Tuesday night’s SOKY Reads! presentation on Louisa May Alcott focused on her experiences as a nurse during the Civil War. Readings from her non-fiction work, Hospital Sketches, gave attendees a sense of life on the home front during the war, something noticeably absent from Little Women, her most famous work set during the same time period. The series continues tonight at the Kentucky Museum with a discussion of the role of women in the 19th Century and the influence of Alcott and her work on women’s rights and responsibilities. The discussion will be led by Dr. Dorothea Browder and will begin at 6pm.
Daily Archives: September 22, 2011
On September 22, 1861, William Howard wrote a letter to his family in Caldwell County. A private in the 3rd Kentucky Infantry, Howard was with the first wave of Confederate troops who arrived in Bowling Green four days earlier from Camp Boone, Tennessee to begin a five-month occupation of the city. “We are encamped at Bolen Green in Ky. Warren Co.,” he reported, and thanked his family for the socks he had received just prior to departing from Camp Boone.
Of Bowling Green, Howard wrote that “Union men here are as thick as dog hair”; nevertheless, he pronounced himself ready for a fight against the “Lincolnites.” Over the next few months, he vividly depicted the trials of camp life for the ordinary soldier. Like many of his comrades, Howard grew tired and ill as he helped to build fortifications in cold, rainy weather, and he watched as the “heep of sickness in camp” took its toll. Early in November, he reported that deaths in his brigade were averaging about one per day, with 38 dead since their arrival. The Yankees never showed up for battle, but in January 1862 Howard still believed that there would “be a big fight in Ky” before too long, “and then peace.”
When he wrote on September 22, Howard was apprehensive about the future, telling his family that “its extremely doubtful about us ever meeting again.” He was right. He died in Mississippi on February 12, 1863.
The letters of William B. Howard are part of the collections of WKU’s Special Collections Library. Click here to download a finding aid. For more on our extensive Civil War collections, click here or search TopScholar and KenCat.
Lexington Native, Tyler Matl performed for an appreciative crowd yesterday at Java City. Matl, now based out of Nashville, played all original material in the latest in te Java City Noon Concert series. Don’t forget, there is a special 2 hour performance by Tuatha Dea today at Java City- Helm. Tuath Dea is co-sponsored by DUC.