Cadets, faculty playing important role in Civil War Sesquicentennial events in Charleston
Citadel cadets, history professors and Bo Moore, the dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, have all played important roles in helping organize activities to observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
In January, The Citadel Military Living History Society held a reenactment of the firing on the Union supply ship the Star of the West. Those shots from Morris Island by Citadel cadets in 1861 are considered by some Charlestonians to be the first hostile shots of the Civil War. And earlier this year history professors from The Citadel took part in lectures on campus and in the Charleston community.
This month, the reenactment club cadets will take part in an invitation-only reenactment of the firing on Fort Sumter at the Carolina Yacht Club on April 12. On Saturday, April 16, the cadets along with the 54th Massachusetts Regiment reenactment group will take part in a reenactment at Seashore Farmers’ Museum and Cultural Cetner on James Island. The reenactors will fire musket salute commemorating the 54th’s first combat action.
Bo Moore, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, chairs the historical advisory committee of the Fort Sumter/Fort Moultrie Trust that is in charge of planning the “Lowcountry Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration.”
“The Citadel has been at the center of the Fort Sumter/Fort Moultrie Trust’s activities to observe the 150th anniversary of the war in an appropriately educational manner,” Moore said. “The speakers coming to Charleston to take part in the observance are some of the foremost authorities on the Civil War and include two Pulitzer Prize winners.”
A centerpiece of Charleston's sesquicentennial observance of the beginning of the American Civil War will be a lecture series entitled, “Why They Fought.” Its seven individual sessions, running from April 8 through 12, will examine the local, regional, and national origins of that epic struggle. The sessions will feature talks by some of the nation's most acclaimed historians and journalists, including:
- Pulitzer Prize Winners James McPherson (Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era) and Tony Horwitz (Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War)
- Barbara Jeanne Fields (Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground)
- Edward L. Ayers, (What Caused the Civil War)
- Catherine Clinton (Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War)
- Stephen Berry (All That Makes a Man: Love and Ambition in the Civil War South)
- Walter Edgar (South Carolina: A History)
- Barbara Bellows (Benevolence Among Slaveholders), Gavin Wright (Slavery and American Economic Development)
- Bernard E. Powers, Jr. (Black Charlestonians)
- Vernon Burton (The Age of Lincoln)
- Emory Thomas (The Confederate Nation)
“The goal of the series is to promote a better public understanding of the complex causes and continuing consequences of the most profound and, by far, the bloodiest conflict in the national experience of the United States, Moore said.
All of the lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit the website of the Fort Sumter/Fort oultrieTrust at www.sccivilwar.org/ Here is the schedule of lectures in “Why They Fought: Reflections on the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War.”
Before the Storm: South Carolina and Charleston on the Eve of War
7 p.m., Friday, April 8
The Charleston Museum
South Carolina and the Nation, 1850-1860
Moderator/Speaker: Walter Edgar (University of South Carolina) Author of “Partisans and Redcoat; South Carolina in the Modern Age; and South Carolina: A History”—widely acclaimed as one of the best general histories of any American state. He also is the editor of “The South Carolina Encyclopedia” and hosts two statewide programs on South Carolina Public Radio: “Walter Edgar’s Journal,” a look at contemporary events in context, and “Southern Read,” a reading of contemporary Southern fiction. He was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2008.
Black Carolinians, Racial Anxiety and Secession in the Palmetto State
Bernard E. Powers, Jr. (College of Charleston) His book, “Black Charlestonians: A Social History 1822-1885,” was the winner of a Choice Award for Best Academic Books in 1995. He is the author of numerous articles, including "Community Evolution and Race Relations in Reconstruction Charleston, S.C”, which was selected as one of the "Three Articles From A Century of Excellence" He serves on the Board of Advisors for the development of the International African American Museum in Charleston.
Charleston in 1860: The Great Secession Winter
Barbara Bellows (Independent Scholar) is author of “Benevolence Among Slaveholders: Caring for the Poor in Charleston, 1670-1860; A Talent for Living: Josephine Pinckney and the Charleston Literary Tradition;” co-author of “God and General Longstreet: Essays on the Southern Mind and the Lost Cause.” She is the author of various essays on southern literature and history. She has been a Fellow of the Institute for Southern Studies and the National Humanities Center as well as a co-editor of the Southern Classics Series of USC Press.
The Road to War: Slavery, Economics, and States Rights
10 a.m., Saturday, April 9, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
Moderator: Amanda Mushal (The Citadel) is the author of scholarly papers and, recently, an essay entitled "Bonds of Marriage and Community" in the forthcoming “The Southern Middle Class in the Nineteenth Century” edited by Jonathan Wells and Jennifer Green. She has worked with the Virginia Center for Digital History on its Bibliography of Slavery and World Slaving and its Valley of the Shadow projects. She presently is at work on a book manuscript that examines the interaction of honor and commerce in the thinking of antebellum South Carolinians.
Who Cared About States’ Rights?
Barbara Jeanne Fields (Columbia University) Author of “Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century,” which won the John H. Dunning Prize of the American Historical Association. Fields co-authored, with members on the Freedmen and Southern Society Project, the book “The Destruction of Slavery, “ which won the Founders Prize of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society and the Thomas Jefferson Prize of the Society for the History of the Federal Government. She also wrote “Slaves No More: Three Essays on the Emancipation and the Civil War,” and “Free At Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Emancipation, and the Civil War”, to which the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute at Gettysburg College awarded its Lincoln Prize in 1994.
Economic Interpretations of the Civil War
Gavin Wright (Stanford University) Author or editor of eight books including “The Political Economy of the Cotton South: Households, Markets, and Wealth in the Nineteenth Century;” “Slavery and American Economic Development;“ and “Old South, New South: Revolutions in the Southern Economy since the Civil War,” which won the Frank L. Owsley prize for the best book in southern history in 1987. He is William Robertson Coe Professor of American Economic History at Stanford and currently also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
The Road to War: Gender, Honor, and Emotions
2 p.m., Saturday, April 9, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
Moderator: Amy McCandless (College of Charleston) is professor of History and dean of Graduate Studies at the College of Charleston. She is past president of the Southern Association of Women Historians and an associate editor of “The South Carolina Encyclopedia.” Her many publications include “The Past in the Present: Women’s Higher Education in the Twentieth-Century American South.”
Female “Rebel Spitfires” and Soldiers with “Sizz”: Gender Dynamics on the Eve of Secession
Catherine Clinton (Queen’s University, Belfast) is the author or editor of over two dozen books including “The Plantation Mistress: Woman's World in the Old South;” “Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War;” “Mrs. Lincoln: A Life and Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom,” which was named as one of the best nonfiction books of 2004 by the “Christian Science Monitor” and the “Chicago Tribune.” She serves on advisory councils for “Civil War History,” Ford's Theatre, “Civil War Times,” and was a member of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Bicentennial Commission.
Disunited We Stand: Secession as an Emotional Experience
Stephen Berry (University of Georgia), editor of “Princes of Cotton: Four Diaries of Young Men in the South, 1848-1860” and author of both “All That Makes a Man: Love & Ambition in the Civil War South,” which was a finalist for the 2004 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship, and “House of Abraham: Lincoln & the Todds, A Family Divided By War,” which was a Book of the Month Club main selection for March 2008.
“To Purge This Land With Blood?” The Question of John Brown’s Raid
2 p.m., Sunday, April 10, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue
Moderator: Daniel C. Littlefield (University of South Carolina) is the author of “Revolutionary Citizens: African Americans, 1776-1804” and “Rice and Slaves: Ethnicity and the Slave Trade in Colonial South Carolina.” He has also published various articles, encyclopedia entries, and book chapters, most recently “John Jay, the Revolutionary Generation and Slavery” which was co-winner of the Kerr Prize of the New York State Historical Association.
Midnight Rising: Reflections on John Brown, Harpers Ferry, and the Coming of the Civil War
Tony Horwitz is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He worked for many years as a reporter, mostly covering wars and conflicts as a foreign correspondent for “The Wall Street Journal.” After returning to the U.S., he won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and worked as a staff writer for “The New Yorker” before becoming a full-time author. His books include: “A Voyage Long and Strange;” “ Blue Latitudes;” and “Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches From the Unfinished Civil War.” He is presently at work on a book about John Brown’s raid
The Cause – and the Crisis Over Fort Sumter
4 p.m., Sunday, April 10, Marine Resources Research Institute Auditorium, at Fort Johnson Marine Center
Ken Burns, Historians and The Civil War
Vernon Burton (Clemson University), author or editor of numerous books including “The Essential Lincoln: Speeches and Correspondence” and “The Age of Lincoln,” winner of the 2007 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for non-fiction. Professor Burton has received National Teaching Awards from both the Carnegie Foundation and the American Historical Association.
Ken Burns’ Episode One of the Civil War
Beginning with a searing indictment of slavery, this first episode dramatically evokes the causes of the war, from the Cotton Kingdom of the South to the northern abolitionists who opposed it. Here are the burning questions of Union and States’ rights, John Brown at Harper’s Ferry, the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the firing on Fort Sumter and the jubilant rush to arms on both sides. Along the way the series’ major figures are introduced: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and a host of lesser-known but equally vivid characters. The episode comes to a climax with the disastrous Union defeat at Manassas, Virginia, where both sides now learn it is to be a very long war.
A Troubled House: American Leaders and the Issues of 1861
6:30 p.m., Monday, April 11, First (Scots) Presbyterian Church
Moderator: Robert H. Dallek (U.C.L.A. Emeritus) teaches for Stanford University in Washington, D.C., and is currently the Mark W. Clark Visiting Professor of History at The Citadel. His many, award-winning books include “An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963;” a two-volume biography of Lyndon B. Johnson, “Lone Star Rising” and “Flawed Giant,” and, most recently, “The Lost Peace: Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope, 1945-1953.”
The Logic of Secession
Edward L. Ayers (University of Richmond), founder of Virginia Center for Digital History’s Valley of the Shadow project. His many books include “What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History;” “ In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859–1863;” and “The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War - The Eve of War “(CD-ROM and book, co-authored with Anne S. Rubin). He currently serves as the President of the University of Richmond.
The Dogs of War
Emory M. Thomas (University of Georgia) is the regents professor of history emeritus at the University of Georgia and has served as a senior Fulbright lecturer at the University of Genoa, Douglas Southall Freeman Professor at the University of Richmond, Visiting Professor in Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina, and Mark W. Clark Distinguished Visiting Professor of History at The Citadel. He is the author of numerous books including “The Confederate Nation, 1861-1865;” “Robert E. Lee: A Biography;” and, most recently, “The Dogs of War: 1861.”
Inheriting the Wind: American Youth at the Onset of Battle
7 p.m., Tuesday, April 12, Gibbes Museum of Art
Moderator: Marcus Cox (The Citadel) is director of African-American Studies and assistant dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at The Citadel. He is at work on a book-manuscript entitled, “Soldiering for America and Their Race: African American Attitudes Toward Military Service in the Post-War Era.”
Introduction: Vernon Burton (Clemson University) is the director of the Cyberinstitute at Clemson University and the author of numerous books including, “The Age of Lincoln,” winner of the 2007 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for non-fiction.
Volunteers in Blue and Gray: Why They Fought
James M. McPherson (Princeton University) is former president of the American Historical Association; Guggenheim, Danforth, and Woodrow Wilson Fellow; and current member of the editorial board of “Civil War History” and Board of Directors of the Civil War Preservation Trust. He is the author of more than 20 books including, “For Cause and Comrades,” winner of the Lincoln Prize; “Drawn With the Sword: Reflections on the American Civil War;” and his Pulitzer Prize winning “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era ,”which is commonly regarded as the single best work on the American Civil War.