The West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) Museum in Wheeling will hold its annual Blue and Gray Reconciliation Dinner on Friday, May 1, at West Virginia Northern Community College Culinary School, located on the corner of Jacob and 17th streets in downtown Wheeling. The evening begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception sponsored by the Independence Hall Foundation and a buffet dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a talk by Dr. Mark Snell, associate professor of history and director of the George Tyler Moore (GTM) Center for the Study of the Civil War at Shepherd University at 7 p.m.
Snell will speak about “Mountaineers of the Blue and Gray: The Civil War in West Virginia,” an educational CD-ROM released by the GTM Center. The CD, which took more than 10 years to complete, is designed for secondary school students as a tool to help them learn more about the Civil War and West Virginia’s unique history in that time period. The CD was distributed free of charge to all middle and high schools in the state.
Before joining the Shepherd University faculty, Snell taught in the department of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Recently, he served as the visiting senior lecturer in the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, England. At Shepherd University, he teaches courses on the Civil War, World War I and World War II.
Snell is the editor of Dancing Along the Deadline: The Andersonville Memoir of a Prisoner of the Confederacy (Presidio Press, 1996) and Unknown Soldiers: The American Expeditionary Forces in Memory and Remembrance (Kent State University Press, 2008). In addition, he served as co-editor of Bugle Resounding: Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era (University of Missouri Press, 2004) and is the author of From First to Last: The Life of Major General William B. Franklin (Fordham University Press, 2002).
On February 12, 2009, Governor Joe Manchin III presented Snell with the “Honorary West Virginian” award, the highest accolade that he can bestow on someone who is not a West Virginia resident. Although Snell has taught at Shepherd University for more than 15 years, he resides in Gettysburg, Pa.
Tickets are $25 per person. Seating for the dinner is limited and reservations are required by April 24. For more information about the Blue and Gray Dinner or to make a reservation, call Melissa Brown, site manager at WVIH, at (304) 238-1300.
West Virginia Independence Hall Museum, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the WVIH. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner at 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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