Elsie Singmaster: Stories of Gettysburg

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Type: Program
Time: 7:00 PM

A town resident from 1901-1958, Elsie Singmaster used her unique local vantage point to create stories and books about the Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath. Daughter of the Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary president, Dr. John Alden Singmaster, she lived on the institution’s campus where the first day’s battle between the Union and Confederate troops took place on July 1, 1863. A brilliant woman who wrote about places and people she knew best, Singmaster studied the battle and its field mining them for facts and literary themes. She developed friendships with citizen survivors, then old, and read memoirs of other witnesses. Crafting fiction informed by all she had gleaned, Singmaster, already an accomplished writer, engaged her readers in questions of heroism, idealism, patriotism, religion, memory, and sacrifice as the nation approached the fiftieth anniversary of the battle (1913). Citing some of Singmaster’s best characters and stories, the program will examine her interpretation of the battle through story at this critical juncture and beyond. 

Susan Colestock Hill has been a resident of Gettysburg since 1974. She is a graduate of Gettysburg College and Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary. Since 2000, she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic, and is currently on the board of the Adams County Historical Society. She is the author of Heart Language: Elsie Singmaster and Her Pennsylvania German Writings (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009), the annual volume of the Pennsylvania German Society Cultural Series. 

The program will start at 7 P.M. and be held in the auditorium of Valentine Hall on the Lutheran Theological Seminary campus. This program is sponsored by ACNB Bank and done in partnership with the Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum.