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Civil War Lecture Series to Focus on Gettysburg

January 17, 2012

Gettysburg, the most iconic battle of the American Civil War, will be the focus of the fourth installment of the Angelo State University lecture series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War during a presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, on the ASU campus.  

“A Virtual Staff Ride of the Gettysburg Battlefield” will feature presentations by Dr. William A. Taylor, assistant professor of security studies; Dr. Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, assistant professor of history; and Preston Lewis, director of communications and marketing at ASU.  The panel will be moderated by Dr. Maurice G. Fortin, executive director of the Porter Henderson Library. 

Taylor will provide an orientation for the virtual tour of the Gettysburg battlefield.  Wongsrichanalai will explore the second day of the battle and the role of Union officer Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine.  Lewis will address Gettysburg’s third and climactic day with a presentation on Pickett’s Charge. 

The lecture is open free to the public in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center in the Houston Harte University Center at 1910 Rosemont.  The program is the fourth of seven public presentations that will address various aspects of the Civil War during the 2011-12 academic year.

Dr. Kenneth J. Heineman, head of the ASU History Department and organizer of the lecture series, said Gettysburg holds a special place in American history because of its significance. 

“In early summer 1863, two years into America’s bloodiest conflict, the question of whether or not a ‘government of the people’ could endure would find its answer in the small town of Gettysburg, Pa.,” he said.  “Over the course of three days, it became clear that the United States would survive, but at a terrible price.  As we enter a new century of challenges, it is important for Americans to understand their past and how we as a people achieve clarity of purpose.”

The Civil War speaker series is jointly sponsored by multiple ASU departments, including the History Department, Center for Security Studies, West Texas Collection, Multicultural Center and Air Force ROTC, as well as Fort Concho and the Concho Valley Civil War Roundtable to commemorate the watershed event in American history. 

Heineman said Angelo State’s “Civil War 150th Commemoration Discussion Series” will continue through April with ASU and local historians addressing various topics related to Civil War personalities, events and ramifications.  All programs are scheduled at either ASU’s Davidson Center or in the Fort Concho Commissary. 

Other presentations in the Civil War series will be: 

?“Emancipation, 1862,” 2 p.m. Feb 12, Fort Concho Commissary; Panelists:  Dr. Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, “The Abolitionist Stance,” and Dr. David Dewar, “The Moderate Republican View;” Moderator:  Joe Muñoz. 

?“Civil War/Total War,” 7 p.m. March 20, Fort Concho Stables; Panelists:  Cory Robinson, “Before San Angelo, Benjamin Grierson Dropped by on Mississippi,” and Dr. Kenneth Heineman, “William Tecumseh Sherman Demonstrated that War is Hell;” Moderator:  Dr. Robert Ehlers.

?“A New Birth of Freedom: The Post-Civil War World,” 7 p.m. April 17, Davidson Center; Roundtable:  Dr. John Klingemann, “Mexico, 1910,” Dr. Joe Zheng, “China, 1911” and Dr. Rob Nalbandov, “Georgia, 1989;” Moderator:  Dr. Kenneth Heineman. 

Heineman said the goal of the lecture series is to engage the community in reflection on the Civil War and its impact, even on contemporary society.  He said the lecture series would also be a learning experience for secondary school teachers and their students.