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Conference: Turning Points in the Civil War
Rothenberg Hall, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
San Marino, CA
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Conference: Turning Points in the Civil War
Friday, Sept. 14, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Civil War witnessed a number of critical turning points. Major battles, the Emancipation Proclamation, the election of 1864, and the New York City draft riots represent the kinds of military, political, and social events that could signal a profound shift in the conflicts direction or momentum. Speakers at this conference will address the range, and potential for disagreement, inherent in any search for historical turning points. Rothenberg Hall

Registration for this 2-day conference is $25.
Optional buffet lunch each day for $20. (limited quantity - order early)

Conference registration is $10 for current Huntington docents, and free for current Long-Term Fellows and students with a current Student I.D. Please bring your current I.D. to event day check-in. Students, please note school affiliation after your name when registering.

Conference Schedule


8:15 a.m. - Registration & Coffee

9:15 a.m. - Welcome: Steve Hindle (The Huntington)

Remarks: Gary W. Gallagher (University of Virginia)
Joan Waugh (University of California, Los Angeles)

9:30 a.m. - Session 1: The Pivotal Political Event
Moderator: Joan Waugh

Richard Carwardine (University of Oxford)
The Second Birth of Our Nation: The 1864 Presidential Election as a Turning Point for Democracy

J. Matthew Gallman (University of Florida)
The General Makes a Political Blunder: George B. McClellan Endorses George W. Woodward

David W. Blight (Yale University)
Frederick Douglass and the Republican Victory in 1864

12:30 p.m. - Lunch

1:30 p.m. - Session 2: Looking West and East
Moderator: Gary W. Gallagher

Ari Kelman (University of California, Davis)
From Manassas to Mankato: How the Civil War Became an Indian War

Joan Waugh
The Confederacy Totters to Its Destruction: Vicksburg as a Turning Point

Harold Holzer (Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, Hunter College)
The 1863 New York City Draft Riots: How the Press Reported, and Survived, an Assault on Freedom


9 a.m. - Registration & Coffee

9:30 a.m. - Session 3: Great Military Campaigns
Moderator: Joan Waugh

Gary W. Gallagher
The Seven Days as a Military and Political Watershed

Stephen Cushman (University of Virginia)
George B. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign and the Rules of War

Ronald C. White, Jr. (Historian and Lecturer)
The Battle of the Wilderness: An Eastern Army Gives a Western General Command

12:30 p.m. - Lunch

1:30 p.m. - Session 4: Postwar Echoes and the Most Important Turning Point
Moderator: Gary W. Gallagher

Caroline E. Janney (Purdue University)
Deciding to Honor the Dead: Montgomery Meigs, Arlington, and the Origins of the National Cemetery System

Elizabeth R. Varon (University of Virginia)
Old Pete at a Crossroads:  James Longstreet and Southern Reactions to the Reconstruction Acts of 1867

Gary W. Gallagher and Joan Waugh
What about Gettysburg?


Rothenberg Hall, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens (View)
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
United States



Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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