News release
Public Information Office   SLU 10880   Hammond, LA 70402   phone: 985-549-2341   fax: 985-549-2061 Spring 2004 news releases Public Information home News archive

Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 6/2/04
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SLU DEEP DELTA CIVIL WAR SYMPOSIUM – Dr. Charles D. Lewis, shown in a photo from the collection of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies, was a sergeant and surgeon in the Confederate Army’s Companies C, F, and S of the 4th Louisiana infantry regiment. The regiment recruited heavily in the Florida Parishes. Stories of soldiers such as Lewis will be highlighted during Southeastern’s annual Deep Delta Civil War Symposium, June 11-12.

      HAMMOND – "The Politics of War: Unionism, Leadership, and Decisions Affecting Combat, 1861-1865" will be the theme of the annual Deep Delta Civil War Symposium, June 11-12, at Southeastern Louisiana University.
      Now in its 18th year, the symposium is one of the largest Civil War conferences in the United States and annually attracts a national audience as well as many local Civil War enthusiasts. Sponsored by Southeastern’s Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies and department of history and political science, the two-day symposium will be held in War Memorial Student Union Theatre. 
      Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies Director Samuel C. Hyde Jr., Southeastern’s Ford Family Chair in Regional Studies, said topics to be covered include General Sherman’s march through Georgia, Confederate General Pat Cleburne’s efforts to see freed slaves enlisted as Confederate soldiers, unionism in the wartime South, and the personal views of Confederate officers observing the conflict.
      Hyde said the list of presenters “is undoubtedly the finest ever assembled during the course of the symposium.” Speakers include noted authors Gordon Rhea, Craig Symonds, Herman Hattaway, Terry Jones, Ann Bailey, and Terry Winschel.
      The program will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 11 and will feature hourly presentations until 7:30 p.m. Sessions will resume from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, June 12.
      “Social hours are interspersed throughout the program to offer guests the opportunity to share views with the scholars,” Hyde said. “A 2:45 p.m. roundtable debate on Saturday is designed to encourage lively exchanges of views between the presenters and the audience.” 
      The Deep Delta symposium also offers a Civil War book fair, sponsored by Hammond’s Bayou Booksellers and LSU Press. 
      “School instruction and conferences concerning the Civil War have experienced a dramatic transformation in recent years,” said Hyde. “Since the bicentennial of America’s bloodiest conflict in the 1960s, scholarship centered on the war has experienced a vast transformation. National circles no longer view the Civil War as two determined sides contesting a competing view of America that was ultimately decided by Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomatox. Instead, the national perspective has reduced the relevance of the war to one issue, slavery, and assigned accolades to the victors and something close to shame to the defeated Confederates. Civil War literature has accordingly assigned glory to all who served the Union while something decidedly less has been given to those who fought for the South. 
      Hyde said one of the Deep Delta Civil War Symposium’s continuing missions is “to combat the monolithic, and in the view of many inaccurate, portrayal of the purpose and significance of the Civil War.”
      “As always,” he said, “the Deep Delta Symposium is committed to revealing all viewpoints and perspectives and audience participation is encouraged.”
      Special prices are available for advance purchases of tickets but guests can purchase individual session or full conference tickets at the door. Southeastern faculty may attend the sessions at no charge, but should call the Center if they want to participate in meals.
      For additional information about the Deep Delta Civil War Symposium, including fees, call 985-549-2151, e-mail or visit the “events” link at