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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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.

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.

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!

Tweeting from Longwood Civil War Seminar Today

Today I’m down at Farmville, Virginia for the annual Appomattox Court House – Longwood University Civil War Seminar.  This year’s speakers are Eric Whittenberg, Gordon Rhea, Stephen Engel, Kevin Levin, and Brian Wills.  All are delivering presentations on events from 1864.

As I did last year, I’ll tweet some of my impressions when possible – using the hashtag #15CWS.  Those also post on the To the Sound of the Guns Facebook page.  Links to respective  Twitter and Facebook pages are in the columns to the right.

15th Annual Civil War Seminar at Longwood University: March 15, 2014

Earlier this week Longwood University posted the schedule for the 15th Annual Civil War Seminar:

  • 8:30 a.m. Jarman Auditorium doors open
  • 9:00 a.m. Introduction by Dr. David Coles, Professor & Chair, Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy, Longwood University
  • 9:10 a.m. Eric Wittenberg – Cavalry Operations in the Overland Campaign
  • 10:15 a.m. Gordon Rhea – Grant and Lee in the Overland Campaign
  • 11:15 p.m. Stephen Engel – Revisiting the New Market Campaign
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:45 p.m. Kevin Levin – Confederates Assess the Battle of the Crater
  • 2:45 p.m. Brian Wills – Thomas dashes Hood’s Hopes at Nashville

The university’s page offers biographies of the speakers, in case you are not familiar with the names.

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.

If you cannot attend, I’ll be micro-blogging (which sounds better than Tweeting, I think) from the event.  But, of course it’s always best to attend in person. Hope to see you there!

Tweeting from Longwood U. Today

Today I’m down at Farmville, Virginia for the annual Appomattox Court House – Longwood University Civil War Seminar.   This is my fourth consecutive year in attendance.  The seminar is my “kick-off” to the campaign season, so to speak.

This year’s speakers are Frank O’Reilly, Robert Krick, Sr., Dr. Charles D. Ross,   Troy Harman, and John S. Heiser.  Each offering a choice topic.

As I did last year, I’ll tweet some of my impressions when possible – using the hashtag #14CWS.  Those also post on the To the Sound of the Guns Facebook page.  Links to respective  Twitter and Facebook pages are in the columns to the right.