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The Ends of the Civil War: Reconstruction and the Problem of Occupation

Wednesday, 14 November, 2012

Dr. Gregory Downs, Associate Professor of History at the City College of New York will be giving the 2012 Charles O. Jackson Memorial Lecture hosted by the UT History Department. 

When people think of the end of the American Civil War, they picture the surrender at Appomattox, with the iconic images of the meeting between Grant and the Lee and the laying down of arms ceremony.  In many ways the Appomattox story continues to shape our understanding of what happened after the war, separating war too cleanly from what followed in the Reconstruction South.  After Appomattox, the war continued.  While soldiers and some citizens celebrated Confederate surrender as the end of the war, a broad consensus of American politicians and legal thinkers claimed that the war actually had not ended.  Thinking in this way, they took actions that have in many ways been forgotten, including a widespread and in many ways effective occupation of the South, where military law ruled supreme for at least the first year and a half after Appomattox.  This lecture explores the meaning of wartime and of peacetime to recast the period after Confederate surrender as an extension of the Civil War.  As the war did wind down between 1866 and 1868, the question of when the war was over turned increasingly upon the meaning of the conflict. 

Everyone is welcome.  This event is free and open to the public.  Free food and drinks will be served.


This event is free and open to the public.


Baker Center- Toyota Auditorium
1640 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996

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Event Contact

Dr. Christopher P. Magra

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