Archive for May 27th, 2012

I was late to the gallery this morning because of this special event by the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park and co-sponsored by the Harpers Ferry Historical Association. Oh, well. It was worth it!

Not only were there books, but a Family & Youth Tent, an Archeology Discovery Tent, A Contraband Camp, music, guided tours and discussions. I don’t have a lot of material about the 1862 campaign in Harper’s Ferry, but I do have something related to contraband camps.

This image is an illustration from “The Soldier in Our Civil War” and depicts a New Year’s Contraband Ball at Vicksburg, Mississippi during the siege at Vicksburg.

Shortly after I found this illustration, I came across an article in The Spirit of Jefferson about contrabands in Harper’s Ferry.

On July 6, 2011, James Taylor, co-founder of he Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society was a guest speaker at a meeting of the Sons of the Confederacy. He talked about his family ties with Major General Nathaniel Banks, a Union commander who fought against Lieutenant General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson at Winchester in 1862.  Mr. Taylor’s great grandfather,who was contracted to work for the Confederate Army at Winchester and had escaped to Berkeley County, was with the Union Army when they retreated back to the contraband camp at Harpers Ferry.

You can read more about this story in this Spirit of Jefferson article dated July 6, 2011.

The illustration and the Spirit of Jefferson article make more sense in context. Such context may be found in the book “News for All the People,” by Juan Gonzalez and Joseph Torres, which is a fascinating account of not only the newspaper industry in the United States, but provides a particularly American history lesson.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Steam at Harper’s Ferry has two illustrations depicting events at Vicksburg available for purchase.

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