The first speaker of the 21012 - 13 year will be outgoing LCWRT President Chris Kolakowski. He will be speaking on “The Fall of 1862: The Union in Crisis”. Chris is the The last 4 months of 1862 (August-December) proved to be one of the great turning points in United States history. During this period the Confederacy mounted major offensives East and West, and the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation forever changed the Civil War's objectives. Winter campaigns in December produced nearly uniform Federal reverses, prompting President Lincoln to state "if there is hell, I am in it." Hindsight has diminished appreciation for the low ebb of Union fortunes in December 1862, especially with the failures outside Vicksburg and Fredericksburg. In the wake of several electoral reverses for Lincoln that fall and with emancipation set for January 1, 1863, serious political fissures had opened in the North. What turned this situation around was the victory at Stones River over the year's turn. The talk will examine this period and the various events that influenced the outcome of this first great test of Union resolve.