Historian A. Wilson Greene will present a lecture titled The Day the South Lost the War: The Fall of New Orleans on Tuesday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m., in the Cook Memorial Theater, New Bedford Whaling Museum.
The free public lecture is presented in partnership with the New Bedford Civil War Roundtable, New Bedford Historical Society, Friends of the New Bedford Free Public Library, and Fort Taber ~ Fort Rodman Military Museum.
The illustrated talk will focus on the combined Union naval and army operation in the spring of 1862 that resulted in the capture of the Confederacy’s largest city and most important port – New Orleans, Louisiana.
A complacent Confederate military placed unwarranted confidence in two large masonry forts more than sixty miles downstream from New Orleans to protect the key city on the Gulf Coast. A flotilla commanded by David Farragut and innovative mortar boats led by David D. Porter along with a newly-recruited army—primarily from New England’s maritime communities—arrived below the forts in April 1862. The result would be a dramatic conflict in which the Union navy eventually bulled its way past the Confederate bastions and steamed up to the New Orleans levees, giving the North a pivotal victory in the war.
Will Greene received his M.A. in History at Louisiana State University and spent sixteen years as historian and manager with the National Park Service, with assignments that included the Fredericksburg National Military Park (VA), Independence National Historical Park (PA), Chalmette National Historical Park (LA), Gulf Islands National Seashore (FL), Shenandoah National Park (VA), and the Petersburg National Battlefield (VA). He served as president and executive director of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (now the Civil War Trust). Since 1995 he has been the Executive Director of the Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, Petersburg, VA.
A widely published author on the Civil War, Will has led more than 40 Smithsonian Institute tours and seminars covering all the major Civil War campaigns. He has spoken at over 100 Civil War Roundtables and has presented lectures for the Civil War Society, Blue and Gray Education Society, Campaigning with Lee Seminar, and many national symposiums and seminars.