(Kansas City, Missouri) - With the close 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. Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the tumultuous final months of the conflict and examines the start of the Reconstruction in the South on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. The presentation, Lincoln's Last Months and Victory, begins at 6:30 p.m.
The event is part of the Library's Civil War Sesquicentennial series co-sponsored by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Foundation.
Northern victory loomed as the war entered 1865. The South was reeling from Sherman's destructive March to the Sea. Entire cities, including the Confederate capital of Richmond, were being overrun.
But when the re-elected Lincoln stood for his inaugural address in March, the American public was stunned. It consisted of a sparse but powerful 703 words that neither offered the Union a proclamation of victory nor excoriated the Confederacy for the sin of slavery. Instead, he declared the whole country guilty of sin and pleaded for reconciliation and unity.
Forty-one days after being sworn in for his second term, Lincoln was felled by an assassin's bullet.
Beckenbaugh, an associate professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, has spoken frequently at the Library, most recently in December 2014 as part of a panel assessing the events of 1864 and their impact on the outcome of the Civil War. He is the author of Trench Warfare Under Grant and Lee and a contributor to A History of Innovation: U.S. Army Adaptation in War and Peace.
Admission to the event 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.