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2014 – 2015 Campaign
September 24, 2014 - meeting

“Price's Lost Campaign:
The 1864 Invasion of Missouri
(Shades of Blue & Gray)"
by Dr. Mark A. Lause.

Dr. Mark A. Lause, is Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati, and is the author of numerous other books.

Lause’s account of the Missouri Campaign of 1864 brings new understanding of the two distinct phases of the campaign, as based upon declared strategic goals. Additionally, as the author reveals the clear connection between the military campaign and the outcome of the election, he successfully tests the efforts of new military historians to integrate political, economic, social, and cultural history into the study of warfare. In showing how both sides during Sterling’s Raid used self-serving fictions to provide a rationale for their politically motivated brutality and were unwilling to risk defeat, Lause reveals the underlying nature of the American Civil War as a modern war.
http://www.left-bank.com/book/9780826220332

In the fall of 1864, during the last brutal months of the Civil War, the Confederates made one final, desperate attempt to rampage through the Shenandoah Valley, Tennessee, and Missouri. Price’s Raid, the common name for the Missouri Campaign led by General Sterling Price, was the last of these attempts. Involving tens of thousands of armed men, the 1864 Missouri Campaign has too long remained unexamined by a book-length modern study but now,  Civil War scholar Mark A. Lause fills this long-standing gap in the literature, providing keen insights on the problems encountered during and the myths propagated about this campaign.


General Sterling Price marched Confederate troops 1,500 miles into Missouri, five times as far as his Union counterparts who met him in the incursion. Along the way, he picked up additional troops; the most exaggerated estimates place Price’s troop numbers at 15,000. The Federal forces initially underestimated the numbers heading for Missouri and then called in troops from Illinois and Kansas, amassing 65,000 to 75,000 troops and militia members. The Union tried to downplay its underestimation of the Confederate build-up of troops by supplanting the term "campaign" with the impromptu "raid." This term was also used by Confederates to minimize their lack of military success. The Confederates, believing that Missourians wanted liberation from Union forces, had planned a two-phase campaign. They intended not only to disrupt the functioning government through seizure of St. Louis and the capitol Jefferson City but also to restore the pro-secessionist government driven from the state three years before. The primary objective, however, was to change the outcome of the Federal elections that fall, encouraging votes against the Republicans who incorporated ending slavery into the Union war goals. What followed was widespread uncontrolled brutality in the form of guerrilla warfare, which drove support for the Federalists. Missouri joined Kansas in reelecting the Republicans and ensuring the end of slavery.


“Price's Lost Campaign:
The 1864 Invasion of Missouri
(Shades of Blue & Gray)"
by Dr. Mark A. Lause.


http://www.left-bank.com/book/9780826220332  Click here


For a complete list of books by Mark A. Lause found at Left Bank Books, (Click here)


Mark Lause background as found at  (click here)

Lause has done extensive work in nineteenth century labor and social history, including numerous articles in academic journals and reference material.  His initial work focused on early printers to discuss the origins of an American labor movement: “Some Degree of Power”: From Hired Hand to Union Craftsman in the Preindustrial American Printing Trades, 1778-1815. (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1991) documented the first generation of unionists in that craft.

Lause’s subsequent work has sought new ways of examining and understanding the sectional crisis and the Civil War "from the bottom up."  He argued for the complexity of the Republican and Unionist coalition—before and after—in Young America: Land, Labor, and the Republican Community (Urbana IL: University of Illinois Press, 2005) on the antebellum land reform movement and The Civil War's Last Campaign: James B. Weaver, the Greenback-Labor Party & the Politics of Race & Section (Lanpham, Md.: University Press of America, 2001). His Race & Radicalism in the Union Army (Urbana IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009) explores the wartime collaboration of blacks, Indians and whites in the Transmississippi under the leadership of those abolitionists, land reformers, socialists and others who had been associated with John Brown before the Civil War. The Antebellum Political Crisis & the First American Bohemians (Kent, OH:  Kent State University Press, 2009) discusses the cultural impact of escalating sectional and electoral pressures on antebellum radicalism.  His Price's Lost Campaign: the 1864 Invasion of Missouri (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011) uses social and institutional history to cast light on the neglected Civil War expedition that largely closed the conflict west of the Mississippi River.  A Secret Society History of the Civil War (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011) examines the importance of several clandestine, fraternal traditions as a means of understanding how ordinary citizens, including African Americans, struggled to shape their history.

In addition, Lause is completing a monograph on the politics of mid-nineteenth century American spiritualism and finishing a major work on the labor movement during the Civil War, as well as composing a second book on the close of 1864 Missouri campaign.  Afterwards, he aspires to pursue several projects in nineteenth century European and comparative fields. 

 October 22, 2014 - Meeting


"Lincoln's Happiest Day"

by John and Pamela Voehl,

a one act play of the Lincolns

just prior to leaving for Ford's Theater.


Join President and Mrs. Lincoln and the rest of us for an evening of fun, food and entertainment.  Discover President and Mrs. Lincoln in a setting that most people do not contemplate.

John and Pamela Voehl will perform a short play, Lincoln’s Happiest Day, portraying Abe and Mary Lincoln’s last full conversation on the afternoon of April 14, 1865, just before they leave the White House for Ford’s Theatre.

They have also had a question and answer period following the play.

We know that everyone will find this an interesting way of looking at this couple and the civil war.

 December 3, 2014 - Meeting


"Ben Butler in New Orleans" by Dale Phillips, Historian and Superintendent at Lincoln Home National Historic Site.


Dale Phillips, 54, began his Springfield assignment July 18, 2010. He succeeds Jim Sanders, who retired Jan. 1 after 41 years with the National Park Service, including five as site superintendent at the Lincoln Home.
 

    “My area is the Civil War. It’s a period of history that has always interested me, and I’ve been to Springfield many times,” Phillips said.

 

    His 30-year career with the park service has included assignments at the Gettysburg, Fort Sumter and Chickamauga national parks and battlefields. He worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville, about 75 miles southeast of Springfield, from 1978 to 1981.

 

    Phillips, a native of New Jersey, said he already has begun to familiarize himself with a series of “Living History” sesquicentennial celebrations that begin this year with the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s election to the presidency.

 

Annual sesquicentennial programs are planned from 2011, the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, through the 2015 sesquicentennial commemoration of Lincoln’s assassination.


Below are just some of the reports and activities that Dale Phillips have been involved with to promote the Civil War interests.
Benjamin F. Butler (1818–1893)

Benjamin F. Butler was a controversial, self-aggrandizing, and colorful politician who served as a Union general during the Civil War. A state senator in Massachusetts, Butler was a delegate to the 1860 Democratic National Convention, where he briefly supported Jefferson Davis. Always popular, he was nevertheless dogged by charges of corruption, abuse of power, and, when he accepted a general officer's commission from Abraham Lincoln in 1861, incompetence. Even his appearance inspired commentary. A Union staff officer penned in his diary how Butler cut "an astounding figure on a horse! Short, fat, shapeless; no neck, squinting, and very bald headed, and, above all, that singular, half defiant look." During the Civil War, Butler made substantial contributions to the Union war effort, including a policy that allowed the United States government to skirt the provisions of the Fugitive Slave Law by claiming that escaped slaves were "contraband of war." In this way, he was able to put African American to work on fortifications and helped to pave the way for emancipation. He also served as a military administrator for occupied regions in Virginia and Louisiana—where he was particularly hated—before a lackluster performance as commander.


To read more (click here)

January 28, 2015 –  Meeting


“Varina Davis” by Sandi Swift,

St Louis Educator and Living Historian,

a first person account.

Sandi Swift has worked in the St. Louis School systems for 16 years, has reenacted for over 25 years and travels throughout the country at Civil War Reenactments.  She is active in the Hibernian organization, currently a Division and State officer.  Sandi serves as President of the Irish Sister Cities Organization and is a board member of the Missouri River Irish Fest, being the chair of the Cultural events and currently their grant writer. Her love of history and remarkable resemblance to Varina Davis sparked her interest in the First Lady of the Confederacy.

Varnia Davis, The First Lady of the Confederacy



Born a Belle on a Southern plantation, Varina was only 17 years old when she captured the heart of Jefferson Davis, an older widower who was taken with her beauty and intelligence. By the time her visit ended two months later Varina and Davis were unofficially engaged. Jefferson Davis had intended to live the life of a planter, but within just a few months of the wedding, he was nominated for a seat in the US House of Representatives.


Long interested in politics, Varina was ideally suited for the life of a politician’s wife.


Learn about Varina's triumphs and tribulations in this presentation and take a look into the life of a Southern Lady.

Confederate president Jefferson Davis and wife, the former Varina Howell of Natchez, Mississippi, and the following picture of the bridal pair.
Mrs. Davis is on the far right, holding infant.
This is a link to Left Bank Books of St. Louis (a locally owned and operated store) where you can currently purchase this book as an eBook, hard cover, or paperback  (click here)

Here are some links to find out more information about Varina Howell Davis.


The Ethnic Origins of Confederate First Lady Varina Howell Davis, Wife of Jefferson Davis (Click here).

Civil War Women Varina Davis (click here).

Varina Banks Howell Davis (click here).

Scandalous Women - First lady of the Confederacy: Varina Howell Banks (click here).

Wikipedia - Varnia Davis - (Click here).

 February 25, 2015 - Meeting


Lincoln and the Power of the Press:

The War for Public Opinion” by Harold Holzer.

Author, Lecturer, and Lincoln Scholar.

HAROLD HOLZER is one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. A prolific writer and lecturer, and frequent guest on television, Holzer serves as chairman of The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, successor organization to the U. S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC), to which he was appointed by President Clinton in 2000, and co-chaired from 2001–2010. President Bush, in turn, awarded Holzer the National Humanities Medal in 2008. And in 2013, he wrote an essay on Lincoln for the official program at the re-inauguration of President Barack Obama. He is serving currently as the first Roger Hertog Fellow at The New York Historical Society.
Harold Holzer's book --

Lincoln and the Power of the Press:
The War for Public Opinion”

Won the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize.  It is a prize for the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln or the American Civil War Era.

Here is a link to the New York Times article (click here)

“Lincoln believed that ‘with public sentiment nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.’ Harold Holzer makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Lincoln’s leadership by showing us how deftly he managed his relations with the press of his day to move public opinion forward to preserve the Union and abolish slavery.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin


From his earliest days, Lincoln devoured newspapers. As he started out in politics he wrote editorials and letters to argue his case. He spoke to the public directly through the press. He even bought a German-language newspaper to appeal to that growing electorate in his state. Lincoln alternately pampered, battled, and manipulated the three most powerful publishers of the day: Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, James Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald, and Henry Raymond of the New York Times.

When war broke out and the nation was tearing itself apart, Lincoln authorized the most widespread censorship in the nation’s history, closing down papers that were “disloyal” and even jailing or exiling editors who opposed enlistment or sympathized with secession. The telegraph, the new invention that made instant reporting possible, was moved to the office of Secretary of War Stanton to deny it to unfriendly newsmen.

Holzer shows us an activist Lincoln through journalists who covered him from his start through to the night of his assassination—when one reporter ran to the box where Lincoln was shot and emerged to write the story covered with blood. In a wholly original way, Holzer shows us politicized newspaper editors battling for power, and a masterly president using the press to speak directly to the people and shape the nation.
This is a link to Left Bank Books of St. Louis (a locally owned and operated store) where you can currently purchase this book as an eBook, hard cover, or paperback   (click here)

For a complete list of all of the books by Harold Holzer (click here)
March 25, 2015 – Meeting

“The Confederate's Fighting Chaplain, Fr. John B. Bannon”, by James Gallen.
James Gallen is the Chairman of the Military History Club of the Missouri Athletic Club and a member of the William T. Sherman/Billy Yank Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans.
Father Bannon was a St. Louis pastor and chaplin of the First Confederate Brigade.  President Jefferson Davis appointed him as envoy to Pope Pius IX and the Irish people.  After the Civil War he was a prominent member of the Jesuit community in his native Ireland. His career reflected the deep division in St. Louis, the impact of European attitudes towards the struggle and its lingering effects on the lives of its survivors.
Father John B. Bannon: Confederate Chaplain and Diplomat - See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/01/16/father-john-b-bannon-confederate-chaplain-and-diplomat/#sthash.h9XIE9nO.dpuf
Father John B. Bannon: Confederate Chaplain and Diplomat Published Sunday, January 16, A.D. 2011 | By Donald R. McClarey
There were a great many brave men during the Civil War, but I think it is a safe wager that none were braver than Father John B. Bannon.  Born on January 29, 1829 in Dublin, Ireland, after he was ordained a priest he was sent in 1853 to Missouri to minister to the large Irish population in Saint Louis.  In 1858 he was appointed pastor of St. John’s parish on the west side of the city.  Always energetic and determined, he was instrumental in the construction Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist church.  Out of his hectic schedule he somehow found time to become a chaplain in the Missouri Volunteer Militia and became friends with many soldiers who, unbeknownst to them all, would soon be called on for something other than peaceful militia drills.  In November 1860 he marched with the Washington Blues under the command of Captain Joseph Kelly to defend the state from Jayhawkers from “Bleeding Kansas”. - See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/01/16/father-john-b-bannon-confederate-chaplain-and-diplomat/#sthash.h9XI

There were a great many brave men during the Civil War, but I think it is a safe wager that none were braver than Father John B. Bannon.  Born on January 29, 1829 in Dublin, Ireland, after he was ordained a priest he was sent in 1853 to Missouri to minister to the large Irish population in Saint Louis.  In 1858 he was appointed pastor of St. John’s parish on the west side of the city.  Always energetic and determined, he was instrumental in the construction Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist church.  Out of his hectic schedule he somehow found time to become a chaplain in the Missouri Volunteer Militia and became friends with many soldiers who, unbeknownst to them all, would soon be called on for something other than peaceful militia drills.  In November 1860 he marched with the Washington Blues under the command of Captain Joseph Kelly to defend the state from Jayhawkers from “Bleeding Kansas”. - See more at: (Click Here)
April 22, 2015 - Meeting

 "The Murder of Bull Nelson"
by Rob Girardi
Chicago Homicide Detective, Author, and Historian .

On September 29th, 1862, a Union army general literally got away with murder.

 

At 6-4 and 300 pounds, General William “Bull” Nelson may have been the biggest general in the war. And by all accounts, his foul temper matched his size. The native Kentuckian and prewar naval officer had been promoted to general by President Lincoln, and at this time in 1862 was trying to organize the

defenses of Louisville, Kentucky, against a threatened attack by General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate army.

 

Subordinated to Nelson was an equally feisty general, the oddly-named (for a Union general, at least) Jefferson Davis. The two clashed. Nelson criticized Davis for not knowing how many troops he (Davis) commanded - - and on September 22nd, Nelson relieved Davis of his command. Davis seethed over the rebuke, which led to a fatal encounter at the Galt Hotel in Louisville a week later. In front of witnesses, including prominent army officers and politicians, Davis shot and killed Nelson. The motives behind the shooting, and how Davis was never punished for his murder, make for a fascinating look at the interplay of personalities and politics. Among other results, the murder probably kept the Union army from decisively winning the Battle of Perryville a short time later.

 

On April 22nd, Robert I. Girardi will examine the murder through the lens of 22 years of experience as a homicide detective. Robert Girardi is an author and historian and is a popular speaker and consultant on the American Civil War to audiences of all ages.

Robert earned his M.A. in Public History at Loyola University of Chicago in 1991. He is a past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago and a past vice president  and newsletter editor of the Salt Creek Civil War Round Table. He belongs to two other Civil War round tables in the Chicago area. He is a fellow of the Company of Military Historians and is an associate member of the Sons of Union Veterans. He is on the editorial review board of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society and was the guest editor of the 2011-2014 Civil War Sesquicentennial issues. He was the winner of the 2010 Chicago Civil War Round Table's prestigious Nevins-Freeman Award. In 2012 he was named to the board of directors of the Illinois State Historical Society, and in 2013 joined the board of directors of the Camp Douglas Restoration Society. IN 2014 he was awarded the Milwaukee Civil War Round Table's Iron Brigade Association Award for Civil War scholarship.

For more information (Click Here)

For a complete list of books that Robert Girardi has published and are available locally (click here)
May 27, 2015 Meeting
Timothy Good,
Historian,
Superintendent of the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, talking about the fateful night of April 14, 1865. Lincoln, Booth and Ford's Theater.
Our meetings are held at:
ROYALE ORLEANS BANQUET CENTER

2801 South Telegraph Road

Mehlville (St Louis), MO   63125


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Doors open at 5:30

Meal served at 6:30

Presentation at 7:30
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Please note: as of August 7 2014, MapQuest will not longer allow us to show Mehlville as the town but now uses St. Louis.

Also, every so often MapQuest does not show the correct map and will revert to showing downtown St. Louis.  The appears to correct itself after 24 hours.
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2801 South Telegraph Road
St. Louis MO 63125
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