Brag Bowling, President Rob Monroe, Editor
3019 Kensington Ave 2416 Edenbrook Dr.
Richmond, VA 23221 Richmond, VA 23228-3040
August 2003 PROGRAM
"Bull's Eyes and Misfires:
50 People Whose Obscure Efforts
Shaped the American Civil War"
8:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 12, 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.
Clint Johnson is a native of Florida and descendant of
Confederates from Florida, Georgia and Alabama. His
ancestors suffered the range of Civil War experiences. One
Florida ancestor lost an arm at Fredericksburg when he had
to fight in the open after those selfish Mississippians
hogged all the houses for cover. One Alabama ancestor was
mortally wounded charging up Snod Grass Hill at Chickamauga
with his regiment suffering 73 percent killed and wounded.
One Georgia ancestor was labeled as "addle-brained by the
war" in his pension application. Another Georgia ancestor
survived the frigid Ohio winters after nearly two years in
the Johnson's Island prison camp for officers, only to die
at the age of 36 from the ill health he suffered from the
result of his prison camp experience.
Johnson returned to the home of his ancestors, North
Carolina, in 1987. Both branches of his family had settled
in the colony in the 1720's and 1750's. He has lived in
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, since 1989 and makes his
living writing books and magazine articles. He has just
finished his seventh book, In The Footsteps of J.E.B.
Stuart, which will come out in September. That finishes his
trilogy with the earlier publication of In The Footsteps of
Robert E. Lee and In The Footsteps of Stonewall Jackson.
His other books include Touring Virginia's and West
Virginia's Civil War Sites, Touring The Carolinas' Civil War
Sites, and Civil War Blunders. All of his books can be
purchased and autographed by him from his website at
www.clintjohnsonbooks.com or ordered from any bookstore or
Internet-based bookseller. His books have garnered mostly
5-star reviews on Amazon.
His latest book and the subject of this month's presentation
is Bull's-Eyes and Misfires: 50 People Whose Obscure Efforts
Shaped the American Civil War. This book is a collection of
mini-biographies that looks at 25 Confederates and 25
Federals, men and women, blacks and whites, military
officers and civilians who initiated some type of major
action during the war, but who are mostly unknown to the
average person reading about the war. Each person is
labeled either a "bull's-eye" for a positive contribution to
their side or a "misfire" for a mistake that damaged their
side's chances of winning a battle or, in some cases, the
Review of the July Program
Dave Smith gave a lively talk on the controversy between
former Confederate generals Joseph E. Johnston and John C.
Pemberton that developed after the Civil War. In 1874,
Pemberton was living in Warrenton, Virginia, and was angry
after having fought for years to clear his name and
re-establish his reputation. He had just read Joe
Johnston's memoirs, Narrative of Military Operations and
decided that he had to write a response to set the record
straight. Pemberton began with a point-by-point refutation
of charges that Johnston had leveled against him. The
latter's book blamed Jefferson Davis and Pemberton for the
Vicksburg debacle in the summer of 1863. By 1881, Pemberton
had completed his manuscript, but it was not published
before his death that year. His widow sent it to former
general Marcus Wright, in whose papers it was discovered
several years ago. Smith edited and published it in 1999 as
Compelled to Appear in Print: The Vicksburg Manuscript
General of John C. Pemberton.
In October 1862, Pemberton received assignment to command of
the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana with the
recently conferred rank of lieutenant general. Born in
Pennsylvania, he had graduated from West Point and married a
woman from Norfolk, Virginia. Pemberton resigned his
commission in April 1861 and by January 1862 was a major
general commanding Confederate forces in South Carolina.
There he performed competently but not spectacularly. Smith
said that we might never know why Jefferson Davis chose
Pemberton as commander in Mississippi.
Johnston was a Virginian and also a graduate of West Point.
He served in the Mexican War and became quartermaster
general in 1861. When Johnston joined the Confederate army,
he became upset with Davis for not placing his name at the
top of the list of full generals. He commanded the
Confederate army at First Manassas and during the Peninsular
Campaign. Wounded at Fair Oaks, Johnston did not recover
until November 1862, when he was assigned by Davis to
command the armies of General Braxton Bragg and Pemberton.
Johnston was never comfortable with this position.
The three main charges leveled by Johnston that rankled
Pemberton were: (1) Pemberton was at fault for allowing
Ulysses S. Grant's army to gain a foothold on the east side
of the Mississippi River in early May 1863; (2) Pemberton
failed to take advantage of opportunities to defeat Grant
before the Battle of Champion Hill; and (3) Pemberton should
not have fallen back to the trenches at Vicksburg and become
besieged. In his manuscript, Pemberton refuted these
charges and pointed to Johnston's failures to support him
before the siege or come to his relief during it. Smith
concluded that Pemberton's account doesn't change our
understanding of the flow of the Vicksburg Campaign, but it
helps to balance our understanding of the Confederate
perspective of the loss of Vicksburg and, perhaps, our
understanding of the war as well.
"War at Their Doorstep, Spotsylvanians Caught Amidst War".
This free walking tour offered by the Fredericksburg and
Spotsylvania National Military Park begins at 7 pm in front
of the old Spotsylvania Courthouse, Rt. 208 at Rt. 613.
Information: www.nps.gov/frsp or 540-373-6122.
"Every Tombstone is a Biography", a special program
presented at historic Blandford Church in Petersburg. Free
of charge, this event begins at 7 pm.
August 16 & 17
National Civil War Antiques and Arms Show at The Showplace
on Mechanicsville Turnpike in Richmond. Show will feature
more than 500 tables of swords, guns, artwork and books.
Open 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and 9 am to 3 pm Sunday.
Admission is $6. Sponsored by North South Trader's Civil
War magazine of Orange. Information: www.nstcivilwar.com
Richmond National Battlefield Park presents "The Changing
Face of War" at Cold Harbor and Gaines' Mill battlefields in
Hanover County. Re-enactors of the 4th Texas Infantry will
be present to discuss the changes in attitudes, uniforms and
tactics between the battles of Gaines' Mill in 1862 and Cold
Harbor two years later. Rifle firing demonstrations and
ranger-guided walking tours will take place both days from
11 am to 2 pm at Gaines' Mill and from 12:30 to 3:30 pm at
Cold Harbor. Information: www.nps.gov/rich
"Place of Worship, Scene of War: Old Salem Church by
Candlelight", hour-long tours beginning at 8:00, 8:30 and
9:00 pm at the church on Rt. 3 west of Fredericksburg.
Parking will be available at the adjacent "new" Salem
Baptist Church. Information: www.nps.gov/frsp
"Stories in Stone: A Tale of Two Cemeteries", a special
program presented at Petersburg's Blandford Church. Event
begins at 7 pm, no admission charge. Information:
Manassas National Battlefield Park will feature numerous
tours and living history programs throughout the weekend to
commemorate the anniversary of the 1862 Battle of Second
Manassas. Several one-hour walking tours will be conducted
throughout the weekend as well as soldier portrayals,
encampments and infantry demonstrations.
Information: www.nps.gov/mana or 703-361-1339.
The Valentine Museum Richmond History Center presents "Civil
War Richmond", a walking tour of war related sites near the
Capitol and the Museum of the Confederacy. The two-hour
walk begins at 2 pm at St. Paul's Church (often called the
Church of the Confederacy) on the corner of Grace and 9th St.
New on Video and DVD
Warner Home Entertainment has announced the release of "Gods
and Generals" on videocassette and DVD. The Civil War epic
was released in theaters nationwide earlier this year. Based
on the book by Jeff Shaara, "Gods and Generals" is a
production of Antietam Filmworks and is presented by Ted
Turner Pictures. Directed by Ron Maxwell, the film stars
Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson, Jeff Daniels as Joshua
Chamberlain, Robert Duvall as Robert E. Lee, Kali Rocha as
Anna Jackson and Mira Sorvino as Fanny Chamberlain.
Special features of the DVD include an introduction by Ted
Turner and music videos of songs on the soundtrack by Bob
Dylan and Mary Fahl. Also included on the DVD are
commentaries by Maxwell, James "Bud" Robertson Jr. (history
professor, Virginia Tech) and Col. Keith Gibson (Executive
Director, VMI Museum).
Also available from Warner Home Video is Ken Burns' landmark
documentary "The Civil War". Long available on
videocassette, the nine-episode series is now being offered
on DVD as well. Among the extra features included on the
DVD are biographies of key figures of the war, an interview
with historian Shelby Foote and five hours of commentary by
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September newsletter, August 22
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RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2003
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter
Rob Monroe, Editor
2416 Edenbrook Dr.
Richmond, VA 23228-3040