The epic Battle of Gettysburg did not end the Civil War as Abraham Lincoln had hoped. In fact, the conflict lasted another two years, and more soldiers died after Gettysburg than before. Three historians of the era explore what Union and Confederate commanders East and West, land and sea did next—and what they should have done.
In collaboration with the New-York Historical Society and Oxford University Press, the Bryant Park Reading Room presents a series of free lectures to stimulate your mind on popular topics including politics, biography, Civil War history, and more.
For generations, Civil War military history has focused heavily on the land war, the big battles and on the heroes of the Union and Confederate armies. But the neglected story of the war’s landmark naval engagements, and its great naval heroes, ranks among the most compelling and dramatic in American history. Through both technology and old-fashioned gallantry, on oceans and rivers alike, at places like Hampton Roads, New Orleans, Mobile Bay and even Cherbourg, France, commanders like Farragut, Porter and Semmes changed the course of the war.
A century and a half after Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter to ignite the Civil War, leading historians ask and answer the crucial questions: What really caused the conflict? Could the Civil War have been avoided? Did Lincoln invite the first shot—or did the Union “get lucky?” This program marks the start of an ongoing New-York Historical Society focus on the great American tragedy with the first of several discussions and lectures.