Wittenberg to speak at Civil War Round Table meeting April 14

Apr 04, 2014

The Western North Carolina Civil War Round Table welcomes back Eric Wittenberg to its April 14 meeting at the Mountain Heritage Center on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

Wittenberg is a practicing lawyer and self-taught historian who is one of the foremost experts on cavalry operations in the Civil War. He traces his interest in the Civil War back to a visit to the Gettysburg Battlefield as a third-grader.  On that occasion, the young Wittenberg was struck by three stories — two of them referred to the Devil's Den and the untimely death of Maj. Gen. John Reynolds. The oddest was Brig. Gen. John Buford's valiant stand against Henry Heath's men July 1. This led young Wittenberg to become one of the most prolific writers about the Eastern Cavalry, its battles and commanders.

Wittenberg earned a B.A. in political science from Dickinson College in Carlyle, Pennsylvania. He then earned an M.A. in public/international affairs and a juris Ph.D. from the School of Law, both at the University of Pittsburg.  hough he is a full-time practicing attorney, he still spends two to three hours in the evenings with his "vocation."

Wittenberg is an award-winning Civil War historian.  He has worked with the Civil War Preservation Trust and is an original member of the Buffington Island Battlefield Preservation Foundation. He also serves as one of the 18 members of the Governor of Ohio's Advisory Commission on the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

In 2002, Wittenberg published a two-volume biography of Maj. Gen. Phillip Sheridan. The first volume challenges the accepted views of Sheridan's career as a soldier and a leader.  In the second volume, Wittenberg edited the 19th century manuscript memoirs of Sheridan's subordinate, Frederick Newhall.  Both volumes are critically acclaimed but controversial.

The WNCCWRT will meet at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Heritage Center on the campus of WCU Monday, April 14.  Join Wittenberg and members of WNCCWRT for dinner at 5 p.m. at Bogart's in Sylva. Enjoy a social time at 6:30 p.m. at the Mountain Heritage Center, followed by Wittenberg’s lecture at 7 p.m.

Call Chris Behre at 293-9314 or Chuck Beemer at 456-4212 for information.


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