Legacy of the Civil War: Beyond the Battlefield

Thursday, September 27
7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Musser Auditorium, The Conference Center at Penn State Great Valley


The American Civil War took place over 150 years ago, yet the legacy of this horrible conflict is still part of our lives in ways that we barely recognize. In this lively slide presentation, Bob Sprague ― teacher, historian, and field guide ― goes beyond the battlefield into the living legacy of the American Civil War to a part of our nation's past to examine its impact beyond the battles, the generals, and the strategies.

Considered by many historians as the watershed event of the American story, the Civil War forever changed our country’s way of life. Politically, economically, and socially, we were one way before 1861 and another way after 1865. It wasn’t just the horror of a war that cost more than 700,000 lives on American soil; rather, it was the way we thought about ourselves and our country. There is much to learn about this event that continues to maintain a hold on the American psyche.

Bob Sprague, a former social studies teacher, is one of the area’s leading Civil War scholars. He regularly gives talks and leads tours for local historical groups. Sprague is a member of the Brandywine Valley Civil War Round Table, the Civil War Education Association, the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, and the Civil War Trust. He is the founder of Years of Conflict: Seminars on the American Civil War in Paoli.