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Heritage & News - August 2005

Clara Barton Birthplace Museum, MA - 104th Pennsylvania Flag Project - Shelby Foote (Articles compiled from issue 78 of Crossfire, the magazine of the ACWRT(UK) Clara Barton Birthplace Museum, North Oxford, MA. In June 2005, Webmaster John Laskey paid a return visit to the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum near Oxford, Mass. This had inspired the article he did for Crossfire on Clara Barton for Crossfire 72 (October 2003). He was warmly received by the staff there and it was clear that much had happened since his first visit during 2001. More resources are now available for cataloguing and consolidating the collections of artifacts at the museum, and this is due to the increased interest form experienced historical researchers at the site along with some new financial grants at State and Federal level. John felt that this made the Birthplace quite fortunate in terms of support, in contrast to many sites around the US with Civil War associations. 104th Pennsylvania Flag Project ACWRT Archivist Robin Ansell has been in contact with the Bucks County Historical Society re our fundraising efforts for their 104th Pa Flag Project. They replied to him as follows: "Thank you very much. This is a very pleasant surprise! As of the first of the year we began the conservation treatment process on the flag, conducted by the firm Textile Preservation Associates of Keedysville, Maryland. We actually anticipate that work will be completed very soon, and that the flag will be returned to the museum in early April. We will re-exhibit the flag, in a small exhibit on the Battle of Fair Oaks, on our Memorial Day weekend at the end of May. The exhibit will be on view at least through the end of the year. Although the work on the flag is nearly completed, we still need to provide final payment for the work, and there are other costs associated with its re-exhibition. When it is available, we would certainly appreciate being able to apply your contribution to our debt for the flag work and to some of the exhibition costs. Thank you again for your support of this project, and please extend my thanks to all the members of your group. Regards, Cory Amsler, Vice President, Collections and Interpretation Mercer Museum/Bucks County Historical Society" Shelby Foote Novelist and historian Shelby Foote, whose Southern storyteller's touch inspired millions to read his multi-volume work on the Civil War, died in Memphis. He was 88. Foote, a Mississippi native and long-time Memphis resident, only wrote six novels but is best remembered for his three volume, 3,000-page history of the Civil War and his appearance on the PBS series "The Civil War." He worked on the book for 20 years, using a flowing, narrative style that enabled readers to enjoy it like a historical novel. That work landed Foote a leading role on Ken Burns' 11-hour Civil War documentary, first shown on the Public Broadcasting Service in 1990. "He was a Southerner of great intellect who took up the issue of the Civil War as a writer with huge sanity and sympathy," said Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford, a friend and fellow Mississippi native. Foote's soft drawl and gentlemanly manner on the Burns film made him an instant celebrity, a role with which he was unaccustomed and, apparently, somewhat uncomfortable. Foote's first novel, "Tournament," was started before the war and published in 1949. Then came "Follow Me Down" in 1950, "Love in a Dry Season" in 1951, "Shiloh" in 1952 and "Jordan County" in 1954. That same year, Random House asked him to write a one-volume history of the Civil War. He took the job, but it grew into a three-volume project finally finished in 1974. © ACWRT(UK) 2005

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