Civil War Events @ the Library

Upcoming Civil War Events

Past Civil War Events

Preeminent American Civil War scholar Michael Fellman examines the robbery, arson, torture, murder, and raids that characterized this  most uncivil of wars in the Missouri-Kansas borderlands during the 1850s-60s.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Central Library

Michael Fellman, a preeminent scholar of the American Civil War and an expert on the guerilla warfare that characterized the conflict in the Missouri-Kansas borderlands, considers how perfectly ordinary Americans could revise their moral and religious beliefs to justify such extraordinary violence with relative ease. Selectively picking texts from Holy Scripture, they assembled a war God perfectly suited to their actions out of Christian belief.

Saturday, November 5, 2011
Westport Branch

On Saturday, November 5, 2011, at 2 pm, Gary Jenkins will be showing a short version of his video "Negroes to Hire" which explores the history of slavery in Missouri. It takes its name from an advertisement in the Library Tribune where Clay County slave masters let it be known that they had slaves who could be hired by others.

Historian Terry Beckenbaugh of the Military History Department at the Command and General Staff College discusses the first year of the Civil War with an emphasis on battles and events that took place in Missouri.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Central Library

Historian Terry Beckenbaugh of the Military History Department at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses The First Year of the Civil War in Missouri.

Award-winning historian  William C. Harris argues that Confederate campaigns and guerrilla activities kept the region in constant turmoil, and that those states preoccupied Lincoln throughout the war.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Central Library

Faced with a divided nation, Abraham Lincoln deemed the loyalty of the border slave states crucial to the preservation of the Union. But while most scholars contend that these states were secure by the end of 1861, award-winning historian William C. Harris argues in Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union, that Confederate campaigns and guerrilla activities kept the region in constant turmoil, and that those states preoccupied Lincoln throughout the war.

Author and former Kansas City resident Justin Martin discusses his new biography of renowned landscape architect, abolitionist, and early environmentalist Frederick Law Olmsted.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Central Library

Author and former Kansas City resident Justin Martin discusses his latest book, Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted, a biography of the renowned landscape architect, early environmentalist, and abolitionist.

Five-string banjo virtuoso  Frank B. Converse, portrayed by Carl Anderton, discusses his life and performs Civil War-era songs.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Plaza Branch

Frank B. Converse is considered by many to be the first great virtuoso of “America’s instrument” the five-string banjo.

Join Converse, portrayed by veteran Chautauqua performer Carl Anderton, for a discussion of his life and a demonstration of some Civil War-era banjo music. Converse worked tirelessly to dismiss the idea that the banjo was a simple instrument.

Historian Terry Beckenbaugh marks the 150th anniversary of The Battle of Wilson’s Creek – fought just minutes from Springfield, Missouri – and explains how Confederate forces won the battle but lost the state.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Central Library

Terry Beckenbaugh of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the first Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, which took place in southwestern Missouri.

On August 10, 1861, Union General Nathaniel Lyon — who was encamped at Springfield with nearly 6,000 men — led a surprise attack on 12,000 secessionist troops camped at Wilson’s Creek. While the Confederates won the battle, they were left in no condition to pursue the retreating Federal forces, and Missouri remained under Union control.

The 2011 Kansas City Architecture Series examines the fascinating history and architecture of local residences built in the decades just before the Civil War.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Plaza Branch

The Plaza Branch concludes its annual Kansas City Architectures series, which in recognition of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War focused on antebellum homes this year.

Alana Smith, president of the Westport Historical Society, shares the history of the Harris-Kearney Home, the oldest remaining brick residence located in historic Westport. The home once looked out on the Santa Fe Trail and later served as a headquarters for the Union Army. It is now located at 4000 Baltimore after being moved from its original location in 1922.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the first major clash of the Civil War, military historian Ethan Rafuse of the Command and General Staff College describes the First Battle of Bull Run and the leaders who shaped its outcome.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Central Library

Although relatively small compared to the great clashes to come, the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run) was a seminal event in American history. When the smoke cleared on July 21, 1861, nearly 900 men were dead, the Union army was in retreat, and the South had won the first major battle of the Civil War.

Dr. Ethan Rafuse, professor of military history at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, describes the battle and those who shaped its outcome.

The event is co-sponsored by the Command and General Staff College Foundation.

The 2011 Kansas City Architecture Series examines the fascinating history and architecture of local residences built in the decades just before the Civil War.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Plaza Branch

The Plaza Branch continues its annual Kansas City Architecture series, focusing this year on antebellum homes in recognition of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

In this installment, Tom Cooke examines the history of the Bent-Ward House, a property located at 1032 W. 55th Street whose farm pastures (now Loose Park) served as part of the battleground during the Battle of Westport. Though it takes its name from Colonel William W. Bent and successive owner Seth E. Ward, the property was also once owned by Mormon Bishop Edward Partridge as well as Alexander Doniphan.

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