Civil War Programs

The Sesquicentennial of the Civil War will take place from 2011 – 2016, and there will be many programs initiated across the country to commemorate, investigate, and educate about this pivotal time in United States history.  As part of this national effort of reflection and understanding, SC Humanities offers several public program opportunities about the Civil War for museums, libraries, and other nonprofit organizations, as well as the general public.

Speakers Bureau LogoSpeakers Bureau: Humanities Out Loud programs
The Speakers Bureau: Humanities Out Loud is one of the longest-running and most popular programs of SC Humanities. Through the Speakers Bureau, some of South Carolina's finest scholars travel throughout the state to share their interests and knowledge of the humanities and to spark discussions about human values, traditions and cultures. SC Humanities is currently offering 18 program topics about Civil War history or related topics:

  • General Stephen D. Lee Remembers, Philip Cheney
  • Songs of the War Between the States, Philip Cheney
  • Private J. Miles Lee from Spartanburg, Philip Cheney
  • The Life of Lucy Holcombe Pickens and Other Society Matrons During the Civil War, Emily L. Cooper
  • Freemasons, filibusters, and the Knights of the Golden Circle, Emily L. Cooper
  • The Queen of the Confederacy, Emily L. Cooper
  • Service, Honor, Heritage, Pride? The Ethics of Native American Indians that Participated in the Civil War, Will Goins
  • African Americans in the Civil War, Joseph McGill
  • 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Joseph McGill
  • An Afternoon with Abraham Lincoln, Gerald Pitts
  • The Classroom Civil War Museum, Gerald Pitts
  • Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the African American Quest for Freedom, Ron Roth
  • Desperate Hours: Understanding the Legacy of the Battle of Gettysburg through the Sculpture of its Battlefield Monuments, Ron Roth
  • South Carolina Goes to War, Joseph Stukes
  • The Civil War: An Irrepressible Conflict, Joseph Stukes
  • U.S. Grant Goes to Appomattox, Joseph Stukes
  • Confederates at the Keyboard: Southern Piano Music During the Civil War Era, David Thompson
  • Gray Ghosts: A Civil War Story, B.J. Welborn

The Speakers Bureau: Humanities Out Loud program is made available to nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Learn more about the Speakers Bureau program and how to obtain one of the speakers and topics listed above by visiting the Speakers Bureau page of the website or by contacting T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477.

LTAI logoLet’s Talk About It: Reading and Discussion Program
Let’s Talk About It is a scholar-led reading and discussion program using themed series of books ranging from women's autobiography to the importance of heritage in South Carolina literature. SC Humanities partners with the South Carolina State Library to make these series available to libraries and other nonprofit organizations. SC Humanities makes $500 grants available to participating organizations to pay for scholar honoraria; the SC State Library provides complete sets of books. There is one Let’s Talk About It Series that directly investigates the Civil War:

“Rebirth of a Nation: Nationalism and the Civil War”
How did America first begin to define itself and develop into a cohesive nation state? This historical series uses a variety of genres to paint a detailed picture of post-Civil War America. Includes the following texts:

Two Roads to Sumter, by William and Bruce Catton
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Ordeal by Fire, Volume II: The Civil War, by James M. McPherson
Reconstruction: After the Civil War, by John Hope Franklin
The Private Mary Chestnut: The Unpublished Civil War Diaries, edited by C. Vann Woodward

For more information about the Let’s Talk About It program and for a full list of series, please visit the website at:, or contact Frances Kablick at 803-771-2477.

Grant-Funded Projects
SC Humanities makes several categories of grants available to statewide nonprofit organizations, including Major Grants, Mini Grants, and Planning Grants. Several awarded grants over the past year have been for programs and events about the Civil War scheduled to coincide with the Sesquicentennial and that will be open to a general public.

Voices of Secession Exhibit
The South Carolina Historical Society featured a special exhibit titled Stormy Times Ahead: Voices of Secession from September 25 – December 20, 2010. The exhibit was on display at The Fireproof Building at 100 Meeting Street in Charleston, SC. SC Humanities supported this project through a Major Grant in September 2009.

Confrontation to Conflict: South Carolina's Path to the Civil War Exhibit
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History will open their Sesquicentennial Exhibit on December 1, 2010. The exhibit will highlight documents from the agency's collection that illustrate South Carolina's path from the confrontation of the Nullification crisis to the bombardment of Fort Sumter, including the Nullification Ordiance. The exhibit will be available for the public to view during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday – Saturday at the SC Department of Archives and History building located at 8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC 29233. For questions about the exhibit or to schedule a group tour, please contact: Mary Katherine Marshall at

The Causes and Consequences of Civil War – A National Council for History Education Conference
The National Council for History Education (NCHE) will present their annual conference in Charleston in 2011 during the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Sumter, March 31 – April 2. The conference, titled “The Causes and Consequences of Civil War,” will reach approximately 600-700 teachers, historians, and museum and library personnel. The program will include a keynote address by historian and author Dr. Carol Berkin, which will be open to a general public.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. SC Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflecting sensitivity to the diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations.