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"Voices of Conflict" Reveal Human Dimension of Civil War

“…Our cuntry is in a bad condition I dont know what is to become of us we still have enough to eat and wear for which we aut to be truly thankful i fear it wont last long.”

Leah Hamilton Jenkins brought life these words of Elizabeth Hunter, who wrote to her daughter Margaret Hunter Newberry in 1864 as the Civil War raged. Leah, with the Springfield Area Arts Council, is one of four pros who recorded such excerpts with public radio station KSMU to promote the Library’s Big Read theme, “Voices of Conflict: The American Civil War.”

KSMU, a library partner in The Big Read, airs a recording at 7:30 a.m. every Thursday through April 28. You can always hear them on KSMU.org, click on The Big Read icon. Full print versions are at Community & Conflict: Impact of the Civil War in the Ozarks, along with many other materials focusing on the Battle of Wilson’s Creek.

These recordings lend a realistic and human dimension to our observance of the Sesquicentennial. It’s a reminder that the 150th isn’t a “celebration,” but a sobering reflection on our past.

The Big Read continues this week with a wide range of programs that help promote our understanding of the war:

See the full Big Read event schedule at thelibrary.org/bigread.


It’s almost here! The big Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale will open its doors April 26-May 1 at Remington’s, 1655 W. Republic Road. Hours are 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, April 26-30; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, May 1. The Friends members preview sale is 5-8 p.m. Monday, April 25.

Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at kathleeno@thelibrary.org.

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