Presentations & Speaking Engagements

Schedule a physically in person or virtual presentation today!
Presentations include a slide presentation and follow on discussion.

Presentation (beginning at 23:45 timestamp) given at the 2021 McMullen Naval History Symposium at the US Naval Academy, exploring the US Navy's convoys defending the Panama Route in the US Civil War.

Presentation given to the Baton Rouge Civil War Roundtable in March 2022 about my second book, Defending the Arteries of Rebellion.

Virtual presentation given in January 2021 as part of a panel on the Civil War Era for the Louisiana Historical Association.

Virtual question and answer interview and discussion with Civil War Seattle, given in September 2022 about my second book, Defending the Arteries of Rebellion.

Available Presentation Topics

"Defending the Arteries of Rebellion"


Presentation and discussion of the Confederacy's failed efforts to build a riverine naval force to maintain control of the Mississippi River Valley. Based on the 2020 book Defending the Arteries of Rebellion: Confederate Naval Operations in the Mississippi River Valley, 1861-1865.


45-60 minutes + follow on discussion

Chatelain's presentation "was outstanding - informative, well-constructed and presented in the manner of a good teacher. It was definitely top-notch, one of the best we've ever had."
Civil Warriors Round Table

"The Panama Route in the US Civil War"


Presentation and discussion of efforts by the US Navy to maintain control over the gold shipping lanes of the Panama route and efforts by the Confederacy to interdict them both in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean. Based on the 2018 article "Controlling the California Gold Steamers: The Panama Route in the United States Civil War" published in the
UCLA Historical.


45-60 minutes + follow on discussion

"Confederate successes [along the Panama route] finally induced the U.S. Navy to provide convoy support for these important shipments of gold ... It also allowed the U.S. to prove to Europe that even with the Civil War raging, the U.S. would uphold the Monroe Doctrine."
Mary DeCredico, PhD,
U.S. Naval Academy

"Ambitions and Challenges of a
Confederate Navy European Ironclad Squadron
"


Presentation and discussion of Confederate Navy efforts to construct an ironclad squadron in Great Britain and France, the purpose behind this potential squadron, its potential mission, and the challenges facing the Confederacy in building and organizing such a force. Examines the blockade, international diplomacy, neutrality, and naval aspects of such an ironclad squadron.


45-60 minutes + follow on discussion

"Knew almost nothing about this topic" and Neil Chatelain's presentation "made the entire conference worthwhile."
Feedback from Chatelain's
Presentation at the 2022 Emerging
Civil War Symposium

"Fought Like Devils: The Confederate Gunboat McRae"


Presentation and discussion of the role of the Confederate war steamer McRae and its role in defending the Mississippi River in naval campaigns throughout the Mississippi River Valley in 1861 and 1862. Based on the 2014 book Fought Like Devils: The Confederate Gunboat McRae.


45-60 minutes + follow on discussion

"I could certainly relate to the small ship experience."
CDR John Calloway, USN (ret.),
Commanding Officer,
USS Elrod FFG 55

"A Series of International Incidents: The CS Ironclad Stonewall"


Presentation and discussion of the trials and tribulations of the CSS Stonewall, the Confederacy's only sea-going ironclad, including efforts to secretly construct the vessel, efforts to get it into Confederate service, its actions in Europe, and its Trans-Atlantic voyage culminating in its surrender in Cuba. Based on the 2015 article "A Series of International Incidents: The Trans-Atlantic Odyssey of the Confederate Ironclad Stonewall" published in TRAVERSEA.


45-60 minutes + follow on discussion

"By studying the short life of the Stonewall, Chatelain asserts, we can better understand the trans-national nature of the American Civil War. Indeed we can! I must confess that I was unfamiliar with the tale of the Stonewall and enjoyed learning about it."
Michael Landis, PhD,
Tarleton State University

"Crisis in Command at New Orleans"


Presentation and discussion of the chains of command for both United States and Confederate naval forces in the 1862 campaigns for control of New Orleans. This campaign culminated in the battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip in late April 1862, resulting in United States occupation of New Orleans for the remainder of the Civil War. The command structure of the naval forces of both sides ultimately played a major role in the campaign's ultimate outcome. Based on the 2021 article "Crisis in Command at New Orleans" published in Civil War Navy.


45-60 minutes + follow on discussion

"... it is almost farcical how disorganized [Confederate naval forces at New Orleans] are and again this really is this idea of managerial modernity that hadn't really reached New Orleans quite yet."
Justin Nystrom
, PhD,
Loyola University of New Orleans

"Postwar Identity Crisis of the Confederate Navy's Officer Corps"


Presentation and discussion of the crisis of identity Confederate naval officers faced after the Civil War and efforts by many of these officers to find closure after the war outside of the American South exemplified through foreign exile, foreign military service, filibustering, or movement to the American West. Based on the 2022 article "Postwar identity Crisis of the Confederate Navy's Officer Corps" published in US Military History Review.


45-60 minutes + follow on discussion

"Capture of the Treasure Ship Ariel"


Presentation and discussion of the capture of the Atlantic and Pacific Mail Steamer Ariel by the Confederate raider Alabama in December 1862. Also includes an analysis of the importance of the Panama Route's treasure ships and the effects of the Ariel's capture, including the establishment of U.S. Navy convoys to protect the Panama Route's vessels and treasure shipments.


45-60 minutes + follow on discussion

"Beyond the 13th Amendment: Ending Slavery in the Indian Territory"


Presentation and discussion of efforts in 1865 and 1866 to bring forth a formal end of African slavery in the Indian Territory after the 13th Amendment went into effect in the rest of the country, putting the final nail in the coffin of legalized African slavery in the United States. Based on the 2018 article "Beyond the 13th Amendment: Ending Slavery in the Indian Territory" published on the Emerging Civil War website.


30-45 minutes + follow on discussion

"Lost Silver of Benjamin F. Hoxie"


Presentation and discussion of the capture of the civilian merchant ship Benjamin F. Hoxie by the CSS Florida, along with efforts by the Confederate Navy to launder the silver captured on the vessel for use by its European representatives. Based on the 2019 article "Tracking the lost Silver of the Benjamin F. Hoxie" published on the Emerging Civil War website.


30-45 minutes + follow on discussion

Upcoming Presentations

  • January 3, 2023: "Defending the Arteries of Rebellion", Brunswick Civil War Roundtable, Brunswick County, NC.

  • February 1, 2023: "Defending the Arteries of Rebellion", Inland Empire Civil War Round Table, Redlands, CA, Virtual Presentation.

  • February 2, 2023: "Fought Like Devils: The Confederate Gunboat McRae", Civil War Round Table of Central Louisiana, Pineville/Alexandria, LA.

  • May 13, 2023: "Defending the Arteries of Rebellion", Civil War Round Table of Central Louisiana's Second Saturday's with Savas Beatie, Virtual Presentation.

  • June 12, 2023: "Defending the Arteries of Rebellion", Western North Carolina Civil War Roundtable, Waynesville, NC.

  • August 4-6, 2023: Topic to be Announced Soon, 2023 Emerging Civil War Symposium, Spotsylvania, VA.

Previous Professional Presentations Given
(Links are to video recordings of virtual presentations)