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In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the Civil War, The Huntington brought together major historians in a conference offering new perspectives on a number of Civil War figures, ranging from Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee to writer Louisa May Alcott and antislavery activist Charlotte Forten. Among notable speakers were James McPherson, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Battle Cry of Freedom (1988) and Tried By War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief (2008); Gary W. Gallagher, author of The Union War (2011); Joan Waugh, author of U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth (2009); Ronald C. White Jr., author of A. Lincoln: A Biography (2009); and David Blight, author the Bancroft Prize-winning Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001) and the newly released American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era (2011). The conference was co-convened by Gary W. Gallagher of the University of Virginia and Joan Waugh of UCLA. It was held at The Huntington on Oct. 21 & 22, 2011.