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Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College
10-08-2015, 11:53 AM
Post: #1
Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College
Thank you to Laurie for sending the following information:

2016 Civil War Institute Summer Conference:
Reconstruction & the Legacy of the Civil War
June 17-22, 2016
Spots Still Available -- Filling Quickly!

Join us for the 2016 Civil War Institute (June 17-22) as we explore Reconstruction and the Legacy of the War. Although the spring and summer of 1865 brought an effective end to the Civil War as most Americans understand it, the political, social, and cultural battles over the fate of the newly restored Union would wrack the nation for generations after the guns fell silent.

The 2016 conference is unique in its emphasis on the postwar era, and is the first of its kind for a popular audience. However, it will address topics whose roots lie in the war itself and which are integral to understanding the trajectory and long term significance of America’s greatest conflict. Featured topics include: Civil War memory, veterans’ homecomings, comparative emancipation, reconstructing southern womanhood, Reconstruction in the West, James Longstreet and the Battle of Liberty Place, and the World Wars at Gettysburg.

More than 50 scholars, public historians, and battlefield guides will bring Reconstruction to life through exciting and interactive new formats, including small group overview sessions, battlefield tours exploring the postwar use of the Gettysburg battlefield, and breakout sessions devoted to Reconstruction through biography. CWI’s expert instructors, including David Blight, Brooks Simpson, Caroline Janney, Scott Hartwig, Lesley Gordon, Mark Summers, Bill Link, and others will offer fresh perspectives and generate engaging dialogue with attendees about the enduring legacies of the Reconstruction era.


CWI 2016 Conference registration updates

We have currently filled more than half of our full-time participation slots for the conference. Spots are filling up quickly, particularly for those who would like on-campus lodging. For more information on registration options, please click here. We encourage you to please reserve your spot as soon as possible by registering as either a full-time or part-time participant here.

A $100 deposit is due at the time of registration. Invoices for payment of remaining balances will be sent out at the end of the calendar year. Full registration payments are due February 1, 2016. Participants who register after February 1 will be required to submit full payment at the time of registration.

CWI 2016 scholarships are available for high school students, public historians, and K-12 teachers. Applications for all three scholarships are due February 15. Click here for more information, including scholarship descriptions, eligibility guidelines, and application forms. Additional details about the scholarship program will be forthcoming in the January newsletter.


CWI 2016 Speaker Q&A

We recently interviewed two of the prominent speakers scheduled to speak at the 2016 CWI conference about their upcoming talks and their general thoughts about Reconstruction and its legacies. Here is what they had to say:

Gregory Downs is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches courses on 19th-century American history, the American South, slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, and the Progressive Era. His research focuses on 19th-century U.S. political and cultural history and the transformative impact of the Civil War. He is the author of Declarations of Dependence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861-1908 (University of North Carolina Press, 2011) and most recently, After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War (Harvard University Press, 2015), which uses the lens of occupation to examine the immediate period after Confederate surrender as an extension of wartime.

CWI: It is popular perception that the Civil War definitively and "neatly" ended at Appomattox, and so most media outlets declared the commemorations of the Civil War Sesquicentennial over in the summer of 2015. In what ways have such understandings of the war inhibited a fuller understanding of the enduring challenges and unanswered questions that Americans faced in the postwar period?

DR. DOWNS: Ending the war at Appomattox Court House has allowed Americans now to do what Americans then could not--separate the Civil War from emancipation and Reconstruction. By defining the Civil War narrowly as a contest on battlefields, Americans operating within a Brothers' War framework have drained the war of political and ideological meanings obvious to its participants. They have made the Civil War neat and clear by separating it from its drawn-out, messy, and inherently political conclusion in the years between 1865 and 1870.

An Appomattox myth that venerated the meeting between Grant and Lee as the close of the war began to circulate immediately after the fabled surrender. And over time it has been picked up by those who wished to see the war as noble but not as inherently political, and by those who sought to use the meeting as a foundation for a reunited nation, a cornerstone of a new unity among white Americans. But Grant--like many generals and politicians--understood that the Civil War could not end at Appomattox Court House because the work of the war was not done. And the South could not be defeated, nor could slavery be ended, nor could any kind of post-war settlement be reached through normal peace powers. Only by holding on to the force of war could the United States complete the work that it had taken up as the war progressed, work that reflected the fact that a war for Union had become a war to end slavery and to create a new order in the South.

CWI: In what ways did Reconstruction provide revolutionary social and political change in the United States, and for whom? In what ways, and for whom, did Reconstruction fall short of its social and political promises?

DR. DOWNS: Reconstruction truly was a revolutionary moment. The end of slavery--completed through the war powers but months after Appomattox Court House--was among the largest property transfers in world history and altered the economic foundation of the South forever. Additionally the United States used its military power to complete the work of the war and to create basic civil rights for freedpeople, rights that the white Southern governments would never have granted them, including basic things like the right to travel or own property or testify in court. Then in 1867, the United States Army was charged by Congress with registering freedmen to vote in new constitutional conventions, setting the stage for freedpeople to exercise new political rights in the South. This made the United States one of only two large-scale slave societies in the 19th century world to extend the vote so quickly to former slaves. And then those ex-slaves elected governments that modernized the South, creating public school systems, hospitals, and other programs, often for the first time.

It also was a revolutionary moment because it depended on violence. Reconstruction was enacted frequently by military force because these changes were impossible in normal politics. Like other revolutions, this one produced a powerful and intensely violent counter-revolution that eventually drove Republican governments from power, assassinated legions of freedpeople and politicians, disfranchised African-Americans and many poor whites, and drew sharp lines of racial segregation. All of this, of course, was shocking to people--white and black--who hoped for a different world. But, as with many revolutions, Reconstruction put in place changes that outlasted the counter-revolution. The Constitution was altered forever, in ways that shape our own lives to this day. And the world that Confederates imagined in 1861 could not be revived; there would be no slavery. Even the hard caste lines that ex-Confederates aimed for in 1865 and 1866 could not be revived. Although Jim Crow segregation was brutal and oppressive, it had to be constructed through gestures to race neutrality; they could not rely upon the same tools they used in 1865. And ex-Confederates had to work much harder to limit mobility and exclude freedpeople from the court system. There is no question that the counter-revolution, while incomplete, dashed many of the hopes for freedpeople, but still Reconstruction blocked a much-worse 1866 system from enduring.

CWI: What are some of the key points that you hope to cover in your sessions on Reconstruction and the continued military occupation of the South at the 2016 conference? Why is it so important to include discussions of Reconstruction in our conversations on the war as a whole? Why do these issues still matter in contemporary society?

DR. DOWNS: Reconstruction still matters because the ideas it introduced into American life remain crucial today. What kind of protection can people expect from the federal government when they face oppressive local governments? What rights do Americans have? How can they defend them? Who can vote?

Reconstruction remains a touchstone in these debates. We live in the Constitution Reconstruction created and in some of the same arguments Reconstruction inspired.

At Gettysburg, I will talk about the crucial effort of the National Park Service and others to commemorate Reconstruction in its inspiring achievements and its crushing defeats. Until we make an effort as a society to remember Reconstruction, we will fail to understand or remember the Civil War.


Caroline Janney is a Professor of History at Purdue University, where she teaches courses on U.S. history, the Civil War and memory, Reconstruction, and women's history. She is the author of Burying the Dead But Not the Past: Ladies Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause (University of North Carolina Press, 2008), and most recently, the multi-award-winning Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation (University of North Carolina Press, 2013). In addition to authoring numerous scholarly articles and essays, Dr. Janney is the co-editor with Gary W. Gallagher of Cold Harbor to the Crater: The End of the Overland Campaign (University of North Carolina Press, 2015) and the editor of John Richard Dennett’s The South As It Is, 1865-66 (University of Alabama Press, 2010). She also is an active public speaker who has delivered lectures at numerous, prestigious institutions across the country, on C-SPAN, and on NPR. Dr. Janney currently serves as a co-editor of the University of North Carolina Press’s Civil War America Series and the president of the Society of Civil War Historians.

CWI: How did Reconstruction shape the public memory of the Civil War? Who participated (or was not allowed to participate) in the shaping of Civil War memory and why?

DR. JANNEY: Memory is a multi-faceted process that is at its heart about contemporary events. That is, the way in which people (northern and southern, black and white) thought about the war between 1865-1877 was in response to what was happening between 1865-1877. One of the best examples of how the policies of Reconstruction – or at least the uncertainty of what lay ahead – affected memory is the Lost Cause. Because former Confederate men were fearful of being charged with treason, southern white women took the lead in memorializing the Lost Cause. By invoking their maternal obligations to care for the dead, they were able to create Confederate cemeteries and establish the practice of Memorial Days as early as 1866.

To be sure, there were some voices that were louder than others, but during Reconstruction Unionists, Confederates, African Americans, whites, men, and women all played different roles in shaping the memory of the Civil War. Union soldiers, both black and white, joined the GAR and organized northern Memorial Day services. In the former Confederacy, white women played a more prominent role until it was clear that Confederate veterans would not be punished for doing so (for the most part this happened after Reconstruction policies were lifted in the various states and especially after Lee’s death in 1870).

CWI: Why is the study of Reconstruction and Civil War memory still relevant and important in today's society?

DR. JANNEY: Both the study of Reconstruction and Civil War Memory remain relevant as we look around at the events that have unfolded since the spring of 2015. Understanding how — and why — various groups crafted their competing memories of the war allows us to more fully examine why Confederate symbols, for example, still carry so much cultural and political power today. The study of both topics reminds us how intimately connected race relations were to the causes and outcome of the Civil War.


54th Annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture:
Dr. Joseph T. Glatthaar

"A Tale of Two Armies: The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac"

Dr. Joseph Glatthaar will present the 54th annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture at 7:00 PM on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at the Majestic Theater (25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg, PA). Tickets are not required. A public reception and book signing with Dr. Glatthaar will follow immediately after the lecture.

Dr. Glatthaar is the Stephenson Distinguished Professor of History at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also serves as Adjunct Professor of the Curriculum in Peace, War and Defense. His teaching interests center on military history and the history of the American Civil War. Dr. Glatthaar is the author of numerous books, including Soldiering in the Army of Northern Virginia: A Statistical Study (University of North Carolina Press, 2011), General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Defeat (Free Press, 2008), Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians in the American Revolution, with James Kirby Martin (Hill & Wang, 2006) and Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers (Free Press, 1990).

Dr. Glatthaar’s awards include the Fletcher Pratt Award (New York Civil War Round Table), the Jefferson Davis Award (American Civil War Museum), and the Bell Irvin Wiley Award (National Historical Society). In 2015, Dr. Glatthaar received the Samuel Eliot Morison Award from the Council of the Society for Military History, which recognizes scholars whose distinguished body of work provides a significant contribution to the field of military history.

Dr. Glatthaar earned his Ph. D. in History from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983. He is currently at work on a book-length study tentatively titled “General Grant’s Army: From Defeat to Victory.”

The Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture is presented each year on November 19th, the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The goal of the lecture is to speak to the literate general public without abandoning solid scholarly moorings. Bruce Catton delivered the very first Fortenbaugh Lecture in 1962, and has since been followed by authors such as David Herbert Donald, John Hope Franklin, C. Vann Woodward, Kenneth Stampp, Drew Gilpin Faust, David W. Blight, and other luminaries of American historical writing.
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10-08-2015, 02:22 PM
Post: #2
RE: Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College
Please take time to read the 2016 Speakers Q&A section with Dr. Downs and Dr. Janney in the above announcement. Important points to think about in a topic field that many prefer to ignore.
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10-08-2015, 09:30 PM
Post: #3
RE: Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College
Fascinating. I wonder if Dr. Janney is related to Allison Janney, who does the radio commercials for us at Kaiser Permanente.


Please visit my blog:
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10-09-2015, 09:13 AM
Post: #4
RE: Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College
I have never attended the CWI Conference. Has anyone here attended in the past? Would love to hear people's thoughts and if the cost was worth it. Thanks!
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10-09-2015, 11:20 AM
Post: #5
RE: Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College
I have never attended either, but have heard nothing but glowing accolades from people who have. We have worked with them on some of their bus tours, and they have always been very well-organized and pleasant to deal with.
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02-09-2017, 05:44 AM
Post: #6
RE: Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College
Thanks to Laurie for sending the February 2017 newsletter:

Registration is still open for the 2017 CWI Summer Conference! Both full-time and part-time options are available. Check out the lineup for this summer.

Questions about the conference? Check out our FAQ page. Still have questions? Please contact Ashley Luskey at or 717-337-6592.

Pass the word along: high school students, K-12 teachers and practicing public historians have until February 15th to apply for a scholarship to attend the 2017 CWI Summer Conference. Do you know someone who would be interested in experiencing the Civil War in a new way, through battlefield programs, special tours, lectures & panel discussions, small group sessions with speakers, and other special activities?

Final payment for early registrants is due February 15, 2017. If you register after February 15th, full payment will be due at the time of registration.

Who’s speaking this summer? Speakers include T.J. Stiles, Harold Holzer, Brooks Simpson, John Marszalek, Lorien Foote and Kenneth Noe. Want a preview? Check out our “teaser” interviews with conference speakers.

Where are we traveling? Tours include Antietam, Mosby’s Confederacy, Cedar Mountain, Mine Run, and Chancellorsville. The tour selection process will open in early April.

What about Gettysburg tours? This year’s Gettysburg tours offer a brigade-level view of the field. Tour leaders include Jennifer Murray, Chris Gwinn, Tim Orr, Wayne Motts, and Jim Hessler.

Some of those perusing the schedule for the 2017 CWI conference may be wondering “what’s a dine-in”? Dine-ins are small discussion groups facilitated by members of the CWI faculty which meet during a regularly-scheduled meal time in a campus facility. This year’s dine-ins will focus – among other topics – on retaliation against POWs, citizenship & the Dred Scott decision, and Meade’s Gettysburg council of war. Read more here. The dine-in selection process will open in early April.
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09-28-2017, 12:03 PM
Post: #7
RE: Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College
Thanks to Laurie for sending the September 2017 newsletter:


New Faces at CWI

There are two new faces at CWI this fall! Historian Ashley Whitehead Luskey, who is well known to many summer conference attendees, has recently been appointed to the position of Assistant Director, and Heather Miller has joined the Institute staff as our new Administrative Assistant. We are delighted to have them on board.

2018 CWI Summer Conference

Registration is open for the CWI 2018 summer conference (June 22-27)! The conference will explore a wide range of topics, including prisoner of war experiences, Meade’s leadership at Gettysburg, Union spy Elizabeth Van Lew, Hood’s Texas Brigade, Lee’s Lieutenants, common soldiers, and the generalship of Ulysses S. Grant. In addition to touring the Gettysburg battlefield and other nearby Civil War sites, participants will be able to enjoy new conference additions such as special Saturday evening battlefield tours, “lunch-in” discussions with faculty, and faculty-led discussions about Civil War movies.

This year’s faculty includes James I. Robertson, Jr; Susannah Ural; Brooks Simpson; Keith Bohannan; Kent Masterson Brown; Dennis Frye; and Garry Adelman.

Registration discounts are available for K-12 teachers, students, military veterans, and Gettysburg College alumni.

The 2018 conference will offer something for everyone, from longtime students of the Civil War to those who are new to Civil War history. Questions? Check out our FAQ page. Still have questions? Please contact Ashley Luskey at or 717-337-6592.

2017 Fortenbaugh Lecture

The 2017 Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture, given annually on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, will take place Sunday, November 19 at the Majestic Theater. The 2017 lecture, "I'm a Radical Girl: Enslaved and Free Black Women Unionists and the Politics of Civil War History," will be delivered by Dr. Thavolia Glymph, Associate Professor of History at Duke University. The program will begin at 7:00 pm. Free tickets can be obtained from the Majestic box office at 717-337-8200.

In Other News

This fall, CWI Director Pete Carmichael will lead battlefield tours for the University of Georgia and the Indiana Historical Society.

33 teachers, mostly teaching at the upper elementary and middle school level, spent the last week of June 2017 delving deeply into the material culture of the Civil War in Pete Carmichael’s Gilder Lehrman Summer Teacher Seminar.

Pete Carmichael was featured in a recent episode of TLC’s hit history & genealogy show, Who Do You Think You Are?, where he helped actress Liv Tyler interpret the meaning and significance of her 2x great-grandfather’s experience at Gettysburg.

Student Snapshots

As the 2017-18 academic year moves into high gear, CWI’s student fellows are off and running on a variety of new projects. You can check out their most recent written work on The Gettysburg Compiler, our student-run blog.

23 students interned at Civil War sites this summer through CWI’s Pohanka Internship Program. Check out their thoughts on the role of provocation in historical interpretation. As many of our nation’s historic sites face financial difficulties, our students are making invaluable contributions to the continuing preservation and interpretation of history; your support for the program would be most welcomed.

2017 Summer Conference Recap

More than 250 participants and 39 faculty members came together in early June for CWI’s 2017 conference. In lectures, panels, and battlefield tours, as well as over intimate dine-in discussions with faculty, participants explored topics ranging from Lincoln as a wartime president to southern women during Sherman’s March to the Sea. CSPAN coverage of many of our main-stage lectures can be found here.

CWI Alumni Updates

Kristen (Trout) Pawlak ‘14 has recently begun work as a Development Associate for Stewardship at the Civil War Trust, where she will raise funds to protect America’s historic battlefields.

Amelia Grabowski ’13 has joined the staff of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, working as a member of the Social Media Team.

Pete D’Arpa ’14 and Bobby Novak ’15 have begun their Ph.D. studies at West Virginia University.

We love to hear from Gettysburg grads! Share your CWI alumni updates with Jill Ogline Titus at
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