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ASU Schedules Lecture Series for 150th Anniversary of Civil War

April 12, 2011

On Tuesday (April 12), the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Civil War with the firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, Angelo State University History Department Head Dr. Kenneth J. Heineman announced a 2011-12 speaker series to commemorate the watershed event in American history.

Angelo State’s “Civil War 150th Commemoration Discussion Series” will begin in September and continue through April of 2012 with ASU and local historians addressing various topics related to Civil War personalities, events and ramifications. All the programs, which are scheduled either at the C.J. Davidson Conference Center on the ASU campus or in the Fort Concho Commissary, will be open free to the public.

“The 150th commemoration of the start of the American Civil War should remind us that the past is never past,” Heineman said. “We live in the present, but decisions made and tragedies experienced years earlier continue to shape the world we experience daily.”

“It is also appropriate that we in West Texas take note of this 150th commemoration,” he continued. “Fort Concho’s first commander, Benjamin Grierson, was a distinguished cavalry officer in the Union forces besieging Vicksburg in 1863. Grierson played his role in helping the Union win the war and, afterwards, served to bring settlement and law to the Texas frontier.”

“We can also appreciate the paradox that in the area that Grierson commanded, there is a county named for a distinguished Confederate leader, Tom Green, as well as a community and school commemorating Robert E. Lee, himself a commander remembered as much for his military prowess as for his postwar efforts at promoting peaceful national reunion,” Heineman said.

Scheduled presentations, dates and speakers are:

?The Civil War comes to Texas, 7 p.m. Sept. 13, Fort Concho Commissary; Panelists: Dr. Arnoldo De León, “Sam Houston and Texas Secession,” and Curtis Milbourn, “General Tom Green, Texas Warrior;” Moderator: Dr. Jason Pierce.

?Civil War Commanders: Ulysses S. Grant vs. Robert E. Lee, 7 p.m. Oct. 11, Davidson Center; Panelists: Dr. Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, “Ulysses S. Grant,” and Dr. Bill Taylor, “Robert E. Lee;” Moderator: Dr. Robert Ehlers.

?Guerilla Warfare, Counter-Insurgency and the Lessons of the Civil War, 7 p.m. Nov. 15, Davidson Center; Panelists: Dr. Ken Heineman, “General Thomas Ewing, Jr., and the Missouri Borderlands” and Dr. Robert Ehlers, “Aftermath: The Truisms, Continuities and Discontinuities of Irregular Warfare;” Moderator: Col. Mike Buck.

?Virtual Staff Ride of the Gettysburg Battlefield, 7 p.m. Jan. 24, Davidson Center; Orientation Leader of the Staff Ride: Dr. Bill Taylor; Discussants: Dr. Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, “Day 2 – Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain,” and Dr. Bruce Bechtol, “Day 3 – George Pickett;” Moderator: Dr. Grady Price Blount.

?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 Commissary; Panelists: Cory Robinson, “Before San Angelo, Benjamin Grierson Dropped by on Mississippi,” and Dr. Ken 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. Ken Heineman.

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.

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.

Additionally, Heineman noted that ASU’s new Civil War historian, Dr. Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, will be teaching History 3305 Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction for individuals interested in a more detailed look at that pivotal period in American history.