26th Annual Sarasota Civil War Symposium, the MUST-ATTEND CIVIL WAR CONFERENCE OF THE YEAR! ~ January 18-20, 2018 - FILLING VERY FAST - ENROLL NOW.

  • Activity Level: Easy

The Sarasota Civil War Symposium is widely considered to be the premier Civil War conference in the country - because of its stellar faculty, spirited attendees, comfortable ambiance and alluring location on the warm white sands of Lido Beach.

Since its inception in 1993, the symposium has enjoyed robust attendance and hatched many enduring friendships. And the 2018 edition may well become OUR BEST YET!  

Come and hear the top Civil War authors and historians deliver thought-provoking, carefully-crafted presentations on a variety of intriguing Civil War topics. After each of the talks, you'll be welcome to participate in extended question & answer dialogue with our presenters.

During the conference, an excellent, comprehensive selection of Civil War books will be available for sale, courtesy of Owens & Ramsey Booksellers. You will be able to acquire books written by our faculty members - and secure autographed copies.

We're already on our way to a sell-out. Please join us.

William C. "Jack" Davis

JACK DAVIS retired in 2013 as Professor of History and Executive Director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech He served as the principal historical consultant to the A. & E. television series, Civil War Journal and has authored or edited many books including ‘A Government of Our Own’: The Making of the Confederacy; An Honorable Defeat: The Last Days of the Confederate Government and Look Away!: A History of the Confederate States of America.

Edwin C. Bearss

Ed Bearss, historian emeritus of the National Park Service, is the most well known battlefield guide in America and leads military history tours year-around of the Civil War, American Revolution, American West, and World War I and World War II in Europe. He is acclaimed as one of the stars of Ken Burns's award-winning PBS series, The Civil War. In 1956, he helped locate and raise the ironclad gunboat Cairo, one of the most significant artifacts of the Civil War.

Norman Dasinger, Jr.

Norman Dasinger, Jr., based in Gadsden, Alabama, is one of the leading experts on Civil War battles and campaigns in Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama, with special emphasis on the lesser-known actions. He has developed and leads tours of the Atlanta Campaign, N. B. Forrest versus Abel Streight in Alabama, Chattanooga including Andrews’ Raiders and the Great Locomotive Chase, and Selma and Montgomery, Alabama Civil War and Civil Rights history.

Joseph T. Glatthaar

Joseph Glatthaar is the Alan Stephenson Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of many books including The March to the Sea and Beyond: Sherman’s Troops in the Savannah and Carolinas Campaignss. His latest book is General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse.


Harold Holzer

Harold Holzer served as the chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and is the author, co-author or editor of 52 books on Lincoln and the Civil War. His most recent titles are Lincoln and the Power of the Press (winner of the 2015 Lincoln Prize); and The Annotated Lincoln, a Collection of Speeches and Writings. His many awards include the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush in 2008.

Robert N. Macomber

Robert N. Macomber is a maritime historian, lecturer and award-winning author and TV commentator best known for his novels in the Honor series of naval fiction. The series chronicles the life and times of a fictional American naval officer, Peter Wake, beginning during Civil War, and illustrates the U. S. Navy’s critical role in the expansion of America from the mid-19th century to a global power in the 20th century.

John F. Marszalek

John Marszalek is the Executive Director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association's Grant Presidential Library at Missisippi State University & Managing Editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Papers project. He is the author of several books including Sherman, A Soldier’s Passion for Order; Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies, A Life of General Henry W. Halleck; Lincoln and the Military; and The Best Writings of Ulysses S. Grant.

Janice McKay

JANICE McKAY is President of the Genealogical Society of Greater Miami, registrar for the Coral Gables chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and past-president and registrar of Colonial Dames XVII.

Richard M. McMurry

Richard McMurry is the author of many books including John Bell Hood and the War for Southern Independence, Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History, The Road Past Kennesaw: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 and Virginia Military Institute Alumni in the Civil War, In Bello Praesidium.


James I. "Bud" Robertson

Bud Robertson recently retired as Alumni Distinguished Professor in History at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is the author of many books including Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend; General A. P. Hill: The Story of a Confederate Warrior; and Robert E. Lee: Virginian Soldier, American Citizen.


Frank J. Williams

Frank Williams recently retired as Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. He is the chairman of the Lincoln Forum, and the president of the Ulysses S. Grant Association. He is the author or co-author of a dozen books including Judging Lincoln, a collection of his essays, and The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (with Harold Holzer and Edna Greene Medford.)

Brian Steel Wills

Brian Steel Wills is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. He is the author of numerous works relating to the American Civil War including The River Was Dyed with Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow; A Battle From the Start: The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest; The War in Southeastern Virginia and George Henry Thomas: As True as Steel.


WE'RE SWITCHING CREDIT CARD SOFTWARE so online registration is currently unavailable

FOR NOW, CALL 800-298-1861 to complete your credit card registration; or SEND CHECK to:


Box 78, Winchester, VA 22604

Full Program: Thursday, Friday and Saturday - 13 Sessions
                        - includes Thursday Lunch, Thursday PM reception,
                          Friday Lunch and Saturday continental breakfast       $ 495            

Basic Program: Thursday, Friday and Saturday- 13 Sessions
                       & Saturday Continental Breakfast.
                       (Lunches & Thurs Reception NOT included)                 $425

Thursday & Friday: 10 Sessions
                             (Lunches & Thurs Reception NOT included)           $330

Friday & Saturday: 8 Sessions & Saturday Continental Breakfast
                            (Lunch NOT included)                                          $265            

Thursday All-Day Only: 5 Sessions
                                  (Lunch & Reception NOT included)                  $165

Friday All-Day Only: 5 Sessions  (Lunch NOT included)                          $165

Saturday Morning Only: 3 Sessions & Continental Breakfast                $100


To register for any of the options below, please CALL 800-298-1861, OR complete the registration form on the PRINTABLE DOCUMENT, and FAX to 800-5501347, or MAIL with payment to:

                                                    Box 78, Winchester, VA 22604


Thursday Morning Only: 3 Sessions:                                                      $100
Thursday Afternoon Only: 2 Sessions:                                                   $65
Friday Morning Only: 3 Sessions:                                                     $100
Friday Afternoon Only: 2 Sessions:                                                       $65
Thursday PM Reception (Cash Bar):                                                     $25

Thursday, January 18

8:00 AM throughout    Civil War Books on Sale – Owens & Ramsey Booksellers

8:30 AM–9:30 AM       Jeff’s Choice: A New Commander of the Army of Tennessee

                               - Richard M. McMurry

9:45 AM-10:45 AM      “Too Vast for Malice:” Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Forgiveness

                                - Harold Holzer

11:00 AM-12:00 N       The Glorious Passages: Non-Combat Mortality in the Civil War- Brian Steel Wills

12:00PM - 1:00 PM      Group Lunch in Dining Room.

                                (Those not enrolled for the group lunch can dine on their own in the hotel).  

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM       Florida’s Naval Civil War: Blockades, Rebel Smugglers, International Incidents and

                                Amphibious Raiders - Robert N. Macomber

2:30 PM-3:30 PM         About Books – various faculty members

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM       Pool-side Reception – Cash Bar

Friday, January 19

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM     Is It Time to Get Rid of Robert E. Lee? - James I. “Bud” Robertson

9:45 AM-10:45 AM      Nathan Bedford Forrest vs Abel Streight and the Lightning Mule Brigade

                                –Norman Dasinger, Jr.

11:00 AM-12:00 N      Justice and Injustice after the Civil War – Frank J. Williams

12:00 N - 1:00 PM      Group Lunch in Dining Room.

                               (Those not enrolled for the group lunch can dine on their own in the hotel).  

1:15 PM – 2:15 PM     The History of the Grant Memoirs – John F. Marszalek

2;30 PM – 3:30 PM     Adventures in Researching Your Ancestors: Some Tales and Tips -Janice McKay

Saturday, January 20

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM     Continental Breakfast - Ballroom

8:30 AM –9:30 AM      Lee Escapes Across the Potomac After Gettysburg – Edwin C. Bearss

9:45 AM-10:45 AM      The Curious Relationship Between Lincoln and McClellan – Joseph T. Glatthaar

11:00 AM-12:00 N       The Forgotten Flank: The Impact of the West on the Course and Legacy

                                of the Civil War – William C. “Jack” Davis

We reserve the right to change the order and topics of presentations, and to substitute faculty members if necessary.


Sarasota 2018

We will be headquartered at the Sandcastle Resort on Lido Beach, 1540 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236. The Sandcastle offers 600 feet of private beach, two outdoor pools and a host of other amenities. Please proceed to reserve your rooms after July 15. Our nightly room rates are:

Non-View Double: $144; Courtyard View Double: $164; Pool View Double: $183; Gulf Front King or Double: $204. Our attendees WILL NOT be assessed the Sandcastle’s $25 per day Resort Fee. To Reserve a room call 800-225-2181 and identify yourself as a registrant for the Civil War Conference.

For attendees not staying at the Sandcastle, parking is available on the street - and local bus service (SCAT - Route 4) has a stop right across the street from the hotel -call 941-861-5000 for bus schedule.


Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach
1540 Ben Franklin Drive
Sarasota, FL
United States