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America’s Buried History – Landmines in the Civil War
September 21 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT| FREE
COVID-19 and closures won’t stop us from sharing the incredible lessons we can learn from studying medical care during the Civil War!
Join us on Monday, September 21 at 3:00 PM on Facebook for a virtual program hosted by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.
Education Coordinator John Lustrea will talk with Dr. Ken Rutherford about his most recent book America’s Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War. Modern landmines were used for the first time in history on a widespread basis during the Civil War when the Confederacy, in desperate need of an innovative technology to overcome significant deficits in materiel and manpower, employed them. Their use set off explosive debates inside the Confederate government and within the ranks of the army over the ethics of using “weapons that wait.” As Confederate fortunes dimmed, leveraging low-cost weapons like landmines became acceptable and even desirable.
Landmines, argues Dr. Rutherford, transitioned from “tools of cowards” and “offenses against democracy and civilized warfare” to an accepted form of warfare until the early 1990s. The genesis of this acceptance began during the American Civil War.
Ken Rutherford began his international career in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Senegal, and as a humanitarian relief officer in Kenya and Somalia. He co-founded the Landmine Survivors Network and escorted Princess Diana on her last humanitarian mission to visit landmine survivors in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Rutherford was a prominent leader in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the congressionally mandated Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, which preserves and interprets the region’s significant Civil War battlefields and related historic sites. He has published four books, including Humanitarianism Under Fire: The U.S. and U.N. Intervention in Somalia and Disarming States: The International Movement to Ban Landmines. Rutherford’s most recent book, America’s Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War, was released in April 2020.
Like these programs? Consider supporting our efforts by becoming a member or donating to the Museum! Your efforts ensure that we can continue sharing the story of Civil War medicine in this crucial time. In history, we can find hope amid our struggle against COVID-19.