"ITALY CALLED.- Letters from Garibaldinian volunteers and Sardinyan army"

Reggio Emilia State Records Office

16-18 March 2011 - Exhibitions



         The letters in the exhibition are part of a small core collection of letters from Garibaldian volunteers and Sardinian army soldiers, who were natives of Reggio Emilia.

         The letters were written between April and July 1859, amidst the 2nd War of Independence, and they are preserved in the archive of the Commission for National Donations, an institution which was founded in Reggio Emilia in the summer of 1859 in order to raise money and provisions, to contribute to the purchase of the "million rifles" ordered by Garibaldi. It was also intended as a means of providing arms, clothing and aid to volunteers, of ensuring assistance to their families, which would be provided if they found themselves in need, and of supplying initial help to the wounded and survivors.

         Many of the letters touch on the ever-present topic of the shortage of money, scarce rations and the lack of appropriate clothing for the situation, but despite this, all of them still overflow with patriotism and youthful enthusiasm.

            The selected letters contain descriptions of both combat that the volunteers personally took part in, or events that they had heard about. Through this exhibition, new life is breathed into events which now make up the contents of history books.



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