Civil War Events @ the Library

Upcoming Civil War Events
George Saunders discusses his best-selling Lincoln in the Bardo, winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for best original novel. The book movingly imagines Abraham Lincoln’s night in a cemetery, tortured by the loss of his son, the Civil War, and a ghostly world shared by Willie and his fellow dead.
George Saunders
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Plaza Branch
George Saunders discusses his best-selling Lincoln in the Bardo, winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for best original novel. The book movingly imagines Abraham Lincoln’s night in a cemetery, tortured by the loss of his son, the Civil War, and a ghostly world shared by Willie and his fellow dead.

Past Civil War Events

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
Central Library

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
Central Library

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.

Historian Pellom McDaniels III discusses his biography of the African-American jockey who was the most popular athlete of the 19th century and whose 44-percent win rate has never been matched.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Central Library

Less than two weeks before Victor Espinoza tries to guide California Chrome to a Triple Crown-clinching victory in horse racing’s Belmont Stakes, Emory University professor Pellom McDaniels III looks back at a man who, more than a century earlier, set the standard of excellence for all jockeys. Isaac Burns Murphy was the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby three times, and his 44 percent overall win rate — nearly three times higher than Espinoza’s — remains unmatched. He was the highest-paid U.S. athlete of his time. And he happened to be African American.

McDaniels, a former Kansas City Chiefs lineman who now is faculty curator of African American collections at Emory, discusses his new biography of Murphy, whose life spanned the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the adoption of Jim Crow legislation. Before dying in 1896 at age 34, Murphy became an important figure not only in sports but also in the social, political, and cultural consciousness of African Americans.

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
Central Library

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.

On the 75th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War, Donald P. Wright of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College offers an overview of the “dress-rehearsal for World War II.”
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Central Library

On the 75th anniversary of the fascist march into Madrid and General Franco’s declaration of victory, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s Donald P. Wright offers an overview of the Spanish Civil War. He emphasizes the political origins of the conflict, the war itself, and the legacy it left in Spain and greater Europe.

This event is part of the Library’s continuing examination of the pivotal year of 1939.

Wright is the chief of research and publications at the Command and General Staff College’s Combat Studies Institute.

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
Central Library

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
Westport Branch

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"

We think of the Civil War in terms of great land battles. But the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s John T. Kuehn argues that the war on water – on rivers, in harbors, and on the high seas – was just as important.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Central Library

Americans are familiar with Civil War land battles—but much less so with the war at sea, from the development of ironclad warships and submarines to the more mundane naval blockade that created economic starvation in the South.

In this one-man show, historic re-enactor Charles Everett Pace portrays the slave who fled to freedom and became one of America’s most eloquent voices for abolition and civil rights.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Central Library

Veteran re-enactor Charles Everett Pace brings his one man show to Kansas City to portray prominent abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass.

Historian Hal Wert marks the  75th anniversary of the year when Europe faced a period of escalating tensions, diplomatic crises and armed agressions that culminated in the German blitzkrieg of Poland and the outbreak of World War II.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Central Library

2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the year when Europe faced what Winston Churchill memorably called “the gathering storm” — a period of escalating political tensions, diplomatic crises, and armed aggressions that culminated in the German blitzkrieg of Poland and the outbreak of World War II.

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