This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Considered by many as a turning point in the Civil War, the bloody three-day battle marked the highest number of casualties in the four-year conflict. The Union defeat of the Confederate army continued to resonate months later when
Original notes and letters from the 16th president's childhood to his time in office are just a few of the documents on display at the
"DreamWorks' contribution was a wonderful 11th-hour surprise," said Reagan Library curator Andrew Wulf of the sets and costumes from Lincoln's office, Mary Todd Lincoln's vanity set, and several elements for the Petersen boarding house vignette where Lincoln died, which includes the original bloodied pillow on loan from Ford's Theater National Historic Site. A trompe l'oeil of the hallway gives the scene depth and a sense of solemnity.
"People have this image of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator, but he was also a family man with domestic problems too," said Wulf of the personal writings that reveal an intimate side of the president.
Copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment signed by Lincoln and the handwritten personal testimony of Boston Corbett, the man who killed assassin John Wilkes Booth, are displayed along with common correspondence, such as a check written for his son Robert, a poem from his youth and a request for music to be played in the
"Many of these pieces have rarely been seen by the public on the West Coast," added Wulf, co-curator of the show along with Lincoln aficionado Louise Taper.
A large share of the pieces are on loan from the Lincoln Presidential Library in
Installed next to the office set is an authentic field hospital from the
The exhibit runs through Sept. 30.