Conference 2014
"Science, MEdicine, and technology in the Civil War"

The Center for Civil War Research hosted its annual Conference on the Civil War October 9-10. This was the Center’s eighth academic conference .The theme of this year’s conference was “Science, Medicine, and Technology in the Civil War.” The Center encouraged scholars to analyze how the momentous scientific and technological changes occurring during the nineteenth century influenced both the Civil War and its participants.

Dr. Charles D. Ross of Longwood University delivered the keynoted address. His presentation, entitled, “Black Powder and the Canon’s Roar: An Overview of Science and Technology in the American Civil War,” explored a variety of topics ranging from the phenomenon of acoustic shadows to the operations taking place at the Confederate Powder Works in Augusta, Georgia.

The keynote address took place on Thursday, October 9 and conference panels were held throughout the next day. The panels spanned a host of topics including changing definitions of metal illness and its treatment, the institutionalization of Union Veterans, the influence of dual revolutions in print and photography, and the dramatic consequences of Union telegraph failures at the Battle of Chancellorsville. The Center also awarded the 2014 Wiley-Silver Prize to Dr. Kathryn Shively Maier. We thank all of our panelists and visitors for a fantastic weekend of Civil War scholarship.



Thursday, 9 October , Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

Keynote Address (6:30)

“Black Powder and the Cannon’s Roar: Science and Technology in the American Civil War”
            Charles D. Ross, Longwood University

Friday, 10 October , Butler Auditorium

First Session: (9:00)

“Morality or War Experience?: The Definition and Treatment of Mental Illness in the Civil War Military”
            Kathleen Logothetis Thompson, West Virginia University

"The Disabled Lion of Union: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Non-Visible Disability in the Post Civil War North"                    
            Sarah E. Handley-Cousins, University of Buffalo

Second Session: (10:30)

“ ‘We Can Never Again Be Civilians:’  The United States Soldiers’ Home, Union Veterans, and Their Unending Civil War, 1851-1900”
            Scott E. Ackerman, The Graduate Center, CUNY

“ ‘Fit for Nothing:’  Institutionalized Civil War Veterans at St. Elizabeth’s Government Hospital for the Insane”
            Dillon J. Carroll, University of Georgia, Athens

“More Than Paper and Ink: Confederate Medical Literature and the Making of a Profession”
            Lindsay Rae Smith, University of Alabama

Third Session: The 2014 Wiley-Silver Prize in Civil War History (12:00)

Nature’s Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia
            Kathryn Shively Meier, Virginia Commonwealth University


Fourth Session: (2:30)

“The Un-Imagined Community: Horace Greeley, the Communication Revolution, and the Making of Section Identity”
            James M. Lundberg, Lake Forest College

“ ‘To Know What War Is:’ Understanding ‘Total War’ through Civil War Photography”
            Amy Laurel Fluker, University of Mississippi

Fifth Session: (4:00)

“ ‘Existing in the Present . . . Oblivious, to the Dead and Buried Past:’ Uncovering the Technological and Economic Legacy of the Civil War in Knoxville, Tennessee.”     
            Steven B. Davis, University of Kansas

“Failure to Communicate: Problems with the Union Telegraph During the Battle of Chancellorsville”          
            James Scythes, West Chester University