Book talk on "Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family"

Susan Smith's picture

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September 14, 2022
District Of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Biography, Communication, Military History, Rural History / Studies

Join us in person or on Zoom on September 14 at 7 pm ET for a book talk with Smithsonian curators, Lynn Heidelbaugh and Thomas Paone, as they speak about their new book, Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family

Between Home and the Front presents previously unpublished letters from the Walters Family collection held by the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. This collection includes the exchange of correspondence between the home front and frontline, a perspective not often seen in historical records. The publication provides a glimpse into the emotions and news that Private David Walters of the 5th Indiana Cavalry and his wife Rachel shared in their correspondence. Rachel became the hub of communication for the family, often receiving missives from David's brothers, Isaac and John Wesley, both of whom served with Indiana units, and relaying the information to friends and family.

Lynn Heidelbaugh, curator at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, specializes in the history of the US Postal Service. She has published essays and created several exhibitions about military mail, including "Letters Home" in Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection, and the exhibition My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I, for which she received a Smithsonian Secretary's Award for Research in 2018.

Thomas Paone curates the lighter-than-air collection, including balloons, blimps, and airships, at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Paone's research focuses on ballooning in the Civil War, as well as the use of airships and blimps in America. He is coauthor of Milestones of Flight: The Epic of Aviation with the National Air and Space Museum.

Registration required. For more information, visit the event website.


Contact Info: 

Dr. Susan Smith, Blount Research Chair

National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Contact Email: