New Year’s Weekend Coverage of Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium
This Saturday evening, December 30, our friends at C-SPAN will continue their coverage of the Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium. At 7:10 p.m. Eastern, Chris Mackowski’s discussion of Robert E. Lee’s defense at the North Anna River will air on C-SPAN 3.
Speaking of Symposiums, our Early Bird rate for tickets to the Fifth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium will expire on New Year’s Eve. You may click here to purchase tickets.
3 Responses to New Year’s Weekend Coverage of Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium
I want to start off by saying I thought long and hard before writing this post regarding the Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium. As I’ve stated before in many posts I did not start reading about the Civil War until I was injured in 2011 and bedridden for a significant amount of time. But as I’ve talked about it before I’ve purchased / read roughly 350 civil war books. It has become the healthiest addiction I’ve ever had.
I apologize for all the grammar errors you are about to see but I have to switch to talk-to-text since my hands are not going fast enough and my comments are being posted before I’m close to being finished. I want to say for the record that I’ve thought very long and very hard about weather it would be proper to write this post or not. It has to do with the Fourth Annual Civil War symposium. As I’ve mentioned before I did not start reading about the Civil War until I was injured in 2011 on a tour that just didn’t go right at all. A girlfriend bought me a copy of Shelby foote’s trilogy not realizing I had spent the last 20 years studying World War II books and that’s all I was interested in but the gesture was so nice I felt I should read them anyway. Since that time I’ve purchased and read roughly 350 Civil War books. I by no means state that fact as evidence that I m a master on all things Civil War, but rather between reading and my bachelor’s in history I earned from Michigan I do have a basic general understanding of the war. In fact one of my favorite parts of this blog is after I’ve commented on a certain battle or situation that you guys have written about every once in awhile someone like Daniel, Powell, or Professor Makowski himself will write a totally different opinion thus showing me the way of my errors yet respectfully educating me at the same time. So before what the topic of the 4th Annual Civil War Symposium was announced I had already written multiple posts about Vicksburg when it would come up. It has always been hammered in my head by teachers and professors that Gettysburg and Vicksburg were the turning points of the Civil War. So when the subject would come up on the blog being a big fan of the western theater and General Grant I would always ask 2 questions: First, with the opening of the Mississippi being of such great importance why is there roughly a hundred books on Gettysburg for every 1 book on Vicksburg? Second of all with all the attempts General Grant had to make before he even could lay Siege to the city why is it even though I’ve purchased and read every book that’s come out in the last 25yrs on Vicksburg and when you subtract the order of battle, the bibliography, and the index the books themselves are only roughly 250 pages? (Excluding Ed Bearss ((R.I.P.)) trilogy which is very hard to find and financially beyond most people’s income). Between General Grant’s land forces and the brown Water Navy that he cooperated with so well there was 6 or 7 attempts (depending who you read) before he was even able to engage Pemberton, drive him into the city, then begin the siege. From Ballard to Groom to Shea it’s all the same. In order to keep the books so short many of General Grant’s attempts at capturing the city are either left out or glossed over so quickly you don’t even have a chance to understand all the challenges and all the attempts General Grant went through before even starting The Siege. One of my favorite authors in the western theater of late is Timothy B Smith: I learned more from his book on Shiloh then the previous 6 books on Shiloh I had read. I recently heard he was taking on Vicksburg, and with the superb job he did on Champion Hill, forts Henry and Donelson, Corinth, and of course the aforementioned Shiloh I was very excited. After digging around on my computer I found out when mr. Smith’s version comes out it will be roughly 270 pages -so dissapointing. Just because a book is long doesn’t mean it’s quality, but way too many things happened in the Vicksburg campaign to be summed up in 250 pages. Which brings us to the 4th Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium. I read it was going to be about great defense’s and Vicksburg which is my favorite campaign was going to be one of the topics. At the time we had the topic and we had the battlefields but the speakers for the most part we’re not listed yet. Frustrated by the lack of a great Vicksburg campaign book or multi-volume set if necessary (see Powell, Chickamauga) I specifically wrote how excited I was to hear from whoever was doing the Vicksburg presentation because I figured they had either already written a book I missed or they were in the process of possibly writing one at the time. Unfortunately I had a neurological setback and was unable to go, yet it was announced on your site C-SPAN was picking it up and I was so immensely thrilled I don’t have words for it. Professor Makowski was absolutely great and running the show in a light, fun, yet educational way. I so wanted to be there and have him sign my Chancellorsville’s Forgotten Front. I also was excited to meet Mr Wittenberg, of all the books I’ve read the devil’s to pay John Buford at Gettysburg is my favorite of all time. And watching the presentation he did on C-Span was of immense excitement and thrill for me. The way emerging Civil War p themselves and everyone else who helped and C-SPAN was wonderful, you are also professional, look so at ease although you are talking to a crowd and a camera, and your presentations all kept me glued to my seat. That is all the presentations except for 1. This is what I have been thinking long and hard about, you’re always told if you have nothing to nice to say don’t say anything, but I feel being a emerging Civil War production that the behavior reflects well and all of us that are members. Like I said I know I’m going to get slammed by everyone probably and I hope the friends I’ve made on here don’t get mad at me but I think somebody needs to say it. The fact that professer Makowski and the other presenters were so professional, educational, and yet extremely interesting just made this individual even look worse. As I have stated from the beginning my interest was really and who was going to be doing the Vicksburg campaign. The individual doing the Vicksburg campaign obviously with the credentials he holds is a very intelligent informed man, much more so than me. But he spent three quarters of the time talking about anything but Vicksburg. As he made jokes about alcohol and overdoing it the night before to calm his nerves so he would be able to give his presentation, and then he joked about the hair of the dog thing, and then that’s basically all he did was tell jokes some pertaining to Mississippi some having absolutely nothing to do with Vicksburg or Mississippi. To be honest he appeared either extremely loopy hungover or flat-out drunk. I felt embarrassed for him, he obviously did not take his job seriously whatsoever as his presentation on Vicksburg was pry a total of 10 minutes as every time he would begin talking about Vicksburg it would turn into one of his one liners or another joke about booze. I thought the worst part was at the end when he was attempting to take questions and the one man asked him the question everyone who studies Vicksburg wonders which is was it General Pemberton fault or was it Joe Johnston’s fault. He stood there for what felt like forever and then he gave the Genius answer after being surprised bye what is probably the most obvious question when you’re walking in to do the presentation he was that it was ” both their faults” wow- I believe I honestly would have asked for a partial refund there was no question he was not in the right State of mind, I’m assuming it was probably due to the fact he had drinking so much the night before as he admitted but he came off as if he didn’t know anything about Vicksburg and when asked the obvious questions that he should have known he would be asked such as the Pemberton Johnson Feud he literally was the perfect deer in the Headlights just hemming and hawing not knowing what to say for what felt like forever before finally saying it was both their faults. But like I said I don’t want to trash anyone and I don’t want to be negative but I’m really disappointed because I feel is behavior reflected on us to even though we have nothing to do with your site because most of us are so dedicated and loyal to your site and we pay good money to go to symposium and then you get you know guy who’s only dream is to drink a bottle of water and go back to bed probably. So it was disappointing for me too because Vicksburg is my favorite campaign and to actually be able to see you guys on C-Span and how intelligent educated and smart you guys are was awesome. Then the clown comes in, sorry I don’t mean to be bold but I’m too old for that nonsense I like to have fun I like to have a good time or if you got to work the next day you got to have some willpower man. Anyway rest you guys all look awesome was so interesting I realize I have so much to learn and I am saving already so I will be able to make it to the 5th one for sure assuming I don’t have a health set back again which I don’t think I will. Again I hope I haven’t offended any of you, I know he’s got to be someone’s friend if not all your friends but that just really looked bad guys and I was really disappointing to get no information on Vicksburg whatsoever I’m sure it was the alcohol but he was basically talking at all introductory level when he could talk about Vicksburg which was not very often. So I hope everyone has a really relaxing calm day today after all the chaos you probably had last night I want to thank everyone that’s helping me you know who you are and you know your names will be on the first page, and if I can get this book written in two years I’m going to ask the man if I can do one on Malvern Hill and the artillery from hunt and if that goes through who knows maybe I’ll spend the rest of my life do you want to Vicksburg someone’s got to. Peace out ladies and gentlemen