Nineteenth Annual Appomattox CH / Longwood U. Civil War Seminar

Save the date.  The Nineteenth Annual Civil War Seminar, hosted by Appomattox Court House National Historic Park and Longwood University, is on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at Jarman Auditorium on the Longwood University campus, Farmville, Virginia.

Appomattox Court House NHP will post details on their event page, but from the flyer distributed by Longwood University:

  • 8:30 a.m.          Doors open
  • 9:00 a.m.          Introduction by Dr. David Coles
  • 9:10 a.m.          Gary W. Gallager –  Robert E. Lee Generalship: Politics, Public Morale, and Confederate Prospects for Victory

The quality of Robert E. Lee’s generalship has prompted considerable debate since the 1970s.  This lecture will assess critiques of Lee as a parochial Virginian who failed to see the larger strategic picture, waged too many costly battles, never came to terms with the impact of recent military technology, and might have shortened, rather than lengthened, the life of the Confederacy.

  • 10:15 a.m.        Ralph Peters – Leaders Known, Leaders Forgotten: Command and Character in the Civil War

Explores the various styles of leadership on the battlefield and in high command, with special attention to the interactions of character, personal background, generational issues and talent. What are the consistencies and contradictions of successful battlefield leadership?  How often did personal relationships determine outcomes? Are there lessons for today, or is leadership different now? Discussion will focus on commanders from Grant and Lee to Jackson, Hooker, Sheridan, Gordon, Stuart, O.O. Howard and Carl Schurz, with various “honorable mentions.”

  • 11:30 a.m.        Edwin C. Bearss – Recollections of Appomattox

Reflections that delve into not only some historical aspects of Appomattox, but also personal reflections on attending the 100th, 125th, and 150th Anniversary events.

  • 12:30                 Lunch
  • 1:45 p.m.          Judith Giesberg –  Sex and the Civil War: Soldiers, Pornography, and the Making of American Morality

This talk will explore the Civil War origins of the anti-pornography legislation by taking a look at the impetus behind a February 1865 law.  Making use of the wartime letters and diaries of a number of Union soldiers, the lecture considers soldiers’ own experiences with period erotica. What did they have access to, read, circulate? And, what did these materials mean to them? The Civil War was a turning point for the influential rise of postwar anti-vice campaigns.  These also included laws against contraceptives and abortion, newly entrenched legal regulations of marriage, and ever broader social purity initiatives around sexuality.

  •  2:45 p.m.        John W. Montcastle – When War Came This Way: The Woman’s War

The Civil War in Virginia brought women untold challenges, crushing hardships, and great pain. But the conflict which often dashed their hopes for the future also spurred women to step into roles previously denied them. Then, they made significant contributions to their families, their communities, and their state.  When war came this way, women achieved a reputation for sacrifice, selfless service, and leadership that inspires us still.

No reservations necessary.  Signs will be posted on the Longwood University Campus.  For directions to the campus go to http://www.longwood.edu.  For more information contact Dr. David Coles at 434-395-2220 or Patrick Schroeder at 434-352-8987, Ext. 232.

This seminar is always a favorite of mine.  As welcome as a cup of coffee and a warm fireplace as it comes in mid-winter.  I plan to attend and hope to see you there.  But if you are unable to, I’ll be on Twitter providing some of the highlights.

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Speaking Event: Rufus Barringer CWRT on October 19

I’m pleased to announce a speaking event scheduled for later this fall.  I’ll be speaking to the Rufus Barringer Civil War Roundtable, in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Event details:

Subject: Siege and Reduction of Fort Sumter – story of three great
bombardments… and a lot of smaller ones!

Date: 7 PM, October 19, 2017.

Location: Southern Pines Civic Club, 105
S. Ashe St. Southern Pines, NC.

As readers well know, I love to discuss Fort Sumter.  In particular the lesser-followed stories that sort of get overlooked between the opening shots of the war and the ceremony at the end of the war.  In this case, I’ll focus on the Federal efforts to reduce Fort Sumter, by way of prolonged bombardment.

If you are in that part of the Carolinas, please consider stopping in!

Eighteenth Annual Appomattox CH / Longwood U. Civil War Seminar

The Eighteenth Annual Civil War Seminar, hosted by Appomattox Court House National Historic Park and Longwood University, is on Saturday, February 18, 2017.  As in the past few years, the place to be is Jarman Auditorium on the Longwood University campus, Farmville, Virginia.

Details about the speakers and schedule went up on the Appomattox event page earlier this week (to which I’ll add annotations from the flyer):

  • 8:30 a.m.          Doors open
  • 9:00 a.m.          Introduction by Dr. David Coles
  • 9:10 a.m.          Eric Buckland:  John S. Mosby: The Perfect Man in the Perfect Place

From January 1863 to April 1865, Virginian John Singleton Mosby was afforded the unique opportunity to execute a vision he had for conducting irregular combat operation behind Union lines in Northern Virginia.  He achieved singular success as one of the greatest small unit unconventional leaders in history.

  • 10:15 a.m.        Ralph Peters: The Human Side of Civil War Leadership

… explores the professional, emotional and physical challenges of command late in the war, as losses among leaders mounted and health decayed, even as the war’s demands expanded. It focuses on exemplary figures such as Francies Channing Barlow and “Little Billy” Mahone, John Brown Gordon and William C. Oates, as well as Grant and Lee.

  • 11:30 a.m.        William C. Davis: Grant, Lee, and Leadership

The two greatest commanders of the Civil War era had very different leadership styles and approaches to management, yet when it came to how they made decisions they were remarkably similar.  Their ways of marshaling manpower, material , and other resources helped determine the outcome of their campaigns, but so did their personalities and outlooks on life and the world around them.

  • 12:30                 Lunch
  • 1:45 p.m.          Dr. Richard J. Sommers: Enduring Lessons in Leadership from the Siege of Petersburg

The Siege of Petersburg was the longest campaign of the Civil War. It centered on the Northern attack and Southern defense of the Confederate capital, Richmond, and its crucial line-of-communications center, Petersburg.  The campaign pitted the foremost general of each nation – Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant for the United States and General Robert E. Lee for the Confederate States – directly against each other.

  •  2:45 p.m.        William C. Davis: Lincoln and Davis as Commanders in Chief

We often forget that the president is also the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces of the United States.  As such it is his duty in wartime to marshal all the resources — human and industrial — of his nation to the overarching goal of defense and/or victory.  Lincoln and Davis came to the task each with significant advantages and handicaps, and each in some areas performed better or worse than the other.

No reservations necessary.  Signs will be posted on the Longwood University Campus.  For directions to the campus go to http://www.longwood.edu.  For more information contact Dr. David Coles at 434-395-2220 or Patrick Schroeder at 434-352-8987, Ext. 232.

As I’ve mentioned for previous years, you will not find a better venue in terms of quality of content for the price – this one is FREE.

I plan to attend and hope to see you there.  But if you are unable to, I’ll be on Twitter providing some of the highlights.

Loudoun County CW Roundtable 2017 Schedule

We’ve just posted our 2017 schedule for the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable.  And wanted to re-post here as I know some readers in our area will be interested:

Speakers and Topics Scheduled for 2017

March 14, 2017—George Lewis: 500 Horses a Day

April 11, 2017—James A. Morgan III: Activities of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War

May 9, 2017—Mike Block: The Confederate Experience in Culpeper County, Virginia

June 13, 2017—Laura June Davis: Mississippi River Boat Burners

July 11, 2017—Robert H. Moore II: The Summers and Koontz Affair

August 8, 2017—Elizabeth Parnicza: The Looting of Fredericksburg

September 12, 2017—James Hessler: Dan Sickles

October 10, 2017—Gordon Calhoun: The CSS Florida, Operations and Artifacts

November 14, 2017—David Goetz: John S. Mosby and the Lincoln Conspiracy

December 12, 2017—Members’ meeting (TBD)

Note: Meetings are not held in January and February.

If you are not a member of the roundtable but wish to attend, drop me a note.  Would be glad to introduce you to the group.

Other “event” news to note, the 18th Annual Civil War Seminar hosted by Longwood University and Appomattox Court House NHP is scheduled for February 18.  No details as to speakers, but I highly recommend getting this one on your calendar.

Seventeenth Annual Appomattox CH / Longwood U. Civil War Seminar

This year’s Civil War Seminar, hosted by Appomattox Court House National Historic Park and Longwood University is on Saturday, February 6, 2016.  As in the past few years, the place to be is Jarman Auditorium on the Longwood University campus, Farmville, Virginia.

This year’s focus is “After Appomattox.”  Speakers and schedule are:

  • 8:30 AM – Doors open.
  • 9:00 AM – Introduction by Dr. David Coles.
  • 9:10 AM – Ernie Price – Marching out of Formation: Confederates Going Home after Appomattox.
  • 10:15 AM – Patrick Schroeder – Appomattox: After the Surrender to 1865.
  • 11:15 AM – Rick Hatcher – Return to Fort Sumter.
  • 12:30 PM – Lunch.
  • 1:45 PM – Frank O’Reilly – Uneasy Alliance: Brokering Peace with Grant and Lee.
  • 2:45 PM – Eric Wittenberg – Wade Hampton and Joshua Chamberlain: Parallel Lives Well Lived.

So we see the seminar organizers are keeping somewhat with their sesquicentennial themes, and building upon the outstanding 2015 seminar (and what a grand three-day event that was!).  Though returning to the one-day format.

The cost is right in your range…. Free!

More details on the event website (here).  Hope to see you there.  If not, I’ll be doing my regular tweeting from the event… so join me virtually if you cannot attend in person.

Petersburg 150th Events

Petersburg National Battlefield has posted their 2015 schedule of events.  These include a good number sesquicentennial observances.  Some of those which caught my eye, as specifically timed to 150th events:

150th Anniversary of The Battle of Hatcher’s Run

Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 3:00 pm
Location: Five Forks Contact Station, 9840 Courthouse Road, Dinwiddie, VA

Lecture will commemorate the first of the 1865 battles aimed at cutting off supply lines to General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, and bringing about the fall of Petersburg.

The Saturday following (February 7th), the park hosts a set of talks.  One focuses on the death of “Sallie,” the mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry in the battle of Hatcher’s Run.  With the talk is a demonstration by the 544th Military Working Dog Detachment from Fort Lee.  “See the evolution of military dogs from mascots to modern day working dogs.”  (I don’t think that angle has ever been worked for Civil War interpretation… good one!)  The second talk, scheduled for 2 PM, as Emanuel Dabney discussing “how Confederate soldiers were dealing with the war in what turned out to be the last months of service for the Army of Northern Virginia.”

Civil War 150th : Battles of Ft. Stedman and Jones Farm Living History Weekend

Date: Saturday, March 21, 2015
Time:  Ft. Stedman 10:00 am – 11:00 am;  Jones Farm 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Locations: Ft. Stedman Tour Stop #5 Eastern Front, 5001 Siege Rd. Petersburg VA; and Jones Farm Tour Stop #3 Western Front, Church Rd. & Flank Rd. Dinwiddie Co. VA.

The weekend event matches to the “real time” observance which falls on the following Wednesday:

Civil War 150th: Battles of Ft. Stedman and Jones Farm Real Time Tours

Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Time: Ft. Stedman 5:00 am -8:00 am;  Jones Farm 3:00 pm -3:45 pm
Locations: Ft. Stedman Tour Stop #5 Eastern Front, 5001 Siege Rd. Petersburg VA; and Jones Farm Tour Stop #3 Western Front, Church Rd. & Flank Rd. Dinwiddie Co. VA

The following weekend (March 28-29) feature living history displays at Five Forks, Fort Gregg, and Hopewell (in conjunction with a panel discussion about the River Queen Conference).  There is also a night-time tour of Five Forks on March 28, 6-8 pm.

Then over the first days of April, the observances come as thick as the action of 1865:

Faces of Five Forks
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Location: Five Forks Contact Station, 9840 Courthouse Road, Dinwiddie, VA

Civil War 150th: Breakthrough Real Time Tour
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 5:30 am – 6:30 am
Location: Tour Stop #3 Western Front, Church Rd. & Flank Rd. Dinwiddie Co. VA

Civil War 150th: Breakthrough: Ft. Mahone Commemorative Ceremony
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: Ft. Mahone & Pennsylvania Monument on Wakefield Drive, Petersburg VA

Civil War 150th: Breakthrough: Battle of Ft. Gregg Commemorative Ceremony
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Tour Stop #4 Western Front, Sampson Rd. & 7th Ave. Dinwiddie Co. VA

See the Petersburg NPS website for more details on these events.

Couple these events along with those occurring at Appomattox starting on April 8 and you see the last spring of the Sesquicentennial will be a busy one!

 

16th Annual Civil War Seminar at Longwood University: Three days in March!

This year will mark the 150th anniversary of the Appomattox Campaign, which brought the Civil War through Farmville, Virginia and eventually to Appomattox.  So it is fitting that Appomattox Court House National Historic Place and Longwood University pull out all the stops for their 16th Annual Civil War Seminar – three days of top speakers along with a battlefield tour.  From the Appomattox Court House NHP website:

Friday, March 13

5:30 p.m. Doors open

5:50 p.m. Introduction by Dr. David Coles, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy, Longwood University

6:00 p.m.Tracy Chernault, The Fall of Petersburg

7:00 p.m. Michael Gorman, Photo Forensics: Richmond, 1865

8:00 p.m. Chris Calkins, The Appomattox Campaign: Nine April Days

Saturday, March 14

8:30 a.m. Doors open

9:00 a.m. Introduction by Dr. David Coles

9:10 a.m. Chris Calkins, Black Thursday: The Battles of Sailor’s Creek, April 6, 1865

10:15 a.m. Patrick Schroeder, The Battles of Appomattox: Final Fury and the Last to Die

11:15 a.m. Ron Wilson, Surrender at Appomattox

12:30 Lunch

1:45 p.m. Elizabeth Varon, Legacies of Appomattox: Lee’s Surrender in History and Memory

2:45 p.m. Mark Bradley, Fort Fisher to the Bennett Place: Closing Operations in North Carolina

4:30-6:00 Sailor’s Creek State Historical Park Special on Site Visit with Chris Calkins and Park Staff

Sunday, March 15

8:30 a.m. Doors open

9:00 a.m. Introduction by Dr. David Coles

9:10 a.m. Bert Dunkerly, The Forgotten Surrenders: Alabama, the Trans-Mississippi, and Indian Territory

10:15 a.m. Casey Clabough, Confederadoes

11:15 a.m. John Hennessy, Freedom, the Civil War and its Legacies

Except for the battlefield tour, the location is Longwood University, Jarman Auditorium, Farmville, Va.   And the “price” is easy on your pocket book – FREE. 

The seminar is sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, & Philosophy at Longwood University; Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, and Eastern National Bookstore.

As with the last few years, I consider the seminar somewhat a “prep” for the sesquicentennial season ahead.  I plan to attend, blogging and tweeting while there.  Hope to see you there!