Civil War Talk Spreads To the Northwest

A talk on the impact of the Civil War on the Pacific Northwest will be held Monday, Dec. 5, in Portland, Oregon at McMenamin's Mission Theater. NPS poster.

Though the primary battles of the Civil War were fought in the East, the Pacific Northwest was impacted by the war between the states, as a National Park Service ranger will explain Monday during a talk in Portland, Oregon.

Greg Shine, the chief ranger and historian at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, will speak on the connections between the Pacific Northwest and the American Civil War at McMenamin's Mission Theater.

"The Pacific Northwest & The American Civil War"

* Presented by Greg Shine, Chief Ranger and Historian, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

* Monday, December 5, 2011, 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m.

* McMenamin's Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., Portland, OR

* Free and open to the public

In this year that the National Park Service and other organizations are beginning to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Chief Ranger Shine will describe the interesting role the Northwest played -- not only because its states and territories were part of the ongoing battle over freedom and slavery, but also because of the army's particular relationship with the region's Native American groups.

"An ongoing theme in the Civil War Sesquicentennial is 'Civil War to Civil Rights,' " explained Ranger Shine in a release. "And it is important to recognize how this theme also applies to the American Indian experience."

Fort Vancouver was an important base of operations for the U.S. Army prior to and after the Civil War. Soldiers and officers such as Ulysses S. Grant, and Philip Sheridan arrived in the 1850s to facilitate the settlement of the Northwest by establishing posts, building roads, escorting emigrants, and outfitting surveying expeditions. When the Civil War broke out, professional soldiers stationed at the Fort and other military posts in the Pacific Northwest were mostly sent east, and their positions were filled by hundreds of volunteers. Their Civil War task: to control the Native populations and secure the land for the Union and its citizens.

Using images and documents from the past, Ranger Shine will describe the Civil War period in the Northwest, the significant people and events that influenced the outcome, the war's legacy, and the role memory plays in our understanding of the war.