Gift to College Includes Memoir of Civil War Nurse

LEAVENWORTH, Kan.  Confederate currency, bone dice and a memoir from a nurse who also was a Union spy are among a 3,000-piece Civil War collection that the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth is adding to its library.
The Bobby D. Lawrence collection was a gift from the Lawrence family of Leavenworth, The Kansas City Star reported. The collection includes several memoirs, along with more than 2,000 books about the Civil War that will go into the library’s circulation and available for checkout from students and the public.

Librarians and curators say the collection has two significant areas of focus: women in the war and regional materials from Kansas and Missouri.

A piece that university officials are particularly excited about is nurse’s memoir. History professor Kyle Anthony plans to use the memoir for a crossover class about the history of American medical issues once it is digitized.
Lawrence, who died in 2013, was an avid collector. The family originally shopped around for a buyer of the collection before deciding to give it to St. Mary, where it will serve as a complement to the school’s Abraham Lincoln collection.
“We have so many Civil War enthusiasts around Kansas and Missouri,” library director Danielle Dion said. “We can be a spot where those individuals want to come.”

The library will have a ceremony in September to mark the new collection.

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