Civil War Events

All Library locations will be closed on Saturday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

Upcoming Civil War Events

Check back for upcoming Civil War events at the Library!

Civil War Exhibits at the Library

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.
A new exhibit examining President Abraham Lincoln’s struggle to meet the political and constitutional challenges of the Civil War.
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: 2015-07-05
Format: 2015-07-05
  • Closing the Civil War Sesquicentennial series, historians Terry L. Beckenbaugh and Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth assess how the North prevailed and why the Civil War remains so compelling today.
    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    After four of the bloodiest years of warfare in its history, peace finally had come to the United States in May 1865. For two glorious days, Washington, D.C., residents watched as the mighty Union armies that had compelled the surrender of the Confederacy’s main forces marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in triumph. “The rebels,” Ulysses S. Grant proclaimed a few weeks earlier, “are our countrymen again.”

    Historians Terry L. Beckenbaugh and Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth close the Library’s Civil War Sesquicentennial series with a discussion of how the North prevailed and the South lay broken and defeated, what the four years of fighting left unresolved, and why the Civil War remains so compelling 150 years after the final shots were fired.

  • Parkville, Missouri, author Tom Rafiner discusses the long, dark, post-Civil War shadow cast by the 1863 edict known as “Order No. 11,” which mandated the evacuation of non-rural residents in three western Missouri counties. Healing in its aftermath took decades.
    Sunday, May 17, 2015

    By the time of Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the land and people of western Missouri had suffered as much as any during the Civil War. The 1863 edict known as “Order No. 11”—forcing the evacuation of all non-rural residents of three western counties including Jackson—and the Federal army that carried it out had depopulated those counties, devastated homes and farms, and left deep scars.

    Focusing on families and communities, Parkville, Missouri, author Tom Rafiner examines the scene that greeted returning residents after the Civil War on the Western Border ended. The “burnt district” took decades to heal, casting a long, dark shadow on postwar Missouri.

  • On the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death, historian Richard Brookhiser discusses his new book about our 16th president and the guidance and inspiration he took from the lives and works of George Washington, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson.
    Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    For Abraham Lincoln, the road to the future always began in the past – with the Founding Fathers, who inspired him to take up public life, showed him how to win arguments, and laid out his nation’s principles.

    On the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death, historian Richard Brookhiser delivers an illuminating new look at our 16th and arguably greatest president.

  • Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the South’s stunning downturn in the final two years of the Civil War and the events preceding Robert E. Lee’s surrender in April 1865.
    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    On the morning of May 3, 1863, on the cusp of one of the most remarkable tactical battlefield victories in American military history, Gen. Robert E. Lee rode to a crossroads clearing in Virginia known as Chancellorsville amid the cheers of his high-spirited Confederate troops.

    Few in that moment of triumph could envision the South’s complete defeat in less than two years. Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the factors and events leading to Lee’s surrender in April 1865, including an examination of Lee’s legendary generalship.

    Co-sponsored by the Command and General Staff College Foundation.

  • Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the tumultuous final months of the Civil War – marked indelibly by Lincoln’s assassination – and examines the start of Reconstruction in the South.
    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    With the end of the Civil War in sight as he delivered his second inaugural address in March 1865, Abraham Lincoln eloquently implored his divided countrymen “to bind up the nation’s wounds” and “do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace.”

    But the chaos of war was not yet ended. The South was reeling from Sherman’s destructive March to the Sea. Entire cities, including the Confederate capital of Richmond, were being overrun. Forty-one days after being sworn in for a second term, Lincoln was felled by an assassin’s bullet.

    Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses those tumultuous final months and examines the start of the Reconstruction of the South.

  • Nearing the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Fisher, in which Marines fought, Bud Meador of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth discusses the Marine Corps’ role throughout the Civil War.
    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    The story of the U.S. Marine Corps is one rich in history – of serving the nation from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, let alone the ability to survive in the political theater in Washington, D.C.

    That history threads through the Civil War, where Marines exhibited a signature ability to adapt, innovate, and utilize critical thinking and reasoning to support the Union cause. Approaching the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Fisher, a two-part, Marine-assisted Union assault on the last major coastal stronghold of the Confederacy, Wilburn “Bud” Meador of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth discusses the Marines’ role throughout the war.

  • Ethan S. Rafuse leads a panel of colleagues with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in examining the momentous year of 1864, when the balance of the Civil War may have tipped to the North.
    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    The Civil War may have reached a turning point in 1864, when Ulysses S. Grant became general-in-chief of the Union armies, Confederate defeats continued to mount, and Northern voters in November sustained the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

    On the 150th anniversary of Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s arrival in Savannah — approaching the end of a 36-day, 265-mile March to the Sea that was both materially and psychologically devastating to the South — military historian Ethan S. Rafuse leads a panel of colleagues with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in a discussion of the events of the year. Did they, indeed, tip the balance of the war decisively and irretrievably to the North?

    Co-sponsored by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Foundation.

  • On the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Westport, Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College examines the defeat that sent Confederate Gen. Sterling Price into retreat and signaled the end of rebels’ conventional military presence in Missouri.
    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    In 1864, Confederate Gen. Sterling Price mounted a last-gasp raid into Missouri in hopes of capturing St. Louis and ultimately the state. The end of the line, for all practical purposes, was Westport, where Price’s army – after passing up St. Louis and then failing to take Jefferson City – absorbed a decisive defeat and began its retreat.

    On the 150th anniversary of the October 23, 1864, Battle of Westport, military historian Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth explains how the encounter ended the conventional Confederate military presence in Missouri. He also examines the worst aspects of the guerrilla war that plagued the state from 1861-64.

  • Aaron Barnhart and Diane Eickhoff offer an educational and  entertaining look at the events leading up to Price's Raid with an emphasis on the key roles of Generals Sterling Price, Thomas Ewing, and Jo Shelby.
    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    The Westport Historical Society and the Westport Branch Library present Aaron Barnhart & Diane Eickhoff: Price's Raid, Then and Now

    Second Saturday Speaker Series, September 13th, 2014 @ 2:00pm
    Westport Branch Library, 118 Westport Road
    Speaker's reception follows at the Harris Kearney House, 40th & Baltimore

    Title of Talk: "Price's Raid, Then and Now"

  • On the 150th anniversary of the railway-focused Battle of Atlanta, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s Christopher R. Gabel examines the importance of rail transportation to both Union and Confederate commanders.
    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    Railroads were essential to moving men and military supplies during the Civil War. The Battle of Atlanta, fought on July 22, 1864, was an attempt by federal troops under Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman to seize Atlanta’s rail center and cripple the Confederate war effort.

    On the 150th anniversary of that battle, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s Christopher R. Gabel examines the importance of rail transportation to both Union and Confederate commanders.

    The Confederacy’s rail system performed just well enough in the first two years of the war to keep the fledgling nation in the fight. Ultimately, though, the Southern railroads lost their capacity to support the war, while the Northern railroads achieved unprecedented levels of effectiveness.