Civil War sesquicentennial events touch Red WingAs nation observes the Civil War’s sesquicentennial, the Goodhue County Historical Society remembers the people involved in the conflict.
As nation observes the Civil War’s sesquicentennial, the Goodhue County Historical Society remembers the people involved in the conflict.
"I've always been interested in the people - not only the soldiers, but the families they left behind," said historical society librarian Diane Buganski.
According to the historical society, 1,508 people in Goodhue County volunteered in the Civil War during its four-year span. That number was one-sixth of the county's population in 1860, just before the war broke out.
"Everybody was affected somehow," Buganski said. "They either had a father, brother, husband or sweetheart fighting in that war."
Many things have changed since the Civil War, including the way members of the military communicate with their loved ones back home. While many soldiers now have the opportunity to email, chat online or call their families, communication used to be done solely with pen and paper.
"The amount of letters that went back and forth is astounding," Buganski said.
But despite the differences, people experienced the same feelings and hardships military families go through now, she said.
"They laughed, they cried, they worried ... they're just like we are today."
The society has Civil War memorabilia on display in its military exhibit year-round, but for a short time the museum presented a special exhibit that highlights one specific part of the war - the people.
In addition to photos of soldiers on the wall and in a glass case, the exhibit had a sampling of pictures featuring women and children to show that the war impacted more than just the men.