It may not have taken place in the vicinity of Cody, Wyoming, but its impact on American history—and on families that lived through it—was great. During the first three days of July 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. Combined casualty estimates range as high as fifty thousand, including dead, wounded, and missing.
Dr. John C. Rumm, Senior Curator of Western History at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, is marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg with a special program during the month of July. “The battle was a turning-point in the American Civil War,” says Rumm, “and thus had a lasting effect on our nation’s history.” The presentation, titled Learning a Lot from a Little: Love, Death, and Courage in the American Civil War, takes place each Friday of July at 12:15 p.m. in the Center’s Coe Auditorium and is free.
Drawn from a rare body of letters exchanged between a husband and wife, the program explores one family’s experiences during the Civil War, on the battlefield and at home, up to and after Gettysburg. “This is a poignant presentation celebrating the triumph of tragedy over adversity,” notes Rumm. “It shows how courage comes in many forms.” Families today, no matter where they live, will relate to the universal human experience revealed through these letters.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West offers many additional programs and activities for visitors of any interest or age. Find the current schedule on our Events page.
Since 1917, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has been committed to the greatness and growth of the American West, keeping western experiences alive. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, weaves the varied threads of the western experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms, and the nature and science of Yellowstone—into the rich panorama that is the American West.