MACHIAS – The Summer of 1864 will be relived at the Cattaraugus County Museum this summer.
For the second year, a season-long program will educate about aspects of the Civil War occurring in 1864. The program is a joint venture between museum curator Brian McClellan and Cattaraugus County Legislator Steve Teachman, R-Olean, who is also a Civil War re-enactor.
The program kicked off Thursday with a lecture from legislator and artistic cartographer, Earl McElfresh, R-Olean, who focused on Gen. Robert E. Lee’s battle with Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman to illustrate how critical mapping was to battlefield success or failure.
June 26 will feature Allen Hopkins presenting the songs of the Civil War, to be followed on July 10 with Rush the Growler presenting the music of the Civil War, in particular, that of the 154th Regiment. The “Hardtack” regiment, as it was known, was made up of volunteers from Cattaraugus and neighboring counties.
On July 24, Civil War authority Craig Braak will discuss the prisons of the Civil War, to be followed by Larry Kilmer’s Aug. 14 presentation on the role of railroads during the war. The two topics have a tie that can be witnessed in the City of Olean’s Lake View Cemetery’s Field of Honor. A confederate soldier being transported by rail, either from or to a prison, died. The only thing to identify him was a card saying he was a Confederate soldier. He lies in a grave, resting among those who served with the United States military of various eras.
The program concludes Aug. 28, with Craig Senfield discussing Abraham Lincoln and the circumstances of his taking office.
“These presentations will be very interesting and fascinating,” Teachman said. “The staff at the museum does an excellent job with putting these together.”
Each program starts at 7 p.m. in the Cattaraugus County Museum Stone House, 9824 Route 16, Machias. For more information on the events, call 353-8200.