winning author to speak at Hatteras Civil War commemoration
winning author James McPherson headlines as one of three expert
speakers at the upcoming “Flags Over Hatteras” Civil War
sesquicentennial commemoration conference held by the Graveyard of the
As a part of the Aug. 25 – 27 event, McPherson presents “The Forgotten
War: Coastal North Carolina, 1861-1865.”
“The capture of forts Hatteras and Clark by the Union navy on Aug.
28-29, 1861, constituted the first major Northern naval victory in the
war,” said McPherson. “It put an end to blockade running through
Hatteras Inlet and prepared the way for the Burnside expedition the
following February that gained Union control of most of the North
McPherson won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, “Battle Cry of Freedom.”
“Although historians had been writing about the Civil War for
decades, McPherson's book broke ground in combining the complexities of
the war while maintaining the narrative that made it appealing to the
American public,” once wrote C. Vann Woodward, a mentor of McPherson’s.
McPherson is Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, where he
started teaching in 1962. To date, he has published more than a dozen
books, covering a range of Civil War-era subjects, such as abolition,
Abraham Lincoln, and the Reconstruction.
“Knowing the value of place and memory in the process of history has
made McPherson a crusader for preservation,” wrote Amy Lifson of the
National Endowment for the Humanities. “He was appointed in 1991 by the
United States Senate to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission, which
determined the major battle sites, evaluated their conditions, and then
recommended strategies for their preservation.”
McPherson will be joined by additional Civil War experts as part of the
three-day conference -- author Craig Symonds, well-known National Park
Service historian, and battlefield guide Ed Bearss, Patricia Click of
the University of Virginia, Harri Jones of the African American Civil
War Memorial and Museum, KaeLi Schurr of the Outer Banks History
Center, re-enactor Gary Riggs, former Cdr. Jerry Roxbury ,an expert on
Confederate cutlasses, and historian Lee Oxford.
While space is limited for the conference event, the Museum will also
offer many free programs and a new Civil War exhibit called, “Flags
Over Hatteras.” The exhibit will be open Aug. 22 – July 31, 2012.
The exhibit will showcase items and documents
from across our country that are related to eastern
Carolina activities and actions during 1861, with the primary
focus being the Battle of Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark, Aug.
Free living history demonstrations will be held at the Cape Hatteras
Lighthouse on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Sunday, Aug.
28, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Additionally, bargain hunters can have some fun with an old-fashioned
“Ole’ Time Civil War Auction,” on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 5 p.m. at the
Hatteras Village Civic Center. For a complete listing of auction items,
Registration for the Flags Over Hatteras Conference is $175 per person.
Pre-registration is required and includes light refreshments, three
evening events, and three dinners. Thirty spaces are reserved for
students at $75 per person. For more information, or to register, go to
For more Civil War stories, timelines and documents, visit the North
Carolina Department of Cultural Resources website on “Freedom,
Sacrifice and Memory” and the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration,
The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is located at 59200 Museum Drive
in Hatteras. The three North Carolina Maritime Museums are the
Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum located in Hatteras, the North
Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort and the North Carolina Maritime
Museum at Southport. All three museums are part of the Division of
State History Museums in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the
state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the
vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North
Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on
Cultural Resources is available at www.ncculture.com.