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Next Meeting: May 19, 2016

Location: West Pavilion at Drake Center, 151 West Galbraith Road. (More information about Drake Center and driving directions here.)

Speaker: William Alan Blair, Pennsylvania State University

Topic: The Dirty Business of Winning a Civil War: Combating Disloyalty

We often talk about the hard measures used to win the war on the battlefield. But we don’t often consider the hard war that was fought away from the battlefield and in the streets of even the communities loyal to the Union. What it took to win the Civil War was often very dirty business in which the Constitution at times became stretched and soldiers committed acts that should raise our eyebrows. No place was sacrosanct from arrests: not newsrooms, not churches, and certainly not the ballot box. In winning the Civil War, virtually every cornerstone of freedom sustained a few cracks.

Dr. William Blair is the Walter L. and Helen P. Ferree Professor of Middle American History, Director of the Richards Civil War Era Center, and founding editor of The Journal of the Civil War Era. He also edits The Brose Lecture Series with the University of North Carolina Press. He earned his Ph.D. from Penn State in 1995 and now serves as Acting Head of Penn State’s Department of History. His books include With Malice Toward Some: Treason in the Civil War Era (2014), which was a finalist for the Lincoln Prize; Virginia’s Private War: Feeding Body and Soul in the Confederacy, 1861-1865 (1998), and Cities of the Dead: Contesting the Memory of the Civil War in the South, 1865-1914 (2004). He serves as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

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 This page was last revised on: May 18, 2016

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