HARPERS FERRY CIVIL WAR ROUNDTABLE MEETING APRIL 12, 2017 DATE: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 TIME: Dinner 7:00 PM; Program 8:00 PLACE: Camp Hill Methodist Church, Harpers Ferry, SPEAKER: Dr. James Broomall SUBJECT: By Whose Hand: The Curious Letters of a Civil War Soldier The Speaker: James J. Broomall is the Director of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War (GTMC) and an assistant professor of history at Shepherd University. Along with William A. Link, his Ph.D. mentor, Broomall most recently co-edited and published "Rethinking American Emancipation: Legacies of Slavery and the Quest for Black Freedom" (Cambridge University Press, 2016). He has articles in Civil War History, The Journal of the Civil War Era, and the edited volume, Creating Citizenship in the Nineteenth-Century South in addition to historiographical essays, book reviews, and online essays. His manuscript-length project, "Personal Confederacies: Southern Men as Citizens and Soldiers" is currently under review at the University of North Carolina Press and he has finalized a report for the National Park Service and the Organization of American Historians on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal during the American Civil War. As part of the directorship and because of a personal investment in public history, Broomall organizes a range of public programs at the GTMC including most prominently "Civil War Christmas," a speaker series, and the annual Civil War seminar. He also helps maintain and is currently overseeing the upgrade of the GTMC's Civil War Soldiers Database (started in 1993), which consists of the records of over 40,000 Civil War soldiers from West Virginia and the adjacent Potomac River Valley. He, his wife Tish, and their two sons, Simon and Henry, live in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The Subject By the fall of 1863, John and Charles Futch were dead. The brothers served together as soldiers in the 3rd North Carolina Infantry. Charles fell with his face to the foe at the battle of Gettysburg having died the "good death" according to Victorian culture. As an illiterate yeoman farmer, John had to rely upon others to help him compose his letters home about his brother's death. Their voice became his voice. What emerges from a careful reading of the letters, though, is that John saw the event as anything but a good death and returned from the fight a changed man. This talk will focus on a series of letters written after Charles' death and explore how different authors portrayed his death in contrasting ways. By so doing, we will consider the authenticity and credibility of nineteenth-century sources, place these materials within a boarder historical context, and ultimately learn of John's fate, for remember, both men were dead by the fall of 1863. The Meal A family-style meal will be served at 7:00 PM prior to the program. The cost of the meal is $15.00 per person. Reservations for the meal must be made no later than Sunday, April 9th!! with Kevin Pawlak at 585-880-0425. The meal will consist of fried chicken, homemade potato salad, seasoned green beans, rolls, beverages, and assorted desserts.