Three-part Hazard Lecture Series begins with a look at Gettysburg

October 12, 2013 11:31:27 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


The Hazard Lecture Series presented annually in Columbus usually consists of two stimulating programs, but this fall three presentations will explore the War Between the States in a series themed "The Voyage from the Past: The Sesquicentennial of the Civil War." 


On Oct. 21, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, Marc Harris, E.C. Fields and Michael Ballard, respectively, will address "The Battle of Gettysburg and Mississippi Troops," "Lee, Grant and Lee: End of the War and Into the Future" (including Stephen D. Lee's role at Vicksburg) and "Warfare on the Rivers in Mississippi." 


These free programs for the public will all begin at 7 p.m. in the Heritage Academy Elementary Auditorium at 623 Willowbrook Road, Columbus.  


"The 150th anniversary of the Civil War makes 2013 a good year to have a third lecture. How can you learn too much about that event?" said George Hazard Jr. who, with his sister Eulalie Hazard Davis, established the lecture series in honor of their late father, George S. Hazard Sr. Rotating themes are history, science and the arts. 


"In 2012, we heard about Shiloh and Antietam, so we will be a little closer to home this fall," Hazard continued. "Thanks to this year's speakers, we hope to learn more about the war and our state. Vicksburg was an important campaign, Mississippians fought at Gettysburg and, of course, the rivers of the state were important to both sides." 




At Gettysburg 


Harris' talk Oct. 21 will focus on Mississippi regiments and major figures from the South and North who took part in the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania July 1-3, 1863.  


Among those figures is lawyer, newspaper editor, U.S. Congressman and soldier Brig. Gen. William Barksdale from Columbus. The Tennessee-born Barksdale gave up his job as newspaper editor of the Columbus Democrat to enlist in the 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment, and later represented the state as a congressman. He was mortally wounded at Gettysburg, one of more than 4,900 men from Mississippi who fought on those desperate three days. Almost 1,500 became casualties, according to They are remembered with a monument at Gettysburg, dedicated in 1973. 


About the speaker 


Harris, a native of Upstate New York, moved to Columbus from Boca Raton, Fla., in 2012 with his wife, the Rev. Anne Harris, the current priest-in-charge at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. He received his bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College and a master's degree in history from Wesleyan University.  


He was a full-time educator for 37 years, with a brief period in the business world. He taught for an extended time at the Auckland Grammar (Latin) School in Auckland, New Zealand, where he completed graduate work at Auckland University. 


Residing in Columbus has added to his perspective of the antebellum period. 


"I live in a town now that has some of the best antebellum architecture you can see ... so you get a sense of history just walking through the streets," he said. 


Hazard expressed thanks to Heritage Academy for hosting the annual lectures. 


"Heritage is aware of its duty to be part of the mental life of the city, and we always appreciate the school's efforts to welcome our speakers and everyone who attends," he remarked. 


Watch for more information on Fields' appearance as Gen. U.S. Grant on Oct. 28 and Ballard's lecture Nov. 4 in coming Dispatch lifestyles sections. 


For more information on the series, which is coordinated by Brenda Caradine, contact Beth Lucas at Heritage Academy, 662-327-1556.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.