by Chris Sutton
The sesquicentennial (a word I love to say but cannot spell) has been an incredible, unmatched experience for me. The 150th anniversary of the American Civil War started in 2011 and ends this year, 2015. Hundreds and hundreds of reenactments, ceremonies and assemblies have taken place over the last four years to commemorate the bloodiest war in American history. More Americans gave their lives in this conflict than in all other wars combined. Reenactments, formal ceremonies, debates and even slave auctions, gave both spectators and those participating a chance to immerse themselves in this collection of historic moments. I was blessed to be a part of many programs during this time and I am eternally grateful to everyone I have met for making my life richer. I have studied the civil war for more than 20 years and in my travels of telling stories, I am fortunate enough to meet a collection of people from all walks of life. With each person that I meet who has a history to share, I am intrigued and humbled by all of the things I don’t know about the civil war. There is such magic in the art of listening, (something I need to do more of ) and I have been privileged to meet strangers who transform into meaningful acquaintances and friends before my very eyes. I gravitate to telling many of my stories surrounding this era because of the substantially rich history it provides. As a storyteller and historian, my life has forever changed over the last four years and am ready for the next chapter in my life as a living history presenter, keeping these stories alive. I look forward to continuing to tell the stories that you won’t find in any history book, stories that make us think and stories that inspire us to make a difference.
Chris Sutton is a talented public speaker, storyteller, actor, re-enactor, voice talent & living history performer. Chris has created educational programs for the Saint Louis Zoo, National Association of Interpretation, the National Park System, the Civil War Sesquicentennial Organization, Gateway Storytellers, MO-TEL Storytelling guild, & Riverwind Storytellers. He was exited to be chosen to represent his region at this year’s conference and you can watch him perform his first hand account of a Union Civil War officer at the Showcase on Saturday, August first. His living history programs have be described as “Intense & thought provoking!” Chris has an intriguing demeanor and a magnetic personality that is unmatched and once you see him perform, you will never forget him.