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Civil War Historian to Lecture on Effect of Battles on Politics

(Posted October 1, 2012)

T. Llyod Benson, professor of history, Furman University

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- To honor the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a Furman University historian, T. Lloyd Benson, will give a talk at Juniata College on "Bullets and Ballots: The Politics of Antietam and Chickamauga," at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 8, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by the Delbert McQuaide Lectureship in history.

Benson will talk about how the political fallout from the Battle of Antietam, which has been described by historians as "America's deadliest day" due to catastrophic casualties on both sides, and the Battle of Chickamauga can be seen by tracing the reactions of voters in communities in the North. Benson will discuss how the epic number of deaths in both battles, and President Abraham Lincoln's decision to release the Emancipation Proclamation, sparked a political turn that turned the conflict into a war against slavery.

Benson is the Walter Kenneth Mattison Professor of History Education at Furman, a position he has held since 2003. Benson started his career as an instructor at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, Va. and also taught at Berry College, in Rome Ga. He came to Furman as an assistant professor of history in 1990. He was promoted to associate professor in 1995 and was named full professor and earned the Mattison Chair in 2003.

He is the author of "The Caning of Senator Sumner" and "Planters and Hoosiers: The Development of Sectional Society in Antebellum Indiana and Mississippi." He has published a wide variety of historical papers, including analysis of Civil War-era newspapers in such journals as American Historical Review Perspectives, Cadence, and Journal of the Civil War Era.

He also is nationally recognized as an expert in using technology to research the Civil War and in teaching college-level history courses.

He earned an associate's degree in 1979 from SUNY Empire State College and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in 1981 from the University of Virginia. He went on to earn a master's degree in history in 1983 from Virginia and completed his doctorate at the university in 1990.

The Delbert McQuaide Lectureship in History Series was established by Delbert McQuaide, a 1958 Juniata College graduate. He was a senior partner at McQuaide Blasko Law Offices in State College and served as general counsel for Penn State University and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He was president of the Centre County Bar Association, and a member of the Pennsylvania, and American Bar Associations and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. McQuaide was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1994 and served as chairman from 1996 until his death in 1997.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.