Sunday, February 11, 2 p.m.
Barbara Gannon will talk about her book, The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic. In the years after the Civil War, black and white Union soldiers, who survived the horrific struggle, joined the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) – the Union Army’s largest veterans’ organization. Barbara A. Gannon chronicles black and white veterans’ efforts to create and sustain the nation’s first interracial organization. Moreover, the GAR honored its black members as equals. Gannon reveals that white veterans embraced black veterans because their membership in the GAR demonstrated that their wartime suffering created a transcendent bond – comradeship – that overcame even the most pernicious social barrier – race-based separation. By upholding a more inclusive memory of a war fought for liberty as well as union, the GAR’s “Won Cause” challenged the Lost Cause, or Southern, version of Civil War Memory.
Named in honor of the late Joseph L. Brechner, an award-winning journalist, community leader, and freedom-of-information advocate, this new series of speaker programs focuses on the media in Florida’s history. All programs take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at the History Center and are free.
Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.