Civil War Events

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

Upcoming Civil War Events

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Civil War Exhibits at the Library

Saturday, May 5, 2012 - Sunday, July 1, 2012
The exhibit The Civil War in Missouri depicts the bitter infighting in a state where citizens’ loyalties were divided between the Union and the Confederacy.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - Friday, January 13, 2012
A new exhibit examining President Abraham Lincoln’s struggle to meet the political and constitutional challenges of the Civil War.
Monday, January 4, 2010 - Thursday, January 28, 2010
An exhibit encouraging visitors to look beyond the myth to develop a deeper understanding of America’s 16th president through his own words.

Previous Civil War Events

Search for past Civil War events at the Library using the fields provided.

Format: 2014-04-20
Format: 2014-04-20
  • Before and after it made military history, becoming the first submarine to sink an enemy warship, the Confederate-flagged H.L. Hunley was beset by tragedy. Historian James L. Speicher tells her story.
    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    What was termed the last Confederate funeral took place exactly 10 years ago — the burial of eight crew members of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley. The 25-foot underwater craft was raised from the sea floor outside Charleston, South Carolina, a little more than 136 years after becoming the first sub to sink an enemy warship and then mysteriously going down itself.

    The Hunley had exacted a heavy toll before that, seeing 13 crew members perish during training exercises and acquiring the nickname the Peripatetic Coffin.

    Historian James L. Speicher, formerly a military science professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, recounts the alternately fascinating and tragic stories of the historic vessel and the lost souls who served her.

  • Military historian Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College explains how Ulysses S. Grant took command of Union forces and brought the North to victory in the Civil War.
    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Despite a Union advantage in men and resources, the Confederates dominated in the early months of the Civil War. Only one federal general seemed to have the will and skill to beat them: Ulysses S. Grant.

    The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s Ethan S. Rafuse analyzes Grant’s personality, the factors that led to his rise to supreme commander, his military strategies, and the operations he personally directed in 1863-64 against the North’s most dangerous foe, Robert E. Lee.

  • We think of the Civil War in terms of great land battles. But the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s John T. Kuehn argues that the war on water – on rivers, in harbors, and on the high seas – was just as important.
    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    Americans are familiar with Civil War land battles—but much less so with the war at sea, from the development of ironclad warships and submarines to the more mundane naval blockade that created economic starvation in the South.

    On the 150th anniversary of the Confederates’ loss of the CSS Hunley—which had been the first combat Submarine to sink an enemy warship—John T. Kuehn of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College examines the largely underappreciated role that naval warfare played in the Civil War. Kuehn, a former Navy aviator, is the author of two books on the Pacific theater in World War II and another on the military history of Japan.

  • Experts from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth – Ethan S. Rafuse, Terry Beckenbaugh, Gregory S. Hospodor, and Randy Mullis – weigh in on the impact Gettysburg had on the greater Civil War.
    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    Even for those of us unfamiliar with history, the very name “Gettysburg” suggests a monumental clash of armies. But beyond the chaos of the battle itself, what was the impact of Gettysburg on the greater Civil War?

    Four historians from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth address the question in Gettysburg: The Most Important Event of 1863?

    Participants include Ethan S. Rafuse, professor of military history, and associate professors Terry Beckenbaugh, Gregory S. Hospodor, and Randy Mullis.

  • The country/bluegrass duo Granville Automatic performs original songs inspired by Civil War battles.
    Sunday, September 22, 2013

    The country duo Granville Automatic performs songs from An Army Without Music, a recording project in which each song is inspired by a Civil War battle. And since they are appearing on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga, Vanessa Denae Olivarez and Elizabeth Elkins will debut their new song about that confrontation.

    Olivarez was in the Top 12 of the 2003 season of American Idol and starred in the Canadian stage production of Hairspray. Elkins was a grand prize winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Together they have released the albums Granville Automatic and Live from Sun Studio.

  • Editors Jonathan Earle and Diane Mutti Burke and three fellow historians who contributed to their book -- Kristen Oertel, Jeremy Neely, and Jennifer Weber – discuss the era of Bleeding Kansas, its overall impact on the Civil War, and the lasting divisiveness it spawned.
    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    Long before the Civil War began violence was commonplace along the Missouri-Kansas border. There a recurring cycle of robbery, arson, torture, murder, and revenge was established over the same issues that would fuel the larger conflict.

    Jonathan Earle, associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, and Diane Mutti Burke, associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, are editors of the new book Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri. They are joined by contributing writers Kristen Oertel of the University of Tulsa, Jennifer Weber of the University of Kansas, and Jeremy Neely of Missouri State University for a discussion that blends political, military, social, and intellectual history to explain why the region’s divisiveness was so bitter and persisted for so long.

  • August marks the 150th anniversary of the raid on Lawrence, Kansas, by William Quantrill’s band of Confederate irregulars. The Library observes this event with a series of films that unfold in “Bleeding Kansas.” The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976; PG)
    Monday, August 26, 2013

    August marks the 150th anniversary of the raid on Lawrence, Kansas, by William Quantrill’s band of Confederate irregulars. The Library observes this event with a series of films that unfold on the Missouri-Kansas border. Part of our A Quantum of Quantrill series of August events

  • On the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, historian Tony R. Mullis of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth examines the notorious massacre and the years of back-and-forth atrocities that led up to it.
    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    On the 150th anniversary of William Clarke Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Tony R. Mullis of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, examines the notorious massacre and the years of back-and-forth atrocities by Confederate bushwackers and pro-Union Jayhawkers that led up to it.

    Mullis is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force and the author of Peacekeeping on the Plains: Army Operations in Bleeding Kansas.

  • August marks the 150th anniversary of the raid on Lawrence, Kansas, by William Quantrill’s band of Confederate irregulars. The Library observes this event with a series of films that unfold in “Bleeding Kansas.” Ride With the Devil (1999; R)
    Monday, August 19, 2013

    August marks the 150th anniversary of the raid on Lawrence, Kansas, by William Quantrill’s band of Confederate irregulars. The Library observes this event with a series of films that unfold on the Missouri-Kansas border. Part of our A Quantum of Quantrill series of August events

    This title is recommended for adult audiences only. MPAA rating: R.

  • Film expert John Tibbetts observes the 150th anniversary of William Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence by examining how that notorious massacre has been portrayed on film.
    Sunday, August 18, 2013

    William Quantrill’s August 21, 1863 Confederate raid on Lawrence, Kansas, left nearly 200 men and boys dead and the city in flames. Film expert John Tibbetts explores how that dramatic story has found its way onto celluloid in movies as varied as Dark Command (1940), Quantrill’s Raiders (1958), and Ang Lee’s locally-filmed Ride With the Devil (1999).