Civil War Institute Director to Speak Oct. 22 at Ohio Wesleyan

Peter S. Carmichael, Ph.D., to Discuss ‘The Final Battles of the 1865 and the Ongoing Civil War’

Peter S. Carmichael, Ph.D.

Peter S. Carmichael, Ph.D.

DELAWARE, Ohio – As part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Ohio Wesleyan University will host Peter S. Carmichael, Ph.D., director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, discussing “The Final Battles of the 1865 and the Ongoing Civil War.”

Carmichael, also the Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War History, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 in Benes Rooms A and B of Ohio Wesleyan’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. His presentation is Ohio Wesleyan’s 2015 Richard W. Smith Lecture in Civil War History, sponsored by the OWU Department of History.

Many Americans believe the Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox, Virginia, when Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant. But, as Carmichael will share in his presentation, the fighting continued. He will explore the final military campaigns of 1865 that led not only to Lee’s surrender but also to the surrender of other Confederate armies elsewhere in the South.

Carmichael earned his doctorate from The Pennsylvania State University, and his academic interests include 19th century U.S. history, Civil War and Reconstruction, Southern history, public history, and cultural history. His current project, “The War for the Common Soldier,” is part of the University of North Carolina Press’s “Littlefield History of the Civil War Era” series.

Of the project, he writes: “How did ordinary men resist a military regime – backed by a powerful centralized government – that demanded unwavering obedience? The complex, contradictory, and fluid nature of soldier loyalty requires us to examine how ordinary men understood the war through emotion, thought, and action.”

Carmichael’s previous books include “The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion (Civil War America)”; “Lee’s Young Artillerist: William R.J. Pegram (A Nation Divided)”; and “Purcell Crenshaw & Letcher Artillery (The Virginia regimental histories series).”

Ohio Wesleyan’s annual Smith Lecture is named in honor of emeritus history professor Richard W. Smith, who taught at the university between 1950 and 1986. Past speakers in the series, which began in 2002, have included Pulitzer Prize-winners James M. McPherson, author of “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era,” and Eric Foner, author of “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.” Learn more about the OWU Department of History and the annual Smith Lecture at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 86 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,675 students represent 43 U.S. states and territories and 33 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at

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