CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The sesquicentennial of the Civil War begins this year, and while there’s no shortage of books or movies about that subject, the question remains, “what do we really know of that bloody time in our nation’s history?” Sure, there are first-hand accounts from the battles and newspaper articles printed at the time, but what about the stories told by survivors years after they returned home from the war.
The Israeli therapist Ori Sivan remarked in the movie “Waltz with Bashir” that “Memory is dynamic, it’s alive,” and that’s part of the problem when it comes to looking at the information passed down from one generation to the next.
At 5 p.m. on March 24, Dr. Caroline Janney, author and associate professor of history at Purdue University, will speak on this issue during a free lecture in Austin Peay State University’s Gentry Auditorium.
“My talk will address the topic of how Civil War veterans remembered the war by the late-1800s and how their memories helped (and in some cases hindered) national healing and reconciliation,” Janney said. “Specifically, I will discuss the creation and dedication of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.”
Janney received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2005. At Purdue, she teaches courses on the Civil War, Civil War memory and U.S. women’s history. Her first book, “Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause” (2008), explores the role of white southern women as the creators and purveyors of Confederate tradition in the immediate post-Civil War South. Her second book, a volume in the Littlefield History of the Civil War Era (University of North Carolina Press), will examine how the Civil War has been remembered between 1865 and the 1930s.
Janney will also visit APSU history students during her visit to campus.
“My students are reading her book in my ‘The South Since 1861’ class, and she is going to come and talk to them on Friday,” Dr. Minoa Uffelman, APSU associate professor of history, said.
The Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and APSU Student Affairs are cosponsoring the lecture. For more information on this event, contact Uffelman at 221- 7704.