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Civil War Round Table of Kansas City

October 2022 Meeting Summary

At our dinner meeting on October 19th, Ohio folk singer Ms. Judy Cook and her husband Dennis gave a very interesting and entertaining program titled: "On the Home Front", highlighting letters written by Judy's great-great grandparents during the Civil War.

The letters of Gilbert and Esther (Colby) Claflin, offered insights into Gilbert's camp life behind Union lines, and Esther's efforts back on the Wisconsin family farm with the couple's two teenage boys. Gilbert was drafted into the Union Army at the age of 40 and served for nine months in Kentucky during the Civil War. The program focused primarily on the letters Esther and the boys wrote to Gilbert while keeping the home fires burning.

Judy narrated Esther Claflin’s letters and Dennis provided the voice of Gilbert Claflin. Dressed in period costume, Judy also performed a selection of sentimental songs from the period, accompanied by related images and photographs. Judy played the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the "Bonnie Blue Flag" on a period instrument called a concertina. She also sang the following songs:

  • "Home Sweet Home"
  • "Goin' Cross the Mountain"
  • "Brave Boys are They"
  • "Grafted Into the Army"
  • "Sweet Evelina"
  • "Wait for the Wagon"
  • "I Dreamed My Boy was Home Again"
  • "The Spade, Boys the Spade"
  • "Brother, Tell Me of the Battle"
  • "Housewife's Lament"
  • "The Vacant Chair"
  • "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"

The audience participated by singing along with Judy during the refrain for each song. It was a very enjoyable program. We also had a very good turnout for the dinner meeting (56 attendees).

Civil War Round Table of Kansas City
436 West 88th Terrace
Kansas City, MO 64114

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