History and Hops: February

As mentioned earlier, I will be speaking at Dragon Hops Brewing on February 21 as part of the series “History and Hops.” As promised, here are the details:

What could be better? Enjoying a beer as we discuss the Civil War…. the Civil War in Charleston on top of that! Readers well know, this is a favorite focus of my research. We tend to bypass this story, treating Fort Sumter as just the place where the war started. In reality, Fort Sumter was the subject of an ongoing campaign as the Federals attempted to wrestle control of Charleston harbor. This focus on Fort Sumter was, in terms of days, weeks, and months, the longest battle of the war. Oh, and did I say there would be beer?

If you plan to attend, please stop by the event page on Facebook and make your mark. That way the staff knows how many folks to expect. This is an open event, with no tickets or such. Just have to be 21 or older, as there are alcoholic beverages served. Did I mention there would be beer?

So if you are in the area, save the date and make plans to stop by. We’ll warm up the winter with a talk about the warm(er) waters of the South Carolina Low Country. And did I mention the beer?

Advertisements

“Sound of the Guns” on the Road: Upcoming Speaking Events

A trio of upcoming speaking events for “To the Sound of the Guns” as we hit the road for the 2019 season.

First, on February 21, I am speaking at “History and Hops”, at Dragon Hops Brewing. More details to follow. This will be a talk about Charleston and Fort Sumter. So, mark the date, bring a friend and enjoy a beer.

On April 27, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library hosts a Civil War Symposium. The focus is on how Civil War history is related to the public. And my part will focus on the experience of blogging. I’ll post additional details in a bit. Harry Smeltzer, one of the other speakers, has posted the event brochure. Also featured at the venue is the Thomas Espy Room, GAR Post 153, which is among the best preserved GAR collections in the country. So some good talks and exhibits. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, give it a look.

And for those further south, I’ll be speaking to the newly formed Fort Sumter Civil War Round Table on June 10. Likewise, I’ll post more details as we get closer to the date. But in the mean time, let me make a pitch for this group. My good friend Jim Morgan is among those getting this roundtable started. They meet at The Citadel’s Daniel Library Museum Reading Room. Their first speaker, on February 5, is Gordon Rhea. They follow that in March with Frank Johnson, from the Hunley Museum. Then in April, they have Ed Bearss. Not bad for the first three meetings of a new roundtable! If you are in the Charleston area, I encourage you to check them out. Harry also has a flyer up with the details.

I hope to announce a few other events for 2019 here in a few weeks, as those are confirmed. So please keep checking back. And I’ll post full details on these events as the dates near. For now, put these on your calendars!

Twentieth Annual Civil War Seminar at Longwood University

Twenty years and still going strong!

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and Longwood University host their annual Civil War on Saturday, February 9 this year. This program has a reputation for delivering quality speakers. And is open to the public… as in free.

Location is the Jarman Auditorium, on the Longwood University campus. Parking is available on Wheeler Lot, at corner of High Street and Griffin Boulevard.

This year’s speakers and schedule:

  • 8:30 AM – Doors Open. Introduction by Dr. David Coles.
  • 9:00 AM – John Quarstein, “The Ship that Saved the Nation: The Monitor’s Recovery and Conservation”
  • 10:15 AM – Jake Wynn, “Discovering Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office”
  • 11:30 AM – Edwin C. Bearss, “Recovering the USS Cairo from the Yazoo.”
  • 12:30 PM – Lunch break.
  • 1:45 PM – Caroline Janney, “We Were Not Surrendered: Paroling Lee’s Army After Appomattox.”
  • 2:45 PM – Brandon Bies, “Unprecedented Discovery at Manassas National Battlefield Park: Field Hospital Burials Unearthed”

We might conclude from the titles, this year’s theme is “things lost and found.”

I plan on attending, as this is my usual “break out from the winter encampment” event. Hope to see you there. But if not I do plan on tweeting some of the highlights.

Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable 2019 Schedule

Here’s the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable schedule of speakers for the 2019 season, just posted:

Speakers and Topics Scheduled for 2019

  • March 12, 2019—Scott Mingus, Jr. : General JEB Stuart in York County during the Gettysburg Campaign
  • April 9, 2019—Eric Wittenberg : The Battle of Aiken and cavalry operations during the South Carolina campaign
  • May 14, 2019—Chris Army : Mapping Gettysburg – How we know what we know!
  • June 11, 2019—Bob O’Neil : Cavalry Logistics during the Gettysburg Campaign
  • July 9, 2019—Jon F. Willen : The Practice of Medicine during the Civil War
  • August 13, 2019—Eric Mink : The Battle of Alrich Farm (May 15, 1864)
  • September 10, 2019—Michael Schaffer – Experiences of Corporal T. W. Colley, 1st Virginia Cavalry
  • October 8, 2019—Richard Quest : “I Held Lincoln”, A Union Sailor’s Journey Home
  • November 12, 2019—James Rosenbrock : Artillery at Antietam
  • December 10, 2019—TBD : Members Meeting

Note: Meetings are not held in January and February.

Hot off the presses with a “hot” list of speakers!

At the Loudoun Roundtable, we extend a standing open invitation to any and all students and enthusiasts of the Civil War. Feel free to stop in and check us out. If you like us, then join up! Our dues are but $25 a year… so extended over a year less than the proverbial daily cup of coffee.

Unless otherwise noted, we hold meetings at Balch Library,
208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia, on the second Tuesday of each month (except for January and February). We traditionally hold one summer tour, and I’ll post those details when we have them. Also look for additional event announcements posted on the Roundtable Facebook Page.


Upcoming event: Big Gun Expedition to Bull Run

I have a couple of events, or should I say appearances, to announce. The first of these, as Harry Smeltzer posted last week, is an artillery-focused tour of First Bull Run. Here’s Harry’s pitch:

If big guns are your bag, you won’t want to miss a day at Manassas National Battlefield Park retracing the steps of the Union and Confederate artillerists during the First Battle of Bull Run with widely regarded expert Craig Swain and your humble host, me. Same game plan – no fees, everything is on your own (food, lodging, transportation). We’ll meet up at 9 AM on October 20, 2018 and head out onto the field. Dress appropriately – tour is rain or shine.

Expect to discuss all aspects of artillery: gun manufacture and capabilities, tactics of the day, and the action. We’ll also discuss some of the personalities involved.

This will be the FIRST artillery tour of First Bull Run since Henry Hunt led a staff ride over the field in March of 1864….

NO… I’m making that up.

But I would say the artillerymen have been given less attention than deserved for their actions at First Bull Run.  Much attention is focused on the employment of batteries on Henry House Hill which proved a crucial turn in the battle.  And much has been heaped – wrongly in my opinion – over the notion of “flying batteries” or “artillery charges.”   Though little has been mentioned of the other ten Federal in the campaign… or the more than a dozen Confederate batteries on the field.

When Harry first proposed this tour subject, he promised  a “no holds barred” concept.  Mostly, we’ll consider the nuances of drill and tactics as employed in this “early war” setting.  But be prepared for discussions of the “metallurgical art of cannon making” along with some “practice of battery command” topics.  I promise not to break out the trigonometry tables, however, as we won’t actually be shooting off anything!

If you are interested, Harry has setup a Facebook event page.  Please let us know if you plan to attend, so we can best factor logistics.

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.

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!