CANCELLED | Battle Ground State: African American Women in Civil War Pennsylvania

CANCELLED | Battle Ground State: African American Women in Civil War Pennsylvania


Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, LancasterHistory is closed to the public until further notice. Therefore, the following lecture has been cancelled. LancasterHistory will do our best to work with the speaker to reschedule the lecture for future dates. Thank you, and take care!

On Thursday, April 16, 2020, Dr. Judith Giesberg of Villanova University will join LancasterHistory to discuss women’s views, particularly those of African American women, on the Civil War. For event details and how to register, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Antebellum Pennsylvania, including Lancaster, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, was home to many vibrant black communities. Within these communities, white and black residents disagreed about what the Civil War was about, and women were at the center of these conversations. Dr. Judith Giesberg will relate the stories of some of these women and the sources available to explore their lives.

Judith Giesberg, Ph.D.Judith Giesberg, Ph.D., is editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era and a professor of history at Villanova University. She is the author of four books on the Civil War era: Civil War Sisterhood: The United States Sanitary Commission and Women’s Politics in Transition (2000); “Army at Home”: Women and the Civil War on the Northern Home Front (2009); Keystone State in Crisis: Pennsylvania in the Civil War (2013); and Sex and the Civil War: Soldiers, Pornography, and the Making of American Morality (2017). Giesberg also edited Emilie Davis’s Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863–1865 (2014) and coedited, with Randall Miller, Women and the American Civil War: North-South Counterpoints (2018). She directs the project “Last Seen: Finding Family after Slavery,” which is digitizing “Information Wanted” advertisements placed in newspapers by African Americans looking for family members lost in slavery.


A casual reception will begin at 4pm on Thursday, April 16 at LancasterHistory, 230 N. President Ave., Lancaster. The main presentation will begin at 4:30pm in Ryder Hall.

The program is free and open to the public but requires advance registration to guarantee a seat at the presentation. Register online by clicking “Get Tickets” below or by calling (717) 392-4633. Questions and accessibility requests may be directed to or (717) 392-4633. Ticketholders should bring a paper printout of their tickets or be able to display their tickets on a cellphone or other internet-enabled device to check-in to the lecture.

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Lecture Reception

April 16, 2020 Ryder Hall at LancasterHistory, 230 N. President Avenue 4pm Reception | 4:30pm Main Presentation FREE | Registration Required To Guarantee Seat