Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College

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Civil War Institute
Established 1982 (1982)
Academic affiliation Gettysburg College
Director Peter S. Carmichael
Website www.gettysburg.edu/cwi

The Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College is a non-profit organization created to promote the study of the American Civil War Era. The Institute was founded in 1982 by historian and Gettysburg College professor Gabor Boritt, an Abraham Lincoln and American Civil War scholar. The current director is Peter S. Carmichael. The Institute helps coordinate a number of Civil War-related events, including the Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture, annual programming designed to commemorate Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, as well as a week-long summer conference that hosts 400 participants annually.

Summer conference[edit]

The Institute hosts an annual summer conference on the Civil War, drawing over 400 people annually. Each year, the conference focuses on a different Civil War theme. Past themes have included the Battle of Gettysburg, the Battle of Fredericksburg, Robert E. Lee, the navy and the cavalry. While most participants live in Gettysburg College dorms during the week, local attendees can choose to forgo living expenses and commute each day.

Lecturers and tour guides are chosen for recent scholarship and expertise on the conference's central theme. The Institute has hosted a number of Lincoln Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, including James M. McPherson, Ken Burns, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Allen C. Guelzo, Richard Carwardine, and others. Ed Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, lead battlefield tours for several years.

Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture[edit]

The Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture is an annual lecture on an American Civil War-related topic, aimed at appealing to the general public while still providing strong scholarly undertones. The lecture is held on November 19 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College coordinates the lecture.[1]

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