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Love In The Civil War At The New York State Museum
"I Shall Think of You Often: The Civil War Story of Doctor and Mary Tarbell" opens today as part of "An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War," a 7,000-square-foot exhibition that examines New York's role in the war.
Doctor and Mary Tarbell were childhood sweethearts who got separated when Doctor Tarbell went off to war with the Union army. They kept up a regular correspondence until the doctor was captured and sent to a Confederate prison.
Mary heard nothing from him and didn't even know he was alive until he was released in February 1865. The doctor wasted no time getting leave to go home and marry his true love.
The exhibition tells of their enduring relationship with letters, diaries, photographs and Mary's wedding dress, giving a personal and emotional side to a period of history so often concerned with death and violence.
Both exhibitions run through September 22.
[Photo courtesy Tompkins County History Center]