One of the last things I did as a resident of Virginia was attend the 2009 Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Conference, Virginia on the Eve of the Civil War, at the University of Richmond in April. I was sincerely hoping to make it to this year's conference (to be held on Friday, Sept. 24) as well, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to see my beloved Oklahoma Sooners take on the Cincinnati Bearcats in Cincinnati on Saturday. Although I have been a faithful Sooner fan since 1985, this will be my first time attending a game in person and going to the conference the day before the game would have made it extremely difficult to make it back for kickoff.
This year's conference is going the held at Norfolk State University, and is themed, Race, Slavery and the Civil War: The Tough Stuff of American History and Memory, which is a big reason I wanted to be there for it. The conference agenda is filled with notable historians, with chair James O. Horton leading the way. The first session includes a panel featuring George Mason University professor Spencer Crew and University of Maryland's Ira Berlin, as well as University of Illinois' Dr. Bruce Levine. The second session includes Civil War history heavyweights Princeton emeritus James McPherson, Yale's David Blight, Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, and Dwight Pitcaithley, former Chief Historian for the National Park Service. It appears that each session will allow time for submitted questions and answers.
Luckily for me, and others that can't be there in person, the Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission is going to make the conference available via webcast. You can get more information on the conference and the webcast feed on the day of the conference at the following link:
If I am lucky, maybe I will be able to make it to next year's conference, American Military Strategy and the Civil War, which will be held at Virginia Tech in May, 2011 and chaired by Dr.
James I. "Bud" Robertson. I'll keep my fingers crosssed.