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Noted Civil War scholar Edwin Bearss to speak on Southeastern Ohio's role in Sherman's march to the sea

ATHENS, Ohio (April 6, 2004) -- Edwin Bearss, well-known history guide and Civil War scholar, will be in Athens April 25-26 to make several presentations on various aspects of the "Rebellion of 1861." His major talk -- entitled "Making Georgia Howl" -- Southeastern Ohio Boys March to the Sea with Sherman -- will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 25, in the rotunda of the new classroom building across from Peden Stadium. The event is free and open to the public.

The Sunday, April 25, presentation will be the first Helen and Foster Cornwell Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the Athens County Historical Society and Museum (ACHS&M). The Cornwells were major benefactors of the historical society. The lecture is also part of the Ohio University Bicentennial Celebration.

Preceding the talk, two reenactment units will conduct a wreath laying ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on East Union Street across from Baker Center. After the ceremony, the 63rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and Battery I of the 1st Ohio Light Artillery will march in uniform to the lecture hall.

Bearss is the National Park Service (NPS) Chief Historian Emeritus, and continues his lifelong interest in the Civil War as an independent scholar and historian. His public career began at the NPS in 1955 in Vicksburg, Miss. His research there led to the recovery of the long-lost Union gunboat Cairo. In 1991, Bearss became the National Park Service's chief historian for military sites. He received the Harry S Truman Award for Meritorious Service in the field of Civil War History and the Department of the Interior's Distinguished Service Award. In addition, he was a featured commentator for Ken Burns' PBS series The Civil War, and also appeared on the Arts & Entertainment Channel's Civil War Journal.

Bearss is the author of many works about the Rebellion, including Smithsonian's Great Battles & Battlefields of the Civil War, Nine Months to Gettysburg and A War of the People, among others. Since retiring, he continues to serve as a Civil War consultant and conducts detailed battlefield site tours and seminars for the Smithsonian Study Tours program.

Bearss' lecture will focus on the role of troops from Southeastern Ohio in the Atlanta campaign and on Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's famous March to the Sea that greatly shortened the length of the War and saved the lives of many men on both sides in this most bloody of American wars. He will also discuss his own personal family history connection with Lancaster's Gen. Sherman.

Other activities planned for Bearss' visit include taping a radio interview for the monthly Civil War segment of WOUB's "Live from Studio B" hosted by Jim Fuller and Bill Walker; a dinner hosted by John S. Townsend Camp #108 of the Sons of Veterans of the Civil War at the Frost GAR Hall, in Frost, Ohio (7:00 p.m., April 25); an Assembly at Alexander High School (10 a.m., April 26); and a seminar on Civil War medicine at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (5:00 p.m., April 26).

For more information about Edwin Bearss' activities in Athens this April, call Carl J. Denbow, chairman of the ACHS&M's Helen and Foster Cornwell Memorial Lecture Committee at (740) 593-2204.

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Media Contact: Chairman of the ACHS&M's Helen and Foster Cornwell Memorial Lecture Committee Carl Denbow, (740) 593-2204 

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