Rob “Maynard” Kufrovich presented “Who Were The Zouaves?” on Monday, January 13, 2014, in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library. Wearing his 114th Pennsylvania Infantry uniform, he discussed the life of a Zouave, a particular style of soldier known not only for his fighting skills, but for his unique uniform. The colorful Zouave uniform was based on the North African-styled uniforms worn by Zouave units of the French army during the Crimean War. Kufovich told the audience that, “The Zouaves were considered light infantry,” and “one out of every ten soldiers at the start of the war was a Zouave.”
To learn more about the Belfast team and upcoming events through May, “like” the Local & Legendary: Belfast in the Civil War Facebook page.
Thanks to Local & Legendary Maine Humanities Council project consultant, Janet Lyons, for this update.