Leaders & Leadership in the Civil War
Time & Location
About the Event
Welcome to our virtual lecture series focused on leaders and leadership in the Civil War. The event will be 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. Eric Wittenberg will moderate the program with the following speakers & talks:
- Dr. Chris Mackowski: Stonewall Jackson’s Arresting Leadership Style
- Gordon Rhea: Jeb Stuart: The Man Behind the Mask
- David Powell: William S. Rosecrans and the Spirit of Innovation in 1863
- Dr. Zachery Fry: Martinets and McClellanites: Regulars, Volunteers, and Leadership Challenges in the Union Army
- Dr. Jennifer Murray: General Meade’s Maturation of Command, 1861-1863
*Please note talks will be recorded and available to view after the program.
- Conference held virtually via Zoom. Registered guests receive the Zoom link to watch the conference prior to the event.
- Speakers will be available LIVE to give their presentations and answer questions
- Each participant will receive a downloadable packet of digital maps & program.
- $10 from every registration will be donated to Battlefield Preservation.
- The conference will be recorded and available to view afterward to those registered in advance.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19
10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. via Zoom I Break 12 - 1 p.m. I Q&A follows each talk
10 a.m. Stonewall Jackson’s Arresting Leadership Style by Dr. Chris Mackowski
If anyone feared Stonewall Jackson more than Federal armies, it was Jackson’s own officers. Over the course of his tenure in command, Jackson put under arrest a number of subordinates for all manner of reasons. While he is most often remembered today as a brilliant tactical commander, Jackson's leadership style came with problems, too. Chris Mackowski, a self-professed “Jackson fanboy,” considers the oft-overlooked darker side of Stonewall’s leadership and its crippling legacy on the Army of Northern Virginia.
11 a.m. Jeb Stuart: The Man Behind the Mask by Gordon Rhea
The famed Confederate cavalry commander Jeb Stuart is almost as famous for his theatrical persona as a “bold cavalier” as he is for his military achievements. Who exactly was this man, what drove him, and what role did his popular image play in his mode of waging war? Was his dedication to theatrics a boon or a hindrance to his performance on the battlefield? Join Gordon Rhea in a fresh evaluation of Lee’s most famous cavalry chief.
Break 12 - 1 p.m.
1 - 1:30 p.m. Meet & Greet in Breakout Sessions led by Logistics (cameras on please!)
1:30 p.m. Incubator of Innovation: William S. Rosecrans and the Spirit of Innovation in 1863 by David Powell
Military leadership takes many forms. Discipline, courage, and strength—moral, mental, and physical—are all required. Inspiring troops on the battlefield is often seen as the epitome of such leadership; and certainly, Major General William S. Rosecrans was capable of all these qualities, as evidenced on various bloody fields. But Rosecrans was also an outstanding leader in other areas of war, as well. He embraced and inspired a wave of creative development within the Army of the Cumberland which in turn produced the most effective—even modern—field army of the war. Facing unique logistical challenges in his department, Rosecrans nurtured a strategic framework that overcame those challenges, a framework that endured even after he no longer commanded the army. Innovations in field mapping, tactics, engineering, communications, force augmentation, and even medical transportation all flourished under his tenure. The result was a field army that proved ultimately unstoppable.
2:30 p.m. Martinets and McClellanites: Regulars, Volunteers, and Leadership Challenges in the Union Army by Dr. Zachery Fry
The volunteer ranks of the Army of the Potomac presented Regular Army officers with unique challenges when it came to command and discipline, both on and off the battlefield. This presentation uses General Andrew A. Humphreys as a case study in the relationship between professional officers and citizen-soldiers. After earning the ire of volunteers under his command during the tumultuous McClellan period, Humphreys withstood an onslaught of published ridicule from politically-connected subordinate officers who sought to expose what they perceived as a conservative, pro-Southern clique among graduates of West Point.
3:30 p.m. “’Meade Has Done Splendidly’”: General Meade’s Maturation of Command, 1861-1863 by Dr. Jennifer Murray
On June 28, 1863, Major General George Gordon Meade assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, representing this army’s third commander in the previous six months. Meade had never solicited command of the army, but he offered a record of success at brigade, division, and corps command. This talk explores Meade’s leadership between September 1861 and the Gettysburg Campaign, evaluating the general’s efficacy at brigade, division, corps command, and finally, his inaugural battle as commanding general.
Conference Cost: $75/members and $80/non-members
- Includes downloadable packet of digital maps & program
- $10 from every registration donated to Battlefield Preservation
- Talks will be recorded and available to view after the event.