Plans Taking Shape for Final Civil War Encampment

Distinguished Speakers Part of Event in Medina

Batavia, NY- The fourth and final Civil War Encampment put on by Genesee Community College to mark the 150th anniversary of the war that defined our nation promises to be one of the most interesting to date. The event is set for April 24-26, 2015 at GCC’s Medina Campus Center, 11470 Maple Ridge Rd., Medina, NY. The weekend will include an Education Day on Friday for local school districts, educational activities throughout the weekend including a nationally recognized Frederick Douglass impressionist, reenactments of skirmishes, artillery and cavalry, a surrender ceremony at noon in downtown Medina on Saturday, and a panel discussion featuring distinguished guests from the popular online journal The Emerging Civil War.

The Emerging Civil War (ECW) was founded by Chris Mackowski and Kristopher White with a goal of providing fresh perspectives and original scholarship related to the American Civil War (1861-1865). GCC Assistant History Professor Derek Maxfield is a contributor to ECW and will moderate a panel discussion at the Encampment featuring Dr. Mackowski, a professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University, and historian Kris White, who teaches at the Community College of Allegheny County near Pittsburgh and previously served as staff military historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in Virginia where he continues to volunteer.

The discussion, “So What Have We Learned? The Sesquicentennial, The Civil War and American Memory” is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, 2015 in the main tent at the Encampment. “The Civil War’s sesquicentennial has been a great opportunity to introduce people to America’s ‘great story,’” said Dr. Mackowski. “Even though the anniversary is wrapping up now, it’s the perfect time for people to ask ‘What did the Civil War mean? Why is it still relevant today, to me?’” “We love getting out on the front lines and talking with people about the war because it’s the best way to help nurture the public’s interest and help people understand it better,” said White.

“I am so pleased that historians from the Emerging Civil War will be joining us for our last Civil War Encampment,” said Prof. Maxfield. “I have been very impressed by the caliber of work on ECW and was honored to be invited to join their ranks. To borrow a phrase, I think having a panel of ECW experts part of the Encampment schedule kicks things up a notch.”

You can learn more about ECW at its website In addition, look for updated information about the Civil War Encampment online at

Besides the Encampment, GCC’s Civil War Initiative (CWI) is pleased to be part of the upcoming Commemorative Civil War Ball planned for March 21, 2015 at the Clarion Hotel in Batavia. GCC is a co-sponsor of this event being put on by the Daughters of the American Civil War, a Batavia group dedicated to honoring women of the Civil War era. The Ball, set for 7-10 p.m. will feature Civil War music provided by City Fiddle with a dance master to call the dances. Dance instruction will be offered free of charge to ball attendees from 1 -3 p.m. the afternoon of the event in the Clarion ballroom.

Pre-sale tickets for the ball are $25 and are available online at Tickets at the door are $30. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Genesee Veterans Support Group and the Genesee County Historians Association.

In addition the popular CWI lecture series continues this spring with the following upcoming events which are free and open to the public:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Albion Campus Center
Sarah Handley-Cousins, a PhD candidate at the University of Buffalo, will speak about Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Dansville Campus Center
GCC adjunct history instructor Dan Hamner will speak about “The Civil War in Indian Country.” Connections between the Civil War and Native American culture, politics, and diplomacy are often overlooked. Hamner will examine them through the eyes of three key Native American figures from the period.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 7 p.m. in Room T102, Batavia Campus
A panel of GCC Historians moderated by Prof. Derek Maxfield will address “Reconsidering the Civil War: GCC Historians Consider Historiography and American Memory.” The discussion will feature Professors Garth Swanson, Charles Scruggs, Timothy Palmer, Peter Francione and Dan Hamner as well as Orleans County Campus Centers Associate Dean Jim Simon.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Medina Campus Center
A special panel discussion moderated by Prof. Maxfield entitled, “Reconsidering the Civil War and American Memory” will feature Assoc. Dean Jim Simon, Dan Hamner, GCC adjunct instructor and Bill Lattin, former Orleans County historian.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Dansville Campus Center
Author, historian, and reenactor Robert Yott presents “Lincoln’s Other War.” In order to preserve the Union, President Lincoln had to court the border states, manage inept or politically ambitious generals, and hold the radical faction of his party at bay. Yott will speak about the “fire in the rear” that required Lincoln’s constant attention and constituted his “other war.”


For more information contact assistant professor Derek Maxfield at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6288 or

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Editor’s Note:
Photographs of Emerging Civil War co-founders Dr. Chris Mackowski and Kris White are available here: