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Struggle Without End: The Civil War's Impact on NJ - exhibition to open in Sept

Detail of a sketch of the Sixth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers Leaving Jersey City R.R. Depot, to Defend the Capitol, at Washington D.C., April 18, 1861. Printed in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper p. 373. Courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives of the Rutgers University Libraries.

Though the battlefields were many miles from our borders, the bitter struggles of the Civil War struck scores of families in the Garden State.

Opening on Wednesday September 19th, Special Collections and University Archives' exhibition Struggle Without End: The Civil War's Impact on New Jersey, will go beyond the military story to show the effects of the Civil War on the culture and society of the state. The exhibition will highlight rare and unique items from Rutgers' collections, including letters from the front, diaries of soldiers and civilians, political tracts, and artifacts.

Renowned historian James McPherson of Princeton University, author of Battle Cry of Freedom, will deliver a keynote address at the exhibition opening starting at 4:30 pm. His lecture will inaugurate a series of programs in fall 2012 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the conflict, including a panel discussion about African Americans and the Civil War, a lecture on the New Jersey political climate during the Civil War, and lunchtime discussions on women and the Civil War and the psychological impact of war on the soldiers who fought. Details of these events will be posted shortly on the Rutgers University Libraries' website.

Special Collections and University Archives hold the largest collection of manuscripts and contemporary publications documenting New Jersey and the Civil War in the United States. Among the objects that will be displayed are field maps and drawings by Washington Roebling, the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge; a diary and cap belonging to Ellis Hamilton, a young officer killed at Spotsylvania Court House; and a Civil War-era surgeon's kit.

For more information about the exhibition and programs, please contact Fernanda H. Perrone, exhibitions coordinator, at 848-932-6154 or

This exhibition and public programs are made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations in these presentations do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Posted July 23, 2012; July 25, 2012 (image change); July 30, 2012 (keynote start time)