Dear Uncle: A Fredonia Soldier’s Civil War Letters

Thursday, August 17, 2023 | 7PM


“Dear Uncles” is the latest book from the author and retired history and theatre arts teacher Rick Barram.  In it, he tells one young man’s story from the beginning of the American Civil War, taken from letters sent home to family and friends, including correspondence written for his uncles’ local newspaper, The Fredonia Censor

The young man, Arthur McKinstry, lived in Fredonia; and his letters were written with a journalist’s eye and poet’s heart, giving a vivid, humorous, and ultimately, heartbreaking view into the experiences of going to war.  Whether slogging through rain and mud, waiting for care packages from home or watching cannonballs land in camp, these dispatches place readers in a young soldier’s boots and help them to imagine how family and friends experienced this crisis in American history.

McKinstry’s letters are a part of the overall Ulysses S. Grant Collection, which is housed at the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at Michigan State University.  Barram will talk about his book and share a sampling of McKinstry’s letters.

Presented in partnership with the Darwin Barker Museum.


Free Admission (Donations Accepted).



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Free Admission