Conference 2009

On 30-31 October 2009, the Center for Civil War Research sponsored the Conference on the Civil War:  Leadership.  Panelists attended from across the country, from the University of Virginia to the University of California, Los Angeles, addressing aspects of Civil War leadership including military, civilian, and religious.

Presentations included discussions on the careers and post-war representations of such figures as John Bell Hood, Benjamin Prentiss, and U. S. Grant.  Panelists also addressed largely neglected aspects of wartime leadership, emphasizing the contributions of women’s aide societies and the significance of African American leadership, both before and after emancipation.

Renowned keynote speaker Dr. Joan Waugh presented portions from her current project, “U.S. Grant:  American Hero, American Myth.”  Dr. Waugh addressed the dramatic shifts in Grant’s post-war popularity, utilizing depictions of Grant in popular culture to demonstrate the reduction of the once-revered general to a punch-line, often at the expense of his highly exaggerated alcoholism.



Conference Program

Friday, 30 October

First Session:  Leadership in Slavery and Freedom

Slave and Farmer:  The Civil War Experience of Daniel Williams
            -Alisea Williams McLeod, Indiana University, South Bend
Freedom’s Doctors:  The Unexpected Brokers and Leaders of Emancipation
            -Jim Downs, Connecticut College

Second Session:  Questions of Leadership and Justice

Hanging Henry Wirz:  Defining War Crimes and the Problem of Confederate Punishment
            -Carole Emberton, State University of New York—Buffalo
New England’s Young Leaders:  College-Educated Northerners View the Civil War
            -Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, University of Virginia

Third Session:  The Crucial Leadership of Women, North and South

A Deep Sense of Connection:  Henrietta Colt and the Wisconsin Soldier’s Aid Society
            -Karen A. Kehoe, St. Vincent College
We Will Provide Well For the Soldiers:  Alabama Women and Leadership in Aid Societies
            -Jennifer Newman Treviño, University of Texas—Pan American

Keynote Session

            U. S. Grant:  American Hero, American Myth
            -Joan Waugh, University of California, Los Angeles

Saturday, 31 October

First Session:  Perspectives of the Leadership of the Union

Abraham Lincoln and the American Military Tradition
-Glenn W. LaFantasie, Western Kentucky University
Genesis of Command:  The Leadership Origins of Ulysses S. Grant
            -Harry S. Laver, Southeastern Louisiana University

Second Session:  Civilian Leadership, Religious and Political

It is the duty of Catholics to stand by the Union:  The Diverse Responses to Civil War by Orestes Brownson and the Catholic Press in both the North and the Loyal Border States
            -William Kurtz, University of Virginia
A Tale of Two Governors:  Mississippi’s Political Leadership During the Civil War
           -Timothy B. Smith, University of Tennessee at Martin

Third Session:  Leadership and Military Reputation

A Rapidly Fading Star:  Why John Bell Hood Failed as a Civil War Leader
            -Brain Craig Miller, Emporia State University
If Prentiss Had Died That Day:  Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss and Leadership Not Recognized
            -Toby Glenn Bates, Mississippi State University, Meridian

Fourth Session:  Leaders in Post-War Southern Society

General George W. Gordon and the Perpetuation of the Lost Cause
            -Mark R. Cheathem, Cumberland University
Sequestration and Loyalty in Confederate North Carolina
            -Rodney J. Steward, Auburn University