Cumberland Mountain Civil War Roundtable

Dr. Michael Toomey will be guest speaker


The Cumberland Mountain Civil War Roundtable invites everyone to an evening of American History, at 6 p.m., June 12, 2024, at Christ Lutheran Church, 481 Snead Dr., in Fairfield Glade, in Crossville, for a presentation from our guest speaker, Dr. Micheal Toomey.

 On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “that all persons held as slave” within rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”  With that momentous stroke of the pen, more than 3.5 million enslaved people in the secessionist Confederate states gained freedom.

The nation was at war with itself, brothers fighting brothers in the bitter conflict between North and South. President Lincoln, straining to preserve the Union, was searching for a way to bring the conflict to a close. He issued a threat. On Sept. 22, 1862, the president announced his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, promising to declare free those held in bondage in any territory still in rebellion on New Year’s Day. The South fought on. The president followed through.

The Emancipation Proclamation makes clear what President Lincoln “sincerely believed to be an act of justice” – that the U.S. government would recognize and maintain the freedom of enslaved people in the South. It wasn’t until the eventual adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that slavery was entirely abolished on American shores, but this proclamation marked a resounding first step toward liberty and justice for all.

Dr. Toomey will present an in depth look at the events leading up to the historical Emancipation Proclamation. The American Civil War is generally regarded as the most pivotal period of United States history, a time when the future of the nation itself was being reshaped and redefined. Looking back at those critical years, we can recognize several “turning points,” critical events and choices that ultimately determined the outcome.  Many of these turning points occurred on the battlefield, but there were others, most notable of which was Abrham Lincoln’s announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. Indeed, no other decision in the entire conflict looms so large in hindsight. Yet the journey in which Lincoln arrived at the decision to attack the institution of slavery was complicated.  Lincoln’s own religious background was an important influence, as was his understanding of the Constitution and his own instinctive political skills. It was the combination of these factors that made the Emancipation Proclamation a reality and created a decisive path to victory.

Dr. Toomey was a member of the faculty of the Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences from 2008 to 2022, at Lincoln Memorial University, in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU bestowed the University’s prestigious Houston Award for Teaching Excellence in 2022. The Houston Award honors faculty who have exhibited exemplary professional teaching achievements characterized by clear, abundant, persistent demonstration of high standards of teaching.  Toomey directed the Lincoln Life and Legacy program which all LMU students are required to complete.  In that role he produced the book, In His Words, Readings from the Life of Abraham Lincoln (Kendal-Hint Publishers, 2014). The textbook is used by hundreds of LMU students enrolled in Lincoln 100. Micheal retired from Lincoln Memorial University with the honored Professor Emeritus of History in 2022. He was at LMU from 2008 to 2022 as Associate Professor and Professor of History. Micheal was the Managing Editor at The Journal of East Tennessee History, 1999-2010.  Curator of History at The East Tennessee Historical Society, 1999-2007. He also was Associate Professor, Department of History, Knoxville College,1991-1999 and served at the University of Tennessee History Department from 1984 to 1991. He belonged to several professional organizations – The East Tennessee Historical Society, Tennessee Historical Society, Southern Historical Association and American Historical Association.

 Dr. Toomey earned his B.A degree in history from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and his M.A and PhD in history from the University of Tennessee.  He lives in Clinton, Tennessee.

First time visitors are admitted free, but we do ask for a $5 donation to repeat non-members.  Memberships to the CMCWRT can be obtained for the yearly subscription of $25 per person or $35 for couples.

Civil War books will be on display for purchase.  Tickets for the July 10, 2024, concert “Songs and Stories from the Civil War” by Alabama’s own Bobby Horton will be on sale. The concert will be presented at the historical Palace Theater in downtown Crossville. Tickets are $15.00 each. Tickets may also be purchased at the Palace ticket office or through their online site –, and at the Military Museum in downtown Crossville, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

The Cumberland Mountain Civil War Round Table – CMCWRT - is an organization of American Civil War enthusiasts. Presentations from authors, college professors, historians are presented on the second Wednesday of the month at Christ Lutheran Church in Fairfield Glade. The purpose of the roundtable is to educate, discuss and bring to focus the events and historical facts concerning the American Civil War. You can find us on Facebook at - Cumberland Mt. Civil War Round Table. For additional information, call Ken Patton at 901-292-9312 or Dennis Flynn at 913-948-3499.

Credits – American Battle Trust, Lincoln Memorial University, Library of Congress, Wikipedia, Dr. Michael Toomey      


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