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Civil War-era letters tell story of devotion.

Byline: The Register-Guard

William and Carla Coleman will present "The Last Rose: A Civil War Remembrance," at 7 p.m. May 12 in the library meeting room at Springfield City Hall, 225 Fifth St.

This free public program, recommended for ages 12 to adult, is a Chautauqua presentation funded by the Oregon Council for the Humanities and sponsored by the Springfield Public Library Adult Services Department.

In March of 1863, a young Confederate soldier, Pvt. George Boatright, was casually introduced to a Georgia planter's 16-year-old daughter, Miss Martha "Mattie" Burrows, at a reception for soldiers who were marching off to the front.

He subsequently sent her two letters asking for permission to correspond.

His subtle courtship of Mattie through his letters reveals how the young couple conformed to behavioral mores that remained solidly in place even as their culture crumbled around them.

Boatright's letters to Mattie were found in 1985, when her estate and family home were put up for sale.

Commissioned by the Monocacy National Battlefield Park, "The Last Rose" draws on 19th century social customs, music of the time and historical fact to paint a portrait of love and devotion.
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Title Annotation:Entertainment
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 4, 2003
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