Civil War Commemoration

By Nyoko Morgan, MUTV-23 News Reporter

COLUMBIA- To commemorate the Civil War and celebrate their Annual Fall Lecture, the State Historical Society of Missouri featured Amy Laurel Fluker during a Zoom webinar series on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Registration was online and free so anyone could participate. 

According to the Visit Columbia MO website, Fluker is the Robert W. Reeder I Professor of nineteenth-century American history at Youngstown State University. She is the author of a new book titled Commonwealth of Compromise: Civil War Commemoration in Missouri and provided a presentation that discussed the efforts of Union and Confederate Missouri women. She highlighted the efforts of the Department of Missouri’s Woman’s Relief Corps and the Missouri Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The webinar included two other panelists, a representative from the SHSMO and Senator Blunt, who introduced Fluker as the featured speaker.  Fulker spent some time discussing the WRC’s efforts and its contributions to the Civil War.

The Department of Missouri WRC members enrolled in 1893 with originally 2, 244 members. Some of the key efforts/contributions that Fulker spoke about included but are not limited to: “allowing middle-class women the opportunity to participate in civil class engagement/activism matters of health concerns and public education, being open to women, nurses, and integration and helping to raise funds for wives, orphans and nurses of Union soldiers.”

Fluker went on to highlight a monumental woman figure during the Civil War, Lucy A Delaney. She highlighted Delaney’s history and background of being an enslaved woman who successfully sued for her freedom.  She mentioned how Delaney wrote a memoir titled, From the Darkness, Cometh the Light, or Struggles for Freedom, that details “Delaney’s writing of the inhumanity of slavery, her limited educational experience, documentary of faith and providing evidence of what free people could achieve.”

Delaney’s book was used to resonate with formerly enslaved people and those that have never suffered as hard as African-American women did. 

With Delaney as inspiration, Fluker is using her platform and history experience to bring awareness of the trials and tribulations that occurred during the Civil War and to remember those that have fought hard against the injustices in the world. This lecture provides instances of the impact that Missouri women had on the Civil War and Fluker’s presentations will continue to be used for historical research and educational purposes. 

Edited by Rachel Henderson

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