Filmmaker will be in Medina for Civil War Encampment

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 February 2014 at 12:00 am

GCC has several Civil War lectures planned through May

Genesee Community College has several lectures scheduled the next three months about the Civil War, including a visit and talk from the director of the film Copperhead.

Ron Maxwell

Ron Maxwell will be in Medina on April 26 during the Civil War Encampment. He will be joined for a lecture by Elba author Bill Kauffman, who wrote the screenplay for Copperhead.

Maxwell is currently promoting the release of the DVD version of Copperhead, a film that explores the right of free speech during the American Civil War. Maxwell and Kauffman will appear at a time to be determined.

The third annual GCC Civil War Encampment weekend will be April 25-27. The event in Medina will include a parade, battles, lectures and demonstrations.

The college is planning other lectures during the 150th anniversary of the war.

“The Civil War Tower in Mt. Albion Cemetery: A History” will be presented by Bill Lattin, Orleans County Historian. The lecture will be 7 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the Albion Campus Center.

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Mt. Albion Cemetery is one of the most unique physical commemorations of Civil War valor. Standing at the highest point in the cemetery, the monument – a tower – rises through the treetops for a stunning view of the countryside.

Made of Medina sandstone, this tribute remembers the 463 Orleans County men who perished in the war. Lattin will disucss the history of this magnificent historic tower and learn about the challenges faced by those who dedicated themselves to building an iconic monument to those who fell in that great fraternal war.

“Copperheads and the Constitution: Lincoln’s ‘Fire in the Rear’” will be presented by Adam Tabelski, former mayor of Medina, and senior aide to Sen. George Maziarz. The lecture will be 10 a.m. April 11 at the Medina Campus Center.

As President Lincoln searched for ways to take the military offensive and defeat the Confederate army in the South, he had problems back at home. There was, in fact, a jeopardizing ‘fire in the rear’ that needed to be put out: the activism of so-called “copperheads,” who were politicians and others whose beliefs ran counter to the prevailing wartime sentiment of preserving the Unionand, later, freeing the slavesat all costs.

Copperheads sought victories not on the battlefield, but in communities, in the courts, and at the ballot box. This talk will explore their tumultuous history.

The Batavia campus will also host a Civil War Lecture Series the first Wednesday of each month through May. On March 5, GCC Prof. Michael Gosselin will speak – “A Plain Businessman of the Republic: An English Professor Reads Grant Memoirs.” On April 2, Rev. Gary Hakes will talk about religion and the Civil War. Finally, on May 7 Mike “Max” Szemplenski will talk about “Dean Richmond and the Civil War.”

The Batavia lectures will be in the Conable Technology Building in room T102. They are free and open to the public.