09 September 2013

Civil War Book and Film Discussion Groups

CIVIL WAR 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Lived It has arrived.  It is a national public programming initiative designed to encourage public exploration of the transformative impact and contested meanings of the Civil War through primary documents and firsthand accounts. We encourage everyone to read the Civil War 150 Readers and additional reading suggestions that are found behind the "Reading Suggestions" button on our Civil War pages to enhance the experience of the exhibit.  The supplemental Civil War 150 Readers take a broad view of the Civil War, including a variety of viewpoints as shown through contemporaneous writings. The items selected for the Civil War 150 Readers will broaden one’s understanding of the Civil War 150 exhibit. 

Within the Civil War 150 Readers are specific documents which inform us of the local Civil War experience of Confederate residents, the enslaved, Northern teachers and missionaries and members of the military here in Beaufort District, 1861 – 1865. Two discussion groups on the topic of “In Their Own Words: Beaufort District during the Civil War” will be led by Grace Cordial, Manager of the Beaufort District Collection, to highlight commentary on the local situation. The discussion groups will center on the themes of the Civil War 150 Readers and how those themes are seen in the a selection of extant contemporaneous documents and firsthand accounts relating to Beaufort District’s Civil War history. To our knowledge a comprehensive compilation of the primary documents and firsthand accounts that explores the Civil War experience as it unfolded in the approximately 1900 square miles that was once Beaufort District does not yet exist. Thus, the list of supplemental primary source document material is highly selective. Used in conjunction with extracts from the Civil War 150 Readers, we trust that participants will have a deeper understanding of how unique the Civil War experience of Beaufort District actually was.

The Beaufort Book Club blog has the reading selections and the questions to guide your reading and the discussion.  There will be two discussion sessions:

  • Wed., Sept. 25th | 1:00 - 2:00 pm | BDC@ Bluffton Branch Library, 120 Palmetto Way
  • Thurs., Sept. 26th | 5:30 - 6:30 pm | BDC@ Beaufort Branch Library, 311 Scott Street       

You can also follow our 'One County Reads the Civil War' Pinterest page for additional suggestions about non-fiction Civil War materials or even historical novels to read on your own just for fun.    

For those of you who enjoy serious discussions about serious topics, consider registering for the Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War series in October.  The books are March by Geraldine Brooks; America's War edited by Edward Ayers; and Crossroad of Freedom: Antietam by James McPherson.  Guest discussion leaders are: Dr. Joe Kelly of the College of Charleston; Allen Roberson and Joe Long of the Confederate Relic Room; JoAnn Zeise of the South Carolina State Museum; and Dr. Eric Emerson, South Carolina State Archives Director. Details and registration: scotts@bcgov.net; 255-6432

Some of you may be fonder of viewing films than you are of reading the printed word.  We have a number of opportunities in September and October for visual learners to explore the Civil War in more depth.

Thursdays in September at 2pm | Hilton Head Library
September 5: Cold Mountain
September 12: Red Badge of Courage
September 19: Glory
September 26: Shenandoah

Friday, Sep 20 at 7:30pm | USCB - Performing Arts Center

Our partner, the Beaufort History Museum, is showing and discussing Glory! with SC Humanities scholar, Joseph McGill on Fri., Sept 20 at 7:30 pm at the USC- Performing Arts Center.  The event is free and open to the public.  Call 277-1443 for details.

Saturdays at 1pm (Sep 21-Oct 19) | Bluffton Branch Library

“The Civil War,” the groundbreaking documentary series by Ken Burns, will be screened over five consecutive Saturday afternoons as the Beaufort County Library system commemorates the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War through its “One County Reads One War” initiative. This award-winning documentary by acclaimed director Ken Burns is a masterpiece of primary source material and narration of real people's experiences during the war. Each afternoon screening will be accompanied by guided discussion and Civil War themed refreshments during intermission. This event is free and open to the public. To learn more about the films visit http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/

Episode Schedule:
  • Saturday, September 21st showing Episode 1: “The Cause” (99 min)
  • Saturday, September 28th showing Episodes 2 & 3: “A Very Bloody Affair” and “Forever Free” (145 min)
  • Saturday, October 5th showing Episodes 4 & 5: “Simply Murder” and “The Universe of Battle” (157 min)
  • Saturday, October 12th showing Episodes 6 & 7: “Valley of the Shadow of Death” and “Most Hallowed Ground” (142 min)
  • Saturday, October 19th showing Episodes 8 & 9: “War is Hell” and “The Better Angels of Our Nature” (157min)

  • Thursday, Oct 3 at 11am | St. Helena Branch Library
  • Wednesday, Oct 8 at 11am | Beaufort Branch Library

Our libraries will show Death and the Civil War, a documentary by acclaimed director Ric Burns. Originally presented on PBS’ American Experience, the film explores the change in military practices and in the American psyche, as the nation witnessed death on a scale never before seen. Program is intended for adult audiences.

Saturday, Oct 12 at 1pm | St. Helena Branch Library

Come view and discuss one of the most controversial films Hollywood ever made about the Civil War.

Saturday, Oct 19 at 1pm | St. Helena Branch Library

This documentary discusses the response to the film Birth of a Nation. Discussion to follow film.

Even the young can explore Civil War books and films during our system-wide "One County Reads the Civil War" project!

Tuesday, Sep 24 at 4pm | Bluffton Library | Ages 6-10
This event features Civil War on Sunday, one of the books in the Magic Tree House series, includes activities & stories.

Thursday, Sep 26 at 4pm | Hilton Head Library | Ages 4+
Join us as we watch everyone’s favorite terrier, Wishbone,
in an episode featuring a classic tale of the Civil War.

Monday, Oct 7 at 4pm | Bluffton Library | Ages 7-12
This program focuses on Addy, one of the African-American characters in the popular American Girls series. Participants will discover Addy’s bravery and life in her time.

Wednesday, Oct 16 at 4pm | Grades 2nd & Up
This month we’ll be reading Civil War books. Read one of your favorites or try one of our recommendations.

We hope that you'll be able to join us for some (or several) of these discussion opportunities within the "One County Reads the Civil War" project.  

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