2013 marks the anniversary of the 3rd year of the American Civil War, particularly the Battle of Gettysburg. Rhinebeck was well represented in the "war between the states", and the town itself was deeply involved in the war effort. The Consortium of Rhinebeck History is commemorating Rhinebeck's Civil War veterans with events and exhibits for everyone to enjoy.
The Rhinebeck Historical Society, the Museum of Rhinebeck History, and the Chancellor Livingston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution are working together to present special exhibits and talks on Rhinebeck veterans and their experiences. More than 200 of Rhinebeck's men, including African-Americans, went off to fight in the war. Many were wounded, some died in battle, but even more died from sickness and disease. Exhibits have been put up at Rhinebeck's Town Hall, the Starr Library and the General Montgomery House on Livingston Street commemorating these brave men.
The Town Hall exhibit celebrates and memorializes the Rhinebeck men from the 150th New York State Infantry Regiment, which fought so bravely at Gettysburg. The Starr Library features The Cannon Roar All Night: Profiles of Local Civil War Soldiers, an exhibit profiling soldiers who wrote letters home, as well as displaying photographs, maps, and the 150th New York State Infantry's Regimental Flag. This flag was carried into battled and was sewn by the Ladies of the Dorcas Guild of the Reformed Church in Rhinebeck.
The General Montgomery House exhibit, entitled Honoring Those Who Sacrificed to Preserve the Union, features a Civil War mourning dress, the history of the 128th New York State Infantry Regiment, David H. Hanaburg collection (a soldier in the 128th held at Salisbury Prison, N.C.), a gun and bayonet, and the Dr. Benjamin Baker collection. All of these objects, some of them simple everyday items and others tools of war, provide insight into the lives and experiences of Rhinebeck's Civil War veterans.
On Thursday, July 4th at 10am, the "Remembering Rhinebeck in the Civil War" program is set to be held in front of the Rhinebeck Post Office, on the lawn next to the Civil War cannon. All are welcome to attend this event observing the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
There are many opportunities to view these exhibits. The Starr Library is open seven days a week; Rhinebeck Town Hall is open Monday through Friday; the General Montgomery House, the Museum of Rhinebeck History, and the Palatine Farm Stead are all open on Saturdays from 1-4pm from now through September. For more information visit www.rhinebeckhistoricalsociety.org