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Power of Music in the Civil War at Lincoln Presidential Museum

“Music was everywhere during the Civil War – at public events, in the home and even on the battlefield,” the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum (A.L.P.L.M.) stated. “Robert E. Lee once said he couldn’t have an army without music.”

Author and scholar Christian McWhirter will explore the impact of music during the war on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at the A.L.P.L.M. The Springfield resident will also sign copies of his book Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War. It begins at 6:30 p.m.

McWhirter is Assistant Editor of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln based at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and has earned great reviews for Battle Hymns. Huffington Post called it “a treat” for history lovers and “also a painful reminder of just how divided a nation we were at birth.”

Civil War Book Review said McWhirter has made “a real contribution” to his field. Battle Hymns explains how music could be used as propaganda.

"A Southern song, for instance, might urge women to take pride in homespun clothes rather than being jealous of Union women with gowns and jewels," the A.L.P.L.M. stated. "Northern soldiers would sing about the superiority of their Enfield rifles."

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum (A.L.P.M.) will open at 6:00 p.m. for the book signing, with the discussion beginning at 6:30 p.m. In addition, the A.L.P.M.'s journeys and galleries, including the photography exhibit Pilgrimage, will be open as well.

The event is free, but reservations are required. Visit for reservations or call 217-558-8934.

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