Visit the History Center to experience the latest in the You Are There series. You Are There 1863: Letter Home from Gettysburg invites you to join war bride Mahala Beem as she reads a just-received letter from her husband, Capt. David Enoch Beem, describing his experiences on the battlefield of Gettysburg during the Civil War.
Set in the parlor of the home she shares with her in-laws in Spencer, Indiana, visitors are invited join her as she reads her highly anticipated letter, one of the gems of the IHS collection. Mahala shares this most recent correspondence from the battlefield with visitors and prompts a multimedia experience that brings her husband’s words to life. Guests may meet characters such as Mahala and her in-laws Levi and Sarah Beem, who are all experiencing life on the Indiana home front in different ways.
In the space adjacent to the parlor, learn more about Indiana during the Civil War – both the roles that Hoosiers played in the various battles and campaigns and the roles that citizens left behind played at home. Topics such as Gov. Oliver P. Morton’s call for volunteers, the Battle of Gettysburg, and Capt. Beem’s own 14th Indiana Regiment provide background for the letter itself. Also, find out what happened to Capt. Beem and his family following the war, as well as efforts to recover from and commemorate the Civil War after it was over.
Graphics, multimedia and artifacts highlight additional stories from this incredible chapter in our American story. Additional letters written home from Hoosiers serving in wars from throughout our history provide context for the ways in which we correspond across the miles during wartime.