Pennsylvania’s Civil War role examined

PITTSBURGH – The Senator John Heinz History Center will examine Pennsylvania’s role in the Civil War with the new exhibition Pennsylvania’s Civil War.

Local author Mary Frailey Calland and History Center ambassador Sue Morris will give the presentation “Allegheny Arsenal – A Civil Catastrophe” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

A series of explosions on the afternoon of Sept. 17, 1862, rocked Lawrenceville’s Allegheny Arsenal, where many of the community’s women and girls worked to make gunpowder cartridges, munitions and supplies for the Union Army during the Civil War. When the dust settled, 78 workers, mostly women and girls, lost their lives. While many theories exist, the cause of the blast remains a mystery. The lives lost in the explosion and the city’s mobilization in the wake of the Civil War’s worst civilian tragedy will be examined.

Civil War living historian, including a Union soldier and Confederate Army musician, will interact with visitors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Authors David Neville, Michael Kraus and Kenneth Turner will discuss their book, “The Civil War in Pennsylvania: A Photographic History,” moderated by Brian Butko, History Center director of publication, as part of the “One Book, One Community: Civil War Author Talk” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 28.

The authors will discuss the most unique stories they encountered while researching the book and reveal the process of assembling the volume of historic pictures and artifacts – many of which are on display in the Pennsylvania’s Civil War exhibition.

Civil War living historian, including 9th Pennsylvania Infantry soldiers and a Confederate Army musician, will interact with visitors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 28.

Pennsylvania’s Civil War features more than 150 artifacts, including items on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, the State Museum of Pennsylvania and the National Civil War Museum, along with rare archival images, six life-like museum figures and immersive settings.

All public programs, living history demonstrations, and access to the Pennsylvania’s Civil War exhibition are included with regular History Center admission: $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 62 and older, $6 for students and children 17 and younger, and free for children 5 and under.

The Pennsylvania’s Civil War exhibit is on display through Jan. 5.