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Ft. Leavenworth Series: The Battle of Shiloh, the Turning Point of the American Civil War

August 6, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm CDT

Civil War fans often point to Antietam or Gettysburg as the turning point of the war, but overlooked is the night of April 6, 1862, when Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee was teetering on the edge of annihilation on the banks of the Tennessee River.  The day had begun with a surprise attack by Confederate forces near Shiloh Church and had witnessed the heaviest fighting of the war to date, through places like the Hornets’ Nest and Hell’s Hollow.  That evening, Grant’s subordinates all advised an immediate retreat, but he chose to stay and fight, a decision that resulted in the most significant turning point of the Civil War.

Watch the live-stream of this program on our YouTube channel.

Harry S. Laver is a professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, who specializes in the American Civil War and World War II Europe.  His recent publications include A General Who Will Fight: The Leadership of Ulysses S. Grant (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), and as co-editor, The Art of Command: American Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell (University Press of Kentucky, 2nd ed., 2017).  From 2013 to 2014 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth.  In 2017 he was selected as the Educator of the Year in Department of Military History at the Staff College.

The Ft. Leavenworth Series

The Ft. Leavenworth Series is an annual roster of lectures focusing on significant historical events, usually with an emphasis on military history. Each lecture is presented by faculty from the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Established by General William Tecumseh Sherman in 1881, the CGSC is the graduate college for U.S. Army and sister service officers. The esteemed faculty and guests of the CGSC provide unique and captivating insights into the history of military conflict from the ancient to the modern ages at the Dole Institute of Politics.

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located on KU’s West Campus and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacies of U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole.


August 6, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm CDT

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