The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

April 24, 2014

Heritage Center’s Civil War concert canceled by severe weather threat, exhibits ongoing

ENID, Okla. — Saturday’s Civil War-era concert at the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center has been canceled because of concerns about inclement weather.

The concert, which would have been outside, was to have featured three bands, each playing a different style of music.

The museum said earlier this week a fife and drum band was traveling from eastern Oklahoma, while a local brass band and the folk music group Prairie County Avengers also was scheduled to play.

“Their practice for the Civil War concert hasn’t gone to waste because we will play a lot of the same tunes for the town social, all of the quicksteps and marches,” said Education Director Cody Jolliff. “The Prairie County Avengers and the brass band will perform at the Frontier Festival Town Social (in Enid) on May 17.”

More information about the town social will soon be available.

Museum staff and volunteers spent Wednesday morning teaching a Civil War program to schoolchildren. Jolliff led a squad of kids from Edmond in a marching drill and taught them what each bugle call meant.

He knows about the bugle calls — and the bands will be able to replicate 150-year-old performances — because sheet music still exists.

“We have manuals from that time, from the time of the Civil War,” Jolliff said.

While on the battlefield and while performing maneuvers, drums and bugles would be a primary means of communication. Turn left. March. Retreat. Fire.

The museum programs in April wrapped up this week. They were a part of the Abraham Lincoln exhibit currently on display. “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” is a traveling exhibition for libraries and was organized by the National Constitution Center and the American LIbrary Association Public Programs Office.

The free exhibit is on display until May 16.

CSRHC has localized and expanded the exhibit to include other activities like lectures and family days.

“We try to use the exhibits to their fullest when we have them. So we design our own education programs around the traveling exhibits,” Jolliff said. “We bring them in and talk about the things Lincoln was faced with during the time of war, and we also talk about daily life during the Civil War — a soldiers’ life and what it was like for them.”

Jolliff dressed out Wednesday in authentic clothing that would have been worn by a Union soldier during the war. He showed the students the equipment that would have been used 150 years ago.

“That way they can get a little glimpse of what life was like during the Civil War,” he said. “We try to somehow bring those elements to life.”

Jolliff said the Civil War is an exciting topic to discuss and teach because it was a seminal moment in American history. The war also separates historical discussions about the United States into two categories: Post-war and pre-war, also known as antebellum.

“Plus, many people who made the land run were Civil War veterans, or were alive during the Civil War,” Jolliff said.

The Civil War was over in 1865, fewer than 30 years before the Cherokee Outlet was thrown open to pioneers. If they weren’t direct participants, those who settled northwestern Oklahoma certainly experienced the upheaval of a civil war.

“In 1893, you have people who still remember it,” he said.

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