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Sunday, August 11, 2013

See, Touch & Learn of Gosport Navy Yard & Portsmouth's History 1860-1865 This Weekend ~ August 17, 2013

                                                                               
Blog #26. August 11, 2013 By Marcus W. Robbins
 
When I last wrote in my History Matters” Blog #25 it was about the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum which originally opened to house the artifact collection of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in 1963.
 
Then, as now, I say to people that this small unassuming building at # 2 High Street is one of the best kept secrets in Portsmouth.  Often people ask me about being able to learn of the early history of the Gosport Navy Yard from its early beginnings and through it’s almost 246 years of continual operation under four flags and there is where I point them.  My good friend, the current Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum Curator, Mr. Corey Thornton and his staff do a wonderful job in conveying not only the shipyard story but also the close association of the shipyard with the City of Portsmouth.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum website is full of upcoming events and related links as found here:

 
You cannot tell the story of one institution, shipyard or city without making reference to the other.  At no other time in past history is this more evident than as we look back upon the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, roughly the years of 1860-1865.
 
As a way to both honor and in commemoration of the effects of the Civil War period had upon the local citizens working in the Gosport Navy Yard and living in the City of Portsmouth the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center is proud to present My Heart Beats For Peace upstairs in the Court House Gallery continuing through August 25, 2013.

I provide for you here the official exhibit description of the My Heart Beats For Peace program:

 Portsmouth's Civil War Home-front
 
In commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. Drawing from regional history and local collections My Heart Beats for Peace explores the impact of the war on the homefront of Portsmouth, Virginia. The exhibit examines Portsmouth in the early days of the war, when Virginia seceded and became part of the Confederate States of America. The exhibit then concentrates on the Federal occupation of Portsmouth and the area, and how occupation affected the community from 1862 to 1865. Through artifacts such as daguerreotypes, carte-de-visites, letters, camp goods, tools, military equipment, uniforms and dresses the exhibit offers to take you back into wartime Portsmouth. My Heart Beats for Peace also offers a historical glimpse across time into the lives of its people, who despite their differences in race, gender and social status were forever changed by the Civil War.

The following pictures are from the Naval Shipyard Museum website and should give readers of “History Matters” a peek at the professional level of presentation concerning the My Heart Beats For Peace exhibit.  This is something that should not be missed!


 
Be sure to visit Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center to view the historical exhibit “My Heart Beats for Peace: Portsmouth’s Civil War Homefront,” on exhibit May 25-August 25, 2013.

(Courtesy of Portsmouth Naval Museum)

 
Be sure to visit Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center to view the historical exhibit “My Heart Beats for Peace: Portsmouth’s Civil War Homefront,” on exhibit May 25-August 25, 2013.

(Courtesy of Portsmouth Naval Museum)
  
 
As an aside, and providing a very small part, I contributed three original handwritten letters, dated from within the walls of the shipyard, two of them by a Union solider in May of 1862 and one from the yard’s Naval Constructor in 1864 that are also on display in My Heart Beats For Peace.  As shared before in prior blogs, early Gosport or Norfolk Navy Yard in this time period is my passion.

See, Touch & Learn of Gosport Navy Yard & Portsmouth's History 1860-1865 This Weekend ~ August 17, 2013
 
At the Court House Gallery within the first floor display hall, this Saturday only, I along with a wealth of other local collectors shall display actual period items from within our personal collections that recognize impact of the Civil War for both the Navy Yard and Portsmouth area.  There will be many tables set up with original artifacts this coming weekend.

With the My Heart Beats For Peace exhibit upstairs and this special one-time only local gathering of historical personal Civil War collections downstairs this is shaping up to be an event to where you can see, touch and learn from a very important time period 150 years ago and how it ever affected the local area because – “history matters”.