Registration Open for Symposium on Stonewall Jackson
Tours of the VMI post af among the activities offered to symposium participants. -- VMI File Photo.
LEXINGTON, Va., Jan. 31, 2014 – Featuring six of the country’s foremost authorities on the Civil War and Stonewall Jackson, the biennial Stonewall Jackson Symposium will be returning to Lexington, Va., May 23 and 24. Registration is now open.
The symposium, sponsored by the Stonewall Jackson House, will examine the life and career of the complicated and sometimes controversial Civil War general. Lectures will explore Jackson’s career as a teacher and leader.
The festivities will get under way Friday, May 23, with an opening address from Virginia Military Institute’s Superintendent Emeritus Gen. John W. Knapp. Knapp, a 1954 graduate of VMI, will offer “Jackson the Professor … peculiarly our own,” looking at how education trends in the mid-19th century may have affected Jackson as a teacher.
On Saturday, Stephen Lee Ritchie will deliver his lecture, “Jackson and Ashby: Partners in Command,” examining the relationship between Jackson and Gen. Turner Ashby and how they were a successful duo despite a relationship “plagued by controversy and confusion.” Ritchie is the staff historian for the Civil War Education Association and was the recipient of the Dr. William Woods Hassler Award for Civil War Studies in 2013.
John W. “Jack” Mountcastle is a retired brigadier general and a 1965 graduate of VMI, serving as a military history professor at West Point and the Army Chief of Military History in Washington, D.C. Currently teaching Civil War history at the University of Richmond, Mountcastle will answer the question “Who Won the Battle of Cedar Mountain?” The talk will explore whether the Confederate Army won that skirmish because of Jackson’s leadership or despite it.
Jeffrey D. Wert will talk about “Jackson in Battle,” examining Jackson’s leadership in combat and his skill as a tactician. Wert is an award-winning Civil War historian, with several noted books on the subject. His book Gettysburg – Day Three was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.
Robert K. Krick is the author of 16 books on Confederate topics, including several that focus on Jackson. His lecture at the symposium will focus on “Stonewall Jackson’s Failed Protégés,” discussing how several of Jackson’s hand-picked protégés turned into utter failures.
James I. Robertson Jr. will deliver the closing remarks with “The Death and Birth of a Legend.” Robertson, Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech, is the author of more than 20 books on the Civil War, including Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend.
In addition to the lectures, guests who register for the symposium will receive lunch and dinner on Saturday. Tours of the Stonewall Jackson House, the Maury House and VMI post are also available, and registrants will receive 10 percent off purchases in both the Stonewall Jackson House museum shop and the VMI Museum shop.
To register for the symposium, visit the Stonewall Jackson House website at www.stonewalljackson.org. Those interested in attending can also register via telephone by calling (540) 464-7704 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. No offline registrations will be taken on weekends and after business hours.
The cost of registration is $180 for those who sign up before or on April 15. After that day, a $200 fee will be charged. Registration closes on May 19.
The Stonewall Jackson House, the only house Jackson ever owned, is one of three museums operated by VMI. Proceeds from the symposium help support the House, which receives no state funds, and its programs.