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Forum focuses on Civil War letters

A Union uniform-clad performer stands gaurd.  Local author Katherine Arbon shares wartime letters written by her great, great grandfather at the Original Wasco County Courthouse Saturday, Feb. 15, at 1:30 p.m. Contributed photo

A Union uniform-clad performer stands gaurd. Local author Katherine Arbon shares wartime letters written by her great, great grandfather at the Original Wasco County Courthouse Saturday, Feb. 15, at 1:30 p.m. Contributed photo

Local author Katherine Arbon will present “Civil War Letters: Faith, Family, Freedom … and Blackberry Jam,” Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Original Wasco County Courthouse, 410 W. 2nd Place, The Dalles. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. Seating in the upstairs courtroom and downstairs sheriff’s office is limited. Arbon has consented to repeat the program later Saturday afternoon if there is an overflow crowd.

The program is based on American Civil War era family history that Arbon experienced after studying over 60 letters her great, great grandfather wrote to his wife. The letters were written during his four years of service to the Union with the 52nd Illinois, including time spent as a prisoner of war.

The PowerPoint presentation gets to the heart of First Lieutenant Charles Watson’s Civil War experience. Excerpts from his letters are featured along with the story of how Arbon and her family created a book for children based on two of Watson’s letters.

The program on the 1856 military/stagecoach road through Klickitat County scheduled last week was canceled because of weather. It has been rescheduled for March 1. Regional History Forum programs are screened live on a TV monitor on the ground floor of the 1859 courthouse for those unable to climb the stairs. Coffee and cookies will be served after the program.

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