Over 200 attend annual seminar

Published 2:56 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2016

By Carly Shaia

Special to The Farmville Herald

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Longwood University hosted its 17th annual Civil War Seminar on Saturday. The seminar was themed around “After Appomattox,” and partnered with the Longwood Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy, as well as the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park and the Eastern National Bookstore.

The seminar began in the early morning discussing the end of the war, going into the early evening discussing the beginnings of after-war peace between Gens. Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.

Over 200 people attended the seminar, including history buffs, students and community members alike. “We try to bring in new people every year,” said David Coles, an associate professor of history as well as the chair for the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy, who was integral in organizing the event.

Eileen Huffman, a board member of the Appomattox 1865 Foundation, said, “I think it’s very important (to host these seminars).”

Part of her job with the community is making historical parks “a place to connect,” not just for people interested in its history, but also for those interested in education. The historic park serves as a gathering place for events throughout the year to emphasize not just the Civil War history, but history through music and astronomy.

“We do a lot of educational (events),” said Huffman, particularly for local fourth-graders when they learn about the history of Virginia and local history. She explained that part of the seminar and the historic park encourages the idea that, “you don’t have to be so much about (history) but look at what’s right here in the same area.”

Coles said that the event is meant to be a gathering place for history nuts as well as members of the community. “We live in an area where two major events of history took place,” said Coles, “And we like to continue to emphasize that.”