Friday History Talks | American Battlefield Trust
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Buddy Secor

Friday History Talks

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Schedule and speaker lineup is subject to change

Friday, October 23, 2020

Lunch on your own

2:00 P.M.: Observation Balloons During the Peninsula Campaign with Dr. James Green

It was during the Peninsula Campaign that the use of military balloons reached its greatest glory but also suffered major setbacks as both sides struggled to learn how to use observation balloons to their advantage. In the end, systematic balloon observations faded from use by June 1863 and the Union Balloon Corps was disbanded. This lecture will emphasize the exciting details of how the balloons were used on the Peninsula and their subsequent impact.

3:00 P.M.: Patrick Henry: "His eloquence is the smallest part of his merit." with Jon Kukla

Celebrated by Lord Byron as "The forest-born Demosthenes" and known to generations of Americans for his oratory and especially his Liberty or Death speech, Patrick Henry was known to his contemporaries as more than an revolutionary orator. Governor, legislator, lawyer, and statesman - his leadership in the coming of independence and the founding of the republic (from the 1760s through the 1790s) has long been overshadowed (as George Mason's comment attests) by his legendary eloquence. With fresh insights drawn from previously unknown sources, Jon Kukla offers a clearer perspective on a familiar American hero.

4:00 P.M.: Strike Them a Blow: Battle Along the North Anna River with Dr. Chris Mackowski 

The most overlooked segment of the 1864 Overland Campaign also represented some of the best chances for both Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee had for destroying each other’s armies—but the war of attrition at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse had taken a personal toll on the commanders, peppering the North Anna River with lost opportunities.