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civil war

October 4, 2016 - 12:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in history, GCC, news, civil war, Announcements.

Press release:

The History Club at Genesee Community College is planning an educational spring break trip to Richmond, Virginia and the surrounding area in March. In an effort to support the experiential learning opportunity and raise the necessary funds, the club is hosting a special event at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building at the GCC Batavia campus.

"Four Days After Appomattox" with General Robert E. Lee will take the audience back in time to the end of the Civil War just days after Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. General Lee recounts the war and imagines a future for himself and his countrymen.

"Tom Schobert's impression of Robert E. Lee is the very best historical impression I have ever witnessed," said Derek Maxfield, GCC associate professor of History and History Club advisor. "I have seen the 'Four Days' presentation several times and am always profoundly moved by it. He really captures Lee's character and manner and gives a spellbinding presentation."

The very moving program features Thomas Schobert, a Robert E. Lee impressionist of many years' experience. Schobert began his impression on the eve of the Civil War Sesquicentennial in 2011. Prior to donning the famous gray uniform, Schobert had been a longtime Union re-enactor doing a medical impression. Schobert brought to his impression many years of military experience in the Army, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

"It seems so appropriate to host the Lee presentation when the History Club has determined to go to the Richmond, Virginia area on spring break," Maxfield added. "I am excited by the prospect of taking the Club to Richmond and Washington, D.C. There are so many great historical sites we could visit! The problem will be the selection process given the limited amount of time, and raising the necessary funds."

Tickets for the event are $15 each or two for $25 and will be available at the door; cash and checks only. To reserve tickets, contact Derek Maxfield at [email protected] or by calling (585) 343-0055, ext. 6288. Ticket-holders will have an opportunity to have their picture taken with General Lee at no additional charge after the presentation.

August 4, 2015 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, civil war, history.

Press release:

GCC has founded a new history club, which is proudly sponsoring a new lecture series called Historical Horizons. Starting this September, and continuing on each first Wednesday of the month, a different dynamic speaker will be offering new topics about historical events, people, places and topics that continue to impact the world today. 

The club is a follow up to the college's successful Civil War Initiative, established in 2011, which has included numerous lectures, encampments, parades, Victorian balls and the Heritage Heroes recognition ceremony in Orleans County.

"The success of the Civil War Initiative continues with the GCC's new History Club and our Historical Horizons Lecture series," said Derek Maxfield, GCC's associate professor of History. "As the end of the Civil War Initiative approached, many people asked me, 'So what's next? Does that mean no more lectures? No more living history events?' Thankfully with the support of our new History Club, we can continue the lecture series, and open it up to any historical topic. It is my hope that we can build on that in the future and support living history events and heritage festivals."

The Fall 2015 semester lineup for the Historical Horizons speakers includes:

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2 / Batavia Campus / T102

Tom Schobert, president of Buffalo Civil War Roundtable and Robert E. Lee impressionist, will kick off the series with "The Alamo – The Myth, the Reality...and John Wayne!" Like other high-profile events in American history, the story of the Alamo is shrouded in legends and myths. This lecture will cover the known facts as well as the legends and lore, and also how John Wayne got involved.

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7 / Batavia Campus / T102

Kristopher D. White will present, "Hell's Half-Acre: The Bloody Angle at Spotsylvania." White, co-author of "A Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House," is an adjunct professor of History at Allegany Community College, and also co-founder of Emerging Civil War online journal. He will explore the reasons for this bloody battle, the innovative tactics used to break the Confederate lines, and tell the horrific tales from the men who were trapped in a no-man's-land between two armies.

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4 / Batavia Campus / T102

Jim Simon, GCC associate dean of Orleans County Campus Centers, will explore how the philosophy of history impacts politics and culture in a talk entitled, "The Philosophy of History: What does it Matter?" From the recent Supreme Court case legalizing gay marriage to the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capitol, Simon will discuss how history informs students, teachers, citizens and policy makers in the 21st Century.

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2 / Batavia Campus / T102

In "Recalling Reconstruction: The Ugly Story of a Splendid Failure," Derek Maxfield, GCC associate professor of History, will discuss the end of the Civil War and how President Lincoln counseled his generals not to gloat in victory and to avoid bitterness and animosity. "Let 'em up easy," he said. Lincoln did not live to oversee the Reconstruction, which wound up taking a dark turn.

All lectures are free and open to the public. Maxfield also encourages attendees to stay tuned for other dates at Genesee Community College campus centers.

May 26, 2015 - 11:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, history, civil war, Memorial Day.


On a cloud-shrouded Memorial Day afternoon in Indian Falls, the folds in the fabric of history were visible in a short service that honored one of Pembroke's own fallen Civil War soldiers.

A headstone for Conrad Litt, a German immigrant who probably joined the Army so his family could have 100 acres of land after the war, was dedicated in a service conducted by members of Colonel John B. Weber Camp No. 44 and the Weber Guard, Sons of Veterans Reserve.

The spot chosen for the marker is next to those of his parents and other family members in the Old Indian Falls Cemetery. The location is at the rise of the hill in the southwest corner of the graveyard. There's an opening in the tree line that overlooks a lush valley. 

Clifford Anderson, one of the Litt Family ancestors, who now lives in West Seneca, purchased the headstone from the Veteran's Administration. He likes the idea that Conrad Litt's grave overlooks that idyllic valley that will become a national veterans cemetery.

"His spirit will look out over his fellow soldiers here, on this hill," Anderson said.

Conrad Litt enlisted in the 100th New York Volunteer Infantry, 2nd Brigade, Company C., on October 24, 1861 as a private. The 2nd Brigade was known as the “Eagle Brigade,” which was sponsored by the Buffalo Board of Trade.

Litt participated in the Battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, where more than half of his regiment was killed or wounded.

The Pembroke resident died in action July 18, 1863 during the Union’s night assault on Fort Wagner, Morris Island, S.C., when he was struck in the breast and died instantly.

The Second Battle for Fort Wagner was dramatized in the movie "Glory," which is about the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first military regiment in the Army comprised entirely of African-Americans, mostly freed slaves. The 54th led the nighttime charge on Fort Wagner, suffering heavy casualties, and though Fort Wagner never fell, the manner in which the men acquitted themselves led to more freed slaves being allowed to enlist. These black regiments were a significant factor, President Lincoln felt, in the Union winning the war.

Buffalo native John B. Weber enlisted in the Army Aug. 1, 1861 as a private and quickly rose through the ranks, attaining colonel before his 21st birthday. His first command, granted September 19, 1863, two months after the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, was the 89th Regiment, designated "18th Infantry, Corps d'Afrique." It was a regiment of freed slaves. Weber turned down a command of 44th Regiment to lead the 89th. He resigned later after his men were reassigned to another outfit and promised replacements, more freed slaves, were not available. He returned to Buffalo and eventually was elected to Congress.

Litt's remains were never recovered for a proper burial, as the fighting at Fort Wagner continued for another month by laying siege to take control of the rebel-held fort and battery, which was the key to entering Charleston Harbor and the Union reclaiming of Ft. Sumter, where the first shot of the War Between the States opened formal hostilities in 1861. 

Anderson learned of Litt and the cemetery where his family was buried while researching his family tree. In the process, he came across a book containing 25 of Litt's letters home. The book, which also contains the Civil War letters of Litt's childhood friend, also of Pembroke and fellow soldier, Sidney Lake, "I Take My Pen in My Hand."

"I came across these letters he wrote and I wept reading them," Anderson said. "I'm a vet myself and I would like to do him an honor, at least put a marker here for him. His body is not here, but I feel like his spirit has come home now."

The dedication ceremony comes 150 years after what some historians consider the first Memorial Day, organized in Charleston, S.C., May 1, 1865, by a group of freed slaves to honor the Union soldiers who helped secure their emancipation. The first nationally recognized Decoration Day was May 30, 1868. The date was supposedly chosen because it would be a time when flowers in all parts of the nation would be in bloom and the graves of fallen soldiers were to be decorated with flowers.

Flowers decorated Litt's marker yesterday.

For Michael Erb, who belongs to three Civil War reenactment groups, including the Weber group, and is himself a military veteran, taking part in services that honor the Civil War dead is important because the Civil War is a critical turning point in the nation's history.

"The Civil War was America's biggest war," Erb said. "It changed our country forever, you know. We were kind of a disunified country, different states going different ways, and all the sudden after the war, we were all one nation. Oliver Wendell Holmes said it was a terrible war, many people and soldiers died in that war, but look at what we got from it. We're a better country afterward. We're a unified country. Today, we're the only Superpower. It's a time in history that our whole country should remember."









April 28, 2015 - 10:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, veterans, civil war, Milestones.

Press release:

The dedication of the Private Conrad Litt memorial headstone will take place at 5 p.m. this Memorial Day, May 25, in the Old Section of Indian Falls Cemetery.

The Civil War veteran was killed at the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, S.C.

Members of Col. John B. Weber Camp No. 44 (NY Dept., Sons of Union Veternas of the Civil War) and the Weber Guard will honor and mark the memorial headstone at the cemetery located at Indian Falls Road, a quarter mile east of Route 77, Pembroke.

This service is part of the Memorial Day Ceremony to be held at the Litt gravesite. This cemetery is adjacent to the newly acquired VA National Veterans Cemetery.

Conrad Litt enlisted in the 100th New York Volunteer Infantry, 2nd Brigade, Company C., on Oct. 24, 1861 as a Private. 2nd Brigade was known as the “Eagle Brigade,” which was sponsored by the Buffalo Board of Trade.

He experienced conflict in Virginia at the Battle of Fair Oaks, where more than half of his Regiment were killed or wounded. Conrad was killed in action on July 18, 1863 during the Union’s night assault on Fort Wagner, Morris Island, S.C., when he was struck in the breast and died instantly.

Conrad’s bodily remains were never recovered for a proper burial, as the fighting continued for another month by laying siege to take control of the Rebel held fort and battery, which was the key to entering Charleston Harbor and the Federal reclaiming of Ft. Sumter, where the first shot of “The War Between The States” had commenced in 1861, announcing the formal Secession of the State of South Carolina from the Union.

The Brothers of Weber Camp No. 44 are honoring him for his actions during the Civil War.
This memorial service in honor of Conrad Litt is adapted from a 1917 Service used by the Grand Army of the Republic to re-dedicate a member’s headstone. The G.A.R. service is scheduled to coincide with the 150 Sesquicentennial celebration of sponsored by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Memorial Day was established to honor the veterans on the fourth Monday in the month of May. It was originally known as "Decoration Day," in the terrible aftermath of our American Civil War, with the decorations of wreaths, flags and flowers, laid upon the graves of those fallen soldiers by their loved ones.

April 9, 2015 - 11:53am
posted by Holland Land Office in history, music, Holland Land Office Museum, civil war, live music.
Event Date and Time: 
April 10, 2015 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

The 2015 Concert Series at the Holland Land Office Museum continues Friday, April 10th, with "A Night of Southern Music". Returning again are Dave Armitage and Dona LaValle, along with newcomer Al Capurso. Tickets are just $8.00 per person and can be purchased in advance or at the door.


March 21, 2015 - 10:36pm

The Daughters of the American Civil War sponsored a Civil War Ball on Friday evening at the Clarion Hotel.

The event commemorated:

  • 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812
  • 200th Anniversary of the Holland Land Purchase
  • 150th Anniversary of the End of the Civil War
  • 100th Anniversary of the City of Batavia

March 22, 2013 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, movies, history, entertainment, elba, bill kauffman, civil war.

A screenplay by local author Bill Kauffman has been turned into a major motion picture and today the official trailer was released by the studio.

"Copperhead," set in Civil War-era Upstate New York, deals with the wars effects on people far removed from the battlefields.

The film opens nationally in theaters June 28.

The subject matter of the film -- a seldom portrayed aspect of Civil War America -- may be well-timed following the box office and critical success of the movie "Lincoln."

Copperhead stars , , and and is directed by . The screenplay is an adaptation of a novel by Harold Frederic. Frederic, of Utica, wrote "The Copperhead" in 1893.

Kauffman, born in Batavia and a resident of Elba, is the author of "Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette" and eight other books.

February 2, 2013 - 3:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, civil war.

Press release:

Genesee Community College has finalized its four-part spring lecture series on the history of the Civil War. All are scheduled at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the Batavia campus in Room T102. They are free and open to the public. Pre-registration for each lecture is encouraged by contacting The BEST Center at 345-6868

On Feb. 6 -- "Hanging Henry Wirz: Debating the Meaning of 'War Crimes' during the American Civil War" will be presented by Carole Emberton, assistant professor of History at the University of Buffalo.

Her presentation will explore how the concept of "war crimes" emerged in response to Wirz's trial as commandant of Andersonville Prison. The debate over Wirz's guilt as well as other atrocities committed during the war, including the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre and even the act of secession itself, reveal the anxiety produced by the war's immense devastation and the struggle to control its meaning for future generations. It also highlights the importance of mid-19th Century developments in international law pertaining to the rules of war and justice for those who violate them.

On March 13 -- Stephen McKinley Henderson will speak about "Story-Line Acting" and his experiences as an actor in both film and on stage. The audience will be particularly interested in his role as Abraham Lincoln's personal valet in the film "Lincoln," which was recently nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor.

Henderson is a professor of theater and dance at the University of Buffalo. He was nominated for the Tony Award in 2010 for his work on the Broadway production of "Fences" with Denzel Washington, and he has appeared in Steven Spielberg's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." He also appeared in the comedy "Tower Heist" and the HBO series "The Newsroom."

On April 3 -- A lecture titled "Myths and More at Gettysburg" with George McGaughey.

No Civil War battlefield is more famous (at least in the North) than Gettysburg. To many, it is sacred ground that warrants many visits and careful study, and like any other historical landscape, it is prone to myths and legends. In this talk, McGaughey will discuss the basis of those myths and the many discoveries he has made as a frequent visitor. His findings will surprise even the most knowledgeable Civil War buff.

On May 1 -- The Spring 2013 Lecture series in Batavia concludes with GCC Professor Garth Swanson presenting the "New York's Forgotten War -- The War of 1812 and the Making of the Empire State."

The War of 1812 remains a confusing and little remembered chapter in the history of the United States. New York, as a result of its extensive border with British-controlled Canada, was one of the primary fronts of the war and its residents experienced considerable hardship over the three years of the conflict. In addition, political divisions brought on by the war threatened to tear the state apart internally. Yet, New York quickly emerged from the war stronger and more economically vibrant than ever. In his talk, Professor Swanson will assess the role of New York in the conflict and evaluate the ways the war helped to create a modern New York State.

(In addition to the lecture series, a three-day Civil War encampment will take place at the Medina Campus Center from Friday, April 26 until Sunday, April 28. The encampment will include reenactors in authentic soldier costumes setting up Union and Confederate camps and many other events and reenactments throughout the weekend.)

For further information on the Civil War and the initiative at GCC, check out the Civil War blog at

December 28, 2012 - 3:12pm
posted by Leslie DeLooze in genesee county, civil war, talks.
Event Date and Time: 
February 4, 2013 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia. Lynne Belluscio, curator at the LeRoy Historical Society, will talk about the active underground movement in Genesee County that helped escaping slaves make their way to freedom in Canada. Presented in conjunction with A Tale for Three Counties 2013.
December 28, 2012 - 2:13pm
posted by Leslie DeLooze in history, civil war, photography, talks, A Tale for Three Counties.
Event Date and Time: 
January 26, 2013 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia.  Mark Osterman, Photographic Process Historian at the George Eastman House, will talk about photography during the Civil War era. His talk will include a Power Point presentation and a display of a 19th century camera.  This program is presented in conjunction with A Tale for Three Counties 2013.

December 28, 2012 - 1:56pm
posted by Leslie DeLooze in history, civil war, tale for three counties, talks.
Event Date and Time: 
January 22, 2013 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia.  Gregory Kinal, Social Studies teacher at Pembroke High School and leader of over 40 student trips to Gettysburg and Washington, D.C., will talk about Lincoln and the Civil War years ending with his assassination--one of the great murder mysteries of American history. Presented in conjunction with A Tale for Three Counties 2013.

October 2, 2012 - 2:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, GCC, civil war, Native Americans, dan hamner.
Event Date and Time: 
November 7, 2012 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Free public lecture about Native Americans and the Civil War at GCC:

"Among the Many Fires: Trials, Opportunities and Experiences of Native Americans in the Civil War."

Presented by GCC History instructor Dan Hamner in the Stuart Steiner Theater.

Wednesday, Nov. 7, Batavia Campus, 7 p.m.

The college is located at One College Road, off R. Stephen Hawley Drive.

October 2, 2012 - 2:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, events, GCC, civil war, Aaron Wheeler.
Event Date and Time: 
October 3, 2012 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Lecture: "The Search for Good Ground and Fair Weather: The Role of Climate and Topography in the Civil War." Wednesday, Oct. 3, Batavia Campus, 7 p.m.

Presented by Aaron Wheeler, Ph.D., of Capital Community College.

It's free and takes place in the Stuart Steiner Theater. The college is located at One College Road, off R. Stephen Hawley Drive.

October 2, 2012 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, civil war, Abraham Lincoln, Eric Foner.

Press release:

The historian who captured the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for history in 2011 will bring his expertise to Genesee Community College this month, while the Batavia campus will simultaneously host a travelling exhibit exploring the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Columbia University history professor and author Eric Foner, Ph.D., regarded as the leading contemporary historian of the post-Civil War Reconstruction period, will share insights from his award-winning book "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery" on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at a free lecture in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at 1 p.m. Immediately following the lecture, Foner will sign copies of his book.

"I am thrilled at the prospect of having Dr. Foner visit GCC. It is not often you can rub elbows with a Pulitzer Prize winner," says Derek Maxfield, who not only teaches GCC history courses, but has been the college's resident historian and coordinator or numerous Civil War initiatives throughout the past 18 months.

"As a historian, I recognize him as a giant in the field. His work on the Civil War and Reconstruction has shaped my own interpretation in important ways, and his newest book is destined to define the standards by which other works will be measured."

Foner's presentation coincides with an exhibit exploring Lincoln's influence from the Civil War through modern times. Using personal journals, official documents and other printed materials, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History used a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to assemble "Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, a Man for All Times."

This impressive display has been traveling the country and sharing the life, accomplishments and the legacy of the revered 16th U.S. president. Interestingly, Foner was among the experts consulted during the development phase of the exhibit. The display in GCC's Alfred O'Connell Library will be open for free public viewing from through Oct. 28.

The Fiery Trial is essentially a political biography of Lincoln, delving into the president's personal convictions, and Foner "is able to provide the most thorough and judicious account of Lincoln's attitudes toward slavery that we have to date," according to a 2010 review in The New York Times.

Kirkus Reviews cites Foner as "particularly impressive in explaining the hesitations, backward steps and trial balloons -- including placating slaveholding border states and proposing colonizing blacks outside the United States -- that preceded his embrace of emancipation."

Foner is one of only two persons to serve as president of the three major professional organizations: the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, and Society of American Historians, and he is one of only a handful of authors to have won the Bancroft and Pulitzer Prizes in the same year.

He has written 19 critically acclaimed books, dozens of highly praised literary and historical articles, reports and editorials, and has served on editorial boards for several prestigious publications. Additionally, his mastery of scholarly research and presentation has earned him invitations to appear on television and radio shows, including as the on-camera historian for "Freedom: A History of Us," on PBS in 2003.

To learn about Foner's extensive accomplishments, visit his Web site:

The exhibit and Foner's visit continue GCC's commitment to exploring the Civil War and its enduring ramifications 150 years after the official ceasefire. Numerous lectures revolving around the war, a weekend long reenactors encampment, a Victorian Yule Celebration and the development of a topic-specific blog were offered last year, and several more enterprising initiatives are planned for the current academic year. A summary of the Civil War commemorative events at GCC's Batavia Campus also includes:

  • Lecture: The Search for Good Ground and Fair Weather: The Role of Climate and Topography in the Civil War. Wednesday, Oct. 3, Batavia Campus, 7 p.m. Presented by Aaron Wheeler, Ph.D., of Capital Community College.
  • Lecture: Among the Many Fires: Trials, Opportunities and Experiences of Native Americans in the Civil War. Wednesday, Nov. 7, Batavia Campus, 7 p.m. Presented by GCC History instructor Dan Hamner.
March 2, 2012 - 2:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, GCC, civil war.

Press release:

Genesee Community College's four-part lecture series commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War continues from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, in room T102 at the Batavia campus.

Kevin Levin, a noted Civil War expert and author, will carefully recount the Battle of Crater, which is the topic of his latest book.

The Battle of the Crater was a botched attempt by the Union Army to punch a hole in the Confederate line outside of Petersburg, Va. After tunneling under the Confederate position, Union soldiers packed the tunnel with TNT and then ignited the fuse. While the explosion was spectacular, the Union attack was poorly orchestrated and resulted in more than 5,000 casualties – many of them African-American soldiers who led the charge.

Levin is an instructor and the chair of the History Department at St. Anne's Belfield School in Charlottesville, Va. His book entitled "Remembering The Battle of the Crater: War as Murder" will be available in June.

GCC's Civil War Lecture Series is free and open to the public. To register for any of the Civil War lectures, contact GCC's BEST Center at 345-6868 or email [email protected].

Other upcoming lectures include:

Tuesday, April 3

"From Bondage to Freedom" by Kevin Cottrell, founder of Motherland Connextions, will discuss the Underground Railroad as it pertains to Western New York and Southern Ontario. Motherland Connextions is one of the first multicultural humanitarian efforts helping to spotlight the many effects diversity had in sustaining freedom, and instilling courage and hope in our communities nationwide.

Tuesday, May 1

"The Longstreet Family in War and Peace" by Terrianne Schulte, Ph.D., of D'Youville College. This talk explores the impact of the war and its aftermath with the well-known and controversial southern family, the Longstreets. Schulte will focus on Confederate General James Longstreet, his second wife, Helen Dortch Longstreet, and his uncle, Judge Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, the author of "Georgia Scenes."

Also featured this spring is a Civil War Essay Contest open to all students between grades nine and 12 with the topic, "War Takes a Nasty Turn: The Changing Nature of the War of 1862."

The first-place essay winner will receive a color Nook electronic reader. The essay should be a minimum of three pages formatted in 12-point Times New Roman font and double-spaced. All citations must be in written in Chicago Style ( All essays must be received electronically by Friday April 13 to [email protected]. Winners will be announced before the final Civil War lecture at 7 p.m. on May 1.

"It is a real honor to be hosting a lecture by Kevin Levin, who is a well-known authority on the Civil War," Derek Maxfield, GCC's resident Civil War historian and history instructor said. "We are also very excited to share the developing details about GCC's Civil War Encampment that is scheduled in late April at our Lima Campus Center."

Genesee Community College has also developed two blogs -- the GCC GLOW Region History Co-Op Blog – which seeks to help promote partnerships with GLOW region historical organizations -- and the Civil War Blog, which is a part of the Civil War initiative. The war blog promotes upcoming events at the college and will feature posts about history instructor Maxfield's work.

The blogs can be found at and

February 2, 2012 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, civil war.

There is a special Civil War exhibit inside the Alfred O'Connell Library at the Batavia campus of Genesee Community College. It's part of a series of activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of America's most divisive conflict.

It features more than a dozen miniature models depicting wartime scenes and situations of the Civil War. There are authentic weapons and war accoutrements, uniforms, a tent, and a selection of framed newspapers dating back to the 1850s.

The exhibit continues through February 17 and is open during normal library hours. Spring hours are:

  • Monday through Thursday -- 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Friday -- 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday -- 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday -- 12 to 6 p.m.

The college is located at 1 College Drive. For more information, call the library at 343-0055, ext. 6419, or visit online at <>.

February 2, 2012 - 3:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, civil war.

As part of a series of activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the nation's most devisive conflict, the Civil War, Genesee Community College invites high-school students in the GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) to enter an essay contest.

The topic is "War Takes a Nasty Turn: The Changing Nature of the War of 1862."

The first-place essay winner will receive a color Nook electronic reader.

The essay should be a minimum of three pages, formatted in 12-point Times New Roman font, and double-spaced. All citations must be written in Chicago Style ( All essays must be received electronically by Friday, April 13 at [email protected].

Winners will be announced at the Civil War lecture that is scheduled at the Batavia campus at 7 p.m. on May 1.

For further information please contact GCC's Lima Campus Center at 582-1226 or go to:

January 31, 2012 - 5:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, civil war, Ely Parker.

February's topic in the ongoing Holland Land Office Museum lecture series is Ely Parker.

The Seneca chief, known by his people at Do-ne-bo-ga-wa, was a Civil War officer and the writer of the Terms of Surrender at Appomattox Court House.

The presentation about Parker will be made by Terry Abrams, of the Western New York Association of Historical Agencies as well as the Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historical Society.

The lecture begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the museum, located at 131 W. Main St. in the City of Batavia. Phone is 343-4727.

January 7, 2012 - 1:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, civil war.

Press release:

In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, Genesee Community College is proud to announce two new history and political science courses for the spring semester. The American Civil War (HIS290) will be offered from 9:30 to 10:50 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Batavia and Lima campuses via V-link. The American Presidency (POS210) will be offered from 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Batavia campus.

Taught by History faculty member Derek Maxfield, The American Civil War examines the coming of the Civil War, tracing the causes from the rise of slavery in America and the creation of the Constitution to westward expansion and diverging economic bases, as well as the military, political and cultural aspects of the war itself.

"It is a great time to be offering this, as we are now commemorating the 150th anniversary of that war," Maxfield said. "In addition to the normal political and military narrative, I will also ask students to consider how Victorian culture influenced both the coming of the war and the way it was fought.

"This course is very personal for me, as I have five great-grandfathers that served. One of those, William Reese, fought with the 149th PA Infantry 'Bucktails' at Gettysburg on the first day. He was wounded but survived the battle and the war."

The American Presidency examines the historical foundations, theoretical aspects and the powers of the presidency. Students will explore the various models of presidential power, the major issues scholars are investigating, and will complete a project based on observation, hypothesis development, collection of data, evaluation of evidence, and interpretive analysis.

"Although the course is a Political Science offering, I will be taking an interdisciplinary approach that explores the evolution of the presidency since its beginnings," Maxfield said. "It is exciting to be offering the course at the same time that the caucuses and primaries are in full swing. We will be able utilize current events as we go along.

"I can also share with students my own experiences working on a presidential campaign. I worked for Senator Paul Simon of Illinois when he ran for the Democratic nomination in 1988. It was an exciting time and I learned how much I did not know about the realities of national politics."

Both courses are three-credit courses and are offered to full- and part-time students. Senior citizens can also audit these courses for free, if space is available. For further information contact Derek Maxfield at 343-0055, ext. 6288, or [email protected].

April 18, 2011 - 4:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, civil war, Milestones.

At a ceremony preceding the last lecture in the Civil War Lecture Series at Genesee Community College last week, the winners of the essay contest were announced to a packed audience.

Seven students were recognized for essays on the topic, "What did/does the Civil War mean for American Identity?"

At the event, instructor Derek Maxfield noted the fine quality of all of the entries. In fact, five of the entries garnered first-place votes. Students receiving honorable mention included: Nicholas Pitcher, Brady Hawkes, Gabe Necoechea and Jessica Hollister – all four are from North Star Christian Academy in Rochester. Third place went to Matthew Sisto, second place to John Cole – both also from North Star Christian Academy, and first place was awarded to Sarah Lawson. Lawson is a homeschooled student from the Batavia area.

GCC Bookstore Manager Christopher Sackett was on hand to make the awards. Sackett and Barnes & Noble Booksellers generously donated gift cards of $100 for the first-place winner, $50 cards for the second- and third-place winners, as well as water bottles with the GCC logo. In addition to the first three places, four honorable mentions were recognized.

"In short, we thoroughly enjoyed the series," Maxfield said. "The folks who attended were enthusiastic, well-read and eager for us to continue offering a lecture series of this kind. Many even asked for copies of the lectures, which we are looking into."


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