Civil War Events @ the Library

Past Civil War Events

Historian Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth explains the effect politics had on the Civil War and discusses the issues and ideologies that drove debate.
Thursday, November 8, 2012

Historian Terry Beckenbaugh maintains that the Civil War was inevitable given the failure of the nation’s political leadership to resolve fundamental questions over the nature of the American republic and the meaning of constitutional liberty.

Beckenbaugh examines the leaders of the North and the South, the issues and ideologies that drove debate, and the effect politics had on the war.

Beckenbaugh is an assistant professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

A panel of historians from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff college of Fort Leavenworth examine the Civil War battle that provided the single bloodiest day of fighting in U.S. military history and led to the Emancipation Proclamation.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 is the bloodiest day in American military history. Now, exactly 150 years later, a panel of historians discusses the events of that day.

Leading his Confederate troops into Maryland for their first fight on Union soil, Robert E. Lee was met at Antietam Creek by George McClellan’s federals. The battle claimed 23,000 casualties and resulted in a standoff. But after that the Union believed it could win, giving President Abraham Lincoln the confidence to issue his Emancipation Proclamation.

Historian Jim Denny examines the Civil War Battle of Island Mound, where black soldiers first proved they had the bravery and discipline to fight for freedom. This event is being held in conjunction with the October 27, 2012, opening of the Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Historian Jim Denny examines the Battle of Island Mound, the first Civil War battle in which African-American soldiers engaged in combat and proved their courage. This event is keyed to the grand opening on October 27, 2012, of the new Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site near Butler, Missouri.

Now retired, Denny was a historian for 33 years with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and continues to lecture and write about many aspects of local history.

Battlefield researcher Douglas D. Scott describes his recent studies of Civil War battlefields in Missouri, including the battles of Wilson’s Creek and Boonville.
Sunday, August 26, 2012

Civil War battlefields stubbornly conceal their secrets and their archaeology remains a buried, largely untapped source of historical information. Douglas D. Scott, developer of methodology that has enabled archaeologists to systematically investigate battlefields all over the world, discusses his recent studies of Civil War battlefields in Missouri, as well as the site of the Centralia Massacre.

Retired from the National Park Service, Scott is an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Nebraska.

Mark E. Neely, Jr., author of  Lincoln and the Triumph of a Nation, examines charges that Lincoln played fast and loose with the Constitution during his presidency.
Thursday, July 26, 2012

In pursuing the Civil War, did Abraham Lincoln play fast and loose with civil liberties?

Pulitzer Prize winner Mark E. Neely, Jr., author of Lincoln and the Triumph of a Nation, rejects that idea and argues that Lincoln’s interpretation of the Constitution was well suited to tolerate the stresses of wartime.

Neely is McCabe-Greer Professor of Civil War History at Pennsylvania State University.

Co-presented with the Truman Library Institute; co-sponsored by KCUR’s Up to Date.

Military historian Ethan S. Rafuse delves into the life and accomplishments of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, perhaps the Confederacy’s greatest military strategist.
Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ethan S. Rafuse of the military history department of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the life and accomplishments of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson.

Precisely 150 years after the Battle of Shiloh, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor recreates the bloody clash that convinced Americans that the Civil War would be a long, grueling conflict.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In April 1862 a Union force under Ulysses S. Grant and a Confederate army led by Albert Sidney Johnston clashed in southwestern Tennessee in the Battle of Shiloh. Precisely 150 years later, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor discusses what was to that point the bloodiest fighting of the Civil War and explains how it brought home to both sides the grim reality of the conflict.

Journalist and author Guy Gugliotta discusses his new book about the raising of the U.S. Capitol, a project meant to symbolize national unity even as the country slid ever closer to secession and Civil War.
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Guy Gugliotta discusses his new book about the raising of the U.S. Capitol, a process steeped in irony.

Even as the majestic structure rose, the Union it represented was drifting toward Civil War. Among the historic characters in this drama was Jefferson Davis, a big supporter of the project – until he left Washington to become president of the Confederacy. (And the engineer in charge of construction, Montgomery Meigs, feuded bitterly with the architect, Thomas U. Walter).

Historian Bud Bowie looks at how Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ miscalculations doomed the South economically even as it was winning on the battlefield.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Historian Bud Bowie looks at economic miscalculations by Confederate President Jefferson Davis and other Southerners that in effect doomed their cause even as it was winning on the battlefield.

Foremost among these was the belief that the North would never risk ruining the immensely important cotton trade by waging war on secessionist states.

Bowie is a professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

Musician/historian James Christopher Edwards tells the tale of Confederate guerilla “Bloody” Bill Anderson through songs from his new CD about Quantrill’s raiders, Blood on the Border.
Saturday, February 11, 2012

Musician/historian James Christopher Edwards brings the Civil War in Kansas and Missouri to life in this musical program about the notorious bushwacker “Bloody” Bill Anderson.

Edwards’ program is drawn from his new CD Blood on the Border, a musical narrative about Quantrill’s Raiders. Edwards has taught classical and folk guitar, and holds a master’s degree in history (with an emphasis on the Civil War in Missouri) from the University of Missouri.

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