Civil War

The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes, focusing on events from 1861 through 1865.  The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation.

This Week in the Civil War - #1023

Feb 9, 2015

  Renewed activity by the Federals besieging the Richmond-Petersburg area of Virginia ended on Tuesday, February 7, 1865 after two days of fighting.  Approximately 35,000 Union infantry and accompanying cavalry advanced to the Boydton Plant Road to engage some 14,000 Confederates commanded by General John Pegram at Hatcher’s Run, southwest of Petersburg.  In heavy fighting, Pegram was killed while attempting to stop the Union advance, which ultimately forced the Confederates to again substantially extend their defensive lines.  After the battle of Hatcher’s Run, some 46,000 Confederates wer

One hundred years ago Sunday, the nascent film industry premiered what would go on to be its first blockbuster: The Birth of a Nation.

As the house lights dimmed and the orchestra struck up the score, a message from director D.W. Griffith flickered on the screen: "This is an historical presentation of the Civil War and Reconstruction Period, and is not meant to reflect on any race or people of today."

But its effects on race relations were devastating, and reverberations are still felt to this day.

Epic Film, Embedded Bigotry

This Week in the Civil War - #1022

Feb 6, 2015

  The northern states promptly began ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution which would outlaw the institution of slavery.  Lincoln’s home state of Illinois became the first to ratify the amendment on February 1, 1865, but Maryland, New York, and West Virginia also ratified the amendment by February 3.  It seemed to most observers that the northern states, long opposing the institution of slavery, welcomed ratification of the anti-slavery amendment, thus emphatically confirming why the war was being fought.  To the majority of northerners, ending slavery was—and remained—the

This Week in the Civil War - #1021

Feb 5, 2015

  On Friday, February 3, 1865, at Hampton Roads, Virginia, President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward met with Alexander Stephens, John A. Campbell, and R.M.T.

This Week in the Civil War - #1020

Feb 4, 2015

  On Wednesday, February 1, 1865 President Abraham Lincoln wrote General Ulysses Grant a note which read, “Let nothing which is transpiring, change, hinder, or delay your Military movements, or plans.”  Clearly Lincoln doubted whether the upcoming Hampton Roads Conference with Confederate representatives would accomplish anything of substance, given his insistence that the war end with a reunited nation and the Confederacy’s desire to see an end to the conflict with southern independence assured.  On the same day in Richmond, Virginia Jefferson Davis, yielding to pressure on his administrat