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Imagining the U.S. Civil War, 1861-1900

Civil War2_exhibition2_350Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room
Wilson Special Collections Library
April 24—July 20, 2014
Free and open to the public
(919) 962-3765 or

A class of UNC undergraduates spent the spring semester researching literary and visual representations of the Civil War as part of an American literature seminar taught by UNC associate professor of English Eliza Richards.

Now the results of their work are on view at the Wilson Special Collections Library in the exhibition Imagining the U.S. Civil War, 1861-1900. The free public exhibition will be open through July 20.

Among the items on display are The Woman in Battle, Loreta Janeta Velazquez’s 1876 memoir about fighting in the Civil War disguised as a man, and an 1862 poem, “Sinking of the Cumberland,” which describes an early instance of modern naval warfare.

To develop the exhibition, the 21 students in the class worked in groups organized around themes such as “Battlefields,” “African-American Literature,” and “Women at War.” The groups selected poetry, fiction, images, and other materials from Wilson Library’s Rare Book Collection, North Carolina Collection, and Southern Historical Collection, and the Special Collections at the Health Sciences Library.

“I have never seen students working so intensively and enthusiastically, with such impressive results,” said Professor Richards. “This class has been an enormous pleasure and an amazing learning adventure for us all.”

For hours and exhibit information, contact Wilson Library at (919) 962-3765 or

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