A Civil War scholar will discuss Lee’s strengths

Appomattox has long served to mark the end of the American Civil War, but, in reality, it has “a far more controversial, uncertain, ambiguous, and lengthy ending,” says Caroline E. Janney, Ph.D., the John L Professor Nau III of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia.

Janney, who is also Academic Director of the Nau Center for Civil War History, will introduce “An End or Beginning: Lee’s Army after Appomattox” when she speaks at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 in Benes Halls at Ohio Wesleyan University. Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

Janney is the author of seven books, including “Ends of War: The Unfinished Fight of Lee’s Army after Appomattox,” for which she won the 2022 Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize. The annual award, which includes a $50,000 prize , is awarded to the best scholarly work written in English on Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War soldier or the American Civil War era.

Of his book, James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, said, “Deeply researched and beautifully written, ‘Ends of War’ allows us to see into the hearts and minds of Confederate soldiers in during the crucial weeks and months. of the turbulent end of the civil war. It is one of the best history books I have ever read and the story it tells still resonates in our country today.

The jury that assessed the nominees for the 2022 award said: “The story Janney tells is so compelling that readers can sometimes forget they already know the outcome. In short, Janney manages to say something new and important about the Civil War, using a diversity of voices, including soldiers and civilians, political and military leaders, and liberated people.

In addition to her roles at the University of Virginia, Janney is past president of the Society of Civil War Historians and editor of the Civil War America series at the University of North Carolina Press. Her other books include “Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation” and “Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause.”

Janney’s presentation is the 2022 Richard W. Smith Ohio Wesleyan Lecture on Civil War History. The Smith Lecture is named for Richard W. Smith, Ph.D., a retired history professor who taught at OWU between 1950 and 1986. Past lecturers in the series, which began in 2002 included Pulitzer Prize winner James M McPherson, author of “Battle Cry Freedom: The Civil War Era”.

Learn more about the OWU History Department and the annual Smith Lecture at www.owu.edu/history.


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