VC/UHV Library hosts conference commemorating the Civil War

Historian Carol Taylor will speak at the campfire dinner on Saturday evening

Conference marks the 150-year anniversary of the Civil War

Hostilities precipitating the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a U.S. military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. This year marks the 150-year anniversary of the start of American history’s most destructive, yet most defining war.

The VC/UHV Library is hosting a conference commemorating the Civil War and examining issues such as political sentiments common throughout the south, Texas’ role in the war, and how the war touched South Texas. Sponsored in part by the Victoria Advocate, conference events will begin on Thursday, Oct. 20 and run through Saturday, Oct. 22, with most lectures held on campus at Victoria College Johnson Symposium.

Presentations include a visit from Northern Virginia Community College history professor Terry Alford during VC’s Lyceum Lecture Series on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in VC’s Johnson Symposium. Alford is a nationally recognized scholar on John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln assassination. His Lyceum presentation will focus on the motivations driving Booth’s assassination of President Lincoln and how those political sentiments were common throughout the South in 1865. Alford's participation in the conference is supported by the Kathryn O'Connor Foundation.

Also scheduled is an authentic campfire dinner, “An Evening in Ante-Bellum Texas,” featuring historian Carol Taylor. Taylor’s presentation will examine cattle drives, cattle marketing, droughts and packing plants in ante-bellum Texas. The lecture, campfire dinner and reception will be held at the Museum of the Coastal Bend’s outdoor demo area on campus at VC on Friday, Oct. 21. The lecture begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the reception. Food for the campfire dinner will be prepared by Dennis Riedesel of the University of Houston-Victoria.

Throughout the conference, attendees will enjoy Civil War-related lectures and presentations featuring topics such as, “The Federal Assault on Mustang Island, February 1862,” by the Nueces County Historical Commission’s Norman Delaney. Delaney was recently named Author of the Year by the U.S. Naval Institute for “The ‘Alabama’s’ Bold and Determined Man,” published in the magazine “Naval History.”

Featured speakers also include VC Associate Professor of History Karen Fritz-Hagan, whose presentation will focus on local Civil War General Bernard Bee, Jr. along with a presentation on “Victoria Units that Served in the War” by VC Professor Emeritus Charles Spurlin. The closing luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. featuring University of North Texas’ Richard McCaslin will be held at the University of Houston-Victoria in the University Center Multi-Purpose room.

Registration is required for the conference and tickets are required for certain events. More information and details regarding “The Civil War in Texas” conference schedule of events, along with an online registration form and information on ticketed events may be found at


If You Go...

What: The Civil War in Texas: Changing Interpretations after 150 years Conference

When: Thursday, Oct. 20 - Saturday, Oct. 22

Where: All lectures in VC's Johnson Symposium

Conference registration is required, some events require tickets. Visit for more information.

Published: Thursday, 13 October 2011

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