Civil War expert at history club

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 7, 2011

A. Wilson Greene, nationally recognized Civil War expert, will speak at the next Rowan Museum History Club meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the Messinger Room of the museum at 202 N. Main St. The public is invited.
Greene is the executive director of the Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Petersburg, Va. Previously he was historian and manager with the National Park Service for 16 years which included stints at Fredericksburg and Petersburg battlefields. He was president and executive director of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites.
He has written a number of books about the Civil War and has contributed more than 20 articles in history journals. He is under contract with the University of North Carolina Press to write a three-volume history of the Petersburg Campaign, 1864-65.
Pamplin Historical Park is located on the site of the first breakthrough in the nine- month siege of Petersburg by federal troops. The original trenches still exist in the park.
Greene’s other activities include serving as a study leader for more than 30 Smithsonian tours and seminars. In his position at Pamplin, he leads battlefield tours and offers seminars on Civil War topics. He also speaks to many Civil War roundtables and regularly serves as guest speaker for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company.
Greene is a native of Chicago. He graduated from Florida State University and earned a master’s degree in history from Louisiana State University.
His topic for the local history club will focus on North Carolina’s role in the Civil War, including special emphasis on the events leading to secession in 1860-61.
“The Tarheel State shared an ambivalence toward disunion with other Upper South states, such as Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky, with which it shared many economic and cultural similarities,” Greene said. “North Carolina also witnessed almost constant military action within its borders, culminating with major campaigns in 1865. … North Carolina’s rich Civil War heritage is often overshadowed by events within its neighbor to the north, but my talk should remind proud North Carolinians that their legacy is as poignant, heroic and tragic as that of any Southern state.”