Civil War Events @ the Library

Past Civil War Events

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 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.

Local historian Daniel Smith reviews the circumstances that caused 30,000 troops to clash for two days in October 1864 along the Blue River and Brush Creek in what is now Kansas City.
Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Westport Historical Society and the Westport Branch Library present Daniel Smith: Climax on the Border, Battle of Westport 1864

Second Saturday Speaker Series, October 11th, 2014 @ 2:00pm
Westport Branch Library, 118 Westport Road
Speaker's Reception follows at the Harris Kearney House, 40th & Baltimore

Title of Talk: Climax on the Border - Battle of Westport, October 21-23, 1864

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tom Rafiner discusses his latest book Cinders and Silence, the first chronicle of Missouri’s Burnt District – three western Missouri border counties that were plunged from prosperity to devastation after Quantrill’s Lawrence Raid triggered General order No. 11.
Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Westport Historical Society and The Westport Library present Tom Rafiner: “Cinders and Silence”

Second Saturday Speaker Series, March 8, 2014, 2:00pm
Westport Library, 118 Westport Road
Speaker’s reception follows at the Harris Kearney House, 40th & Baltimore

Title of Talk: "Cinders and Silence"

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