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Civil War Lectures

John Quarstein

John Quarstein, renowned historian and director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center

Join us for a FREE virtual Lecture

Select Fridays at Noon

Please join John Quarstein, renowned historian and director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, as he presents a 30-minute virtual presentation about the intriguing maritime history of the Civil War. This long-running series explores the ships, personalities, technologies, and battles that would shape our nation for the next 150 years.

Civil War lectures are free, but advance registration is required and an account is needed to submit questions or comments.

 


Upcoming lectures:


 

Image credit: USS Harriet Lane being captured by Confederate forces, January 1, 1863, at Galveston, TX. Engraving. Published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 1861.

Battle of Galveston

Friday, October 23, 2020 • 12:00 p.m. (EST)

Presented by John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of USS Monitor Center

Join us for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein! Quarstein will give a 30-minute presentation live from his home in Hampton, Virginia, on how the fight for the biggest port in Texas was an important naval and land battle for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

About this presentation:

When Major General John Bankhead Magruder assumed command of the District of Texas, he immediately sought to regain the glory he had attained on the Virginia Peninsula through the recapture of Galveston, Texas. Magruder planned to use two cottonclads against six federal gunboats while his troops pressed the Union soldiers back onto Kurtz’s Wharf. Somehow, CSS Bayou City was able to capture USS Harriet Lane and USS Westfield was destroyed by its own crew. The rest of the Union forces either escaped or surrendered. Galveston was liberated on January 1, 1863, and Magruder became once again “the hero of our time.” The port city would remain under Confederate control for the rest of the war.



Viewers are welcome to send Quarstein any comments or questions during the presentation, and he will answer following his talk.


Image credit: USS Harriet Lane being captured by Confederate forces, January 1, 1863, at Galveston, TX. Engraving. Published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 1861.

Capture of Port Royal Sound

Friday, November 6, 2020 • 12:00 p.m. (EST)

Presented by John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of USS Monitor Center

Join us on Friday, November 6 at 12 p.m. for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein! Quarstein will give a 30-minute presentation live from his home in Hampton, Virginia, about one of the earliest amphibious operations of the Civil War. Viewers are welcome to send Quarstein any comments or questions during the presentation, and he will answer following his talk.

About this presentation:
The second major amphibious operation of the Civil War was the capture of Port Royal Sound on November 7, 1861. Flag Officer Samuel Francis DuPont was the newly minted commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. He needed to capture Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, to use as a base for his squadron. DuPont entered the sound and then placed his ships on an elliptical course, thereby making his fleet a moving target, whereas forts Beauregard and Walker, defending the entrance to Port Royal Sound, were stationary. The forts soon surrendered and immediately began to support DuPont’s squadron blockade of cities like Charleston and Savannah. The Union occupation of the South Carolina Sea Islands so early in the war resulted in what became known as the Port Royal Experiment. Abolitionists toiled to make these formerly enslaved people literate and self-reliant wage earners. Once the Emancipation Proclamation was made law, this coastal region became a recruitment center for the enlistment of African American soldiers.


ONLINE REGISTRATION – COMING SOON
Viewers are welcome to send Quarstein any comments or questions during the presentation, and he will answer following his talk.


Image credit: Bombardment and Capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, 7 November 1861. Engraving. Harper’s Weekly, July-December 1861 volume, pages 76