When: April 8th
Where: Otterbein University. Towers Hall 3rd floor. Room 318. Westerville Ohio 43081. Please go to the “About the COCWRT” tab for more information.
Speaker: Dale Phillips; Superintendent of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL.
Topic: The Capture of New Orleans – April 1862
From the moment the Civil War began the principle objectives of the Union war effort, as part of the Anaconda Plan, were to blockade southern ports of entry and capture the Mississippi River Valley. Both these elements came into play when we look at the Union approach to the city of New Orleans. A great deal of attention has always been given to the Union advance and the Confederate defense of the upper Mississippi Valley. Only a small amount of attention has been given to the story of what took place at the mouth of the river and in the lower delta. Mr Phillips presentation will look at the April 1862 capture of New Orleans, the largest city in the Confederacy, and its implications to the Confederate cause. The battle itself, and the running past Forts Jackson and St. Philip by the fleet of David Farragut, will be the cornerstone of his presentation. He will examine the Confederate attempts to defend the city despite a lack of support from the government in Richmond. We will examine in detail the Confederate attempt to defend the lower river. This will include the little know effort to construct a River Defense Fleet anchored by, what would have been the most powerful ironclads the Confederacy would ever try to construct, the powerful CSS Louisiana and Mississippi.
Dale is a native of New Jersey. He earned his BA degree in American History from York College of Pennsylvania in 1978. He began working for the National Park service as an interpreter at Gettysburg in 1976. His other duties have included being a law enforcement ranger for the Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville, Illinois, a interpretive ranger at Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina, supervisory park ranger/historian at Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Military Park, unit manager of the Chalmette (Battle of New Orleans site) Unit of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, unit manager of the Acadian Unit of Jean Lafitte, and superintendent of the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park.
His present position is that of superintendent of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL. He has written numerous articles on U.S. military history for various publications. He has also work as a guide/lecturer for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, Civil War Roundtables, and other history touring organizations. His area of expertise is from the colonial period (French and Indian War) through the American Civil War. Dale is married to the former Carol Patton Bernstein of Shreveport, Louisiana. They have one daughter, Laura, who attends college in Phoenix, Arizona.