Fragments from the 1864 War between Denmark and Prussia / Austria


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16 July 2020
Birthe King presents a fascinating exhibit 'Fragments from the 1864 War, focussing on a correspondence between Hans and Ane Kathrine Petersen.

Following the annexation of the Duchy of Schleswig in November 1863 by the Danish King Christian IX (who was also Duke of Schleswig), Prussia and Austria invaded Jutland in January 1864.

Since the previous Schleswig war 1848-1850 with Prussia, the defending Danish infantry was badly equipped and the Danish defences, Dannevirke, across Schleswig had not been maintained, although it was considered a strong fortification both by the politicians and military leaders in Copenhagen and in the minds of the population. After the first battle, the Danish General de Meza decided the position was untenable and ordered a withdrawal to preserve the army. This started 4 February in freezing weather. 

Hans og Ane Kathrine Petersen were married in 1863. In May Ane had told her parents that she and Hans wanted to get married, and they reluctantly gave their consent, when she promised that they were not going to live out in the country but in the town of Odense on the island of Funen.

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How to view the exhibit…

  • View the exhibit using the video below (just click pause if you'd like to stop on a particular page, you also have the option to view at full screen)
  • Click here to open a PDF version of the exhibit (opens in new window)

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