Civil War Sharpshooters

January 15, 2020

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

The Virginia Military Institute's Nichols Auditorium
Lexington, VA 24450

At 7:30pm, on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, in VMI’s Nichols Auditorium, Dr. Roberta Senechal, of Washington & Lee University’s History Department, will present ~ “’Our Aim was Man:’ Civil War Sharpshooters” based on her book by that title.

Dr. Senechal will be sharing her in-depth research about the First Company Massachusetts Sharpshooters, also known as “Andrew’s Sharpshooters.” Her great-great-grandfather was a member of the Company and she inherited a trove of letters written by him to his wife and children during the war in which he described troop movements, camp life, training, and weaponry. She was also able to successfully track down information from and about other members of the unit. The primary sources revealed the challenges of covert warfare and included rich detail about the everyday problems of Civil War sharpshooters—including terrible food, disease, punishing marches, homesickness, and the trials of those left behind on the home front.

Dr. Senechal can easily be considered a “universal woman.” An American historian, sociologist, and poet, born in western Maine of Micmac and French-Canadian descent, and raised in upstate New York, she graduated from the University of Southern Maine and from the University of Virginia, where she received her Doctorate in History. A prolific author, she has published in all three fields, including such titles as: In Lincoln’s Shadow: The 1908 Race Riot in Springfield Illinois; The Sociogenesis of a Race Riot: Springfield, Illinois in 1908; “Toward a Scientific Theory of Terrorism,” “Why is Collective Violence Collective?” and numerous volumes of poetry—"After Eden;” “Blind Flowers;” and “Winter Light—Poems by Roberta Senechal de la Roche.” Her poetry has also appeared in the Colorado Review; Vallum; Glass: A Journal of Poetry; Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review; Yemassee, and Cold Mountain Review.

Dr. Senechal has frequently been rated as “awesome” by her W&L students, with one calling her “the best lecturer in the History Department.“ She is also fond of saying that she “lives in the woods near the Blue Ridge Mountains.”

The event is being sponsored by the VMI Museum System.

Civil War, Collegiate, History, Meeting, Lecture, Presentation