An exhibit committee at the Laurel Historical Society is looking for items related to Laurel during the period of the Civil War for possible inclusion in an exhibit opening in February 2013.
Although located south of the Mason-Dixon Line, Laurel residents fought for both the North and the South in the Civil War. Such items as letters, photos, military records, diaries, maps, medals, newspapers, postcards and clothing that connect Laurel to the events of the war and to the post-war period will be used for the Laurel Museum exhibit, which will focus on how the Civil War impacted the lives of Laurel's residents. Museum officials plan to open a small exhibit on one resident and the Battle of Antietam in September.
The B & O Railroad, which had tracks through Laurel and states in the South, was governed by a board of directors sympathetic to the Union, and the railroad was guarded by Union soldiers. According to information from the Laurel Historical Society, companies from the 109th New York and the Potomac Home Brigade were stationed in Laurel beginning in 1862, and Laurel had a small Civil War hospital from January to September 1863.
The exhibit committee is also looking for information on two African-American Laurel residents — Henry American and John Williams — who were drafted into the Army in September 1863, as well as any information on Laurel's African-American residents during the Civil War period.
Exhibit items can be loaned for the exhibit or donated to the Laurel Historical Society. Contact Laurel Historical Society Director Lindsey Baker at email@example.com or 301-725-7975.