Emerging Civil War Symposium Lecture and Tour Schedule

First Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge
August 15-17, 2014

“The Civil War in 1864”
Presenters and Tour Guides

Click here to register for the event.

August 16—Morning Session

9 AM: Daniel T. Davis

More Desperate Fighting Has Not Been Witness on This Continent: Ulysses S. Grant and the Overland Campaign

The Overland Campaign of 1864 was a powerfully destructive force on the Federal Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Daniel will examine the battles, strategy, and repercussions of the campaign, as the two armies fight from the Wilderness to the gates of Petersburg.


Daniel T. Davis is a graduate of Longwood University, with a B.A. in Public History. Dan has worked as an historian at both Appomattox Court House National Historic Site and at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

Daniel is a regular contributor to the Emerging Civil War blog. He has spoken at many Civil War Round Tables in the Mid-Atlantic Region. With fellow author Phillip Greenwalt, he has co- authored Bloody Autumn: The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 and Hurricane from the Heavens: The Battle of Cold Harbor, May 26 to June 5, 1864.

10 AM: Christopher (Chris) Kolakowski

1864: The Last Stand of the Confederate Navy

The destruction of the CSS Tennessee, the Alabama, and the Albemarle (all between Jun-Oct ’64) shifted power into Union hands in three critical areas of the war. Chris will explore the larger implications of the fall of the Confederate Navy as it pertains to the fall of the Confederacy as a whole.


Christopher L. Kolakowski received his B.A. in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his M.A. in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany. Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, and the U.S. Army. He has written and spoken on military leadership, the Civil War, American Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, and both World Wars. He is the author of two books by the History Press, The Civil War at Perryville: Battling For the Bluegrass, and The Stones River & Tullahoma Campaigns: This Army Does Not Retreat.

Chris currently serves as Director of the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, VA. In 2015 the U.S. Army will publish his volume on the 1862 Virginia Campaigns as part of its sesquicentennial series on the Civil War. He is also working on a study of the Philippine Campaign of 1941-42, scheduled for release in 2016.

11 AM: William L. (Lee) White

“To Die Like Men”: Patrick Cleburne and the Tennessee Campaign of 1864
Known to many as “Stonewall of the West.” Patrick Cleburne remains one of the most engaging figures of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, and his death at Franklin cast a pall over that army. Lee will explore Hood’s 1864 Tennessee Campaign, while emphasizing the role of Patrick Cleburne and his division.


William Lee White graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a B.A. in History and works as a ranger at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park where he presents talks and tours on all phases of the battles for Chattanooga. He edited “Great Things Are Expected of Us”: The Letters of Colonel C. Irvine Walker, 10th South Carolina, CSA, part of the University of Tennessee’s Voices of the Civil War series, and has authored several essays on various topics relating to the Civil War in the Western Theater. He’s also been published in America’s Civil War. He’s author of Bushwhacking on A Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga for the Emerging Civil War Series and edited a portion of the diary of Patrick Cleburne that will be part of Dr. Steven Woodworth’s “Civil War Campaigns in the Heartland” Series’ volume on the 1864 Tennessee Campaign.

August 16—Afternoon Session

1 PM: Phillip S. Greenwalt

From “Old Bald Head” to “Lee’s Bad Old Man”: A Study of the Second Corps, Army Northern Virginia in 1864

From the days under the command of “Stonewall” Jackson, the Second Corps had proven its battlefield prowess on countless bloody fields. In 1864, they would be asked to do even more. These wily veterans would march and fight from the banks of the Rapidan River, to the trenches of Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor, to the gates of Washington D.C. and back to the Shenandoah Valley. Serving under two of the most interesting and irascible men to attain high rank in the Army of Northern Virginia, this study will trace the corps throughout the bloody, destructive, and highly pivotal 1864 campaign season.

Phill Greenwalt

Phillip Greenwalt is a historian with the National Park Service at the George Washington Birthplace National Monument and Thomas Stone National Historic Site. Phillip began his National Park Service career as a historical interpreter intern at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He holds a bachelor degree in history from Wheeling Jesuit University and a graduate degree in American History from George Mason University.

Phillip has co-authored two books with Daniel T. Davis: Bloody Autumn: The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, and Hurricane From the Heavens: The Battle of Cold Harbor.

2 PM: Meg Thompson

A Bad Month for the President: Campaigning the Election of 1864:

There was no guarantee that Abraham Lincoln would win his second presidential election bid. It was up to Mr. Lincoln and the Union Army to win battles and influence the home front for victory in 1864. Meg Thompson will closely examine the Blind Memorandum and Lincoln’s address to the 166th Ohio Infantry, and will discuss the historic implications of allowing absentee ballots to be cast by Union soldiers for the first time in American history.


Meg Thompson is a contributing writer for the blog Emerging Civil War. A writer, teacher, and curriculum developer since 1987, she has taught at both the elementary and middle school levels for over thirty years. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and has been involved in continuing education for her entire career; she is currently a master’s candidate at American Public University, majoring in Military History with a Civil War emphasis. Meg is currently writing her first book for the Emerging Civil War Series, The Aftermath of Battle.

3 PM—Keynote Speaker Eric J. Wittenberg

The Trevilian Station Raid

After the ferocious fighting at Cold Harbor, Virginia, in June 1864, Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered his cavalry, commanded by Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, to distract the Confederate forces opposing the Army of the Potomac. The battle that resulted when Confederate cavalry pursued and caught their Federal foes at Trevilian Station, Virginia, was perhaps the only truly decisive cavalry battle of the American Civil War.


Eric J. Wittenberg is one of the leading experts on the Union cavalry operations in the Eastern Theater. He is the award-winning author and co-author of numerous books on the Civil War. His titles include Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry Actions: Farnsworth’s Charge, South Cavalry Field, and the Battle of Fairfield, July 3, 1863; Protecting the Flank at Gettysburg: The Battles of Brinkerhoff’s Ridge and East Cavalry Field, July 2-3, 1863; and Glory Enough for All: Sheridan’s Second Raid and the Battle of Trevilian Station. While not leading tours or lecturing on the war, Eric is also a devoted baseball and hockey fan.

August 17—Tours

Tour of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House Battlefields
Two tours on Sunday will cap our weekend events. Participants will choose to caravan with Emerging Civil War co-founders Chris Mackowski or Kristopher D. White. Mackowski will lead participants on an in-depth tour of the Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield. Tour stops will include Laurel Hill, Upton’s Trail, Dole’s Salient, the Bloody Angle, and more. (Mackowski’s tour departs Stevenson Ridge at 8:45 AM.)


Our second tour will be led by Kristopher D. White. White will lead a tour through the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House Battlefields. Stops will include Ellwood, Saunders Field, Widow Tapp Field, Bloody Angle, and more. (White’s tour departs Stevenson Ridge at 8:30 AM.)

Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is a professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University and managing editor of the Emerging Civil War Series. He also works as a historian for the National Park Service at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he gives tours at four major Civil War battlefields (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania), as well as at the building where Stonewall Jackson died. His is also the historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge.

Kristopher White is a historian for the Penn-Trafford Recreation Board and a continuing education instructor for the Community College of Allegheny County near Pittsburgh, PA. He also serves as historical content editor for Savas Beatie’s Emerging Civil War Book Series. White is a graduate of Norwich University with a MA in Military History, as well as a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a BA in History. For five years he served as a staff military historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he still volunteers his services. For a short time he was a member of the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides at Gettysburg.

The pair of Mackowski and White are co-founders of Emerging Civil War and have co-authored numerous books and articles on the Civil War including The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson; Simply Murder: The Battle of Fredericksburg; A Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House; and Chancellorsville’s Forgotten Front: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church. Their magazine articles include two issues of Blue & Gray that focus on the battle of Spotsylvania.


The First Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium is held at Stevenson Ridge. Stevenson Ridge is located on the Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield, 12 miles south of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Click here for a map.

If you have not made reservations for this exciting event, an all-inclusive ticket is just $55.00 per person. Click here to register.

Included with Registration:

  • Friday night welcome reception and roundtable discussion, with hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. (Registration table opens at 6 P.M.)
  • Saturday lecture series, morning coffee service, lunch, afternoon snack and author signing event. (Registration table opens at 8:30 A.M.)
  • Sunday car caravan tours of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House Battlefields.

Symposium Highlights:

  • Friday night roundtable discussion emceed by Chris Mackowski.
  • Author book signing events.
  • Saturday lecture series, with keynote presentation by Eric J. Wittenberg.
  • Sunday tours of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Battlefields. (Participants choose which tour they would like to take when they arrive at the event registration, in August.)
  • Door prizes.
  • Welcome Gift Bag

Don’t forget our Friday evening reception and roundtable discussion with our speakers, emceed by Dr. Chris Mackowski.

For more information on the symposium click here.

Click here to register for the event.

Click here for a schedule of events.

Proceeds from the event support battlefield preservation.

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