Every Friday, a group of Lynchburg College students peer closely at small pieces of people’s lives from the Civil War era.
Word by word, they transcribe script writing from 150-year-old letters and diaries, and they study the details of photographs. A letter from a Confederate prisoner of war reveals his distress at hearing of Robert E. Lee’s surrender. A portrait of a soldier shows a stern impression.
Later this year, the entire collection of documents will be available online for history buffs and researchers alike.
“History class is usually about reading a book and discussion of history, not handling material from the time period,” said Lynchburg College History professor Dr. Dean. “But these students have the opportunity to do the work of historians.”