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January 2004
Art Bergeron, President         Rob Monroe, Editor     
3901 Paces Ferry Road           2416 Edenbrook Dr.     
Chester, VA 23831               Richmond, VA 23228-3040

January 2004 PROGRAM John Chodes, "Abraham Lincoln's Two Invasions of New York City" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 13, 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. John Chodes is a New Yorker who has published 20 articles and three monographs on the Civil War and Reconstruction. The first monograph is on the Union League, the Northern version of the Ku Klux Klan. The second is an edited form of Jefferson Davis' writings where he explained the legitimacy of secession. This is called "The Constitution and State Sovereignty." The third is a biography of Jabez Curry, the Confederate congressman and cavalry officer who, unknowingly, after the war, helped the carpetbaggers destroy the culture and soul of the South. Curry's story will also appear as a full-length book in 2005. The topic of Mr. Chodes' talk, Lincoln vs. New York City, will also be published as a book, via a biography of Horatio Seymour, the governor of New York during this period. Between 1861 and 1865, there were two wars being fought by Lincoln and his Republican administration. The first was to prevent the independence of the seceded Southern states. The second was a civil war in the North upon the six states controlled by the Democrats. The Union army tried to crush out the Northern guerrilla war, insurrectionary acts and full-scale military defiance. Mr. Chodes will argue that the July 1863 "Draft Riot" was not a spontaneous outburst against conscription, but a brilliant defense by the Empire State against the invasion of its sovereignty; in effect, "The Battle of New York City." One year later, the city was invaded a second time when Lincoln put Gen. Benjamin Butler in charge of a massive force to control the polling booths during the upcoming election. When peace came, New York was reconstructed along with the other "rebel" states.
Review of the December Program
Meeting Called Off
(The December meeting had to be called off at the last minute due to the lack of heat in the church.)
Civil War Movie to be Offered Nationally
There was no multimillion dollar budget and there are no Oscar winners in the cast, but the Civil War film "Wicked Spring" will have one thing in common with "Cold Mountain" ...a national audience. An independent film from local producer/writer Kevin Hershberger, "Wicked Spring" is the story of three Union soldiers and three Confederates that meet by chance at the Battle of the Wilderness. It was filmed in 29 days and cost $500,000 - a sum that would be a mere drop from a bucket for a major Hollywood studio. By contrast, take a look at "Cold Mountain", a film based on Charles Frazier's best-selling novel about a Confederate deserter who returns to his North Carolina sweetheart. This Miramax Films epic took months and millions of dollars to complete. Much of the budget went to the film's Oscar-winning actresses, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger. Still more money was spent to transport the cast and crew to various locations. While a small portion of the movie was filmed on Belle Isle, the majority was shot in the mountains of Romania. Staying closer to home, "Wicked Spring" used local talent and reenactors and was shot in Richmond, Petersburg, Lexington and other locations in Virginia. While "Cold Mountain" has already been nominated for eight Golden Globe awards - and may receive several Oscar nominations as well - "Wicked Spring" is not without its own merits. The film was recently picked up by Blockbuster Video Stores, an amazing feat for a small independent production. DVDs and videotapes of "Wicked Spring" will be available for rent at every Blockbuster across the country. Copies may also be purchased through major online retailers such as Netflix, and Barnes and Noble.
University of Richmond to Offer Course on the War in Virginia
The University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies announces a course titled "Civil War in Virginia: The Cannons' Roar." Throughout the Civil War, cannons roared from the Chesapeake Bay to the far reaches of Virginia's mountain highlands. The work at the Tredegar Iron Works, the soldiers who served the bronze and iron cannons on the battlefields, and the lessons learned by commanders at every level on Virginia's battle grounds are all fascinating. The spirit of artillerymen in units like the Richmond Howitzers and the Rockbridge Artillery was demonstrated repeatedly and will serve as the primary focus for a new course this winter. The course is scheduled for 7-9 pm on four Monday evenings in March and will highlight these fascinating stories. A day-long bus tour of selected Civil War sites allows students to walk over the actual ground that echoed the thunder of the cannons' roar. The non-credit course at UR's School of Continuing Studies is taught by Roundtable member Jack Mountcastle. The tuition is $139. To enroll or to request more information, look for the "Thin Again" catalog for Winter 2004, or call 804-289-8133. You may also visit the University's website at Choose "Continuing Studies," then look at "Non-credit Courses."
Upcomming Events
Ed Bearrs to Speak to Powhatan Round Table The Powhatan Civil War Round Table will host Ed Bearrs at the group's January meeting. A former Marine who was wounded in World War II, Bearss stays busy traveling most of the year as a speaker and tour guide. A former chief historian with the National Park Service, he has earned a commendation from Congress and won the highest award given by the Department of the Interior. Long recognized as one of the foremost historians on the American Civil War, Bearss will speak on Thursday evening, January 15 at the County Seat Restaurant in historic Powhatan. Dinner reservations are $14 and may be made by contacting Susan Weigly at 794-1203.

Newsletter Deadlines 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: February newsletter January 30 March newsletter February 27 April newsletter April 2 May newsletter April 30 June newsletter May 28 July newsletter July 2 August newsletter July 30 September newsletter September 3 October newsletter October 1 November newsletter October 29 December newsletter December 3 Information may be emailed to
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2004
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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©R.C.W.R.T. 2004