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Christian McWhirter, author of the book Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War, will lecture on “The Confederate Search for a National Anthem" and discuss the various contenders for that status and why they succeeded or failed. He will share recordings of period songs, exposing the audience to songs both familiar and not so familiar. This presentation will be included with paid museum admission.
Reservations are not required, but if you would like to reserve a seat or get more information, call 1-855-649-1861 ext. 121 or email us.
From the information on McWhirter's book Battle Hymns: Music was everywhere during the Civil War. Tunes could be heard ringing out from parlor pianos, thundering at political rallies, and setting the rhythms of military and domestic life. With literacy still limited, music was an important vehicle for communicating ideas about the war, and it had a lasting impact in the decades that followed. Drawing on an array of published and archival sources, Christian McWhirter analyzes the myriad ways music influenced popular culture in the years surrounding the war and discusses its deep resonance for both whites and blacks, South and North.
Christian McWhirter is an assistant editor for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.