The Year of the Crater/Upcoming Talks

Commemorating 1864 means, among other things, commemorating and remembering the battle of the Crater. As you might imagine the highlight for me will be the opportunity to speak in Petersburg on the anniversary of the battle itself on July 30. Beyond that I wanted to take a minute to share where I will be discussing the Crater in the next few months both here in Boston and elsewhere.

  • February 7: “Lincoln, Race, and the Battle of the Crater,” Boston Union Club, Boston, MA.
  • February 9: Book Signing and Talk, “Remembering the Battle of the Crater,” Sons of Union Veterans, Concord, MA.
  • February 17: Book Signing and Talk, “Remembering the Battle of the Crater,” University of North Carolina at Pembroke/Workshop with area teachers on digital literacy and the myth of the black Confederate soldier.
  • March 15: Confederates Assess the Battle of the Crater, Longwood University, Civil War Seminar, Longwood, VA.

My calendar is quickly filling up, but I am still open to additional speaking engagements as long as they don’t conflict with my teaching responsibilities. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

10 responses... add one

Hi Mike,

Unfortunately, the furthest west I will be this year is a return to Gettysburg in June for the Civil War Institute.

Hey Kevin – I have been think a lot about this recently and thought that since you will be dealing specifically with some 1864 commemorative activity that you would be the guy to ask. So…I’ve sort of noticed that sesquicentennial activity has died down since the big summer of ’63 stuff. Am I wrong here? What are your thoughts on this?

Hi Keith,

It probably warrants a post, but I think a big part of it is the lack of dramatic battles that you find in the East up to 1863. Retracing the drama of Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg is much more fun than having to do deal with the grinding nature of the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns. I was glad to see that the 150th of Chickamauga got some attention, but few are going to be interested in commemorating the Atlanta Campaign, though I am going to be very interested to see how Sherman’s March is commemorated. That’s my 2 cents for now. What do you think?

Don’t forget about Spring Hill/Franklin. I’m planning on going to Franklin in November (had an ancestor who fought there). Reading Jacobson’s book on the battle now and the Franklin battle was, I think, as horrific as anything in the Eastern theater.

Good point and I have no doubt that Eric Jacobson and others in the Franklin community are knee deep in planning.

I was thinking much the same thing in terms of the big dramatic battles leading up to Gettysburg. Also, I wonder if there is a certain “road to Appomattox” angle here. As many Confederistas simpaticas in Virginia would probably argue – there is not a lot to celebrate after Gettysburg.

As many Confederistas simpaticas in Virginia would probably argue – there is not a lot to celebrate after Gettysburg.

I don’t doubt that this is part of the explanation, but I tend to think this is a marketing problem. In the end, it’s much easier to sell Gettysburg, Antietam, etc.

What’s going on at Petersburg? I’m about an hour and a half away, I may go down there for the 150th. I’ve never been to the Crater, and the anniversary seems like the perfect time to visit.

I wonder if I’ll be around for the Bicentennial? I’ll be 77 … by then I may have my PhD and be a speaker! :D

I will be giving the keynote address for the National Park Service’s commemoration. Come on down. We can walk the Crater together.

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