Voice from the Civil War
Thursday, November 10, 2011
7pm – 8pm
Performance and Signing
Eileen Patch reads the civil war letters of her great-grandmother's son, who was a solder during the civil war. Patch will be dressed in period clothes and will impersonate her great-grandmother.
You could call it one man's perspective on his American Civil War experience or a biography of a short life. This set of letters written home from assignments with the 89th NY Regiment of Volunteer Infantry reveals the personality and values of George Magusta Englis. Like peeling layers from an onion, each letter puts the reader closer to the soldier's soul. Using timely phrases such as "On to Richmond," and "All for the Union," he most often closed his letters "This from George."
With 59 letters as a core, annotations flesh out his life and relate it to family, friends, neighborhood, and war campaigns. His was such a small part of the Union's ultimate success that it didn't matter to the war's outcome. Or did it? The collective presence of thousands similar to him worked the war machinery. The letters were transcribed and annotated by Eileen M. Patch, a descendant of the soldier's sister.
Publisher: Broome County Historical Society
Subtitle: The Civil War Letters of Sergeant George Magusta Englis 1861 - 1865 Company K, 89th New York Regiment of Volunteer Infantry known as the Dickinson Guard.
Pre-Order This From George from This From George and get it signed on November 10, 2011 at Africa House, 50 Washington Avenue, Endicott, NY.
Broome County Historical Society
Eileen Patch was born Eileen Mae Knapp in Johnson City, New York. As a child, she visited the family farm in Corbettsville, where her grandmother, Sarah Englis Knapp, grew up. Although she was too young to remember her grandmother, cousins told her about Sarah's brother George, who went to war in 1861.
Patch inherited the 57 letters the family saved from those George wrote home during the Civil War. This inheritance and her long-time interest in family history led to an intense study of her great uncle's war experience, including trips to battlefield sites and research at military archives. The study led to this book.
The letters, many signed "This from George," are a brief history of service in the 89th New York Regiment from 1861 until 1865 as seen through the eyes of a Corbettsville farm boy. They gradually reveal the personality and values of Sergeant George Magusta Englis; each letter puts the reader closer to the soldier's soul.
Patch has a BS in elementary education from SUNY Potsdam and raised three children with her husband, F. David Patch. She founded a private preschool and has worked as an organist and choir director. She has edited club newsletters and written magazine articles. This is her first book.