Brag Bowling, President Rob Monroe, Editor
3019 Kensington Ave 2416 Edenbrook Dr.
Richmond, VA 23221 Richmond, VA 23228-3040
July 2003 PROGRAM
"They Didn't Like Each Other Much:
Joseph E. Johnston and John C. Pemberton at Vicksburg"
8:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 8, 2003, at the
Boulevard United Methodist Church, 321 N. Boulevard,
Richmond, VA (corner of Boulevard and Stuart Ave.) Enter
the basement door on the right side under the front steps.
Dave Smith is a two-time past president of the Cincinnati
Civil War Round Table and currently serves as newsletter
editor, program chairman, and webmaster for the Round Table
Ask a Civil War buff about the Vicksburg Campaign, and
invariably, the story that comes forth starts and ends with
Union General Ulysses S. Grant. And rightly so, for it was
Grant who maneuvered seemingly at will through the interior
of the state of Mississippi, defeated Confederate General
John C. Pemberton at the battles of Champion Hill and Big
Black Bridge, forced Pemberton into a siege, held off the
army of relief of General Joseph E. Johnston, and forced
Pemberton's surrender on July 4, 1863.
But what of the Confederate command effort? The
relationship between Pemberton and Johnston, while civil
during the campaign, turned bitter and acrimonious after the
surrender of Vicksburg, and carried into their post-war
writings. Johnston fueled the controversy with the
publication of his memoirs in 1874, in which he placed all
blame for the loss of Vicksburg on Pemberton and Confederate
President Jefferson F. Davis.
Pemberton, the native Northerner who married a Virginia
native and cast his lot with the Confederacy, was trying to
live out his post-war years as a quiet farmer in Virginia.
Johnston's memoirs, however, spurred Pemberton to attempt a
response to Johnston - an effort that historians knew was
started, but never pushed forward to any great extent. Since
1874, the primary story of the Confederate command at
Vicksburg has been the story told by Joe Johnston.
Pemberton's response, however, was written, and nearly
finished before his death in 1881. His manuscript turned up
several years ago at a dealer in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was
subsequently edited and published by Smith. His talk will
look at the controversy between these two men and will
discuss Johnston's arguments as well as Pemberton's
In the end, no matter what the reasons were, Pemberton
surrendered to Grant on July 4, 1863. Perhaps, in the
detailing of the reasons for Southern defeat as told by
Pemberton, our basic understanding of the Confederate
command situation may be brought into balance.
Review of the June Program
Chris Calkins of the Petersburg National Battlefield gave a
talk on "Saving Petersburg's Battlefields." This was the
first time that this portion of the park's proposed General
Management Plan has been presented in a public forum. The
initial General Management Plan contained no land protection
element, but the National Park Service recognized that,
without preservation, the plan would not be as strong as it
should be. Petersburg National Battlefield employees were
charged with putting together a proposal to protect
significant portions of the Petersburg Campaign's
battlefields. That campaign lasted nine and a half months
and covered approximately 176 square miles. It included
around 108 engagements, 26 of which were of major
importance. Petersburg National Battlefield includes Poplar
Grove National Cemetery, the City Point Unit, and the Five
The General Management Plan process began in 1994, lapsed
for a time, and was restarted in 2000. If approved, the
preservation portion of the plan may take 15-20 years to
accomplish. Calkins pointed out that 6,997 acres, with 50
miles of earthworks, have no protection at this time. These
lands are important to tell the entire story of the
Petersburg Campaign. When the American Battlefield
Protection Program studied Civil War battlefields, it
identified twelve Priority A and B sites associated with the
Petersburg Campaign that need protection. Petersburg
National Battlefield personnel came up with maps showing the
epicenters of those twelve battlefields. Epicenters were
defined as areas of either heavy fighting or where a turning
point occurred. Of concern are the facts that there has
been industrial and commercial development as well as
inappropriate recreational use in the Petersburg and
Dinwiddie County area. In drawing up the epicenters,
personnel looked for property that retains its historical
integrity and would be feasible to manage. The epicenter
maps were compared with tax maps to determine landowners.
Land acquisitions would depend upon willing sellers.
Partners in the whole preservation process include the Civil
War Preservation Trust, Pamplin Historical Park, the City of
Petersburg, and Dinwiddie County.
Petersburg National Battlefield's preservation plan consists
of four alternatives that have differing objectives
concerning acreage protected and the extent of interpreting
the battlefields. The public will have several
opportunities in the near future to review and make comments
on the General Management Plan. It is hoped that the plan
will be approved by February 2004.
New Civil War Books
June saw the release of Staff Officers in Gray: A
Biographical Register of the Staff Officers in the Army of
Northern Virginia by the RCWRT's own Robert E.L. Krick.
Among the titles scheduled for release in July are
Gettysburg by Stephen W. Sears and The Trial: The
Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the Trial of the
Conspirators edited by Edward Steers. Also due for July
release is a pair of books by Edward G. Longacre, Gentleman
and Soldier: A Biography of Wade Hampton III and The Cavalry
at Appomattox: A Tactical Study of Mounted Operations during
the Civil War's Climactic Campaign, March 27-April 9, 1865.
July Announcements & Events
"Living Liberty - Bedford Life in the 1860s" in downtown
Bedford (or "Liberty" as it was known during the War). A
period wedding and reception will be held Friday night.
Saturday's events include a military parade, spy capture,
period music and a ladies tea and fashion show with special
guest Robert E. Lee. A period church service will be among
the Sunday events. Military encampments and book signings
will be held each day with lantern tours each night. For
more information call 540-586-2148 or log on to
"Battle of the Crater" at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm in
Petersburg. Experience the horrors of one of the bloodiest
events of the Civil War through the eyes of "witnesses".
Reenactors of Confederate soldiers and the 48th
Pennsylvania, U.S. Colored Troops will discuss their roles
in the June 1864 battle. For details on this free event
call 804-733-2396 or 804-732-3531.
July Living History at Malvern Hill Battlefield, 10 am to 5
pm Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm Sunday. Walking tours and
demonstrations of Confederate infantry and Union artillery
highlight the events commemorating the final conflict of the
Seven Days battles. Contact the Richmond National
Battlefield Park for more information, 226-1981.
Pamplin Park will bring to life the traditions of a 19th
century county fair. This family event will feature food,
games, a midway, a medicine show, period baseball games and
children's activities. For more information call the park
toll- free at 1-877-PAMPLIN.
"Caring for the Wounded" at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm in Old Town
Petersburg. This program will explore the ways in which men
and women, black and white, aided the thousands of sick and
wounded soldiers in and around Petersburg. For details on
this free event call 804-733-2396 or 804-732-3531.
"Mourning is Woman's Work", 3 pm at Blandford Church in
Petersburg. This program will take a look at the unique
rules and customs of expressing grief in the Civil War era.
For more information on this free event call 804-733-2396 or
The Museum of the Confederacy will conduct a Civil War
Explorers Camp for rising 5th, 6th and 7th graders. Children
will travel with museum educators to monuments, battlefields
and other historical sites. The camp will include hands-on
activities and crafts. Registration is required. For an
application call 649-1861 ext. 22.
A group of preservationists is attempting to raise
$1,000,000 to restore the boyhood home of Confederate
General Jubal Early in the Red Valley section of Franklin
County, south of Roanoke. The homeplace and eight acres of
land have already been donated to the Jubal A. Early
Preservation Trust. The group is seeking funds to preserve
and interpret the tobacco plantation where the future
general spent his formative years. A foundation has agreed
to match donations up to $250,000 toward the goal.
Contributions are tax deductible and may be mailed to:
Jubal A. Early Preservation Trust, Inc.
P.O. Box 638
Rocky Mount, VA 24151
More information may be found at the group's website,
To facilitate the printing and timely distribution of the
monthly newsletter, information for it should be submitted
to the editors no later than the following dates:
August newsletter, July 25
September newsletter, August 22
October newsletter, September 26
November newsletter, October 24
December newsletter, November 21
Information may be emailed to email@example.com
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2003
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter
Rob Monroe, Editor
2416 Edenbrook Dr.
Richmond, VA 23228-3040