(Kansas City, Missouri) - By late May 1865, after four of the bloodiest years of warfare in its history, peace finally had come to the United States. Residents of the nation's capital watched as the Union's mighty armies marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in a grand review that stretched over two jubilant days.
Historians Terry L. Beckenbaugh and Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discuss how the North prevailed in the Civil War and the South was left broken and defeated - and what the fighting left unresolved - on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. They explore, too, why the war remains so compelling 150 years after the final shots were fired.
The 6:30 p.m. presentation, Why the North Won and Why It All Matters, wraps up the Library's four-year Civil War Sesquicentennial series.
A few weeks before the Grand Review, which brought three of the great armies of the Union to Washington on May 23 and 24, 1865, to commemorate their service and sacrifices, Ulysses S. Grant had proclaimed, "The rebels are our countrymen again." The toll was terrible. But the Union was preserved.
Beckenbaugh and Rafuse examine the war's end and outcome and its role in the nation's development and rise as a world power.
Both have spoken frequently at the Library. Beckenbaugh, an associate professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, also has taught at McNeese State University and worked at the U.S. Army Center for Military History in Washington. Rafuse, a professor of military history at the Fort Leavenworth college, taught Civil War and military history at the U.S. Military Academy from 2001-2003 and is the author, editor, or co-editor of eight books and monographs on the Civil War and military history.
Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.