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January 2007
Bernard Fisher, President              Rob Monroe, Editor       
7300 Ann Cabell Lane                   2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Mechanicsville, VA 23111               Richmond, VA 23228-3040      

January 2007 PROGRAM Mark K. Greenough "A State House Divided: Virginia's Capitol and the Civil War" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 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. The first program of 2007 seems an appropriate way to begin a year that marks the quadricentennial of English settlement in Virginia and the bicentennial of Robert E. Lee's birth. Virginia's State Capitol building is not only the home of America's oldest representative government body and the building in which Lee accepted his commission as commander of Virginia's military forces, but during the Civil War it was also the seat of the Confederate Congress. Mark Greenough is uniquely qualified to tell the Civil War history of this important landmark. Since June 2002 he has been the Supervisor-Historian of guided tours at the Virginia State Capitol, supervising a part-time paid staff of ten Capitol guides, researching Capitol history, and serving as a liaison between the Division of Legislative Services and the Capitol Police, as well as the Department of General Services. Greenough quips that "he came to Virginia as a curious tourist in 1979 and decided to stay." Since then he has interpreted four centuries of Richmond and Virginia history to thousands of visitors, primarily in his capacity as co-founder and director of Living History Associates, Ltd. Greenough has also worked as a history interpreter for the National Park Service, supervised weekend guides at the Dooley Mansion at Maymont Park, taught dozens of Elderhostel classes, served as historical advisor for feature films and documentaries, and published numerous articles and reviews. He enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the area's most thorough researchers and dynamic speakers.
American Revolution Round Table to Hold Initial Meeting Under the mentorship of Dr. Harry M. Ward, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Richmond and a noted scholar of the revolutionary period, a small group of interested persons are beginning an American Revolution Round Table in the Richmond area. The initial meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 17 at the University of Richmond. The evening will begin with an optional dinner at 6:30pm in the Westhampton Room of the Heilman Dining Center. An organizational meeting and presentation by Dr. Ward will follow at 7:30. If interested, please contact RCWRT member Bill Welsch ( or 804-755-1809) or Jerry Rudd (804-323-1759) for specifics. Anyone interested in exploring this critical and exciting period of our history is encouraged to attend.
Virginia Historical Society to Host Lecture on Civil War Petersburg The Virginia Historical Society will continue its Banner Lecture Series at noon on Thursday, January 25. A. Wilson Greene, executive director of Pamplin Historical Park & the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, will discuss his latest book, Civil War Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War. A prosperous commercial center before the Civil War, Petersburg experienced that conflict more intensely than most southern cities. In his book, Greene recounts in vivid detail the transformation of civic life and the endurance of Petersburg's residents-white civilians, slaves, free blacks, and soldiers from across the South-under the stress of wartime, siege, and defeat. All programs in the Banner Lecture Series take place at the Virginia Historical Society, 428 N. Boulevard in Richmond. Reservations are not required. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children and students. The event is free to VHS members. For more information, call (804) 358-4901. Parking is free.
Conference Examines How Civil War Redefined American Ideals The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar is bringing an impressive list of speakers to Richmond for a conference titled "In the Cause of Liberty: How the Civil War Redefined American Ideals." Pulitzer prize-winning author, James McPherson, will offer the keynote address while other speakers will include: Peter Onuf, Wilson Moses, and Sean Wilentz on Antebellum America; Richard Carwardine, George Rable, and Chandra Manning on the War itself; and Gary Gallagher, Nina Silber, and David Levering Lewis on the Legacy of the War. The Conference is open to the general public and will be held Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24 at the Virginia Historical Society, 428 N. Boulevard in Richmond. Conference fees are $75 for early registrants, $80 for American Civil War Center members, $100 for non-members and $110 for walk-ins. For early registration information, please call Ginger LaPrade at (804) 780-1865 ext. 14.
Symposium Will Examine How Southerners Chose Sides in 1861 When Robert E. Lee resigned his commission from the U.S. Army in April 1861 and cast his lot with his native state, it was, observed his biographer Douglas Southall Freeman, "the answer he was born to make." The bicentennial of Lee's birth in 2007 provides an opportunity to examine the often-agonizing decisions that Southern American military and political leaders had to make about their loyalties. The Library of Virginia and the Museum of the Confederacy are co-sponsoring "The Answers They Were Born to Make: Choosing Sides in the Civil War." This symposium will feature presentations by Emory M. Thomas on Robert E. Lee; William C. Davis on U.S. Vice-President and Confederate Gen. John C. Breckinridge; Craig L. Symonds on naval officers Capt. Franklin Buchanan and Capt. David G. Farragut; Brian Steele Wills on Gen. George H. Thomas; and a panel discussion about the importance of Lee's 1861 decision. The symposium will be held from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, February 24 at the Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street in Richmond. Reservations are required. Registration is $45, $35 for Museum of the Confederacy members or Library of Virginia donors. The fee includes a boxed lunch. Free parking is available in the library's underground garage. For information or to register, e-mail Linda Lipscomb at or call (804) 649-1861, ext. 32.
Board Rejects Slots Parlor Near Gettysburg Battlefield After 20 months of debate, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board concluded that Gettysburg and gambling don't mix. During a public hearing held on December 20, the board rejected a proposal to build a 3,000-machine slots parlor one mile from the Gettysburg Battlefield. Since the Gettysburg slots parlor was first proposed in April 2005, the Civil War Preservation Trust has been one of the leading voices against the casino. Earlier in 2006, the organization identified Gettysburg as one of the most endangered battlefields in the nation because of the slots proposal. CWPT members collected more than 34,000 signatures in opposition to the casino. Together with the National Parks Conservation Association, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, No Casino Gettysburg and Preservation Pennsylvania, the CWPT is a member of the Stop the Slots Coalition. In a statement, CWPT president James Lighthizer said, "This is a great day for Gettysburg and for preservationists throughout the nation. By not allowing gambling to encroach on this famous town and battlefield, Pennsylvania has sent a clear message that it cares deeply for its historic treasures. It is no exaggeration to say that this is the most significant battlefield preservation victory since the defeat of Disney's proposed theme park at Manassas in the early 1990s." Lighthizer said, "The casino proposal itself was merely a symptom of a larger development problem plaguing Gettysburg and many other Civil War battlefield communities."
Lee's Birthday to be Commemorated with Events Throughout Virginia Robert E. Lee was born in Westmoreland County on January 19, 1807. The 200th anniversary of his birth will be commemorated this month with numerous events throughout Virginia. On the 13th, Lexington will observe Lee-Jackson Day with a morning service at Jackson's grave at 10:00 followed by a parade down Main Street to VMI. At noon there will be a talk at the Lee Chapel (seating is limited) followed by a luncheon. The day will conclude with a Robert E. Lee Ball that evening. For more information or to order tickets to the luncheon or ball, email On the 15th, there will be a commemoration in Orange featuring 19th century music. The Holladay House Bed & Breakfast will host a reception from 5-6:30pm. Reservations are $10. At 8:00 that evening there will be a special program at St. Thomas Church. The event is free but reservations are recommended. Call (540) 547-2395 for details. In Arlington, a symposium titled "Does Lee Matter?" will be held on the 17th and 18th. Topics include "Lee the General," "Lee's Great Decision" and "The Lees at Arlington." To register, call (703) 235-1530. Elsewhere in Northern Virginia, there will be a commemoration on the 19th and 20th at Fort Ward in Alexandria. From 11am to 3pm there will be free birthday cake and special exhibits on Lee. For more information go to or call (703) 838-4848. As you might expect, Lee's birthplace, Stratford Hall, has an abundance of events planned for the weekend of the 19th through 21st. Friday's activities include special tours, artillery salutes, period music and two new exhibits. On Saturday there will be special "Lee for Children" tours, a presentation on photography during the Civil War era, and a lecture and book signing by Professor James I. "Bud" Robertson, Jr. On Sunday, Robert E. Lee portrayer Al Stone will be at the Visitor Center with his horse Traveller and there will be another lecture and book signing with Dr. Robertson. For reservations or more information on the weekend's events call (804) 493-8038 or go to
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RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2007
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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