First Vice President: Rob Monroe, Editor
Richard Forrester 2416 Edenbrook Dr.
Second Vice President: Richmond, VA 23228-3040
Shep Parsons firstname.lastname@example.org
January 2005 PROGRAM
"Richmond Again Taken:
Photographing Richmond, 1858-1865"
8:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 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.
Many of the most famous images of the fallen Capital of the
Confederacy have never, until now, been placed in their
proper historical context. This multimedia talk will
examine some of the images taken of Richmond immediately
following the evacuation of the Confederate Government using
new research to locate and interpret the images. This talk
will also share some important new discoveries and many
extremely rare images.
Mike Gorman is a Richmond-based historian who specializes in
the City of Richmond during the Civil War. He is the
creator and webmaster of Civil War Richmond
(www.mdgorman.com), an online research project that
documents the various sites and personalities within
Richmond during the war. It is his labor of love and
consists of primary and a smattering of secondary accounts
related to Richmond. This website generates over 300 hits
per day, and has grown to the staggering size of 9,348
individual pages and over 1200 megabytes of information. He
works for the National Park Service and is working on
several books in his private time.
Summary of December Meeting
At the December meeting of the Richmond Civil War Round
Table, Craig L Symonds gave an enlightening talk on
Confederate Gen. Patrick Cleburne. Symonds admitted being
"personally a great admirer" of Cleburne. He is not alone
in that opinion. In the past decades, Symonds noted,
Cleburne has become to the South what Joshua L. Chamberlain
is to the North. Unquestionably brave and heroic as a
commander, Cleburne's visionary ideas have made him a
popular figure with contemporary readers.
A Protestant raised in County Cork, Ireland, Cleburne was
well educated and begrudgingly served in the British army.
In 1850, at the age of 21, he immigrated to America,
eventually settling in Helena, Arkansas. When war broke
out, Cleburne joined the Confederate army to defend his
neighborhood against what he viewed as "the tyranny" of
He rose quickly through the ranks, Symonds stated, partly
due to the fact that his experience in the British army made
him familiar with military manuals. It was soon evident
that Cleburne was a remarkable combat leader and a brilliant
commander. He received plaudits from the Confederate
Congress for his actions in battle.
To Cleburne, Symonds explained, "slavery was consequential,"
put forth by Republicans to justify their tyranny. Cleburne
was also a realist. By 1863 he recognized that the war had
become a numbers game and the South could not win a
prolonged conflict. Slaves made up over one-third of the
population of the Confederate States. The only realistic
option for Southern independence, Cleburne concluded, was to
enlist slaves and guarantee their freedom in a reasonable
amount of time.
"Slavery has become a handicap," Cleburne argued. He called
for the organization of a "brigade of the most courageous"
slaves and suggested arming and drilling as many as 300,000
bondsmen. He knew such a plan would probably end slavery in
the South, but the action would be worthwhile if it ended
There were political advantages to be gained as well.
English and French sympathy for the U.S. would end and the
Republicans would be stripped of their justification for
Several other leaders endorsed Cleburne's idea, though, as
Symonds noted, many did so only out of loyalty to the
respected general. Others lambasted the proposal, branding
it "revolting to Southern honor" and "nothing less than
treason." When the plan reached Joe Johnston, the
Confederate commander knew the idea would be ill-received
and ordered it not to be forwarded to Richmond. A rival of
Cleburne disobeyed Johnston and sent the document anyway.
At the Confederate capital, Jefferson Davis realized the
proposal was - as Symonds described it - a political "tinder
box" and repressed any talk on the subject. Cleburne was
never again promoted.
The following year, the 34-year-old commander died leading a
glorious but foolish charge he knew was not wise. He was
killed only 50 yards from the Union line at Franklin,
Tennessee. "He gave his life for a cause he did not fully
understand," said Symonds.
Lectures Will Offer Theological View of Civil War
Four lectures about "The Civil War as a Theological Crisis,"
will be held January 24-26 at Union Theological Seminary and
Presbyterian School of Christian Education on Brook Road.
Professor of Christian Thought at Wheaton College, Mark
Noll, an authority on the interaction of Christianity and
culture in the 18th and 19th centuries, will be the speaker.
Noll will examine the Civil War as a turning point in
Christian thought. How could readers of the same Bible come
to such different conclusions resulting in the violence and
destruction of civil war? There is no charge to attend the
lectures: "The Nature of the Crisis," "The Special Problem
of the Bible and Slavery," "The Crisis Observed from Outside
the United States," and "The Meaning of the Crisis Today."
Noll holds a Ph.D. in American religious history from
Vanderbilt University and has served as an editor for
Christianity Today. A prolific writer, some of Noll's books
include: America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham
Lincoln, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, and Turning
Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity.
Other notable guests, all graduates of Union-PSCE, will
speak at various events during the lecture series. Theodore
J. Wardlaw, president of Austin Presbyterian Theological
Seminary, will preach at worship on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 11
a.m. Donald W. Shriver, Jr., former president of Union
Theological Seminary in New York, will speak at the luncheon
on Tuesday. Pamela Mitchell-Legg, professor of Christian
education at Union-PSCE's Charlotte campus, will speak at
the dinner Tuesday evening. Reservations are required for
A special feature during the lectures will be a tour of the
new American Civil War Center. The soon-to-be-completed
center at the Tredegar gun foundry in downtown Richmond
examines the Civil War from the distinct perspectives of
African Americans, Northerners and Southerners. Participants
in the lectures may choose to visit the facility Tuesday
afternoon at 3 p.m.
For information on the lectures, registration, and a
complete schedule of events, visit the website at
www.union-psce.edu/sprunt/ or call (804) 278-4228 or
1-800-229-2990 ext 228.
Wednesday, January 19
Robert E. Lee Birthday Celebration at his birthplace,
Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County. Free admission and a
lecture, "Lee's Inner Quest," at 2 p.m. Info:
Saturday, February 5
"Freedom Won," a special program on African-American
soldiers and civilians at Endview Plantation in Newport
News. Info: www.endview.org or 757-887-1862.
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2005
Info Sought on Prison Civil War Round Table
Jackson Sasser, a graduate student at William & Mary, is
working on a history of the Prison Civil War Round Table,
which met in the Virginia Penetentiary from 1962-1989. Our
Round Table was instrumental in that group's founding and
success. Mr. Sasser would be interested in any
correspondence or records pertaining to the PCWRT -- most
especially its early years -- and would like to talk or
correspond with anyone who took a real interest in the work
of that group. He can be reached at email@example.com; or at
757-221-7695; or at P.O. Box 863, Williamsburg, Virginia
2005: Official Business and A Look Ahead
At the December meeting of the Richmond Civil War Round
Table, Bob Krick, Jack Ackerly and Dan Balfour were elected
to the executive board for 2005. The new year promises to
be another exciting one for RCWRT members. Speakers in the
coming months include Dr. James I. "Bud" Robertson, Jr.,
Frank O'Reilly and Hunter Lesser.
Membership dues for 2005 will be mailed to you in January.
The ides of March - March 15 - will be the final deadline
for 2005 dues. Why put it off until then? Pay your dues at
the January 11 meeting, then sit back, relax and enjoy the
excellent speakers coming to the Round Table this year.
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