Flags Over Hatteras
August 2, 2011 Facebook TwitterMore...

Pulitzer-Prize winning author to speak at Hatteras Civil War commemoration

Pulitzer-prize 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 Atlantic Museum.

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 Carolina coast.” 

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 North Carolina activities and actions during 1861, with the primary focus being the Battle of Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark, Aug. 28-29,1861.

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, visit www.flagsoverhatteras.com.

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 www.flagsoverhatteras.com.

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, www.nccivilwar150.com.

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.

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