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Civil War speakers bureau offers variety of topics for groups young and old

Monday, December 31, 2012

Civil War photography, lost communities and art as political expression are just some of the lessons presenters from The Battle of Marshall speakers bureau want to bring to life for area students and civic organizations.

"Most speakers will arrive in the classroom dressed in period costume, and some will portray a real person from history," said Cynthia Nold, one of the committee members organizing the bureau. "The primary reason for developing a speakers bureau was outreach to schools. However, the speakers later volunteered to speak to adult civic clubs and organizations to enlarge the appreciation of Civil War history and Saline County's unique experiences 150 years ago."

She said volunteers hoped by creating a variety of topics teachers would find a way to incorporate these topics into required course work grades.

Because of varied speakers bureau offerings, teachers of art, literature, and other subjects may find use for speakers in addition to history teachers.

The speakers are just a small part of the year-long commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Marshall. The main event, sponsored by the Marshall Cultural Council in partnership with local governments and organizations, will be held in conjunction with Santa Fe Trail Days, Sept. 13-15, 2013, at Indian Foothills Park.

According to organizers, the Civil War changed social relationships, economics and geography. The commemoration and the speakers will help illustrate that importance.

"Marvin Wilhite's program on Saline County towns contrasts the development of pre- and post-Civil War communities. Both Bill Westbrook's and Chris Nelson's presentations relate to photography, in its early journalistic stage in the 1860s," explained Nold. "Early photography was static; subjects had to hold a pose. Now students with cell phones can take instant photos and action videos with ease."

Teachers who want a speaker for a class should contact them directly to arrange date and time, Nold said.

The presenters and topics available are:

(Photo)
Connie Grisier
--Connie Grisier, a former history instructor and retired historic site administrator at Van Meter State Park. Her topics include, "1850s Kansas and Missouri Border," "Temperance and Women's Rights," "The Changing Roles of Women during the Civil War" and "Missouri Civil War Re-enactors Association and the Ladies' Union Aid Society." Contact Grisier at 61ramblerwagon@gmail.com

(Photo)
Marvin Wilhite
--Marvin Wilhite, historian for the Saline County Historical Society. His topics include "Pre-Civil War Towns of Saline County and Those Who Survived," and "Dr. Chastain, Union Physician at the Battle of Marshall." Contact Wilhite at marvin@marshalllibrary.org or at the Marshall Public Library.

(Photo)
Bill Westbrook
--Bill Westbrook, former high school history teacher, uses a vintage camera to demonstrate the work of Mathew Brady, the father of photojournalism. He can be contacted at 660-886-2490.

(Photo)
Michael Dickey
--Michael Dickey, site administrator at Arrow Rock State Historic Site. His topics include: Saline County's Civil War History and George Caleb Bingham in the Civil War. He can be contacted at mike.dickey@dnr.mo.gov or by phone at 660-837-3330.

(Photo)
Chris Nelson
--Chris Nelson, Local inn keeper and photographer, discusses Civil War 3-D photography, providing 3-D glasses for up to 30 audience members. A data projector or large screen television is required for his presentation. Contact him at cwn2020@gmail.com or at 660-886-8445.

Contact Marcia Gorrell at mgorrell@marshallnews.com

Online:
www.battleofmarshall.org/speakers



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