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U.Va. Conference Will Explore Civil War On Battlefield And Home Front

March 17, 1999 -- The Civil War swept across the American landscape with a fury unmatched in United States history. Millions of American men and women, free and slave, felt its impact.

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia will sponsor a major conference on the Civil War and its complex effects on 19th century American life April 29-May 1. "The Civil War on Battlefield and Home Front: Perspectives on Military Affairs, Politics, and Society" will feature eight noted Civil War history experts discussing military, social, political and cultural aspects of the conflict and its era.

A main aim of the conference is to show the important interplay between military and non military dimensions of the war to gain a better understanding of its full complexity, said Gary W. Gallagher, U.Va. professor of Civil War history and conference organizer. The conference is open to the public, but a registration fee is required for non-members of the U.Va. student body and faculty. (See below for details.)

Topics will include the comparative experience of common people in the North and South, the myriad connections between the home front and the battlefield, the centrality of emancipation, and the ways in which women understood and reacted to the war.

Conference participants and their themes include:

Catherine Clinton, the Lewis P. Jones Visiting Professor of History at Wofford College and an authority on women and the war: "Divided Countrywomen: Gender and Allegiance During the Civil War"

William J. Cooper Jr., the Boyd Professor of History at Louisiana State University who has written widely about the politics of slavery: "Jefferson Davis and the Politics of Confederate Command"

Edward L. Ayers, the Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History at U.Va. and director of "The Valley of the Shadow," an award-winning interactive database project about the war: "The Civil War From the Ground Up: A Northern and Southern Community in the Great Valley"

Joseph T. Glathaar, professor of history at the University of Houston, a specialist in military history: "Building the Army of Northern Virginia"

Thavolia T. Glymph, professor of history at Penn State University, an expert on emancipation and the postbellum South: "In Abraham's Bosom and Under the Protection of the Star Spangled Banner: Slave Women and the Civil War"

John J. Hennessy, National Park Service historian who has written widely about the war: "War Within A War: The Army of the Potomac Debates Union War Aims"

Philip Shaw Paludan, professor of history at the University of Kansas and author of the prize-winning book, "The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln." His topic will be "McClellan, Grant and Sherman: Images of Modernization in the Civil War Era."

The conference will begin Thursday, April 29, with a lecture by Gallagher, a leading authority on the war's military history and its aftermath and author of numerous books including "The Confederate War." His talk will be titled "An Old-Fashioned General in a Modern War?: Another Look at Robert E. Lee as a Confederate Leader."

The opening lecture will be held at Alumni Hall and will be followed by a reception. Friday and Saturday day-long programs will be in Newcomb Hall Ballroom.

The conference is free to U.Va. students and faculty. For others, registration is $75 for the entire conference or $50 for one day. For more information or to register please call (800) 346-3882.

Contact: Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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