Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2010 Symposium

I know it seems early to be announcing the next Rocky Mountain Civil War symposium but its another great panel and I don't think I can keep it to myself for another month.

Our theme in 2010 will be US Grant, the working title is "Grant Moves South", borrowing a title from Bruce Catton.

Legendary Grant scholar Brooks Simpson will provide our overview of General Grant. One of my earliest Grant books was Simpson's fabulous "Let Us Have Peace: Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction." Simpson has also done a wonderful Grant biography.

Wiley Sword will do a presentation on Grant at Shiloh. I don't agree with everything Sword wrote in "Shiloh: Bloody April" but there is no mistaking that it is a wonderful book. Sword has also written quite extensively on the Western theater.

The other western battle we choose to explore in Grant's rise to prominence is Vicksburg, which I think is a bit overlooked. John Marszalek will do this presentation. Marszalek is probably better known as a Sherman historian than a Grant one but he is also the head of the Papers of Grant project so he knows a thing or two about Grant.

Peter Cozzens will do a bit to bridge our understanding of Grant in the two theaters with a look at the relationship between Grant and Rawlins. Cozzens has done mostly Western theater stuff but his newest book is on Stonewall's Valley campaign and is very good.

Rounding out the panel and taking Grant to the Eastern theater is Gordon Rhea. Rhea's series of books on the 1864 Overland Campaign are all fantastic. I knew after the first book that I didn't need to read reviews of the next volume, I'd just buy it when it came out.

So mark your calendars now for October 1 & 2, 2010. Its going to be another wonderful time. Better yet, buy a ticket for the October 2 & 3, 2009 symposium and you'll be sure to get plenty of reminders about 2010 from us during the coming year.


Chris Evans said...

Wow! That sounds like a awesome event! Grant is my favorite Union commander to study. I have all of the biographies of Grant I could get my hands on. Plus, the wonderful memoirs written by Grant and the other ones like Horace Porter. I enjoyed Brooks Simpson's 2000 biography. I wonder if he will ever do a volume 2 on Grant's postwar career?

I have always enjoyed the famous Bruce Catton books on Grant and loved Lloyd Lewis' first volume 'Captain Sam Grant'. That book is just great at setting the stage for Grant in the Civil War and has a excellent account of him in the Mexican War. Lewis is very good at showing the human side of Grant. It is sad that Lewis died before completing his trilogy. Catton did the Civil War years wonderfully but had Lewis lived he was going to do the Civil War years plus Grant's eventful post- Civil War career. 'Captain Sam Grant' is one of my favorite books ever on Grant.

One of the reasons I wanted to see the film 'Last Full Measure' made was to see the depiction of Grant. The battles between Lee vs Grant could be awesomely depicted. I would finally like to see a definitive Grant on the silver screen.


Anonymous said...

Hello Nick

Bravo on the panel for 2009 and 2010. You and the rest of the members doing the organization should be very proud.

Looking forward to both symposiums. Like Chris, I'm curious if Mr. Simpson is working on the 2nd volume of the Grant biography?

By the time next year's symposium will be here Gordon Rhea's last book in his Overland Campaign Study will be finished. I fully agree with you comments on his books. I heard him do a presentation at the old Boulder Civil War Roundtable after Wilderness came out and couldn't wait to see what came next.

Not sure if Wiley Sword is working on anything right now, but do know Peter Cozzens is working on a Shiloh study.

See you in October.

Don Hallstrom