2/8/2016 1:47:05 PM

Remembering the Civil War

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

By Chelsea Brumagen '13

The History Department co-sponsored a conference with the Capital District Civil War Round Table called “1862: A Year of Battles.” The conference was a three day event and featured student presentations, expert speakers and a tour of Burden Ironworks to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Organizers said 1862 was the first full year of the war with fighting throughout much of the south and west and it included many significant events such as the Battle of Shiloh, the Battle of Antietam and Linclon’s drafting of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“The Civil War was the central defining crisis in American history, it’s really when the American nation was threatened and I think it’s important to recognize that our freedoms and the things we take for granted are not always guaranteed,” said Associate Professor of History Bruce Eelman, Ph.D. “During the Civil War they were very much threatened, so it’s important to commemorate the sacrifices that these men and women made to serve our nation.”

The conference provided a wonderful opportunity for Siena College students to present their research on the Civil War. Cassandra Jane Werking ’13 presented the work she did as a Summer Scholar. Werking transcribed letters written by Orsell Cook Brown, Quarter Master’s Assistant of the 44th Volunteer Infantry of New York. She views events like the conference as preparation for her future career. “It’s really important to me because I love American history and I hope to be a college professor one day in Civil War studies,” Werking said.

One of the speakers, John Quarstein, spoke about the major naval changes that took place in 1862 in his address, “Battle of Ironclads: Monitor vs. Virginia.” Quarstein said the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy, the USS Monitor, fought the Confederate Navy’s ironclad, the CSS Virginia. He said Neither ship sank and the battle ended in a draw. Still, Quarstein said the fight left a lasting legacy as iron ships were present in the United States Navy until 1937 when the USS Wyoming was stricken.

Click here for more information about the Capital District Civil War Round Table.

Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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