"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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The Civil War at a Crossroads: The Seven Days

Edward L. Ayers

On June 19, 2012, Edward Ayers delivered a Banner Lecture entitled "The Civil War at a Crossroads: The Seven Days." In the spring of 1862, Virginia's civilians faced a different kind of war than they had the year before. Advancing Union armies now occupied large amounts of territory in western Virginia and in Tidewater, and their presence had a dramatic effect on local populations. Pro-Confederate white Virginians became refugees as they left their homes, and enslaved Virginians began to flee to the safety of Union lines. In this lecture, Edward L. Ayers analyzed the impact of the Civil War on Virginia's civilians up through the first half of 1862. He is president of the University of Richmond and the author of In the Presence of Mine Enemies: The Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859–1863. This lecture is cosponsored with the Richmond National Battlefield Park and The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. (Introduction by Paul Levengood, Dave Ruth, and Cheryl Magazine)