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The timing could not have been better for a 23 year old military man to write his name into the history books. On June 29, 1863, George Custer was promoted to Brigadier General and placed in command of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. Without doubt Custer took advantage of that opportunity before, during, and after the Battle of Gettysburg. Within sixteen days of almost continual fighting Custer's Wolverine brigade would fight at Hanover, Hunterstown, East Cavalry Field, Monterey Pass, Hagerstown, Williamsport, and Falling Waters. This presentation explores not only the numerous engagements of the brigade, but also the reactions of Michigan Cavalry troopers to their youthful and newly appointed young commander.Find out more »
The USS Isaac P. Smith was a Union gunboat ambushed by Confederate shore batteries and captured on the Stono River near Charleston on January 30, 1863. Although the US Navy lost other ships due to battle and capture during the war, the Smith was the only one captured by Confederate field batteries and used against the Union. This presentation tells the story of the battle and the history of the Smith leading up to its capture, offers an account of the crew’s captivity, and describes the lives of its Executive Officer and Paymaster before and after the war.Find out more »
Wayne K. Durrill, University of Cincinnati: War of Another Kind: A Southern Community in the Great Rebellion
This talk will describe in graphic detail the disintegration, during the Civil War, of Southern plantation society in a North Carolina coastal county. He will detail the struggles among planters, slaves, yeoman farmers, and landless white laborers, as well as a guerrilla war and a clash between two armies that, in the end, destroyed all that remained of the county's social structure. He will examine the failure of a planter-yeoman alliance, and discusses how yeoman farmers and landless white laborers allied themselves against planters, but to no avail. He will also show how slaves, when refugeed upcountry, tried unsuccessfully to reestablish their prerogatives--a subsistence, as well as protection from violence--owed them as a minimal condition of their servitude.Find out more »
Civil War sailors and officers operated in a much different environment than soldiers, living for months at a time in claustrophobic conditions on ships. Ocean going sailors flirted with acrophobia when setting sails on 150 foot masts. Unlike the Army, the Navy had been integrated since the 1830’s and gave African-Americans equal pay and equal justice. This talk will explore how courage and leadership were recognized. The efforts of 17 Midwestern naval personnel were recognized by naming ships for them to inspire future generations of sailors. Their WWII namesakes performed deeds of valor in combat. Come to learn the differences and the contributions of sailors to Civil War results.Find out more »
Ted Savas, El Dorado Hills, CA: Topic: The War Outside my Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Gresham, 1860-1865
An in-depth discussion about how one of the most important Civil War Diaries was found, how it came to be published, the genius of the young teenager who wrote it, and the amazing insights we gain from it. LeRoy Wiley Gresham was born in 1847 to an affluent slave-holding family in Macon, Georgia. After a horrific leg injury left him an invalid, the educated, inquisitive, perceptive, and exceptionally witty 12-year-old began keeping a diary in 1860--just as secession and the Civil War began tearing the country and his world apart. He continued to write even as his health deteriorated until both the war and his life ended in 1865. The War Outside My Window captures the spirit and the character of a young privileged white teenager witnessing the demise of his world even as his own body slowly failed him.Find out more »
A string of battlefield victories through 1862 had culminated in the spring of 1863 with Lee’s greatest victory yet: the battle of Chancellorsville. Propelled by the momentum of that supreme moment, confident in the abilities of his men, Lee decided to once more take the fight to the Yankees and launched this army on another invasion of the North. An appointment with destiny awaited in the little Pennsylvania college town of Gettysburg.
Historian Dan Welch follows in the footsteps of the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac as the two foes cat-and-mouse their way northward, ultimately clashing in the costliest battle in North American history.
Based on the Gettysburg Civil War Trails, and packed with dozens of lesser-known sites related to the Gettysburg Campaign, The Last Road North: A Guide to the Gettysburg Campaign offers the ultimate Civil War road trip.Find out more »
Greg Biggs, Clarksville, TN: The Question Was One Of Supplies – The Logistics For William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign
Greg Biggs has lectured across the country on Civil War topics primarily on flags and the Western Theater as well as the Revolutionary War. Greg leads tours of the Fort Donelson Campaign, the Tullahoma Campaign, the Atlanta Campaign and Where The River Campaigns Began: Cairo, IL to Columbus/Belmont, KY for Civil War groups, individuals and U.S. Army Staff Rides. He is the president of the Clarksville Civil War Roundtable and an officer of the Nashville CWRT.Find out more »
When we hear the name John H. Morgan, it usually brings to mind the dashing leader of a small band of gallant raiders, but by 1864 Morgan was a shell of his former self, and his command was no longer the gallant band of 1862 and 1863. This talk is about Morgan’s Last Raid, with a focus on the fighting at Cynthiana, but will also provide a few insights to Morgan’s lack of control and discipline during this campaign.Find out more »
In September 1862, Cincinnati was under assault from an enemy whose goal was to pillage and burn the city, leaving destruction and fear in their wake. The assault was a major event that helped define the resolve of the citizens living in the Tristate region. Over 60,000 volunteers poured into the hills of Northern Kentucky to stop the Confederate onslaught that ripped through Kentucky virtually unchallenged, before turning north to threaten the Queen City. This is their story of leadership, patriotism, selflessness and courage.Find out more »
James “Bud” Robertson, Fredericksburg, VA Topic: Water: The Most Overlooked Element of the Civil War
A hard look at the element itself--water for life, water as an agent of infection, water in military planning, etc. The "etc." is why water can be considered "the forgotten element."
This Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as Civil War! America Becomes One Nation, General A.P. Hill, and Soldiers Blue and Gray. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. His latest book is After the Civil War: The Heroes, Villains, Soldiers, and Civilians Who Changed America. The recipient of every major award given in the Civil War field, and a lecturer of national acclaim, Dr. Robertson is probably more in demand as a speaker before Civil War groups than anyone else in the field.Find out more »