Civil War Events @ the Library

Upcoming Civil War Events

Past Civil War Events

In a discussion of her book White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, Emory University’s Carol Anderson addresses what she says is the root of today’s race problems in the U.S.: whites’ lack of acceptance of equal rights for African-Americans.
Carol Anderson
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Plaza Branch
The attention to so-called “black rage” during the 2014 rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, clouded what one historian says was the actual root of the unrest: more of the “white rage” that has punctuated our country’s history dating to the Civil War and emancipation.
In a discussion of her book, Park University historian Debra Sheffer examines early African-American military service – from colonial times through the era of the 19th-century Buffalo Soldier – and how it paved the way for black soldiers in future conflicts.
Debra Sheffer
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Central Library
African-Americans have served proudly in every great American war, including the Civil War, where their verve and valor led to the establishment of all-black regiments in 1866. These “Buffalo Soldiers” played a significant role in the military campaigns and settlement of the American West, and paved the way for African-American soldiers in future conflicts.
Acclaimed historian Peter Cozzens takes an evenhanded look at the bloody, post-Civil War struggle between whites and Native Americans, drawing from his new book The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West.
Peter Cozzens
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Plaza Branch

Historian Peter Cozzens offers an evenhanded look at that bloody struggle between whites and Native Americans, drawing from his new book The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West.

Jonathan Earle
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Plaza Branch

This year’s election stakes are high, as always. But perhaps no presidential vote in U.S. history was more consequential than that of 1860.

The nation roiled over the issue of slavery. Abraham Lincoln captured the Republican nomination over New York Sen. William Seward, and then took on a divided Democratic Party. His win in November – with less than 40% of the popular vote – prompted the immediate secession of South Carolina, roused the rest of the South, and ushered in the Civil War.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Central Library

Abraham Lincoln and William Shakespeare rose to prominence centuries and continents apart. But one of America’s greatest presidents felt a real connection to one of mankind’s greatest writers, beginning with their shared belief in the power of language. Lincoln read Shakespeare and quoted him often in conversation, finding particular resonance in Hamlet, Macbeth, and their reflections on the dangers of excessive ambition, the horrors of civil war, and the corruptions of illegitimate rule.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Central Library

While perceived as a mostly southern phenomenon, racist violence existed everywhere in the decades following the Civil War – including Kansas and the larger Midwest despite the region’s identification with pastoral virtue and racial harmony.

Former Kansas City Star television critic Aaron Barnhart discusses the events behind his new historical novel Firebrand, which revolves around the life of noted Kansas free-state fighter August Bondi.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Central Library

August Bondi remains a compelling figure in Kansas history, a Jewish immigrant from Austria who fought alongside anti-slavery crusader John Brown and later became one of the first to enlist with the Union in the Civil War. He eventually settled in Salina, serving as postmaster, school board member, and local judge, among other civic endeavors.

Award-winning author Andrea Warren discusses the fascinating subject of her latest nonfiction book for young readers, Billy Cody, who went from boyhood in rural Kansas to fame as scout, Indian fighter, and hunter Buffalo Bill.  Appropriate for ages 9 and up.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Plaza Branch

Billy Cody lived as a boy on a homestead in Kansas, went to work at age 11 when his father was killed in the Civil War-era border war with Missouri, became a Pony Express rider at 14, and ultimately learned the skills of a scout, Indian fighter, and buffalo hunter. He gained worldwide fame as Buffalo Bill, star of the traveling Wild West shows.

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
Central Library

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.”

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
Central Library

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.