Richard McMurry’s South Atlantic Civil War Symposium at Hilton Head Island



Historian Richard McMurry is one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars.  His emphasis on  Western Civil War historiography has brought that theater out into full view.  For two years now, McMurry has invited some distinguished colleagues to participate in a significant, diverse, and exciting forum.  The program continues to exceed expectations!  With an intelligent and receptive audience seeking more, Richard has delivered another strong program for 2004.  As in the first two programs these presentations will advance beyond narrow single theme programs to generate discussions leading to a higher level understanding of the ramifications of the war.


Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Arrive at leisure during the day.  Our headquarters is the magnificent Holiday Inn Oceanfront Resort with its sparkling beaches.  We have arranged a optional special battlefield tour of Honey Hill with Stephen Wise and Michael Taylor. The bus will depart the hotel at noon. The site is in private hands and only a limited number of people are permitted on it.  The tour is sponsored by the South Carolina Battleground Trust. There is no charge; however, a suggested donation of $50 defrays the cost of their bus, tour leaders and snacks.  To make this work, we will provide advance reservations for the first 30 people to donate $50.  If there is sufficient demand a second tour will be added on March 14th at 9 AM in the morning.  The bus will accept non donors on a first come and served basis at 11:45 AM on the day of the event.  Capacity is 30 of all types. 


Thursday, March 11, 2004    &   Friday, March 12, 2004  &  Saturday, March 13, 2004

You may register from 8:00 until 9:00 AM.  Early birds can enjoy a cup a coffee or peruse the book table.  Administrative announcements start at 9 AM.  Click here to view speaker schedule.  Morning lectures will be at 9:30 and 10:45 AM. We will provide lunch. The afternoon lecture is at 1 PM.  The day concludes with a panel discussion from 2:15 PM until 3:30 PM.  The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours.  This is a great chance to engage in some one on one discussion with the faculty in the bar or on the beach.  You'll also have time to see some of the sites on the island and in the surrounding community.  If you are heading home Saturday, you'll have plenty of time to get started.


On Saturday, March 13, at 5 PM, BGES members will have a optional private BBQ.  The cost is just $25.  At 6:00 PM they will receive an annual report on the state of the organization and programs we are engaged in.  Noted North and South novelist and BGES member, John Jakes will speak on The Trials and Tribulations of Writing Civil War Fiction at 7:00 P.M.  He will take questions afterwards.  The annual meeting and Jakes lecture are FREE and for BGES members only. 


Hotel and Airport Information


Once again we have selected the Holiday Inn Oceanfront, One South Forest Beach Drive.  This oceanfront hotel has extended the 2003 rate of $95 single or double (plus tax) for this event in 2004.  This is a GREAT rate and a large discount over their normal rates.  You can call the hotel at 800-423-9897 for reservations--ask for code BLU. 

Savannah International Airport is about 1 hour south of Hilton Head.  If you fly in you will need a rental car or you may contact Low Country Adventure at 843-681-8212 .  They offer a $58 round trip service with multi-person discounts, for example a couple will save $18.  Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance. There is currently limited air service directly to Hilton Head Island on US Airways Commuter.


The Faculty

Their topics will be announced by December 11th


Richard McMurry:  Your host is a free lance historian and author of Two Great Rebel Armies; Fourth Battle of Winchester, Towards a New Civil War Paradigm; VMI Alumni in the Civil War and Atlanta 1864,  

Wendy Venet:  Faculty member, Georgia State University, Atlanta.  Author of Neither Ballots nor Bullets, Women Abolitionists and Emancipation During the Civil War and Union in Crisis, 1850-1877

William Freehling:  University of Kentucky  Professor Emeritus, author of Road to Disunion Vols. 1 & 2; South versus South, How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War; Why the Civil War Came and Slavery and Freedom

John Simon:  University of Southern Illinois, Editor of numerous books most noteworthy the 25 plus volume series of The US Grant Papers and Grant and Halleck, Contrasts in Command.

John Hennessy: Chief Historian, Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Military Park, author of Return to Bull Run:  The Battle and Campaign of Second Manassas; and Fighting with the 18th Massachusetts, The Civil War Memoir of Thomas H. Mann.

A. Stuart McGehee:  Is the Archivist of the Craft Memorial Library in Bluefield, West Virginia.  He was the governor of West Virginia's designated representative at recent monument rededication ceremony at Gettysburg.

Art Bergeron: Historian at Pamplin Historical Park, author of Confederate Mobile; Black Southerners in Gray; Civil War Reminiscences of Major Silas Grisamore, CSA and Duty Called Me Here; The Soldier Comrades of the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier.

Alan Downs:  Georgia Southern University is a specialist on Joseph Eggleston Johnston

Gerald Prokopowicz:  East Carolina University is the author of All for the Regiment; The Army of the Ohio 1861-1862


Faculty for the Restricted Attendance Programs


John Jakes:  This BGES member is one of America's most beloved authors.  With over 50 million copies of his books in print around the world, he is in the front ranks of all writers.  Jakes is the author of the first great Civil War mini-series North and South.  His other serial books have introduced us to a number of memorable characters.  His most recent work is Charleston.

Mike Taylor:  Is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Battleground Trust.  As the first such incumbent to that charitable organization, he is defining the direction of historic preservation on battlefield sites in this most interesting of old American states.  Honey Hill is a battlefield of particular interest to the Trust and it is due to Mike that we will be able to visit it.

Stephen Wise:  Is one of BGES' most popular historians.  Director of the Marine Corps Museum at Parris Island, Wise is an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina.  His books Gate of Hell, The Charleston Siege of 1863 and Lifeline of the Confederacy should be on everyone's short list of books to read.  Steve is the local historian for the region.





2004 South Atlantic Civil War Symposium Registration Form




Address:                                                                    City, State, Zip


Phone:                                                 E-mail:


_____ I'd like to guarantee my seat on the tour of the Honey Hill Battlefield on March 10th at noon.  Here is my donation of $50 per person*.  Let me know if I am one of the "lucky 30."  This optional tour is sponsored by the SC Battleground Trust.  Donations defray the cost of presenting it.  

            *Non donors are welcome and will be seated first come and served to the capacity of 30 people at 11:45 AM on March 10th.


_____ Pre registration for Entire Program March 11, 12 and 13, lectures, lunches, panels (payment must be received by February 1st) Current BGES members only $ 280 Save over 10%  General Public: $300 save 10%!


_____ Registration for Entire Program, March 11, 12 and 13, lectures, lunches, panels from February 1, 2003: Current BGES members  only $ 310!  General Public: $330


_____ BGES Members' Annual Meeting and John Jakes lecture (no charge), March 13


_____ BGES "Members Only" BBQ March 13 at 5 PM: $25 per person


            List Guests for Dinner:




Form of Payment:


____ Check enclosed  ____ Charge my     AmExpress          VISA        Mastercard


# ______________________________________________________ Exp: __________


Signature: ______________________________________________________________

You may cancel your registration with a full refund until March 1st.  Your money will be refunded in full if you are not completely satisfied.


Mail this registration form to BGES Hilton Head Symposium; 416 Beck Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23503 or fax this form to 434-836-3292 or call Toll Free 888-741-BGES (2437).