Homes of Civil War soldiers focus of presentation
Jan Vetrhus, Pam Newhouse to host discussion, digital photo tour Sunday at Madison library
Thursday, January 09, 2014 10:00 AM
Two local historians will host a discussion and digital photo tour on Sunday focusing on former Civil War soldiers' homes.
The program, scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Jefferson County Public Library Madison branch, is free to the public.
Jan Vetrhus, Pam Newhouse and other local researchers have spent the past few years collecting information about former residences of Civil War soldiers and other residents involved in Indiana's war effort.
Vetrhus and Newhouse will present a photo slide show of their findings. The discussion is expected to last about an hour, and there will be about 50 sites on the digital tour - which include standing homes and locator shots of former plots.
The tour will include the Sullivan House; home of Civil War Brig. Gen. Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan; Bright House, home of U.S. Senator Jesse Bright; Schussler House Bed and Breakfast; home of Civil War surgeon Dr. Charles Schussler; as well as other homes and former building sites.
The Lanier Mansion will not be included on the tour.
During the Civil War, about 4,500 Madison men volunteered in 1861, a time when the town's population was more than 12,000.
"The goal was to find where every soldier lived. We haven't managed that yet, because we had a lot of soldiers in the war," Vetrhus said.
Vetrhus said the plan is to use the slide show as a working document and continue building on the list of Civil War homes. Since beginning the project in 2011, the local research team has uncovered many new locations by matching up entries in old business directories and U.S. Census logs with Madison's enlisted men.
But they also have found locations by asking residents about their family histories. So far, they have documented several new homes and found countless original service stories, involving brothers, sons as well as in-laws.
Vetrhus said she hopes to have something finished by next year - which would be the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.
She encourages those with Civil War soldier information to attend the discussion and share their history.
"We would just love to find more information," she said.