NCC Professor Holds Special Presentations
After her proposal was selected from competitive entries throughout the Southeast, Nash Community College Humanities Professor Dr. Mary Wayne Watson of Knightdale presented her talk, “Women’s Attitudes towards Secession and the Civil War,” at the regional conference of the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA) in Louisville, Kentucky, on October 19, 2012. She will give the full presentation at a special event on November 20, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. in NCC Science and Technology Building Room 7104, where her student, the late Caitlin “Caitie” Elizabeth Davis, will be honored. The public is invited to attend. “When I found a series of eloquent, moving letters written by my great-grandmother and her sisters in what is now Scotland County to a family in Moore County, NC, during the Civil War, I felt compelled to research this matter further. I am pleased that the conference selection committee chose my proposal for presentation at this conference,” Dr. Watson said. “In what may be an even more important event to me,” Watson continued, “I will present the full version of the talk to my Honors English classes in November. Had Caitie lived, no doubt she would have been in Honors English, and I hope she would have been in every other class that I taught. Her work ethic was beyond reproach, and she was a talented writer. She had a strong intellect, and she reasoned at a very high level. Like the women whom I will quote in my talk, she was uncompromising and unabashed in her quest for fairness and justice. Caitie sought the good in people and in the world. I am honored to have taught her in two classes at Nash Community College. Although she lived only a short time, she accomplished much, and she will not be forgotten.” A special guest at this event will be Caitie’s father, Glenn Davis.
Dr. Watson is a Road Scholar with the North Carolina Humanities Council, and after giving the talk in Caitie’s honor, she will present it throughout the state under the auspices of the Council and Nash Community College. It is particularly appropriate that this talk be given at this time since it is the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. Dr. Watson resides in Knightdale.
Abstract of Talk
Original, unpublished documents and correspondence from gifted women provide fascinating perspectives of the beginning, middle, and end of the Civil War period in North Carolina. An initially uplifting, idealistic support of the Union as a great experiment in democracy and self-rule ultimately fades into prayers for return of the surviving men as well as hopes for peace, followed by ultimate acceptance of the bitter realities of war on a land and a people crushed in the aftermath. Poignant descriptions of the impact of Sherman’s “scorched earth policy” on a once proud and surprisingly literary community remind us once again that war is hell, even when it is brother against– sister.