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Ohio Wesleyan to Host Sept. 29 Civil War Lecture on Abraham Lincoln
Pulitzer Prize Winner James McPherson to Discuss Lincoln’s Role as Commander in Chief

September 6, 2011

James McPherson.
Photo courtesy of James McPherson
DELAWARE, OH – Noted author, Pulitzer Prize winner, and Civil War scholar James McPherson, Ph.D., will discuss “Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief” when he presents Ohio Wesleyan University’s 2011 Richard W. Smith Civil War History Lecture at 8 p.m. Sept. 29 in Gray Chapel in University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St. This event is free and open to the public. It also will be streamed live online at StreamOWU.

McPherson is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History Emeritus at Princeton University. He has written 15 books and edited 10, most about the Civil War and Reconstruction. He won the Pulitzer Prize in History for “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era” (1989), and Lincoln Prizes for “For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War” (1998) and “Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief” (2009). McPherson also won a Pritzker Prize for lifetime achievement in military writing.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn., and his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He has served as Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, president of the Society for American History, and president of the American Historical Association. He also is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Ohio Wesleyan’s annual Smith Lecture is named in honor of emeritus history professor Richard W. Smith, Ph.D., and each year features a national Civil War scholar. Past lecturers in the series, which began in 2002, include U.S. Civil War expert Gary Gallagher of the University of Virginia and Civil War scholar and author Jean H. Baker. This year marks the sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War.


Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 52 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.