Where the Past Is Present and the Arts Are Alive

Years of Anguish: Presidents, Generals and Descendants

Date: April 5, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Salem Baptist Church, 4044 Plank Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Series: Years of Anguish

About Years of Anguish

Years of Anguish is a series of community forums featuring some of the most prominent Civil War scholars in the world. This series focuses on major events and themes and is structured to look at each through a national lens, a Virginia lens, and a local lens. The forums are free and open to the public. Years of Anguish is presented by the University of Mary Washington, The National Park Service and FAMCC.

About Presidents, Generals and Descendants

The National Park Service, the Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center, and the University of Mary Washington are pleased to announce the fifth of the highly popular Years of Anguish speaker’s forums. “Presidents,  Generals and Descendants” will take place Saturday April 5, from 1-5 p.m. at Salem Baptist Church, adjacent to historic Old Salem Church on Route 3, a mile west of Interstate 95. The program is free. No registration or tickets are required. A book signing and reception will follow the main program.

This program is the first event in the National Park Service’s commemoration of the 1864 Overland Campaign.

“Presidents and Generals and Descendants Too” will feature a mix of formal talks from two renowned Civil War scholars, Brooks Simpson and William Cooper, and a wide-ranging exploration of the trials and joys of being descended from figures of the Civil War era. This program will feature, among others, Bertram Hayes-Davis, great-great grandson of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Brooks D. Simpson is ASU Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University and is perhaps the nation’s foremost scholar on the life and career of Ulysses S. Grant. He is the author of six books, including the acclaimed Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865 (Houghton-Mifflin, 2000), and co-author or editor of ten more. More recently he has engaged the public in discussions about Civil War History through his much-praised blog, Crossroads. His program, “Lincoln, Grant, and the Winding Road to Victory,” will explore the dynamic relationship between Grant and President Lincoln in 1864, as the war roared to its climax and Grant risked all for victory.

William J. Cooper is Boyd Professor of History at Louisiana State University. He is the author of two books on President Davis: Jefferson Davis and the Civil War Era and Jefferson Davis: American, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2000. A native of South Carolina, a graduate of Princeton, with his PhD from Johns Hopkins, Dr. Cooper has been at LSU since 1980, and is a much-sought-after speaker. He will present, “Bold Strokes: Lee and Davis Make War,” an exploration of Davis’s relationship with his most important field commander, Robert E. Lee.

Bertram Hayes-Davis is the executive director of Beauvior, President Davis’s post-war home in Biloxi, MS. In June 2013, he culminated seven years of effort by opening the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library, an $11.5 million project at Beauvoir. He is a frequent speaker on President Davis’s life and legacy.

The program will be moderated by Dr. Jeffrey McClurken, Professor of History at the University of Mary Washington, and author of Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing the Confederate Veteran Family in Virginia (University of Virginia Press, 2009), and John Hennessy, Chief Historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.


Salem Baptist Church

4044 Plank Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22407

 Please note: Do NOT follow the signs to Old Salem Church.  Instead, to get to the new church, you will have to go through the light at Salem Church Road to the next crossover, then do a U-turn and come back through the intersection  to the church, which will be on your right.  It is visible from Route 3.