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At noon on Wednesday, March 29, as part of the department’s History Is Lunch series, Stephen Cushman will present "Surrender According to Johnston and Sherman."

When many people picture the end of the Civil War, they envision the surrender of Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. But Joseph E. Johnston’s surrender to William T. Sherman later that month in North Carolina was the largest of the war. For his program, Cushman will compare the published accounts of the event by Johnston and Sherman, who had confronted each other before at First Manassas-Bull Run and at Jackson, Mississippi.

“Lee and Grant may have captured most of the limelight in popular imagination of Civil War closure,” said Cushman, “But the relations between Johnston’s and Sherman’s books, as well as between the men who wrote them, tell a significant story of their own, one with no counterpart at Appomattox.”

Stephen Cushman is Robert C. Taylor Professor of English and the author of Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle and Belligerent Muse: Five Northern Writers and How They Shaped Our Understanding of the Civil War. He has also published essays about Ambrose Bierce, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Abraham Lincoln, and Walt Whitman. Cushman’s current projects include discussions of Philip Sheridan’s memoirs; Joseph E. Johnston’s surrender to William T. Sherman; and Richard Taylor’s book Destruction and Reconstruction.

In addition, Cushman is the author of five volumes of poems and two critical studies of American poetry, and is the general editor of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. A frequent speaker at Civil War conferences at Gettysburg College and the Huntington Library, he has enjoyed teaching with Gary Gallagher a Civil War seminar for advanced undergraduates at the University of Virginia. Cushman was named Cavalier Distinguished Professor for 2014-16, and he won a State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award in 2015.

The program will take place in the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, 200 North Street, Jackson, MS 39201. There is no charge to attend. For more information call 601-576-6998 or email


April 5—Paulette H. French will discuss her book The 10th Mississippi Infantry Regiment: A Record of the Marches, Battles, Skirmishes, and the Men of The 10th. A tour of Greenwood Cemetery in downtown Jackson will follow. WFW

April 12—Architect Robert Parker Adams will discuss his restoration of the observatory on the Millsaps College campus. WFW

April 19—Jim Barnett will discuss his new book, Beyond Control: The Mississippi River’s New Channel to the Gulf of Mexico. WFW

History Is Lunch programs take place in the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (WFW), 200 North Street, Jackson, MS 39201, or the Old Capitol Museum (OCM), 100 South State Street, Jackson, MS 39201.

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