The Virginia Center for Civil War Studies and the Society for Women and the Civil War are hosting the 7th Annual “Conference on Women and the Civil War” at Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus from Friday to Sunday, June 3-5, 2005. The conference will recognize and examine the efforts of women from 1861 to 1865.

Virginia Tech is hosting the conference, in large part because the campus is home for the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. The three-day event, which will be held at the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center on campus, features a variety of workshops and presentations and also will include off-site tours to Smithfield Plantation and the nearby Preston family cemetery.

In addition, several speakers will discuss women of the Civil War and their accomplishments. Virginia Tech professors James I. Robertson, Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor of History and director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, and William Davis, director of programs at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, will be the featured speakers.

Workshops on the agenda for Friday, June 3:

=> “Using Special Collections,” a workshop conducted by Joyce Nester, Special Collections librarian at Virginia Tech, that will explore techniques to find and use unique collections of books, manuscripts, and objects.

=> “Copyrights/Copywrongs,” a workshop for researchers, writers, and presenters of Civil War history, conducted by copyright and trademark attorney Susan Anthony.

Saturday, June 4:

=> “Confederate Women and the Cult of Sacrifice,” by Davis.

=> “Patriotism and Practicality: Civil War Era Homespun Dresses,” an examination of the reliance on old-fashioned means of textile production during the war, by Vicki Betts, a librarian at the University of Texas at Tyler and an author and editor on Civil War topics.

=> “Elizabeth Phelps’s Gothic Civil War: A Northern Writer Communing with the Spirits of the Dead,” by Monika Elbert, professor of English and Distinguished Scholar at Montclair State University and a widely published author of works on 19th-century American women writers.

=> “Mary Martha Reid and the Florida Hospital in Richmond,” by David Coles, assistant professor of history at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., and a widely published author and editor of books and articles on Civil War topics.

=> “The Union Army vs. Mary Jane Green: The Rebel Who Would Not be Tamed,” by Wendy King, a Civil War re-enactor and author of Clad in Uniform: Women Soldiers of the Civil War.

=> “Maria Lewis, Black Female Trooper of the 8th NY Cavalry: A Methodology,” by Anita Henderson, a prominent civilian and military Civil War living historian, and descendant of a slave.

=> “Calling on the Female Prisoners: Maintaining Gender Relationships in Alton Military Prison During the Civil War,” by Thomas Curran, who teaches American history at Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis. A published author of Civil War books, he is presently completing a study of Confederate women arrested and imprisoned in the St. Louis area during the war.

=> “Wee the People: The Patriotic Work of Children During the Civil War,” by Meg Galante-DeAngelis, who teaches at the University of Connecticut in the School of Family Studies. A child developmentalist and social historian, she has spent more than 30 years studying the lives of children and their families during the Civil War.

An after-dinner program on Friday evening will feature Saundra Jordan, who has conducted extensive research into all aspects of the life of Mary Lincoln. Jordan will perform a first-person presentation titled “Mary Todd Lincoln Remembers.”

Registration for the full conference is open until May 1, 2005. The registration fee is $255; Society for Women and the Civil War members is $195; and Virginia Tech students is $165 and includes activities, meals, workshops, and conference materials. Lodging is available through Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center at a reduced conference rate.

Additional information about the planned program can be obtained online at or, or by calling (540) 231-5182.