Today@Sam Article

Department Of History To Host Symposium On African American Civil War Experiences

Sept. 18, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd

The Department of History at Sam Houston State University has partnered with The Patricia & Bookman Peters Endowed Chair in History at Texas A&M University and The Society of Civil War Historians to hold a symposium on the lived experiences of African Americans in the Civil War. 

Nationally renowned scholars will visit and discuss their research into how African Americans shaped the Civil War and how they helped lead the nation’s leaders toward emancipation. The event aims to start conversations between scholars and the public to spread awareness and promote scholarship in the area. 

The event is free and open to the public. Sessions will take place on Oct. 12 in room 241 of the Lowman Student Center. The schedule of educational sessions is as follows: 

October 12 

9 a.m.: Manhood, Families, and Black Military Service  

Frank Kalisik, III, “From Residency to Revolution: Social and Political Equality in the Midwest, 1848-1861” 

Kelly D. Mezurek, “‘Give my love to each of our dear little ones’: Examining Fatherhood through the Private Letters of Black Civil War Soldiers and Sailors” 

Holly A. Pinheiro, Jr., “‘Recognised Your Manhood’: Northern USCT Military Processions” 

10:45 a.m.: New Perspectives on the Black Military Experience in New Orleans and Beyond 

Rory McGovern, “William N. Reed: Race, Agency, and Opportunity in the USCT” 

David Silkenat, “C.C. Antoine’s Civil War” 

Anthony J. Cade, II, “The Louisiana Native Guards and the Black  Military Experience in the Gulf” 

2 p.m.: Recovering Black Soldiers’ Lives: New Tools & Opportunities   

Lorien Foote, “The Escapees of the 44th USCI:  An Opportunity for Research and Digital Publication” 

Barbara A. Gannon, “Recovering the Dead of Olustee”   

3:45 p.m.: Confronting Consequences, Forging Memories 

Ryan Keating, “Policing the Freedmen: Stereotyping Race and Charity in the Post-Civil War South”  

Hilary Green, “Porch Stories: USCT Veterans, Kin, and Civil War Memory” 

Each presentation will conclude with questions from the audience, with breaks provided between each session. On Oct. 13, the presenters will tour the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and Republic of Texas Presidential Library. After the tour, author Jonathan W. White will present “A House Built By Slaves,” followed by a book signing for White's recently released book, "Final Resting Places: Reflections on the Meaning of Civil War Graves," which was co-edited with SHSU's Brian Matthew Jordan.   

About the presenters

Anthony J. Cade IIAnthony J. Cade II earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in History at George Washington University. Cade is a historian for the Air Force Air National Guard at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. He has published in "Army History" and "The Civil War Monitor" and is presently at work on his first monograph, "A Test of Courage: The African American Experience in the Louisiana Native Guards."  

Lorien FooteLorien Foote is Patricia & Bookman Peters Professor of History at Texas A&M University. Her books include "The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Manhood, Honor, and Violence in the Union Army" (a Lincoln Prize finalist), "The Yankee Plague: Escaped Union Prisoners of War" (a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title) and "Rites of Retaliation: Civilizations, Soldiers, and Campaigns in the American Civil War" (winner of the 2022 OAH Civil War and Reconstruction Book Award). 


Hilary N. Green is James B. Duke Professor of Africana Studies at Davidson College. She is the author of "Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890" and co-editor of "The Civil War and the Summer of 2020." Her articles and essays have appeared in numerous edited collections. Presently, Green is finishing a book on how African Americans remembered and commemorated the U.S. Civil War and its legacies.  

Barbara A Grannon

Barbara A. Gannon is a professor of History at the University of Central Florida. She is the author of "The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic" (a Lincoln Prize finalist and winner of the Wiley-Silver Prize) as well as "Americans Remember Their Civil War." She has published widely in edited volumes and academic journals and is presently studying the death of Olustee

Brian Matthew JordanBrian Matthew Jordan is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of History at Sam Houston State University. He is the author or editor of six books, including "Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War" (a Pulitzer Prize finalist), "A Thousand May Fall: An Immigrant Regiment’s Civil War" and "Final Resting Places: Reflections on the Meaning of Civil War Graves."  

Frank Kalisik III

Frank Kalisik III is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he was awarded the 2023 David and Diane Buck Dissertation Fellowship. Kalisik has presented papers at a variety of professional meetings and has co-produced podcast episodes for the Milwaukee County Historical Society.  

Ryan W Keating

Ryan W. Keating is a professor of history and Chair of the Department of History at California State University, San Bernadino. He is the author of "Shades of Green: Irish Regiments, American Soldiers, and Local Communities in the Civil War Era" and editor of "The Greatest Trials I Ever Had: The Civil War Letters of Margaret and Thomas Cahill."

Rory McGovernRory McGovern is an associate professor, Chief of the American History Division and director of the Black History Project in the Department of History at the United States Military Academy. He is the author of "George W. Goethals and the Army: Change and Continuity in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era," and co-editor of "Race, Politics, and Reconstruction at Old West Point." 


Kelly D MezurekKelly D. Mezurek is a historian and writer who researches Black Civil War soldiers, sailors and veterans. She is the author of "For Their Own Cause: The 27th United States Colored Troops," in addition to several chapter-length studies. She teaches at Walsh University in Ohio and is an active member of the Ohio Humanities Speakers Bureau.  

Holly A Pinheiro JRHolly A. Pinheiro, Jr., is an assistant professor of History at Furman University. Prior to his appointment at Furman, Pinheiro taught at Augusta University, where he earned the University Teaching Excellence Award. He is the author of "The Families’ Civil War: Black Soldiers and the Fight for Racial Justice."

David Silkenat

David Silkenat is a senior lecturer of American History at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of four books, including "Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War" (a Lincoln Prize finalist), "Driven from Home: North Carolina’s Civil War Refugee Crisis" and "Scars on the Land: An Environmental History of Slavery in the American South."

Jonathan w white

Jonathan W. White is a professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University. He is the author or editor of sixteen books, including the Lincoln Prize-winning "A House Built By Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House" and "Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln" (a Lincoln Prize finalist). Among his most recent titles is "Final Resting Places: Reflections on the Meaning of Civil War Graves" (co-edited with Brian Matthew Jordan).    

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