Answering the Call: Service & Charity in the Civil War

March 14 – September 20, 2015

Answering the Call
Sword with scabbard, 1861 Loan: Mr. Jeffrey Cook
Answering the Call
Union frock coat, 1860s
Worn by Captain Lawrence O’Brien of the 9th Connecticut Infantry Loan: Mr. Jeffrey Cook
L. O’Brien
Presented by the
24th Octr.1861

Answering the Call Video

To mark the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War’s end, the Knights of Columbus Museum presents Answering the Call, an exhibition profiling various military and civilian support figures during the four-year conflict (1861-1865).

Answering the Call focuses on religious ministry and medical care provided to Civil War soldiers. It also includes a history of the 9th Connecticut, a volunteer infantry regiment whose members were predominantly of Irish ancestry, many of whom were from New Haven. The first supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, James T. Mullen, was a sergeant in the 9th Connecticut.

The show centers on wartime struggles and hardships as well as acts of bravery, charity and compassion in the midst of battle. Catholic soldiers and officers — Confederate and Union — are profiled, together with battlefield chaplains and religious sisters who nursed the wounded in hospitals and prisons.

Answering the Call also includes references to battles and military campaigns, with emphasis on conditions in military encampments and the aftermath of combat, such as medical care and the spiritual needs of the wounded and dying.

The exhibition includes:
    •  A Civil War timeline
    •  Civil War uniform and swords
    •  More than 150 images, from period photography to modern artwork
    •  Interactive displays with biographies, monuments, battle stories and a quiz
    •  Letters from the battlefield
    •  A reproduction shelter tent and tent chapel

A series of complementary Civil War presentations will be scheduled throughout the duration of the exhibition.