Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Campus lecture series memorializes Confederate soldiers

Beginning Saturday at 10 a.m. in Smith Hall, three speakers will lecture as part of the JCC Sanders series, dedicated to remembering The University of Alabama’s student soldiers of the Confederacy.

“It brings some of the top Civil War speakers to the University,” George Rable, Charles Summersell Chair in southern history, said.

The lecture series is funded by the JCC Sanders Endowment Fund established by Paul Bryant Jr. in memory of the cadets from the University who served in the Confederate army.

“[The University’s cadets] are an important part of state history and University history,” Rable said.

Rable dismissed concerns of controversy about honoring Confederate soldiers.

“There’s a difference between celebrating and remembering,” Rable said. “The purpose of the talks is strictly historical, it’s not to say the Confederates were right.”

Colonel John Brinsfield, a retired army chaplain, will be delivering the first speech about chaplains during the Civil War, titled, “With a Bible, a Horse and a Calling.” He has authored and co-authored nine books.

Additionally, Christian McWhirter, an assistant editor for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln and a researcher for the National Archives, will be speaking. McWhirter wrote the History Book Club selection, “Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War,” as well as several articles. McWhirter received his completed his Ph.D. at the University, and Rable said the History Department is very proud of his achievements.

“In researching uses of music and other popular culture for my own work on the Civil War, I’m struck by how important these aspects still are to American society, both on campus and elsewhere,” McWhirter said. “Things like pop music and sports are often considered ephemeral by scholars and observers, but they mattered to people of all historical periods and significantly impacted their lives. Just ask the scores of Alabama fans who come to campus every Saturday in the fall.”

His lecture Saturday, “Music, Politics, and Resistance in the Confederacy,” will reflect this.

“My lecture will consider how music was used by Confederate civilians and Union soldiers in the South during the Civil War,” McWhirter said. “Confederate civilians, especially women, used pro-secession songs to resist their occupation by federal troops who, in turn, used pro-Union songs to assert their authority. A sort of musical war waged in the South alongside the military one.”

The last speech, C. Bobby Horton’s “Songs and Stories of the Civil War,” will also focus on music and culture. A Birmingham, Ala., native, Horton is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and music historian. He has recorded 14 volumes of Civil War music, and he has produced and performed music used in a number of films, including Ken Burns’ “The Civil War.”

The lectures are free and open to the public. A free lunch will be provided.

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