Civil War historian and author Howard Coffin to speak in Weston

Civil War
Howard Coffin. Photo provided

WESTON, Vt. – The Weston Historical Society is pleased to announce that Howard Coffin, well-known historian and author, will deliver a presentation of “Vermont’s Remarkable Sharpshooters and Gettysburg” Saturday, Aug. 10 at 10:30 a.m. at Weston’s Old Parish Church, located on Route 100 just south of the Village Green. The talk is sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council as part of their wonderful “Speakers Bureau” program and is hosted by the WHS.

Vermont sent far more sharpshooters to the Union armies than any other state, on a per capita basis. By the hundreds, Vermont marksmen passed the rigorous marksmanship test to join one of three Vermont companies. And sharpshooters from this state played a little-known but major role at Gettysburg, the great Union victory that changed the Civil War’s course.

Civil War
California Joe of the Berdan Sharpshooters in an Aug. 2, 1862 Harper’s Weekly sketch. Photo provided by Library of Congress

Howard is a renowned speaker, having given over 300 talks on historical subjects and is the author of several books, most focusing on Vermont’s role in the Civil War, in which six of his forbearers participated. This lecture is new in 2019.

Following Howard’s talk, the Farrar-Mansur Museum will be open at noon with a special display in the ballroom celebrating Vermont sharpshooters and Weston’s presence at the battle of Gettysburg. See a typical Civil War encampment and learn the history of Capt. Asa Foster’s sword. Artifacts carried by Weston citizens at Gettysburg will be on display. The WHS is indebted to May Bigelow and Nicki Pfister for the concept and execution of this display, which will be open until 4 p.m. and will also be open on Wednesday and weekend afternoons for the balance of the museum’s season.

The Farrar-Mansur Museum is located on Route 100, just north of the Village Green and a short distance from Old Parish Church.

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