Civil War Events

Upcoming Civil War Events

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.
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.

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: 2015-03-28
Format: 2015-03-28
  • 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.

  • Daniel Smith takes a ground-level look at the “Gettysburg of the West,” a bloody Civil War battle that took place in October 1864 in what today are peaceful Kansas City neighborhoods.
    Sunday, June 22, 2014

    On October 21-23, 1864, a Confederate army led by General Sterling Price clashed with its Union counterpart commanded by General Samuel Curtis. The immediate results of this large-scale battle, called by some the “Gettysburg of the West,” were a decisive Union victory and Price’s ignoble retreat from Missouri for the remainder of the Civil War.

    Daniel Smith takes a ground-level look at this epic battle, as well as its lasting legacy, and asks: what does it mean, and why does it matter today? As area groups gear up this year to re-enact the Battle of Westport, Smith explores earlier efforts by participants and successive generations to remember and commemorate this significant historical event.

  • The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s Louis DiMarco explains how the Battle of Yellow Tavern in May 1864 changed the role of cavalry in the Civil War from one of reconnaissance to active participation in battle.
    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    For most of the Civil War, the role of cavalry was limited to reconnaissance and screening infantry movements. But at the Battle of Yellow Tavern (Virginia) on May 11, 1864, a mounted federal force defeated the legendary rebel cavalry of J.E.B. Stuart, who was mortally wounded and died a day later. The North realized that cavalry could be an essential offensive tool.

    Observing the 150th anniversary of the battle, Louis DiMarco of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth examines the role of mounted combat in the Civil War.

  • 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.