Fifth Annual Civil War Conference Addresses Multiple Issues Leading to War

OXFORD, Miss. – Focusing on a variety of issues that propelled that nation into a bloody four-year conflict, the fifth annual Civil War conference at the University of Mississippi coincides this year with the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s 1860 election and the beginning of the secession crisis.

This year’s conference, titled “And the War Came,” is set for Oct. 13-15 and is sponsored by the UM Center for Civil War Research. The conference is being held in conjunction with the annual Porter L. Fortune Jr. History Symposium, hosted by the UM Department of History and the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education.

This year’s conference is to address issues related to slavery and abolition, antebellum sectionalism and economics, tensions over westward expansion, the crises of the 1850s, political parties and political leadership, among other important topics.

Lacy K. Ford, chair of the University of South Carolina Department of History, is to deliver the keynote address at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 in Holman Hall auditorium.

Ford, author of the prize-winning book “The Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860” (Oxford University Press, 1991), is largely interested in Southerners’ changing attitudes toward slavery. His keynote address, “A Soul of Priceless Value: The Ideological Reconfiguration of Slavery in the Lower South on the Eve of the Civil War,” examines this problem.

Conference events are set for Butler Auditorium on Thursday and in the E.F. Yerby Conference Center on Friday. The keynote address and all subsequent conference sessions are free and open to the public.

For more information, including a conference schedule, visit the Center for Civil War Research website at