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The Five Meetings

There were five discussion sessions in this series.

   Meetings  were held at QCC Kurt R. Schmeller Library, 3rd Floor, Sunday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The reading schedule follows:

 Session One -  January 8  -- Imagining War

Read the novel, March by Geraldine Brooks, 2005,

and Part one of America's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries, Edited by Edward L. Ayers

  Louisa May Alcott, “Journal Kept at the Hospital, Georgetown, D.C.” [1862]

Session Two -  February 5 -- Choosing Sides

Read Part Two of the anthology, America's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries, Edited by Edward L. Ayers 

Henry David Thoreau, "A Plea for Captain John Brown" [1859]; 

Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address [March 4, 1861];

 Alexander H. Stephens, "Cornerstone" speech [March 21, 1861];    

Robert Montague, Secessionist speech at Virginia secession convention [April 1-2, 1861];   

Chapman Stuart, Unionist speech at Virginia secession convention [April 5, 1861];   

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, excerpt from Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through his Private Letters[2007];    

Mark Twain, "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed" [1885]  

Sarah Morgan, excerpt from The Diary of a Southern Woman [May 9, May 17, 1862].

 Session Three - March 4 -- Making Sense of Shiloh

Read Part Three of anthology, America's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries, Edited by Edward L. Ayers

Ambrose Bierce, "What I Saw of Shiloh" [1881];  

 Ulysses Grant, excerpt from the Memoirs[1885]; 

Shelby Foote, excerpt from Shiloh[1952];  

Bobbie Ann Mason, "Shiloh" [1982] 

General Braxton Bragg, speech to the Army of the Mississippi [May 3, 1862].

Session Four - April 1 -- The Shape of War

Read: Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, by James McPherson

and Part Four of America's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries, Edited by Edward L. Ayers

 Drew Gilpin Faust, excerpt from This Republic of Suffering: Death and the Civil War [2008];

Gary W. Gallagher, “The Net Result of the Campaign was in Our Favor: Confederate Reaction to 1862 Maryland Campaign” [1999].

Session Five - April 29 -- War and Freedom

Read Part Five of the anthology, America's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries, Edited by Edward L. Ayers

Abraham Lincoln, address on colonization [1862];   

John M. Washington, "Memorys [sic] of the Past" [1873];  

Frederick Douglass, "Men of Color, To Arms!" [March 1863];

Abraham Lincoln, letters to James C. Conkling [1863] and Albert G. Hodges [1864];

Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address [1863];

James S. Brisbin, report on U.S. Colored Cavalry in Virginia [Oct. 2, 1864];

Colored Citizens of Nashville, Tennessee," Petition to the Union Convention of Tennessee Assembled in the Capitol at Nashville" [January 9, 1865];

Margaret Walker, excerpt from Jubilee[1966];

Leon Litwack, excerpt from Been in the Storm So Long[1979]; 

Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 1865

 

Gettysburg Address

 

President Lincoln delivered the 272 word Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

."Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Images of War

Manet

Welcome

 Welcome to the Libguide for the grant funded program, "Let's Talk About It -- Making Sense of the Civil War" here at your QCC Library. This Guide will help you to find books and other sources of information to enhance your study of the Civil War.   Remember we are here to help. You may contact me for help via the email or phone number on the right of the page.

 


By clicking on the tabs at the top of the page, you can locate different sources of information  

Scholar

Discussions led by Dr. Megan Elias, Associate Professor,

History Department of Queensborough Community College --

Noted scholar, educator , speaker and author

Sponsors

National Endowment for the Humanities

American Library Association


Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War, a reading and discussion series,  made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

American Library Association (ALA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) present Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War, a scholar-led reading and discussion program for public audiences. The program is part of the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War. Participants will probe meanings of the Civil War that are “hidden in plain sight” behind the key questions and main characters so familiar to us. Program participants may be surprised to encounter in the readings such a large cast of characters, so broad a range of perspectives, and so dense a web of circumstances. After considering the vast sweep and profound breadth of Civil War experience, readers will understand that the American Civil War was not a single thing, or a simple thing. And yet they will also see emancipation—the end of the most powerful system of slavery in the modern world—take its place as the central story of the war. Adapted from the ALA website descrip

George and Abe conversation

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation
January 1, 1863

A Transcription

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Bayside History and the Civil War

From the Website of the Bayside Historical Society

Thank You

 Thank You to Sponsors, Partners and Fellow Project Directors, who gave permission for the use of material from their web sites

A special thank you to SENIOR CUNY LAB TECHNICIAN, LAWRENCE CHAN for his invaluable technical assistance.

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