Civil War Series

A series of features marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  Produced by Dan Modlin.

The two day Battle of Nashville was marked by delays, confusion, some say incompetence and bitter, vicious warfare. WKU historians Dr. Glenn LaFantasie and Dr. Jack Thacker say when it was all over the Confederate Army was decimated and in disarray, Nashville was secure and the War was beginning its end.

Library of Congress

This week marks the 150th anniversary of one of the most important battles of the Civil War.

In this series of three interviews, Dan Modlin speaks with WKU professors Jack Thacker and Glenn LaFantasie about the pivotal battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

This series of conversations discusses the battle as it unfolded over three days in July, 1863.

WKU professors Jack Thacker and Glenn LaFantasie talk about the contributions of African-American soldiers to the U.S. Civil War effort, and President Lincoln's role in arming former slaves. They also point out that black units were often placed under inexperienced and ineffective white officers.

This is the latest in WKU Public Radio's series of reports on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln had to face a number of challenges as he tried to hold the Union together and as he moved forward with the Emancipation Proclamation. The Union was far from unified in its attempts to bring and end to the Civil War.

WKU Historians Dr. Jack Thacker and Dr. Glenn LaFantasie say the season might best be described as the "winter of discontent."  In the next in our series of reports on the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, they describe the difficult situation Lincoln faced.

Jim Lewis / National Park Service

The Battle of Stone's River took place in cold, icy conditions  on New Year's Eve, 150 years ago. This battle near  Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was significant for military and political reasons. Dr. Glenn LaFantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies says President Abraham Lincoln needed a Union victory so he could proceed with the Emancipation Proclamation from a position of strength.

WKU Military Historian Dr. Jack Thacker says soldiers from both sides faced some of the most difficult weather conditions encountered during the Civil War, and that fact was reflected in the high casualties suffered by Confederate and Union troops.

Civil War Historians Reflect on Fredricksburg

Dec 3, 2012
Fredricksburg Monuments / National Park Service

The Battle of Fredricksburg took place 150 years ago this month in Virginia. This deadly confrontation between Union forces and Confederate soldiers entrenched on a hillside resulted in the deathsof thousands of soldiers, and nearly destroyed the Union's "Irish Brigade."  Dr. Glenn La Fantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies and Military Historian Dr. Jack Thacker of WKU say the Battle of Fredricksburg was marked by some questionable command decisions by Union General Ambrose Burnside.

New Study Raises Civil War Death Toll

Nov 29, 2012

A newly released study has raised the estimated deaths from the Civil War by almost 20 percent. Joe Corcoran speaks with WKU Civil War historians Dr. Glenn LaFantasie and Dr. Jack Thacker.

Lincoln Birthplace

Although Abraham Lincoln encountered a number of disappointments with his Army commanders, a noted historian says the nation's 16th president was generally effective in dealing with Naval commanders. Dr. Craig L. Symonds of the U-S Naval Academy says high-ranking officers in the Navy weren't selected as political appointments like some Army officers were.

Clinton Lewis / WKU University Relations

A significant Civil War battle took place in Kentucky on October 8th, 1862. The Battle of Perryville claimed the lives of about 7600 soldiers, and some historians now say the battle was more important than some researchers thought in the past. Dr. Glenn LaFantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies and WKU Military Historian Dr. Jack Thacker  say Confederate forces moved into the state, hoping to get Kentuckians to join their cause.

National Park Service

One-hundred-fifty years ago this week, Confederate and Union soldiers met in one of the deadliest single day battles in history. Dr. Glenn La Fantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies and WKU military historian Jack Thacker say President Lincoln considered the Battle of Antietam to be a victory and selected the aftermath of the battle as a good time to move ahead with plans to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. However, the WKU historians say the plan to free the slaves was less popular in the north than many people believe.

Antietam Natiional Battlefield / National Park Service

One-hundred-fifty years ago this week, Union and Confederate forces met for one of the deadliest single day battles in American history. The Battle of Antietam took place in Maryland, after Confederate commander Robert E. Lee decided to move north from Virginia. The battle is remembered for high casualty figures and graphic photographs that increased public awareness about the death and suffering caused by the fighting.

Clinton Lewis / WKU University Relations

As Congress has struggled to move ahead with a variety of legislative packages in recent years, some WKU historians have drawn a contrast between contemporary lawmakers and those who made up the 37th Congress. That Civil War-era group of legislators were successful in passing several significant pieces of legislation at the same time the nation was split by the war between the Union and Confederacy.

Some of the largest troop movements of the American Civil War took place 150 years ago this week. WKU Military Historian Jack Thacker and Dr. Glenn LaFantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies say the Second Battle of Bull Run was significant for several reasons, including the emergence of Robert E. Lee's strategy for fighting the remainder of the war.

WKU Historians Dr. Jack Thacker and Dr. Glenn LaFantasie say many universities and colleges have cut back on course offerings that cover Civil War history. They say its part of a trend that's disappointing to many people who have a strong interest in the field, especially as the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

One hundred and fifty years ago this month, Union forces hoped to capture the Confederate capitol of Richmond. In fighting that became known as the "Peninsula Campaign," Robert E. Lee kept his promise that the city would be defended.

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