Wed, October 15, 2014

Richmond Redeemed: Enduring Lessons in Leadership from the Siege of Petersburg

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All lectures are held in the multipurpose rooms of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The building opens at 6:30 p.m., the talk begins at 7:15 p.m., and the question period concludes around 8:30 p.m. All are welcome, and the event is free! For further information, please call 717-245-3972 October 15, 2014 (Wednesday)

Perspectives in Military History Lecture Series with Dr. Richard Sommers

Dr. Richard Sommers
USAHEC Senior Historian, Emeritus
Lecture Date: October 15, 2014
Title: "Richmond Redeemed: Enduring Lessons in Leadership from the Siege of Petersburg"

From June 1864 to March 1865, hard-bitten veteran Union and Confederate armies converged on the Virginia town of Petersburg. The resulting siege remains the longest in American history, inflicting nine brutal months of trench warfare on the soldiery of both sides. Union forces, commanded by Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, assaulted the reeling Confederates under the indomitable General Robert E. Lee, but the unsuccessful attack forced the Federals into more than thirty miles of muddy trenches surrounding the city. The Siege at Petersburg ultimately involved more than 180,000 soldiers, thirty percent of which became casualties. Grant only realized victory after dwindling resources forced General Lee to abandon Petersburg and Richmond in April 1865, leading to his retreat and surrender at Appomattox Court House. Dr. Richard Sommers, a world renowned Civil War expert, will give an in-depth lecture highlighting enduring lessons in leadership at corps, army, theater, and national levels of command, which General Grant, General Lee, and their senior subordinates demonstrated in the Siege of Petersburg. The talk will be based in his book, Richmond Redeemed: the Siege of Petersburg.

Dr. Sommers is a native of Hammond, Indiana, and attained his bachelor's degree in history from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He earned his doctorate in history from Rice University in Texas in 1970. The U.S. Army hired him as Chief Archivist and Military Historian for the U.S. Army Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, a position he held until 1997. From 1997 to 2013, he served in various positions in the archives and patron services at the USAHEC and was the U.S. Army War College's Harold K. Johnson Professor of Military History in 2007 and 2008. He teaches American history courses at the U.S. Army War College and has made numerous television appearances. Dr. Sommers has written over 100 books, articles, entries, and reviews, primarily on the Civil War, and is a distinguished member of several historical organizations, including the Southern Historical Association, the Society of Civil War Historians, and the Civil War Trust.