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1864 Valley Campaign is focus of Bridgewater College Civil War Institute

bridgewaterThe 1864 military campaign that helped crush Confederate resistance in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War is the thrust of the seventh annual Bridgewater College Civil War Institute.

The one-day institute, which is free and open to the public, will be held Saturday, March 29, from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., in the Spoerlein Lecture Hall (Room 100) of the college’s McKinney Center for Science and Mathematics.

Exploring topics relating to the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign are:

Dr. Joseph Whitehorne, professor of history emeritus at Lord Fairfax Community College. Whitehorne will provide an “Overview of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864.”

Dr. Jason Phillips, the Eberly Professor of Civil War Studies at West Virginia University. Phillips will explore “Confederate Invincibility and the Campaigns of 1864.”

Dr. Clarence Geier, professor of archaeology emeritus at James Madison University. Geier will take “An Archaeological Look at the 1864 Valley Campaign.”

Jeffrey D. Wert, noted historian and author. Wert will provide an address on Confederate general “Jubal Early and the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign.”

“The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 was the defining crisis of the Civil War in the Valley,” said Nicholas Picerno, Bridgewater College’s chief of police and co-director of the Institute. “Union forces knew that, in order to win the war, they had to destroy the Valley. The Confederacy always understood Stonewall Jackson’s ultimatum that ‘if this Valley is lost Virginia is lost.’ But in 1864 there wasn’t a stonewall jackson to save the Valley as he famously did in 1862.

“As we celebrate this sesquicentennial year of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley,” Picerno continued, “it is fitting that we focus on this pivotal campaign with some of our nation’s leading and most noteworthy historians.”

For further information regarding the 2014 Bridgewater College Civil War Institute, contact Nick Picerno at540-828-5761, or send him an e-mail at npicerno@bridgewater.edu.

Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,850 undergraduate students.

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