75th Anniversary Convention Medal

Education Director Column

Spring 2014

Those of us directly involved in putting together our annual conventions can attest to the simple fact that our efforts are primarily for the benefit of the collectors who attend. So what benefits are we talking about? The most obvious is the bourse, where collectors can buy, sell and trade numismatic items. The bourse offers collectors a chance to do serious comparison shopping, meet dealers for one-on-one transactions and rub elbows with fellow collectors from all parts of our country. The bourse can correctly be called the "heart of the convention." So, if the bourse is the "heart," then what is the "soul" of the convention? We would argue that the many educational opportunities are the "soul."

For example, for the third year in a row, our convention will feature a Civil War Educational Forum. This is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which prompted the convention organizers to bring in speakers and re-enactors with Civil War expertise. This year's convention will again feature Dennis Boggs, an Abraham Lincoln re-enactor whose portrayal of our 16th President is nothing short of fantastic.

Dennis plays President Lincoln in a first-person, historical style that is both believable and instructional. He will be featured twice during our 75th Anniversary Convention. His topic on Friday, April 25, 10 a.m., is The Significance of the Month of April Throughout the Four Years of the Civil War. On Saturday, April 26, noon, the president will discuss Lincoln and the Challenge of 1864. These presentations are as realistic as can be. Dennis Boggs IS President Lincoln. Both presentations are open to the public at no cost. Dennis (President Lincoln) will also be available throughout the convention at his booth in the bourse hall.

Four additional Civil War speakers will give informative talks during the Forum. At 11 a.m. on Friday, April 25, Dr. Amy Taylor from the University of Kentucky will present The Civil War After the Civil War: Redemption and the Long Road to Freedom. This will be Dr. Taylor's second appearance at our forum. At noon on Friday, we will be privileged to hear Peter Cozzens' exciting talk on The 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. He will be followed at 1 p.m. by Lance Herdegen, who will be speaking on Exploits of the Iron Brigade. At 2 p.m., Robert Girardi will discuss The Midwest During the Civil War. On Saturday, at 10 a.m., Cozzens will speak on General John Rawlins - The Brains Behind Grant? At 11 a.m., Girardi will give his General Impressions of the Civil War. All of our speakers and topics are underwritten by Central States and are free to the public.

DENNIS BOGGS has portrayed President Lincoln for the past ten years, appearing in 29 states at Civil War re-enactments and educational conferences as well as in the History Channel presentations Being Lincoln and Looking for Lincoln. Additional credits include programs presented at the 140th anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Chickamauga as well as presentations at the Andersonville National Historic Site, The Civil War Naval Museum and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

AMY TAYLOR is a graduate of Duke University, with an MA and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Dr. Taylor is the author of The Divided Family in Civil War America and Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship and a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. A board member of the Civil War Historians, she is a former faculty member of the State University of New York at Albany and currently serves on the faculty of the University of Kentucky.

PETER COZZENS is a graduate of Knox College and a career officer in the U.S. Foreign Service. He is the author of 16 books on the Civil War and American West Indian Wars, including The Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga," "The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battle for Chattanooga," "Conquering the Southern Plains," "The Army and the Indian, and No Better Place to Die: The Battle of Stones River. He has also appeared on C-Span's Book TV and the PBS series History Detectives.

LANCE HERDEGEN is a graduate of Marquette University, with a BA in Journalism. He holds an honorary doctorate from Carroll University. Specializing in research about the Iron Brigade, he is the author of seven books, including Those Damned Black Hats, The Iron Brigade in Civil War and Memory, Seminary Ridge, The Men Stood Like Iron, How the Iron Brigade Won Its Name and An Irishman in the Iron Brigade: The Civil War Memoirs of James P. Sullivan, Sergt, Company K, 6th Wisconsin Volunteers. He is a recipient of the award of merit from the Wisconsin Historical Society, serves as chairman of the Wisconsin Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and is a governor's appointee to the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

ROBERT I. GIRARDI is a Chicago native who earned his BA in history and business administration from Dominican University and his MA in public history from Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of ten books on Civil War subjects including Gettysburg in Art and Artifacts, The Civil War Generals, and The Memoirs of Brigadier General William Passmore Carlin. A career detective with the Chicago Police Department, Girardi is a past president of the Chicago Civil War Roundtable, a member of three other Civil War roundtables and a board member of the Illinois Historical Society.

Ray Lockwood
Education Director