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John F. Marszalek, the Giles Professor Emeritus of History at Mississippi State University, will be the speaker for the July meeting of the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable.

John Marszalek

John Marszalek

Marzalek’s topic will be “William Tecumseh Sherman: The South’s Best Friend.”

Marzalek is the author of a number of books, including three on the life and career of Sherman.

The talk will begin  at 8 p.m., Tuesday, July 12, at the Bearden Banquet Hall, 5806 Kingston Pike. The cost for just attending the talk is $5; students may attend for free. Dinner is at 7 p.m. and costs $17 for non-members of the roundtable and $15 for members.  Those wishing to attend should RSVP by noon,  Monday July 11, by calling 865-671-9001.

Marzalek began teaching at MSU in 1973 and retired in 2002. He served as director and mentor of MSU’s Scholarship Program.

From 2008 to the present, he has served as Executive Director and Managing Editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association and the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at MSU.

After his first book, Assault at West Point, which was made into a motion picture, he has written 14 books including biographies of Sherman, Halleck, and a book on the writings of Grant.

He will discuss a side of Sherman, the man who made Georgia howl and wrecked havoc in the Carolinas,  that most Southerners do not realize . As the leading practitioner of “hard war” he became the strongest  advocate of a “soft peace.”