In August 2013, Bowdoin College hosted "The Afterlife of the American Civil War," a four-day series of lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions, and music presented in commemoration of the Civil War's sesquicentennial celebration. Bowdoin has many important connections to the Civil War through eminent alumni, faculty, and other historical figures associated with the College—including Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (class of 1852), Oliver Otis Howard (class of 1850), William Pitt Fessenden (class of 1823), and Harriet Beecher Stowe, who began writing "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" while her husband was a Bowdoin professor. The Alumni College event, which focused on Bowdoin's involvement in the post-war years, included lectures by Bowdoin faculty and alumni.
In this lecture, Bowdoin Associate Professor of History Patrick Rael, a specialist in African-American History who regularly teaches courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, including the popular course "The Civil War in Film," discusses Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and other Bowdoin alumni who fought in the Civil War.
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