Civil War scholar Dr. Brandon H. Beck will be the featured author Sunday as the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau hosts the second in a series of book talks titled “No Dead Authors.” The free event at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, 300 Main St., begins at 2 p.m.
Beck, the author of eight books on various aspects of the War Between the States, retired to Columbus after 38 years of teaching, including a 23-year tenure at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., where he founded the McCormick Civil War Institute. He remains as its director emeritus.
The longtime educator will discuss his last book, “Third Alabama! The Civil War Memoir of Brigadier General Cullen Andrews Battle, CSA” (University of Alabama Press, 2002), as well as his upcoming release, “The Battle of Okolona: Defending the Mississippi Prairie.” That book is due out February 22, 2010 — the 146th anniversary of the clash.
“The Battle of Okolona” is the first Civil War book Beck has penned about action outside of Virginia, his former home state.
Citing the benefit of local resources, the author noted, “I couldn”t have written this Okolona book without the West Point, Columbus and other libraries and the Friends of the Battle of Okolona, a big preservation association.”
Beck, who currently teaches courses in history at Mississippi University for Women and East Mississippi Community College, includes information in his books for self-guided tours of related Civil War sites.
“The new book brings people to Columbus, to the Lee Home and Friendship Cemetery,” said the writer, whose great-grandfathers took part in the conflict, as soldiers in the Confederate Army.
Beck said, “I think this history is very meaningful history: It”s not overseas — it”s right outside.”
For more information about the Sept. 20 event, contact Adele Elliott at 662-241-9931.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.