It’s been just over ten days since the Civil War history conference hosted by Gazette665 on Saturday, June 3, 2017. (Unbelievable how quickly time flies!) Since the event had a few promotional articles and mentions via Emerging Civil War’s blog, social media, and newsletter, it seems right and proper to share a brief “after-action” report.
1862: Searching For Victory proved to be a great topic for this year’s conference and brought a variety of Civil War topics and questions to the historical discussions on the west coast. The single-day event was hosted in Temecula, California, by Gazette665 – a small company working to bring quality historical education and events to the local community. Sarah Kay Bierle (ECW writer and editor) coordinated the conference. About sixty people attended the event this year, and registration numbers increased from the previous year.
A fabulous team of volunteers arrived at the conference center and set-up was accomplished in record time! (Huzzah for the volunteers!) At 8:30am the doors opened, and guests were welcomed at the check-in and coffee tables. As they entered the large doors into the conference facility, recorded Civil War music greeted them; event staff encouraged the guests to find a seat at the round tables which had been decorated with historical flags and event programs.
Opening remarks began promptly at 9am with Shawn Bierle and his daughter, Sarah Kay Bierle, welcoming the guests and introducing the historical framework and educational goals for the day.
Michael K. Shaffer – and instructor from Georgia’s Kennesaw State University’s College of Continuing and Professional Education – gave the first presentation of the morning session, sharing about the Andrew’s Raid. Bruce Smith spoke next, lecturing on the Battle of Shiloh and General Grant. The third speaker, Michael L. Oddenino, explained the Peninsula Campaign and Seven Days Battles.
As guests, speakers, and event staff enjoyed the catered lunch, they had a chance to discuss their Civil War interests, observations, questions, and research or travel plans. The lunch hour was also a great time to shop at the merchandise table, featuring books by the speakers, selected titles from Savas Beatie, and historical fine art by Cheryl Schoenberger. A door prize raffle provided after-lunch entertainment and fun.
During the lunch hour and throughout the day between presentations, Mark Schoenberger shared about California’s Civil War history through conversation, photographs, and a special display. Guests seemed to enjoy the opportunity to discuss their own research about the local history and explore new aspects.
Meg Groeling (ECW Author) started the afternoon session with a presentation about Dr. Jonathan Letterman and the foundations of modern military medicine. The room became very quiet as David Dixon began his lecture with statements about the recent monument removal in New Orleans and then transitioned into his presentation about Georgia’s Black History during the Civil War. Sarah Kay Bierle (ECW writer & editor) gave the final presentation of the day, using primary sources to share about Christmas 1862 and the justification or condemnation of war.
Gazette665 tried something new at this event: live-tweeting the entire conference. So…if you want the cliff-notes version of the presentation, click here. This endeavor is part of the company’s goal to experiment with new platforms for sharing historical information and engaging a new audience’s interest in the past. Did it work? Not perfectly this year, but there’s still time to learn. It’s best to start somewhere and improve in the days ahead.
1862: Searching For Victory brought affordable Civil War history and education to an audience that is searching for quality information about the past. And there’s a list of guests who are just waiting for registration to open for Gazette665’s 2018 Conference!
Thank you to all the speakers, guests, and event staff for making this event a success. It’s a delight to see the conference grow and improve, and Gazette665 looks forward to hosting historical events for many years to come. Check-out more photos on the social media pages: Facebook, Twitter.
And…save the date. June 2, 2018. Southern California will get a chance to discuss 1863!