Discussion series to commemorate 150th anniversary of Civil War

Maintaining ties: Reflections on history connect community and university

By Lisa Dees
On September 16, 2011

  • (To right) ASU graduate Curtis Milbourn and professors of history Dr. Jason Pierce and Dr. Arnoldo DeLeon address various topics of the Civil War in Texas history. Pam Belcher

Students will have the opportunity through April to participate in discussions focusing on the Civil War at ASU and at Fort Concho's Commissary Building.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, ASU scholars will lead a series of panel discussions through April. "The Civil War Comes to Texas", the first of seven discussions, took place Tuesday at the fort.

Arnoldo De Leon, a history professor, engaged the audience with his discussions about "Sam Houston and Texas Secession" and San Angelo resident Curtis Milbourn spoke about "General Tom Green, Texas Warrior."

Assistant Professor of History Jason Pierce, who moderated their discussions, said De Leon and Milbourn focused on Texas because the Civil War greatly affected the state.

"Texas had a strong debate on whether to join the union or the confederacy," he said. "They joined the confederacy and Sam Houston lost much of his popularity because he didn't believe Texas should join the rebellion."

De Leon said these discussions maintain ties between the community and ASU. The Civil War is part of Texas history, and students need to realize there are significant turning points here in this state, he said.

Kenneth J. Heineman, professor and head of the department of history and director of the commemoration, said he hopes these discussions will engage the community and ASU in conversations as they think about the past.

"If we achieve that, I think we've done something," he said. "I want to show off our faculty. We have a tremendous faculty, and it's rare for a university this size to know so much and bring that knowledge to students."

Pierce said he hopes each panel discussion will draw in a wide array of audience members from the community and campus.

"I think people in general don't know a lot about their past," he said. "I hope these discussions will provide a deeper

understanding of history, as well as an opportunity to


ASU's Dr. Kid Wongsrichanalai and Dr. Bill Taylor will lead the next discussion in the series highlighting "Civil War Commanders: Ulysses S. Grant vs. Robert E. Lee" on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in the C.J. Davidson Center.

ASU's Dr. Robert Ehlers will moderate the discussion.  

All panel discussions are open to the public and Fort Concho will provide


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