Sunday, February 14, 2010

Drum Barracks Civil War Museum

Southern California does have some important Civil War history.  It is represented by the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum in Wilmington, California, which is part of the City of Los Angeles. You can read about California’s role here:

This week I received notice that the Mayor and Los Angeles City Council are planning to layoff Susan Ogle, the Director of ‘the Drum,’ sometime between now and July 1st.

I quote from Loran Bures’ message; Commander, Gen. W. S. Rosecrans Camp No. 2; Department of California & Pacific; Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War:

“On the eve of the Civil War Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary), it is, at best, short-sighted to eliminate the only full-time, onsite staff member of the only truly tangible connection that Southern California has to the Civil War, and California’s contribution to save the Union.  It would be next to impossible to find someone as knowledgeable and dedicated to the Drum Barracks as Susan Ogle.  The next several years will bring many opportunities to present and remind the people of Southern California and beyond about the sacrifices made by our ancestors to save the Union.  The Drum Barracks is the natural focal point for many of these activities. 

Most likely the Drum Barracks would be consolidated under the Director of the Banning Museum.  Needless to say we are concerned with the prospect of the Drum being only "slightly" managed.  The prospect of not having the artifacts supervised full time is inconceivable.”

James F. Ramsey, Co E, 13th Mass; at the Drum
There is a connection to the 13th Mass at the Drum Barracks.  Long time Massachusetts resident James F. Ramsey  and several members of his family settled in Inglewood, CA, some years after the war.  An original letter dated April 19, 1870 hangs on the wall of the museum.  The letter is addressed to James F. Ramsey, (company E, 13th Massachusetts Volunteers) from Massachusetts Governor William Claflin; thanking Ramsey for his service in suppressing the rebellion and maintaining the integrity of the nation.   James Ramsey and his wife Ella are buried side by side at Inglewood Park CemeteryHis descendents preserved his letters, (many of which are featured on my website, and donated the letter of appreciation to the Drum Barracks.

If You Want to Help
I’m passing on Commander Bures’ plan of action for those concerned.  If you would like to help keep Susan on at the Drum here is what you can do.  Time is of the essence, the layoff could happen as soon as February 19th.

Write a personal letter to each of the following City officials, expressing your concerns about the pending layoff of Susan Ogle as the Director of the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum and its impact(s).  

First email your letter, and then send it by U.S. Mail. If you belong to a Civil War group mention it.  Please note that phone calls and emails are simply counted - they do not take note of your specific comments.  Letters are the most effective and have the most impact, unless they are form letters, which again, are simply counted.

Janice Hahn
Councilwoman, 15th District
City of Los Angeles
638 S. Beacon Street, Suite 553
San Pedro CA  90731
(310) 732-4515

Jon Kirk Mukri
General Manager
Department of Recreation and Parks
221 N. Figueroa Street, Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA  90012
(213) 202-2633

Mark Mariscal
Superintendent, Pacific Region
Department of Recreation and Parks
1670 Palos Verdes Drive North
Harbor City, CA  90710 

Since the Drum Barracks and the land it sits on is the property of the State of California, except for the north portion of the parking lot which is owned by the City of Los Angeles, and is a California Historical Landmark, we should also voice our concerns with our state legislators.  It is leased to and operated by the City of Los Angeles.

To find your State Assembly member and Senator visit:

Out of Staters:
The following two legislators’ districts include the Drum Barracks, but it is best to write your own state legislators first.  If you are not a resident of California, I would still encourage you to write to the following two legislators.

Jenny Oropeza
Senator, 28th District
2512 Artesia Blvd., #200
Redondo Beach, CA  90278-3279
(310) 318-6994

Warren Furutani
Assemblymember, 55th District
4201 Long Beach Blvd Suite 327
Long Beach, CA  90807
(562) 989-2919

Los Angeles County Residents:
If you are a resident of Los Angeles County, also please write a letter to Supervisor Knabe.  I know that this is a City of Los Angeles decision, but the Drum Barracks is located in his district, and he takes an active interest in everything that is happening in his district.

Don Knabe
Supervisor, 4th District
County of Los Angeles
822 Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA  90012
(213) 974-4444

No comments:

Post a Comment