JOHN M. BARR, Ph.D.
“Tilting Lances with His Fellow Southerners for their Enlightenment and Regeneration: William H. Townsend, Loathing Lincoln, and Lexington, Kentucky.”
Barr is Professor of History at Lone Star College–Kingwood, Texas. Previous to his appointment at Lone Star in 2008, he taught middle school for six years and was an AP U.S. History teacher for eighteen years at Kingwood High School in north Houston, Texas. Originally from Richmond, Kentucky, Dr. Barr graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1984 and received his doctorate from the University of Houston in 2010. His parents, Charlotte Van Deren Barr and Dixon A. Barr, instilled in him from an early age a love of literature and history – and Lexington!
Dr. Barr’s award-winning book Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present (LSU Press, 2014) argues that hostility to Lincoln reflects both a current and longstanding strain of thought in American history centering on timeless questions of freedom, equality, and their meaning; what link, if any, exists between the two; and, finally, whether the federal government has any role in ensuring that such a connection be maintained. Abraham Lincoln’s conservative and/or libertarian critics have always contended that such a link does not and should not exist, and that in his use of federal power to free the slaves Lincoln “emancipated slaves but enslaved free men.” Lincoln’s more liberal or radical critics, in contrast, have argued that there is an inextricable link between freedom, equality, and federal power and that Lincoln was a timid, reluctant emancipator rather than a president who aggressively sought emancipatory change. An excerpt from Loathing Lincoln was recently published in the winter 2014 issue of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association. Dr. Barr has also published on “African American Memory and the Great Emancipator,” in Lincoln’s Enduring Legacy (2011) and he has a chapter on Lincoln and Secession Winter in the forthcoming Companion to Abraham Lincoln. Barr’s talk will not only cover the main themes of his award-winning book, Loathing Lincoln, but will highlight William H. Townsend and his efforts to spar with Lincoln critics. Townsend (pictured at right) was a founder and long-standing first president of the Kentucky Civil War Roundtable.
UPCOMING SPEAKERS FOR 2014 – 2015
November 17, 2014 – James I. “Bud” Robertson
January 12, 2015 – Brig. Gen. Casey Brower
March 16, 2015 – Brig. Gen. Jack Mountcastle
May 18, 2015 – General Montgomery Meigs
In honor of Pvt. James McLaughlin (1815-1913) Co. D 3rd Battalion Kentucky Mtd. Rifles CSA, a marker will be dedicated at Calvary Cemetery Saturday, Sept. 27 at Noon.
Members of the Kentucky Division Sons of Confederate Veterans, Morgan’s Men Association, Re-enactors and respected guests will participate in this historic and glorious occasion. The dedication will be a traditional catholic graveside service and blessing. Honor Guard and salute are being planned. It is our hope that many members of the Civil War Roundtable will attend.
Currently our membership stands at 343. We had 32 members deleted from membership for nonpayment of dues. This does not include those who were deceased or requested to be deleted for other reasons. We need to focus on recruiting new members. Please bring a guest to our meeting which will be September 15th.
Several have questioned what period the dues cover. The Round Table dues run from September to May. This year’s dues will be for 2014-2015. The new Dues payment is as follows: Dues paid on or before December 31st – $45; Dues paid between January 1st and March 31st – $60; Failure to pay dues by March 31st – Member falls of the Membership Roll; For Re-instatement – $25 plus the dues for that year.
If you made reservations and were unable to attend a meeting and did not cancel within 72 hours of the meeting time please check to see if you still owe for the meal for which we had to guarantee payment. There are still a few outstanding “missed meals.”
Please remember the Round Table is an IRC 501(C)(3) tax exempt organization and your contributions and dues are tax deductible. Your contributions and dues will help to provide quality programs in the coming year. Anyone wishing a copy of the annual or interim financial statements can request a copy by emailing your request to email@example.com.
In previous newsletters, I shared information with you regarding some of the problems we were having with a number of members sending RSVP cards late or calling to make meeting reservations after the RSVP deadline. If you need to cancel a reservation, please contact me by phone ((859) 231-3692) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the Friday before the meeting (in this case, September 12th). If you have made a reservation and cannot make the meeting, but do not timely cancel, you will be charged $26 per person for having reserved a meal. This is because the Kentucky Civil War Round Table will be charged for the meal(s).
Civil War Trust to buy Gen. Lee’s HQ at Gettysburg
GETTYSBURG – For almost a century, the small, historic stone house on Chambersburg Road has been obscured by the commercial buildings surrounding it.
But in 1863, it occupied a prominent position at the epicenter of fighting on Day One of the nation’s best-known Civil War battle. That night, it would be seized and used as the headquarters of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
On Tuesday – exactly 151 years after the start of the Battle of Gettysburg – the Civil War Trust will announce the purchase of the four-acre parcel and the restoration of the site to the way it looked in 1863.
“As far as preserving a historically significant structure and part of the battlefield, this is biggest deal we’ve ever done,” said Jim Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Trust, a Washington-based nonprofit group that has preserved 40,000 acres of land in 20 states. “Lee’s headquarters is one of the most important unprotected historic structures in America.”
Lighthizer said the trust would purchase the property, which includes a Quality Inn and a brew pub, from Belmar Partnership for $5.5 million and spend an additional $400,000 to $500,000 to demolish the modern structures and restore the historic building.
On July 1, 1863, the property was the scene of violent hand-to-hand combat between advancing Confederate troops and Union troops attempting to protect the western entrance to the town and the railroad line, which still runs behind the parcel. By day’s end, Union troops had retreated to Seminary Ridge, and Lee, the Confederate commander, established his headquarters at the house.
“It was the nerve center,” historian and licensed Gettysburg battlefield guide Tim Smith said in a video produced for Tuesday’s announcement at the Lee headquarters.
The house, believed to have been built in 1833, was occupied by a widow named Mary Thompson at the time of the war and was co-owned by U.S. Rep. Thaddeus Stevens – a force behind the passage of the 13th Amendment ending slavery. The headquarters building was opened as a museum in the early 1920s in connection with the motel on the site.
Lighthizer said the artifacts, which were to be donated to the trust by the owners, would be sold and the building restored to the way it looked when Lee and his officers plotted strategy under its roof. Lee would go on to defeat July 3 and retreat south after losing thousands of men in what is considered the turning point of the war. “This spot is where some of most important decisions were made by an American general in the Civil War,” said Lighthizer. “It had direct impact on the future of the country.”
He said that there was no timetable for the restoration project or reopening the house after demolition of the modern buildings, but that the whole parcel would be donated to the National Park Service for inclusion in the Gettysburg National Military Park.
“To the preservation community, this land was long considered lost,” Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor said in a statement. “Thus, the journey we embark upon today is especially meaningful: We are not just protecting a piece of American heritage, we are reclaiming it for future generations.”