For my final project I would like to use two primary source documents that were written during the occupation of Carlisle in 1863. The letters of Margaret Flemming Murray and Mary Flemming Murray, depict two personal experiences during the events of the shelling of Carlisle. The two sisters each wrote a lengthy letter to their brother Harmer Murray who was living in Harrisburg. By transcribing their letters in a paper format, I hope to present a more in depth analysis of the shelling of Carlisle from a personal standpoint. Additionally, I hope to incorporate the experiences of other women who experienced the same events. Carlisle native Sarah Meade for example, was forced to house a confederate soldier.
Throughout the Civil war women all over experienced it brutality. The women of Carlisle were no different. Through my final project, I would bring the Shelling of Carlisle to life primarily though the interpretation of women who experienced it first hand. However, I would my argument to extend further by incorporating Sarah Smead, and Susan Thorne, two women who lived in Carlisle during this period. Further, I would like to apply a quotation from a letter written during the American Revolution by Abigail Adams that I feel applies to the women of Carlisle in the 1860’s. In a letter Adams wrote to her husband concerning war, she said, “when you offer your Blood to the State, it is ours. In giving our Sons and Husbands we give you more than ourselves. You can only die on the field but we have the misfortune to survive those whom we love most.” Adam’s point is one that is universal and can help us to understand women’s experience during the Civil War.
Though there is abundant material on women’s involvement in the Civil War, there is not much specific writing on the women of Carlisle during this period. For that reason, the primary source materials of the Murray sisters and the experiences of Sarah Smead and Susan Thorne offer incite that I can present in a unique manner. Though there are articles and excerpts in Cumberland county journals and historical books that address native Carlisle women in the 1860’s. I would like to focus on the journal articles by Sandy Mader, Dawn Flower, and Eric Wittenburg. The books I will use will include Women and the Civil War by Lisa Frank, Cumberland County History, as well as other Cumberland County history books located in the Dickinson College Archives and Dickinson Library.
The evidence I will be engaging will include both primary and secondary sources that I have located at the Carlisle historical society, the Dickinson College Archives, The Dickinson Library, and World Cat (Inter- Library Loan). I will use primary and secondary sources to evaluate the material of the Murray sisters as well as the other prominent women who lived in Carlisle in the 1860’s. By using both primary and secondary sources, I can acquire the best evidence of the period and present my findings in paper format.
Bennet, William. Our Sacred Honor. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1997.
Flower, Dawn L. “ A Corner of Carlisle History,” Cumberland County History 5, no. 1 (1989): 29-41.
Frank, Lisa. Women in the American Civil War. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO Inc., 2008.
Mader, Sandy. “ Women of Carlisle’s East End.” Cumberland County History 20, no.1-2 (2004): 35-36.
Murray, Margaret, Carlisle, to Harmar Denny Murray, Harrisburg, 3 July 1863. Record Group 18-15 , Cumberland County Historical Society.
Murray, Mary, Carlisle, to Harmar Denny Murray, Harrisburg, 23 July 1863. Record Group 18-15, Cumberland County Historical Society.
Smead, Raphael “The Smeads.” CCHUS Journal Winter 9, no. 2. (1992): 64.
Wittenberg, Eric J. “The Shelling of Carlisle.” Blue and Grey: For Those Who Still Hear the Guns 2, no. 24 (2007): 41-46.
Week of October 11th: continue to transcribe letter, continue to look for sources
Week of October 18th: complete letter transcription, finish taking notes and compiling information
Week of October 25th: compose outline and complete bibliography.
Week of November 1st: begin writing.
Week of November 8th: complete majority of writing.
Week of November 15th: begin revising final product.
Week of November 22nd: Review final product, make revisions.