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Press Release
August 26, 2003


Civil War History Day September 27th at the Chicago Historical Society

USS Monitor, Hollywood Movies & Battlefield Archaeology Highlight Symposium; Army Encampment Presents Daily Life of Soldiers

Dive into Atlantic waters in search of a warship, march along on the Virginia Campaign of 1864, and review some of the best and worst films about the War Between the States at the Seventh Annual Civil War History Day on Saturday, September 27, at the Chicago Historical Society (CHS), at Clark Street and North Avenue. The day’s events include the Chicago Civil War Symposium inside the museum and a Civil War Encampment on the grounds outside CHS. "The legacy of the Civil War still reverberates today for all Americans," says Lonnie Bunch, president of CHS. "We are honored to provide this yearly forum that delves into the events and issues of our great internal conflict, not only to look back at what happened, but to look at who we are today." The Chicago Civil War Symposium features a variety of topics beginning with John Y. Simon (Department of History, Southern Illinois University; Executive Director of The Ulysses S. Grant Association) presenting "Union Command and Control in 1864-65: Lincoln, Halleck and Grant" - the relationship between President Lincoln, Gen. Grant and the U.S. Army’s top staff; Douglas D. Scott (National Park Service – Midwest Archaeological Center) follows with a discussion of the techniques of discovering and preserving battlefields in "Shot and Shell Tell the Tale: What Archaeological Evidence Can Contribute to Civil War Studies."

Following lunch, Symposium attendees can see how Hollywood has rewritten history as Bruce Chadwick (New York Daily News reporter & columnist; author of 15 books) talks about "The Reel Civil War: Moonlight to Magnolia," based upon his best-selling book The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in American Films. Mr. Chadwick’s other books include Two American Presidents: Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis; Hometown Baseball: The Minor Leagues; and Traveling the Underground Railroad. Go back in time 140 years to experience the story of the USS Monitor, one of the most revolutionary warships of all time, and the efforts to salvage the ship from the Atlantic in a presentation by John D. Broadwater (Sanctuary Manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) entitled "The Race to Save the Monitor"; Dr. Broadwater has worked for over 11 years with the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and has also directed the study of shipwrecks from the 1781 Battle of Yorktown. The symposium concludes with Mark Grimsley (Assoc. Professor of History at Ohio State University) presenting an overview of his most recent book, And Keep Moving On: The Virginia Campaign, May-June 1864. Symposium attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the day’s presentations at a special reception at the end of the day. A wide variety of books related to symposium topics will be available for purchase in both the CHS Museum Store and at a special Civil War book kiosk. Everyone is invited to experience daily life in a Civil War Encampment from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the grounds of the Chicago Historical Society. Re-enactors representing various Union and Confederate Civil War regiments will demonstrate close-order drills, artillery firings and other aspects of camp life throughout the day. The public is also invited to visit the special exhibitions inside CHS such as A House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln and Chicago Sports! You Shoulda Been There. The Chicago Historical Society’s Research Center is a major source for documents, articles and images on the Civil War and other aspects of American history. The CHS Research Center is open for public research Tuesdays through Saturdays. Major funding for the Civil War History Day is generously provided by the

McCormick Tribune Foundation. Additional funding and support is provided by the National Archives and Records Administration – Great Lakes Region, the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Civil War Round Table, the Salt Creek Civil War Round Table and the Public History Program at Loyola University. "The National Archives and Records Administration is proud of its longstanding and active association with the Chicago Historical Society in co-sponsoring the Chicago Civil War Symposium," said John W. Carlin, Archivist of the United States. "Through such partnerships we can ensure the public ready access to our nation’s rich but sometimes tragic heritage." The fee for the Chicago Civil War Symposium is $40; $30 for educators, students (with valid ID), Civil War Round Table members and Chicago Historical Society members. An optional box lunch is available for $10.00 with advance registration. To register or for more information, call 312-799-2271 or register online at www.chicagohistory.org. All the outdoor activities of the Civil War Encampment are free.

Related Programming

The public is also invited to A New Nation Forged: Legacies of America’s Civil War, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23, at the Chicago Historical Society. This program, sponsored by CHS and the Tredegar National Civil War Center Foundation, focuses on the long-lasting legacies of the war. Featured panelists include Michael Les Benedict (Ohio State University), William A. Blair (Pennsylvania State University) and Faith D. Ruffins (Smithsonian Institution). Attendees will be invited to join in the discussion, and a reception follows the event. Admission is free for this program.

The Chicago Historical Society, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located on Clark Street at North Avenue, at the south end of Lincoln Park, and can be reached by CTA buses 11, 22, 36, 72, 151 and 156. Public parking is conveniently located one block north of CHS at Clark and LaSalle Streets (enter on Stockton Drive). The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Suggested admission is $5 for adults; $3 for seniors and students (ages 13-22) with valid school IDs; $1 for children (ages 6-12); free for members and children under 6. Admission is free on Mondays. For more information, call 312-642-4600 or visit us at www.chicagohistory.org.

The Chicago Historical Society gratefully acknowledges the Chicago Park District’s generous support of all of the museum’s activities.

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