Vermont Press Releases

Acclaimed Civil War historian James McPherson to discuss two naval commanders

September 17, 2013

Sylvia Plumb, Director of Communications, 802.262.2626 x302

Part of First Wednesdays at Norwich Congregational Church: A Free Lecture Presented by Vermont Humanities Council

Norwich ~ Acclaimed Civil War historian James M. McPherson returns to First Wednesdays with a talk on two prominent Civil War admirals at Norwich Congregational Church on October 2 at 7:00 pm. His talk, “The Rewards of Risk: Two Civil War Admirals,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and is free and open to the public.

McPherson will trace the careers of two Civil War admirals with contrasting personalities: Samuel Francis Du Pont, who captured Port Royal Bay in 1861 but failed to capture Charleston in 1863, and David Glasgow Farragut, who captured New Orleans in 1862 and Mobile Bay in 1864 as well as helped capture Vicksburg and Port Hudson in 1863.

Widely considered one of the preeminent Civil War historians living today, McPherson is the author of Battle Cry of Freedom (1988), a book that helped spark a national renewal of interest in the Civil War, and for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He is a past president of the American Historical Association and is the Henry Davis ’86 Professor Emeritus of U.S. History at Princeton University. His most recent book is War on the Waters: The Union & Confederate Navies, 1861-1865.

The Vermont Department of Libraries is the statewide underwriter of First Wednesdays.

Norwich Public Library is sponsored by Friends of Norwich Public Library, The Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation, Ledyard National Bank, Mascoma Savings Bank, and Norwich Historical Society.

Norwich First Wednesdays listing


The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May in nine communities statewide, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Norwich are held at Norwich Congregational Church (unless otherwise noted) and are hosted by Norwich Public Library and Norwich Historical Society. All First Wednesdays talks are free and open to the public.

Upcoming Norwich talks include “Thoreau the Poet-Naturalist” with Dartmouth professor Nancy Jay Crumbine on November 6; “Concrete, Culture, and Community: The Impact of the Interstate Highway on Vermont” with UVM professor emeritus Frank Bryan on December 4; and “Security Versus Civil Liberties” with former ABC News correspondent Barrie Dunsmore on January 8.

First Wednesdays Brochure for all sites

For more information, contact Norwich Public Library at 802.649.1184, or contact the Vermont Humanities Council at 802.262.2626 or [email protected], or visit


Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters—of every background and in every community. The Council strives to make Vermont a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life. For information on VHC programs, visit

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