Published by Coastal Point
Local Civil War historian Tom Ryan will present the first talk of a two-part series titled “The Impact of the Civil War in Cities and Towns Across America” at the South Coastal Library on Thursday, April 5, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
“We try and categorize our programs with umbrellas, and these talks are part of the history series,” said Priscilla Scott, circulation coordinator and publicist for the library. “Tom Ryan is very, very popular. We could have as much as 80 people come to one of his presentations.”
The two presentations will feature 12 different locations and include photos, prints and paintings to help illustrate Ryan’s talks.
“This series, I don’t believe he’s presented this anywhere before. He has written about it. But it’s the impact of the Civil War on towns, and it will follow a chronological program,” she said. “He’ll start with a series beginning in Pennsylvania and then in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida — he kind of goes around the way the war and the battles took place. I think that will be of great interest to people.”
In the first presentation, Ryan will discuss towns in Georgia, Texas, Alabama and Pennsylvania. The second talk, which will be held on May 3, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will discuss towns in Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama.
Scott noted that Ryan has given talks at the library before, and they were all very well received.
“The last time he did a series of presentations, it was on espionage,” she recalled. “I just think there’s a fascination with the Civil War and, of course, last year was the sesquicentennial, and that brought on even more interest, I think. He’s really a big draw. He has a reputation around here, and the people in this area have quite an interest in the Civil War.”
The program is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.
Scott added that Ryan – who has contributed to various publications, including the Washington Times, as well as his regular column in the Coastal Point – has done exorbitant amounts of research on the Civil War.
“He just brings a fresh insight in on the Civil War, because he has done so much research on it and he’s a real expert. He went to these different places in order to do the research. So he’s doing sort of a firsthand account. He’s not just reading books and the like. He went, going to the places and interviewed different people. I think it’ll be a really wonderful program.”
For more information, call the South Coastal Library at (302) 539-5231 or visit the Web site at www.southcoastal.lib.de.us. The South Coastal Library is located at 43 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach.