Greetings Cosmic Americans!
Day two is officially in the books and we are just getting under way with day three.
In short - yesterday we heard a great deal on the goings on in 1861. Lincoln, mobilization, regular soldiers, and the Old Army were among the topics. The highlight of the day had to be Allen Guelzo's talk on Lincoln and the first year of the war.
As with all conferences such as these, there is always plenty of room for debate. In other words - don't believe everything you hear. The good news is, this is a very engaging group - on the parts of both the faculty and the participants. There have been some nice back and forth exchanges and some great conversations.
Today we are going to hear about some military actions - Balls Bluff and First Bull Run - I mean, after all...there was a war going on - we should hear a little about the battles!
On a side note - last night around ten or so, I walked out on to the Union line at the High Water Mark. It was nearly pitch black out and there was no one on the battlefield but yours truly. I hiked over to the Pennsylvania monument and hung out for a while until I heard a distant tour group (I assume....maybe they were ghosts) give three loud "huzzahs!" It was a most evocative moment indeed - and for a Civil War historian, the best kind of moment there is.
And then my phone started pinging...alerting me of messages. So as the twenty-first century invaded...I walked back to town and enjoyed a beer after a long day.
Hey Pete....if you are reading this - you see, I DO talk about myself (snicker).
Stay tuned friends - we hear from some first-rate historians today, including Joe Glatthaar and Gary Gallagher. I will provide the debriefing tomorrow.