Civil War historian, author to deliver lecture at The Citadel
The Citadel Department of History and School of Humanities and Social Sciences will host a public lecture featuring James Lee Conrad, a noted author on Civil War history, particularly the role students played in the war.
The lecture is free and open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 13 at the Holliday Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Ave. The lecture is part of the commemoration of The Citadel's role in the firing upon the Star of the West.
On Jan. 9, 1861, Citadel cadets manning an artillery battery on Morris Island fired what many contend were the first hostile shots of the Civil War. That action repulsed the federal steamship Star of the West, which was carrying supplies and 200 federal troops that were dispatched by President Buchanan to reinforce Union Forces garrisoned at Fort Sumter.
A native of Pennsylvania, Conrad began writing on Civil War subjects for magazines such as “Civil War Times Illustrated,” “America’s Civil War,” and “Military History” while in law school. At the same time he began research for his first book “The Young Lions: Confederate Cadets at War,” which was published in and explored the role that cadets from several military institutions, including The Citadel, played in the Civil War. That was followed by “Rebel Reefers: The Organization and Midshipmen of the Confederate States Naval Academy.” He is also the co-author of “Defensor Fortis: The Official History of the U.S. Air Force Security Forces.”
Conrad graduated with distinction from the Virginia Military Institute in 1978 and served 22 years as a U.S. Air Force judge advocate, retiring as a colonel in 2003. He received his law degree the Cumberland School of Law and his Master of Laws in environmental and government procurement law from the George Washington University. After time in the private sector as a consultant and corporate counsel, Conrad returned to the Air Force as a civilian attorney and currently serves as chief of restoration law at the Air Force Environmental Law Field Support Center in San Antonio, Texas.