By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Civil War buffs and novices alike can delve into the period’s history through a four-part reading and discussion series starting next month at the Lee County Library.
Thanks to a grant from the Mississippi Library Commission, the Lee County Library will host “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War” starting Oct. 9.
It is one of 65 libraries nationwide chosen to present the series, which centers on three books that participants are invited to read beforehand. Those books are:
• “March,” a historical fiction by author Geraldine Brooks about a chaplain who leaves his family and tests his faith amid the atrocities of the war.
• “Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam,” an account by historian by James McPherson of the deadliest battle in American history – Sept. 17, 1862 – where more than 6,000 soldiers died.
• “America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150th Anniversaries,” a collection of historical fiction, speeches, diaries, memoirs, and short stories about the Civil War published in support of the national reading and discussion series.
Lee County Library has roughly 30 copies of each book for check-out.
“The idea, obviously, is to read the books and improve people’s knowledge and appreciation” of the time period, said Lee County Library Director Jeff Tomlinson. “But we don’t want to discourage anyone from coming from the discussions. We’re not going to have a test; just an interest in the subject matter is fine.”
April Holm, assistant professor of history and associate director of the Center for Civil War Research at the University of Mississippi will lead the discussions, all of which begin at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the library.
The first one, on Oct. 9, will serve more as a meet-and-greet where participants can share insights and ideas about the books and the Civil War. Immediately beforehand, at 4 p.m., the Daughters of the Confederacy will hold an “Enlistment Party” to display artifacts and costumes of the period.
The next discussions will take place on Oct. 23, Nov. 13, and Nov. 27.