FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 21, 2012) – The exhibition “Civil War: My Brother, My Enemy,” which explores how the Civil War changed Kentucky forever, opens Saturday, June 2, at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in downtown Frankfort.
The War Between the States pitted brother against brother. Nowhere was this division more apparent than in the border state of Kentucky – where family lines were often the battle lines. “Civil War: My Brother, My Enemy,” examines how Kentucky’s distinctive physical and political positioning led to deep and lasting divisions among families and friends. Unlike many other Civil War studies that tend to focus on battlefield chronology, “My Brother, My Enemy” delves into the heart-wrenching and personal stories of the nationwide conflict that forever severed once close-knit relationships in Kentucky.
“My Brother, My Enemy” is an original exhibit produced by the Frazier History Museum in Louisville. Artifacts include a casket wagon once used by Cave Hill Cemetery to reinter soldiers, an exceptionally rare enlisted soldier’s uniform, slave documents and plantation horns, as well as a number of dresses, flags, surgical tools, horse tack, letters, photos and other personal objects, including the historically significant Mary Todd Lincoln collection.
The Mary Todd Lincoln collection includes a baby garment sewn by Mrs. Lincoln for her son, Robert, as well as commitment papers from the Illinois institution where the widow of America’s 16th president was involuntarily committed. Framed in the greater context of Lincoln’s life, these historic papers provide insight not only into one of the lowest points of Mrs. Lincoln’s life, but into the lives of all women at that time.
“My Brother, My Enemy” was designed with students in mind. The exhibit includes a number of interactive features, including elements created to work with smartphones, touch-screen stations that allow visitors to engage with the exhibit via custom apps and other hands-on activities.
“My Brother, My Enemy” is made possible by a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is also sponsored by Brown-Forman, Forcht Bank, WKYT-TV, WLAP-AM and The State Journal. For details and hours of operation, visit www.history.ky.gov.