THE 2014-15 SPEAKERS REVISITED
MAY 14, 2015 Barbara Bruff Hemmingsen will tell of the Battles of Franklin and of Nashville, the last major battles in the Western Theater. The Union Army's capture of Atlanta on September 1, 1864 did not destroy General Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee, which remained a threat to central Tennessee. When General Sherman left Atlanta for the sea, he ordered the 4th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to counter Confederate moves north towards Nashville. The armies fought at Franklin, TN, on November 30, 1864, and 14 days later outside Nashville. Barbara's great, great grandfather Joseph Bruff was at this time a field officer in the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and participated in both battles. Her presentation will be illustrated with quotes from his letters and her photographs from the battlefields. A retired Professor of Microbiology, she is editing Joseph Bruff’s letters for publication.
APRIL 9, 2015 Ed Malles will discuss Photography in the Civil War, starting with a brief history of the invention of photography in 1839 and advancements in technology to 1861, followed by a look at Matthew Brady and his contributions to photography in America in the 1850s, his commitment to covering the war, and his life after the war. Ed will discuss several photographers, the problems they faced in the field, iconic images, and photography's impact on society. We all know the images but few know the men behind the cameras and the difficulties, both technical and personal, they overcame to bring those images to print. Ed Malles is the Editor of Bridge Building In Wartime: Colonel Wesley Brainerds Memoir (Voices of the Civil War Series).
MARCH 12, 2015 Mike Movius, Stephen Pierce, Dick Miller, and Ed Malles will show and tell all about a wide range of Civil War items and artifacts, original or reproduction, including a Colt revolving rifle, Springfield musket with accoutrements, cavalry saber with scabbard, Confederate kepi, fired but unexploded Reed shell (disarmed), promotion document for a sergeant, 13th Tennessee Cavalry (Union), a Harper’s Weekly cover after Antietam, a Harper’s Weekly print of a devastated warscape, and Civil War genealogical records.
FEBRUARY 12, 2015 Terrence Winschel will describe the Union struggle to wrest control of the Mississippi River, so that it could flow “unvexed to the sea,” in Lincoln’s words. After discussing the economic and military significance of the river, he will describe the early operations stretching from Cairo, Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico, and then will focus on the climactic campaign that led to the fall of Vicksburg in July 1863. Mr. Winschel is a thirty-five-year veteran of the National Park Service who served at Gettysburg National Military Park, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, Valley Forge National Historical Park, and recently retired as Historian at Vicksburg National Military Park. Terry has written 100 articles on the Civil War. He is author of TRIUMPH AND DEFEAT: The Vicksburg Campaign, Volume 2, Vicksburg Is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River (Great Campaigns of the Civil War) by Shea, William L., Winshel, Terrence J. published by Bison Books (2005), The Civil War Diary of a Common Soldier: William Wiley of the 77th Illinois Infantry, Vicksburg: Fall of the Confederate Gibraltar (Civil War Campaigns and Commanders Series), and TRIUMPH AND DEFEAT: The Vicksburg Campaign, Volume 2. His many awards include the 2013 Carrington Williams Battlefield Preservation of the Year Award by the Civil War Trust.
JANUARY 8, 2015 Frank Williams will discuss Abraham Lincoln, additional details TBA. Retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, he is a well-known Lincoln expert, scholar and collector, the founding chair of The Lincoln Forum, a board member of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, the author of many articles, and the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including Lincoln as Hero (Concise Lincoln Library), Judging Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (Conflicting Worlds), and Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest LeaderDECEMBER 11, 2014 Lance Rhoades will discuss From Birth of a Nation to Ken Burns: The Civil War in Cinema. Many veterans were still alive to see the first movies about the Civil War, less than fifty years after it ended. The Civil War in celluloid reflects our nation’s endless attempt to understand this most traumatic period. Film scholar Lance Rhoades has received the Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of Washington, has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is director of film studies at the Seattle Film Institute. Film clips will be shown, bring your own popcorn.
NOVEMBER 13, 2014 PSCWRT member Nick K. Adams will relate the history of the 2nd Minnesota Regiment of Volunteers from its origin at Ft. Snelling, MN in September, 1861 through its significant involvement in the Battle of Chattanooga, in November, 1863. This talk is based on Adams’ new book, My Dear Wife and Children: Civil War Letters from a 2nd Minnesota Volunteer. These annotated Civil War letters provide interesting insight into the daily activities, the fighting experiences, and the thoughts and emotions of a common Union soldier in the Western Theater. These letters also form the basis of Adams’ first book, The Uncivil War: Battle in the Classroom, and of his forthcoming third book.
OCTOBER 9, 2014 Hampton Newsome will describe the October 1864 battles between Grant and Lee in Virginia. He will examine the Confederate attacks along the Darbytown Road on October 7 outside Richmond, one of Lee’s last offensive operations of the war. He will also cover Grant’s major offensive on October 27 to seize the South Side Railroad, the last open rail line into the Confederate stronghold at Petersburg. Finally, Newsome will discuss a collection of speeches and letters about the wartime experiences of Petersburg veterans in Civil War Talks: Further Reminiscences of George S. Bernard and His Fellow Veterans (A Nation Divided: Studies in the Civil War Era), a book which he co-edited. He is also the author of Richmond Must Fall: The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, October 1864 (Civil War Soldiers and Strategies).
SEPTEMBER 11, 2014 Steve Raymond will describe the Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia, August 31-September 1, 1864, the final fight in Sherman's campaign to take Atlanta. The first day pitted the Union Army of the Tennessee against the two Confederate corps of William Hardee and Stephen D. Lee. The second day saw the XIV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland attack Hardee's entrenched corps. The 78th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment led the attack, fought its way into the rebel works and captured a brigadier general and a six-gun battery, but paid a heavy price. Steve Raymond will give the battle a detailed description that it rarely receives, including a detailed account of the attack by the 78th Illinois. He is the author of In the Very Thickest of the Fight: The Civil War Service of the 78th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, published by Globe Pequot Press.