Friday, June 3, 2016

Coming July 7, 2016

Coming Thursday July 7, John Oller will present his book, American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague, Civil War Belle of the North and Gilded Age Woman of Scandal. John Oller, is the author of four books, including, most recently, American Queen. It has been praised by Pulitzer prize-winning author Debby Applegate as “a terrific work of historical research and reconstruction” which tells “the story of the Civil War and its scandalous aftermath—its assassinations, impeachments and sexual hi-jinks—from an entirely fresh perspective.”

Born in Huron, Ohio, John is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.A. in journalism. He obtained his law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. For many years he represented Major League Baseball in many high-profile cases, including the celebrated George Brett "Pine Tar" case and the Pete Rose gambling case.  His first book was Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew. At the end of 2011, John retired from active legal practice to concentrate on his writing career.  Since then, in addition to American Queen, he has published an e-book, An All-American Murder, a true crime story of a murder in Columbus, Ohio in 1975. His next book, The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution, is scheduled for publication  in October 2016.  When not writing he pursues his hobbies of golf, theater, film, and travel. He divides his time between New York City and a home in California wine country.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Coming June 2, 2016

Coming Thursday June 2, 2016 .  Dr. Sarah Beetham will give a talk entitled Sentinels Keep Watch: The Civil War Citizen Soldier and American Sculpture.  Sarah Beetham is an adjunct lecturer in American art and material culture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She holds an M.A. and Ph. D. in art history from the University of Delaware and a B.A. in Art History and English from Rutgers University. She has recently published work in Common-Place and Nierika: Revista de Estudios de Arte, and she has a forthcoming article in the spring 2016 issue of Public Art Dialogue addressing the recent controversy surrounding Confederate monuments. Her current book project, titled Monumental Crisis: Accident, Vandalism, and the Civil War Citizen Soldier, focuses on the ways in which post-Civil War soldier monuments have served as flash points for heated discussion of American life and culture in the 150 years since the end of the war.

In her talk, Dr. Beetham will explore the material and social history of the citizen soldier monument. First appearing in the years following the Civil War, these monuments were erected to honor the contributions to the war effort by rank-and-file soldiers. They took many forms, from columns and obelisks to triumphal arches and multi-figure groups. But by far the most common were soldiers standing at parade rest, with their rifles held vertically before them and their eyes gazing into the distance. Standing in town squares or in cemeteries, these monuments represent an important legacy of the Civil War.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Coming May 5, 2016

Daniel Carroll Toomey will present his book, War Came By Train: The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad During the Civil War, Commemorating the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War 1861-1865.

Beginning with the B&O’s reaction to John Brown’s Raid in 1859 and ending with the demobilization of the Union Army in 1865, Toomey’s new book is a highly detailed yet readable history of America’s most famous railroad during the Civil War. The author blends the overall strategy and political aims of that time period with the battles, raids and daily operational challenges of a Civil War railroad. He introduces an array of little known personalities who worked for, attacked, defended or traveled on the B&O Railroad. He also shows in numerous instances how the railroad and the telegraph combined to conquer time and distance on the battlefield and ushered in the era of modern warfare with the introduction of armored rail cars, hospital trains, and large scale troop movements.

Daniel Carroll Toomey is a seventh generation Marylander whose first American ancestor taught school for John Carroll of Carrollton. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the author of several books including The Civil War in Maryland, Marylanders at Gettysburg, and The Maryland Line Confederate Soldiers’ Home. He is also co-author of Baltimore During the Civil War and Marylanders in Blue, all of which were published by Toomey Press. Mr. Toomey has lectured for a number of historical organizations as well as the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution. His course “The Civil War in Maryland” has been offered at a number of local colleges. He has also contributed to radio and television programs and two Civil War battle videos. He is a member of the Surratt Society, and the Maryland Arms Collectors Association, and the Company of Military Historians. He serves on the Maryland Military Monuments Commission and was project historian for the Maryland Memorial erected at Gettysburg in 1994. Dan Toomey has won numerous awards for his historical research and exhibits including the Gettysburg National Battlefield Award in 1985 and was the 2001 recipient of the Peterkin Award given by the National Park Service at Fort McHenry for his many contributions in the field of research and preservation. He is currently the guest curator at the B&O Railroad Museum for the five year exhibit, The War Came By Train, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.




Friday, March 4, 2016

Coming April 7, 2016

The Field of Lost Shoes (Full length feature film)  In the midst of a prolonged and deadly American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln appoints a very different kind of general, Ulysses S. Grant, Chief of Union Forces. Grant acts decisively. He brings total war to the pristine Shenandoah Valley, breadbasket of the South. The superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute volunteers to send the Corps of Cadets to protect the valley. 274 young cadets march northward toward the strategic valley choke-point of New Market. On the day of battle, May 15, 1864, Confederate General John C. Breckenridge, former Vice President of the United States, and commander of southern forces in the Valley, is faced with a horrible decision. When Southern forces are jeopardized, he orders the young cadets into battle.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Coming March 3, 2016

Professor Eric Foner will present his book, Gateway to Freedom: Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.

Eric Foner is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. He is one of this country's most prominent historians. He received his doctoral degree at Columbia under the supervision of Richard Hofstadter. He is one of only two persons to serve as president of the three major professional organizations: the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, and Society of American Historians, and one of a handful to have won the Bancroft and Pulitzer Prizes in the same year.

On the faculty of the Department of History at Columbia University since 1982, he writes extensively on political history, the history of freedom, the early history of the Republican Party, African American biography, Reconstruction, and historiography. Foner is the leading contemporary historian of the post-Civil War Reconstruction period, having published Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (1988), winner of many prizes for history writing, and more than 10 other books on the topic. His free online courses on "The Civil War and Reconstruction," published in 2014, are available from Columbia University on Columbiax.com.

In 2011 Foner's The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (2010) won the Pulitzer Prize for History, Lincoln Prize, and the Bancroft Prize. Foner also won the Bancroft in 1989 for his book Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution. In 2000, he was elected president of the American Historical Association.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Coming February 4, 2016

Andy Athanas will present a brief power point on the life and times of Ambrose Bierce and a short film of perhaps his most famous short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Coming January 7, 2016

Jamie Malanowski will present his book Commander Will Cushing: Daredevil Hero of the Civil War.  Jamie is a writer and editor. A member of the original staff of Spy, where he worked seven years, Jamie has also been an editor at Time, Esquire and Playboy, where he was managing editor. Jamie has also written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Washington Monthly, and The New York Times, where he was the lead writer for Disunion, the award-winning series about the Civil War. He is also the author of the several novels. He is the author of And the War Came, a history of the six months that preceded the start of the Civil War. Jamie lives in Westchester County NY with his wife, Virginia, and daughters Maria and Cara. 

October 1864. The confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle had sunk two federal warships and damaged seven others, taking control of the Roanoke River and threatening the Union blockade. Twenty-one-year-old navy lieutenant William Barker Cushing hatched a daring plan: to attack the fearsome warship with a few dozen men in two small wooden boats. What followed, the close-range torpedoing of the Albemarle and Cushing’s harrowing two-day escape downriver from vengeful Rebel posses, is one of the most dramatic individual exploits in American military history.
Theodore Roosevelt said that Cushing “comes next to Farragut on the hero roll of American naval history,” but most have never heard of him today. Tossed out of the Naval Academy for “buffoonery,” Cushing proved himself a prodigy in behind-the-lines warfare. Given command of a small union ship, he performed daring, near-suicidal raids, “cutting out” Confederate ships and thwarting blockade runners. With higher commands and larger ships, Cushing’s exploits grew bolder, culminating in the sinking of the Albemarle. (Publisher)