Morris said it seemed appropriate that the town should honor those from Andover who fought in the Civil War during the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Spotsylvania given it marked the time the Andover Company first entered combat and suffered significant loss.
“A few of us thought it was important to commemorate Andover’s unique place in the country’s Civil War history and to examine its dramatic effects upon the town,” said Morris, a local attorney.
A $10,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation was secured with the help of Phillips Academy Head of School John Palfrey to help cover mailing and website costs for the series, Midura said.
Andover launches the 150th remembrance of Spotsylvania this weekend with a concert of popular Civil War pieces, including ones by President Abraham Lincoln’s favorite composer, Louis Moreau Gooschalk, and the Creole-influenced American Chopin.
The Boston Saxophone Quartet will perform Sunday, March 30, at 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall Library. The program will include several familiar classics, such as “Oh, Susanna,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “When Jonny Comes Marching Home Again” and “Dixie.”
Next month, the Andover Historical Society presents the exhibit “Faces of Andover: Impact of the Civil War.” Midura traveled to Carlisle, Penn., to obtain photos of Andover soldiers for the display, which is set to open April 11.
Also next month, Harvard University president Drew Gilpin Faust will visit Andover with Civil War documentarian Ric Burns for a lecture and film screening on “Death and the Civil War” sponsored by Phillips Academy.
The series involves the participation of several groups in town, including the historical society, Phillips Academy and its Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover Veterans Services, Memorial Hall Library, Greater Lawrence Technical School, Andover Bookstore and The Center at Punchard.
Morris said credited the hard work of many in pulling the series together, including historical society board president Jane Dietzel Cairns, Palfrey, Midura; Joan Silva Patrakis, author of “Andover in the Civil War;” local historian Jim Batchelder, who visited Spotsylvania; Don Robb, who is lecturing on the secessionist crisis; Doug Mitchell, researcher of Andover’s Drummer Boys, among others.