Civil War expert to speak at OWU


As part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Ohio Wesleyan University will host Peter S. Carmichael, director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, discussing “The Final Battles of the 1865 and the Ongoing Civil War.”

Carmichael, also the Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War History, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 in Benes Rooms A and B of Ohio Wesleyan’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave. His presentation is Ohio Wesleyan’s 2015 Richard W. Smith Lecture in Civil War History, sponsored by the OWU Department of History.

Many Americans believe the Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox, Virginia, when Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant. But, as Carmichael will share in his presentation, the fighting continued. He will explore the final military campaigns of 1865 that led not only to Lee’s surrender but also to the surrender of other Confederate armies elsewhere in the South.

Carmichael earned his doctorate from The Pennsylvania State University, and his academic interests include 19th century U.S. history, Civil War and Reconstruction, Southern history, public history, and cultural history. His current project, “The War for the Common Soldier,” is part of the University of North Carolina Press’s “Littlefield History of the Civil War Era” series.

Carmichael’s previous books include “The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion (Civil War America)”; “Lee’s Young Artillerist: William R.J. Pegram (A Nation Divided)”; and “Purcell Crenshaw & Letcher Artillery (The Virginia regimental histories series).”

Ohio Wesleyan’s annual Smith Lecture is named in honor of emeritus history professor Richard W. Smith, who taught at the university between 1950 and 1986. Past speakers in the series, which began in 2002, have included Pulitzer Prize-winners James M. McPherson, author of “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era,” and Eric Foner, author of “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.”

Staff Report

Information for this story was provided by Ohio Wesleyan University.

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