Howard Coffin’s Illuminates Civil War History for Plymouth Crowd

From Michael Clarke

On Sunday, May 07, under the auspices of the Plymouth Historical Society, residents of the town gathered at the Town Hall to hear renowned lecturer and author, Howard Coffin address the subject, “Vermont and the Civil War”.

Howard Coffin and Plymouth Historical Society members and officers Betsy Tonkin, Michael Clarke, Robert Fishman and Melissa Lynds.

Howard, in a dynamic presentation, offered details of the battles that led up to the turning point of the four year war, the three day encounter at Gettysburg, PA (July 1 through 3, 1863). The battle was by far the bloodiest of the entire war – with casualties in excess of 51,000, both Union and Confederate forces.

When he was specifically addressing the seminal encounter at Gettysburg, the historian began with a mounted three by five foot blank sheet of paper and presented details of the 72 hours (both energetic and educational in every respect). By the time he concluded, the paper appeared to be a piece of abstract art!

In what may have been the most moving part of the afternoon, Howard ended his hour long seminar by reciting “The Gettysburg Address” – from memory. He then entertained questions from the audience and wrapped up his presentation with a book signing.

Everyone who attended left the presentation with a far greater knowledge of the war that was to define to such a degree the future of the United States of America.

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