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Wabash College to commemorate Civil War

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Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 1:15 am

Wabash College will commemorate the 150th anniversary of its involvement in the Civil War with a day-long event titled “500 Strong: Wabash College Students in the Civil War.” Faculty, staff and alumni will make presentations, and Lilly Library will host a special exhibition on Sept. 27. The public is invited.

Highlighting the event will be the release of the book “500 Strong: Wabash College Students in the Civil War,” a volume more than 25 years in the making. Edited by Emeritus Professor of History James J. Barnes and Patience P. Barnes, the book includes biographies of more than 500 Wabash College students, professors, and alumni who fought in the Civil War.

Most of the biographies were researched and written by Wabash College students taking Professor Barnes’ senior seminar course in American history over the course of more than 20 years.

“Not only does the book contain individual bios of veterans of the Civil War, it also includes numerous sidebars, stories and soldiers’ diary entries illuminating little known details of the war,” said Arthur R. Baxter ’56, who, along with his wife Nancy, co-owns Hawthorne Publishing, the company that published the book. “Over 100 battles or skirmishes are represented and several important generals like James J. Reynolds and Edward Canby and of course Lew Wallace, all Wabash men, are given special attention.”

Jim and Patience Barnes will kick off the event with a discussion of their new book at 1 p.m. The afternoon will feature presentations on the Battle of Chickamauga, the Colored Regiments of the Civil War, the Nature of Warfare, and Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

Two descendants of Wabash alumni who fought in the Civil War, Bob Quirk ’50 and Ezra Ball ’96, also will make a presentation.

All events will be held in Hays Science Hall in room 104 on the Wabash campus.

A reception and dinner will be held at 6 p.m. in Detchon Center’s International Hall. The keynote speaker will be Dan Crofts ’63, who is Professor of History at the College of New Jersey and a frequent contributor to the New York Times blog “Disunion.” Cost of the dinner is $25 per person and reservations are required ( or 765-361-6360).

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