The Alumni College introduces a new program option in 2013 with two short programs on Civil War themes. The first will focus on Gettysburg on the 150th anniversary of the historic battle. The second will consider vital issues and circumstances of the Civil War that were not related to armed conflict: emancipation, women and family life, medicine, and politics. Participants will be able to choose a single program or both programs at a reduced rate.
The Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863, is generally regarded as the turning point of the Civil War. Buoyed by the success of his forces over the Union Army at Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia north into Pennsylvania, ostensibly with a political goal in mind, to discourage the North from continuing its costly war against the Confederacy. What Lee encountered near the town of Gettysburg and the decisions he made in confronting Union forces, under the new command of General George G. Meade, would result in the bloodiest battle of any war in American history. We’ll examine the strategies of the opposing armies over the three days of conflict and discuss the significance of the battle within the larger framework of the war itself. Faculty for the program include W&L professor of history J. Holt Merchant, distinguished Civil War historian James E. Robertson, and W&L alumnus Kent Masterson Brown ’74L, author of the awardwinning study Retreat from Gettysburg.