On Friday, May 17, historians from across the country traveled to Mississippi State University to attend the 16th annual meeting of the Historians of the Civil War Western Theater. This two-day event, including discussion sessions and a business meeting, took place in the Mitchell Memorial Library.
Dr. John Marszalek, Executive Director of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at MSU, and Dr. Michael Ballard, retired Professor and Coordinator of the Congressional Collection, MSU Libraries, co-founded the Historians of the Civil War Western Theater in 1998. Fifteen years later, they are bringing this association back to the place where it began.
Members of the association are some of the nation's leading Civil War historians and particularly interested in the Western Theater of the Civil War. They gather annually at various locales to share information, ideas and concerns in this area of study. The intent of the meetings was to share in the latest scholarship in an informal setting.
A high point of the year's gathering was a tour of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library in the Mitchell Memorial Library, led by Archivist Ryan Semmes. There was also a tour of the Starkville Artillery Museum, where Duffy Neubauer discussed his major collection of artillery pieces and lead a discussion of the role of artillery in the Civil War.
"We are pleased to be attending the 16th annual meeting," said Dr. Kit Rushing, Chair of the History Department at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. "Mississippi played a major role in the Western Theater of the war," he pointed out, "and with the Grant Presidential Library at MSU and the Artillery Museum, it was a perfect locale for our gathering."
More information about the organization can be found at http://www.westerntheaterhistorians.org or by contacting Meg Henderson at 662-325-4552.
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