Certainly there were turning points during the war that occurred off the battlefield. Returning to a political turning point, this week’s Symposium Spotlight features Rea Andrew Redd and his preview of the 1864 election. If you still have not purchased your tickets for this year’s Symposium, Aug. 3-5, 2018, they are available to order here. They include Friday night’s reception, speakers, keynote address, and historians’ roundtable; Saturday’s line-up of talks; coffee service and lunch on Saturday; and Sunday’s tour of Stonewall Jackson’s final days.
During 1864, emancipation, reconstruction and Copperhead issues swirled throughout the North. The Republican Party’s 1860 victory had been followed by the decidedly mixed results of the 1862 mid-term elections. During the presidential campaign, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania was burned. Maryland was invaded a third time. Confederate agents used terrorism in Vermont and agents plotted to burn New York City, and other cities during the week of the election. These were attempts by Jefferson Davis to provoke from Lincoln another military draft. Even during August, Lincoln doubted that he would be re-elected. Would a George B. McClellan victory would ensure the Confederacy’s existence under the terms of an armistice? Would a Lincoln victory ensure a crushing defeat for the Confederacy? Did the doom of the Confederacy ever become obvious?
Rea Andrew Redd is a native of Washington County, Pennsylvania. He holds baccalaureate degree in history and English from Waynesburg University  and a masters degree in American history from Indiana University of Pennsylvania . His Pennsylvania certification is in secondary education is from Indiana University of Pennsylvania . He holds a masters degree in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh . Currently he is the director of Eberly Library, Waynesburg University and serves as an adjunct instructor in American history there.
He is the author of The Gettysburg Campaign Guide: A Study Guide, Volumes One  & Two . His essay, ‘The Point of No Return: Turning Points Within the 1864 Presidential Election and the Doom of The Confederacy’ appears within Turning Points of the American Civil War edited by Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White [2o17] published by Southern Illinois University Press.
Currently, From Altars to Amputations: Gettysburg Churches Become Battlefield Hospitals, A Walking Tour and Brief Introduction to Civil War Medicine is forthcoming in 2018.
In 2016 he received permission from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to create a wayside memorial marker for Major Jonathan Letterman’s boyhood home in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Letterman was the Medical Service Director of the Army of the Potomac during 1862 and 1863. The marker was dedicated on November 11 2017.
Since 1993, Rea has reenacted the American Civil War as a Federal infantryman, a Federal Medical Service captain and as President Abraham Lincoln.