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UC Highlights 150th Anniversary of Civil War’s Start with New Research


UC houses the greatest number of Civil War historians of any educational institution in the state, not to mention unusual collections related to the Civil War. UC is also pursuing unique Civil War-related research, including that on music related to Abraham Lincoln.

Date: 4/4/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Supplied by UC Archives

UC ingot  
Illustration from Stephen Foster song
This art, from UC Archives & Rare Books, illustrates a Stephen Foster Civil War song.

The American Civil War began at 4:30 a.m. on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces under Gen. Pierre Beauregard opened fire with 50 cannons upon Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.

Four years later, almost to the day, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, (on April 9, 1865). In between,
  • More than 10,000 military engagements were fought.
  • Approximately 620,000 Americans in uniform – Union and Confederate – died as a result of battle or disease.
  • More than four million slaves were freed.
The tragic and transformational nature of that war can be seen and heard thanks to the University of Cincinnati’s regional leadership in terms of research related to Civil War history and to the university’s unusual collections.

  • UC College-Conservatory of Music doctoral student Thomas Kernan is pursuing a unique research project related to music about Abraham Lincoln over a 150-year span. HEAR the song that Kernan says best represents Lincoln's legacy.
  • As part of his UC graduate planning thesis completed in 2010, Mike Riesenberg created the first-ever list cataloging Civil War memorials and sites created from 1860 onward in Greater Cincinnati.
  • UC’s Archives and Rare Books Library houses a collection of Stephen Foster music - including pages from Civil War-era songbooks with music written by Foster. The library also houses letters, documents (i.e., Hamilton County Civil War exemptions), newspapers and rare books related to the Civil War. SEE a digital exhibit relating to the library's collection.