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Friday, March 22, 2013 at 10:42 am

Trailer for Bill Kauffman's 'Copperhead' released, film opens June 28

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bill kauffman, civil war, elba, entertainment, history, movies

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.

Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm

GCC announces Spring lecture series on Civil War

post by Billie Owens in announcements, civil war, GCC

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 http://civilwaratgcc.wordpress.com/.

Friday, December 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Underground Railroad: Talk by Lynne Belluscio

post by Leslie DeLooze in civil war, genesee county, talks
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.

Event Date and Time

February 4, 2013 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Friday, December 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Photographic Techniques Used During the American Civil War: Talk by Mark Osterman

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.

Event Date and Time

January 26, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Friday, December 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Lincoln, Gettysburg & the Civil War: Talk by Greg Kinal

post by Leslie DeLooze in civil war, history, tale for three counties, talks

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.

Event Date and Time

January 22, 2013 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm

GCC free lecture about Native Americans and the Civil War

post by Billie Owens in civil war, dan hamner, events, GCC, Native Americans

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.

Event Date and Time

November 7, 2012 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

GCC free lecture on the role of climate and topography in the Civil War

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Aaron Wheeler, civil war, events, GCC

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.

Event Date and Time

October 3, 2012 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Pulitzer Prize winning historian to speak on Lincoln and slavery at GCC

post by Billie Owens in Abraham Lincoln, civil war, Eric Foner, GCC

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: http://www.ericfoner.com/

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.
Friday, March 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

GCC's Civil War happenings: lectures continue, high-school essay contest, two new blogs

post by Billie Owens in announcements, batavia, civil war, GCC

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 (www.chicagomanualofstyle.org). 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 www.glowhistory.wordpress.com and www.civilwaratgcc.wordpress.com.

Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Special Civil War exhibit at GCC's Batavia campus library through Feb. 17

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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 <www.genesee.edu/library>.

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