Voices of 1863

Witnesses to the Civil War
On display
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - Sunday, January 5, 2014

1863 was a pivotal year in the Civil War. First, the Emancipation Proclamation declared slaves in Confederate territory to be free and then the Union won two key battles: Gettysburg and Vicksburg. This exhibition explores these larger-than-life events through the stories of individuals, from the president to private citizens. Through letters and other dispatches, hear first-hand from the people struggling to preserve the Union and live their lives during one of the most dramatic eras of U.S. history.

The second of three exhibitions in a multi-year commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Voices of 1863 delves into three key 1863 events through the lens of four northerners represented in the Rosenbach’s collection. The Emancipation Proclamation is presented through President Lincoln, the Vicksburg campaign through General Grant, and the Gettysburg campaign through Major Alexander Biddle of the 121st Pennsylvania and the civilian Warner family of Gettysburg.

Immerse yourself in their words and experiences through over forty documents, including Lincoln’s handwritten notes and speeches on race and slavery, U.S. Grant’s personal letters to his family, Alexander Biddle’s letters from the field at Gettysburg, and letters documenting the Warners’ experience at Gettysburg before, during, and after the famous battle.

To follow the wartime stories of the people represented in Voices of 1863, and to learn more about the Rosenbach’s Civil War holdings, check out Today in the Civil War, a Rosenbach blog showcasing items from the collection 150 years after they were written.

Artist Projects