In the spring of 1862, Virginia faced a different kind of war than they had the year before. Advancing Union armies now occupied large amounts of territory in western Virginia and in Tidewater, and their presence had a dramatic effect on local populations. Pro-Confederate white Virginians became refugees as they left their homes, and enslaved […]
In the spring of 1862, Virginia faced a different kind of war than they had the year before. Advancing Union armies now occupied large amounts of territory in western Virginia and in Tidewater, and their presence had a dramatic effect on local populations. Pro-Confederate white Virginians became refugees as they left their homes, and enslaved Virginians began to flee to the safety of Union lines. The armies of the United States and of the Confederacy fought desperately near Richmond and in the Shenandoah Valley while President Lincoln struggled over the future of slavery.
On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, as part of the Richmond region’s Sesquicentennial Commemoration, University of Richmond President and Civil War historian, Edward L. Ayers will speak at the Virginia Historical Society about the impact of the war on Virginia’s civilians in the first half of 1862. Looking at the Civil War in a fresh way and from various points of view, Dr. Ayers will analyze what was at stake for national reunification and emancipation.
The lecture – entitled “The Civil War at a Crossroads: The Seven Days”—is co-sponsored by the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond National Battlefield Park, and The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. The discussion will take place on Tuesday, June 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Virginia Historical Society, 428 North Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia 23220. The event and parking are free. Dr. Edward L. Ayers is president of the University of Richmond and the author of In the Presence of Mine Enemies: The Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859–1863.
“Virginia stood at the center of the Civil War 150 years ago this spring,” Dr. Ayers comments. “By understanding that moment and its possibilities for all Virginians, we can better understand the entire war.”
“We are thrilled to be working with Ed Ayers and our partners on this program,” said David Ruth, Richmond National Battlefield Park’s superintendent. “One primary goal of the park’s sesquicentennial activities is to expand our interpretation of the Civil War and explore areas of this history that had been overlooked over the last 150 years. This lecture goes far to help us achieve that goal.”
“I am delighted to partner with the National Park Service and the American Civil War Center to highlight the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Seven Days,” said Dr. Paul Levengood, Virginia Historical Society President and CEO. “One hundred and fifty years later, it is important to remember that history was made right here, at the doorstep of Richmond, that would change American history forever. I am especially pleased that we will host Ed Ayers for his thoughts on the effects of the war at this critical juncture on the lives of civilians in Virginia. He’s a dynamic lecturer and a wonderful scholar. I know that the evening will be a highlight of our lecture calendar in 2012.”
“For the past two years, Richmond’s cultural community has partnered to provide greater depth and broader perspectives into the complexities of the American Civil War,” said Christy Coleman, President of the American Civil War Center. “We are absolutely delighted to once again partner with NPS on a stellar offering for our community.”