Current Exhibitions

Oysterponds in the Civil War

Orient’s most prominent landmark – the Civil War Monument at the top of Village Lane – lists the young men from Oysterponds who served in the Civil War. For Orient and East Marion, as it was for countless communities across the Union, the war was a defining moment, strongly affecting the lives of nearly all the inhabitants.

The Oysterponds Historical Society has a significant collection of items relating to the Civil War. There are rare recruitment posters as well as items brought home by soldiers: rifles, swords, articles of clothing, canteens, letters, diaries, medical devices – even provisions like the hard tack the soldiers were given to eat. Other items were acquired by those at home: patriotic lithographs, flags, newspapers, letters sent from loved ones, etc. There is even a doll depicting a Civil War widow. A selection of these many objects are on view in this small gallery, and a few of the swords and
rifles are shown in the Weapons exhibition in the next room. Other objects and documents will be featured in future exhibitions.

THE AMERICAN PATRIOT’S DREAM, Lithograph, Currier & Ives, 1861 The subtitle of this lithograph is “The Night before the Battle” and underneath that is an eight-line poem on the same theme. This was a very popular Civil War lithograph by Currier & Ives and was also printed with the slightly different title “The Soldier’s Dream of Home”.

The large Civil War era flag on view has thirty-six stars and provides a background for one of the best-known objects relating to the Civil War – the sculptural group, Wounded to the Rear, One Last Shot, by John Rogers. Various items that are depicted in the sculpture such as the canteen, cartridge case, and forage caps are displayed in the cases flanking the sculpture.

A group of lithographs depict: camps (these were often sent home as souvenirs); the Sanitary Commission (a forerunner of the Red Cross); a hospital (Carver General Hospital in Washington, D.C.); lists of soldiers (in one of the New York Regiments); and a poignant Currier & Ives print, The American Patriot’s Dream.

Exhibit Items

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