First Vice President: Rob Monroe, Editor
Richard Forrester 2416 Edenbrook Dr.
Second Vice President: Richmond, VA 23228-3040
Shep Parsons firstname.lastname@example.org
August 2004 PROGRAM
Jeffry D. Wert,
"John Singleton Mosby"
8:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 10, 2004, 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.
In 1968 Jeffry D. Wert graduated cum laude with a Bachelor
of Arts degree in History from Lock Haven State University
in Pennsylvania. From 1969 to 2002, he taught history at
Penns Valley High School in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania. He
has written more than 100 articles, essays and columns for
various magazines, including Blue & Gray Magazine, Civil War
Times Illustrated, America's Civil War, American History
Illustrated, Virginia Cavalcade and Pennsylvania History. He
works frequently for various publications as a reviewer of
new Civil War books. He has appeared on numerous television
programs for the History Channel, A&E, C-Span 2 and the
Pennsylvania Cable Network.
Wert is the author of six books: From Winchester to Cedar
Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign of 1864; Mosby's Rangers;
General James Longstreet: The Confederacy's Most
Controversial Soldier; Custer: The Controversial Life of
George Armstrong Custer; A Brotherhood of Valor: The Common
Soldiers of the Stonewall Brigade, C.S.A. and the Iron
Brigade, U.S.A.; Gettysburg: Day Three and the forthcoming
The Sword of Lincoln. Each of Wert's published books has
been either a main or alternate selection of the History
Book Club and the Book-of-the-Month Club. His books have
won a number of awards for Civil War scholarship, and
Gettysburg: Day Three was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and
a National Book Award.
Wert's talk to the RCWRT will focus on John Mosby and the
reasons why he was the Civil War's most effective partisan
ranger commander. Regarding Mosby, Wert writes, "Of all the
individuals I have studied he was probably the most deadly.
A sprig of a man, Mosby was absolutely fearless and
exceptionally intelligent. His personality dominated the
command of young, rambunctious fighters."
Review of the July Program
Ken Grandstaff descendant of Capt. Frank Smith Roberson
Robert Jay Trout, and J. E. B. Stuart, IV (L-R)
Robert Jay Trout was the guest speaker for the July meeting
of the Richmond Civil War Round Table. After being
recognized for winning a recent award from the United
Daughters of the Confederacy, Trout spoke to the Round Table
on the famed Stuart Horse Artillery.
Trout acknowledged that for many people, John Pelham is the
Stuart Horse Artillery. The legendary feats of "the gallant
Pelham" have somewhat overshadowed the rest of the horse
artillery, its accomplishments and its enormous contribution
to the Confederate Army.
Trout gave a brief outline of the horse artillery's purpose
and how it differed from regular batteries. As its name
suggests, the horse artillery was designed to operate with
the cavalry. But unlike the regular artillery, everyone
rode in the horse artillery. Extra men were needed to hold
horses and the horse artillery was generally larger than
most artillery batteries. Ideally, the horse artillery
would be positioned at a rallying point that the cavalry
could fall back upon if needed.
Some Civil War buffs are surprised to learn that the horse
artillery often served picket duty. Likewise, they were
frequently used in raids for their "intimidation" factor.
This use was generally not successful, however, because the
horse artillery found it difficult to "keep up" with the
The Ashby Battery was the first horse artillery unit. In
the fall of 1861, two of Stonewall Jackson's former students
at VMI convinced the general to allow them to have a
battery. The unit was not engaged until May of 1862. The
months before this first action afforded the men of the
Stuart Horse Artillery plenty of time to train under Pelham.
Eventually the horse artillery would fight in over 130
engagements before the end of the war.
The eight guns of the Stuart Horse Artillery were split in
September 1862. Later, the unit was joined by the Lynchburg
Artillery and eventually included ten batteries. At no time
during the war, however, did all ten batteries come together
at the same time. Four batteries fought at James Church
during the Battle of Brandy Station. This would be the
greatest number of Stuart Horse Artillery batteries fighting
together at any one time during the war.
The horse artillery, Trout stated, was a novelty to the
Confederate Artillery. Part of John Pelham's legacy was
what happened to the battery after his death at Kelly's Ford
in 1863. Originally, the horse artillery was to carry light
guns. It was soon discovered, however, that these could not
compete with the Union guns. Eventually, the horse
artillery would carry 3-inch ordnance and Napoleon guns
(weighing about 1,700 lbs. each), same as the regular
Trout's research revealed that the battery carried between
109 to 123 horses. Crews were given the power to
requisition horses and often mules were used. Crews could
fire about two rounds every three minutes. During battle,
horse artillery officers would remain mounted, shouting
orders from horseback behind the guns. This practice made
them tempting targets for enemy fire. The soldiers manning
the guns had perilous duties as well. Trout found many
official reports of horse artillery soldiers listed as
having been "killed at mouth of gun."
Being a soldier in the Stuart Horse Artillery, "you were
expected to do things and go places you weren't supposed to
go," Trout said. Though its accomplishments are legendary,
the horse artillery was not without its misfortunes. Trout
said the unit was "clobbered" at Upperville and lost three
guns in action at Brandy Station in September 1863. Only
the heroics of J.E.B. Stuart saved the fourth gun from
During the Battle of Toms Brook in October 1864, the Stuart
Horse Artillery was overrun, horses gave out and 11 guns
were taken by Union forces under Sheridan. The Lynchburg
Artillery covered the retreat for five miles up the Valley
Pike. By firing and "leapfrogging" guns, the battery spared
the Confederate Army countless casualties. Trout called
this action "the greatest display of what horse artillery
In all, 69 officers and 2,200 men served in the Stuart Horse
Artillery. Some were hand picked by Stuart himself. Trout
explained, they "were always, it seemed, in action." Even at
the close of the war, Hart's Battery was the last unit to
140th Anniversary Commemorative Siege Tour of Western Front
of Petersburg National Battlefield. Starting from the
Eastern Front visitor center, this all-day bus tour of the
Western Front, includes the 1864 battlefields of Jerusalem
Plank Road, Weldon Railroad, Reams Station, Peebles' Farm
and Boydton Plank Road. 9:30am - 4:00pm. Reservations
required. Fee to be announced. Some walking to be
expected. Info: www.nps.gov/pete or (804) 265-8244.
Digging Butler's Ditch. In 1864, Union troops under Gen.
Ben Butler began the arduous task of changing the course of
the James River in order to avoid Confederate batteries.
Living history demonstrations and activities conducted by
reenactors bring this massive engineering project to life.
Noon - 5:00pm. Info: www.henricus.org or (804) 706-1340.
A Photographic Tour of Fort Harrison. A park historian will
present an illustrated evening program using a series of
fascinating historical photographs taken of the Fort
Harrison area in 1864 and 1865. Many of these have never
been published and historians have misidentified others.
Part of a series of events commemorating the 140th
anniversary of the 1864 Overland Campaign. 7:00pm. Info:
www.nps.gov/rich or (804) 226-1981.
The Siege of Petersburg - Diversity of Perspectives. This
two-hour program will feature guest speakers and living
historians as they bring to light points of view that don't
always fit the stereotypes people may be used to seeing in
regards to the war. Program takes place at the Petersburg
courthouse area, 2:00pm- 4:00pm. Info: www.nps.gov/pete or
(804) 732-3531 ext. 203.
Victorian Symbolism in Cemetery Art. This walking tour
around Petersburg's historic Blandford Cemetery will use the
cemetery's monuments to explore the symbolism of mourning
which was so popular in Victorian society. The program will
start at the Blandford Church Reception Center. 7:00pm. -
8:00pm. Info: www.nps.gov/pete or (804) 265-8244.
August 20 - 21
Civil War Show. Annual show with hundreds of tables of
Civil War items for sale and show at the Showplace on
Mechanicsville Turnpike in Richmond. Saturday 9:00am -
5:00pm, Sunday 9:00am - 3:00pm. Fee charged. 540-672-4845.
Conference Focuses on 1864 Valley Campaigns
The 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaigns will be the focus of
the Seventh Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the
Civil War. Presented by the Mosby Heritage Area
Association, the conference will take place Friday - Sunday,
October 8 - 10 at the Middleburg Community Center in Loudon
The conference will feature an impressive roster of speakers
including the RCWRT's Robert E.L. Krick and recent Round
Table speaker Gary Ecelbarger. A reception will be held
Friday followed by Scott Patchan speaking on Gen. Jubal
Early's Valley Campaign in the summer of 1864 and Joe
Whitehorne on the leadership of Gen. Phil Sheridan.
Saturday's events will feature a panel discussion and book
signing. Speakers include Ecelbarger ("Abraham Lincoln and
the 1864 Valley Campaign"), William Miller ("Maps and
Mappers in the 1864 Valley Campaign"), Eric Whittenberg
("The Battle of Toms Brook: Rosser Fails to Save the
Valley"), Keith Bohannon (The Early-Gordon Controversy at
Cedar Creek"), John Heatwole (Campaign Within a Campign, 13
Days of Destruction"), Robert K. Krick ("The Undisciplined
Valley Cavalry in the 1864 Campaign") and Robert E.L. Krick
("Confederate Collapse at Fisher's Hill").
Buses will depart Sunday morning for a full day of touring
the Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek battlefields. The
conference is limited to the first 100 people to register.
The cost is $300 per person and full payment is required
upon registration. You may also register to attend only the
Saturday lectures for $120. Registration forms will be
available at the RCWRT's meeting on August 10.
For more information go to www.mosbyheritagearea.org or
contact Program Director Childs Burden at email@example.com
or by calling 540-687-4195 or 540-687-6681.
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2004
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:
September newsletter September 3
October newsletter October 1
November newsletter October 29
December newsletter December 3
Information may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter
Rob Monroe, Editor
2416 Edenbrook Dr.
Richmond, VA 23228-3040