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Civil War historians to present program at history center
By Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Monday, October 15, 2012 9:12 AM
The book by Richard G. Krom, "The First Minnesota, Second to None," tells the story of his great-grandfather, Edward H. Bassett, through letters Edward wrote home during the Civil War.
Hear why the First was second to none.
"We're welcoming Richard G. Krom and his wife, Sharon, to the history center next month, and they're going to be in Civil War period costume," said Fillmore County History Center director Debra Richardson, anticipating the Kroms' appearance on Nov. 3, "and he will tell about the letters from an ancestor who served in the First Minnesota in the Civil War."
Authors and historians, the Kroms bring to life the battlefield experiences of Edward H. Bassett, Richard's great-grandfather. The couple will share Edward's story as it unfolded in the letters he sent home, now collected in Richard's book, "The First Minnesota...Second to None."
According to Richard Krom, "Edward H. Bassett was a young farm lad from the frontier of Minnesota who was among the first to answer the call to arms at the outbreak of the Civil War. He served for three years as a private in the Army of the Potomac. During this time, his famed regiment fought with distinction in nearly every major battle on the eastern front. After returning home, Edward re-enlisted in the First Minnesota Heavy Artillery and served his country another nine months, until the end of the war. Edward was both an observant and articulate young man. His letters bring a refreshing, humanistic insight into the life and struggles of the common soldier of the Civil War."
Richard's interest in Civil War-era history has grown even more since he discovered his great-grandfather's involvement in the war and the letters that elaborate on daily wartime existence.
He has had a lifelong interest in history and studied the Civil War for many years. According to Krom's website, he was motivated by the realization that the letters of his great-grandfather may still exist, he and his wife, Sharon, began a search spanning more than nine years to find them. To preserve this treasure for future generations, he set out to publish the letters and to tell the story of this grand group of men.
The Kroms' presentation promises to be enlightening and interesting, noted Richardson. "I've heard from people who've attended his presentations, and they say that they are awesome."
Richardson is also pleased to announce that the program is one of the first to be sponsored by area businesses - the Kroms' program is sponsored by the First State Bank of Fountain and Root River State Bank of Chatfield.
"We're looking for sponsors who would like to help us bring presentations like theirs to the history center, because we like having presentations - it brings people in to come to them, and they'll be able to see the museum afterwards," Richardson explained. "If there's any group that would like to sponsor a presentation, they can give us a call. Right now, we're really looking forward to the Kroms' appearance...especially that they're in costume and ready to tell us about the First Minnesota Regiment."
Richard G. and Sharon Krom will appear at the Fillmore County History Center on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m., and the public is encouraged to attend and enjoy the program.
The director also invited history enthusiasts to find a seat at the center for Gordon Fredrickson's Saturday, Oct. 20, "Preserving Farm Heritage" program, set to begin at 1 p.m., with coffee to follow the presentation. The center's annual meeting and elections are slated for that same day at 2:30 p.m.
The Fillmore County History Center is located just off Highway 52 in Fountain. For more information on the program or other museum events, call (507) 268-4449, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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