Author Philip Gerard has spent years unearthing the lesser-known stories of the Civil War. In order to better document the history beyond the grand military strategies and exalted generals, Gerard dug deep into the archives, reading first-person testimonies, searching through hand-written letters, and speaking with a range of experts, from historians to longtime civil war reenactors.
In his new book, “The Last Battleground: The Civil War Comes to North Carolina,” (UNC Press/ 2019) Gerard brings back to life the stories of Rose O’Neal Greenhow, a society hostess and Confederate spy; Abraham Galloway, a former slave, Union recruiter and advocate for African-American suffrage; and others like Nancy Bennitt, a farm wife who hosted surrender talks in her home.
Host Frank Stasio speaks with Gerard, a professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, about the challenges of retelling the fraught history. Gerard speaks on Thursday, March 28 at 6 p.m. at Cumberland County Library in Fayetteville sponsored by the North Carolina Civil War and Reconstruction History Center; on March 31 at 2 p.m. at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh; and on April 7 at 3 p.m. at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington.