American family stories by audiographer Joe McHugh
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Civil War
Elzick's Farewell Oil Painting by Paula Blasius McHugh

Northerners called it the Civil War. In the South it was called the War between the States. Either way, its impact on individuals and families was enormous. Here are several stories that have come down through the generations within families concerning these troubled times.

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Standing on 18
Playing Time 3:59

Sometimes an underage young man will do almost anything to join the army. Here Nan Murningham tells about her grandfather's military service with General Sherman during the Civil War and his long life afterwards.

Hiding the Horse
Playing Time 3:02

Often those who remain at home during a war must resort to creative stratagems in order to ward off the intrusions of a hostile foe. Here Billy Cornette tells of one such situation that happened to his family on a farm in eastern Kentucky.

Molasses and Buttermilk
Playing Time: 6:05

During times of war it may happen that a family's best intentions result in misfortune. Here Bebs Chorak whose family comes originated near Florence, South Carolina, tells about the hunger that plagued a nearby Confederate prisoner-of-war camp and how her family tried to help. It is followed by the tune "The Winds of Shiloh" performed by J.P. Fraley and Betty Vornbrock.

Hellmira
Playing Time: 2:06

The horrors of life in the prison camps during the Civil War was endured by the captured soldiers from both sides of the conflict. This story told by Robert Morgan, an author and professor of English at Cornell University, deals with the deplorable conditions at the Union camp in Elmira, New York, where one of his ancestors was imprisoned.