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January 2008
Bernard Fisher, President              Rob Monroe, Editor       
7300 Ann Cabell Lane                   2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Mechanicsville, VA 23111               Richmond, VA 23228-3040      

January 2008 PROGRAM Nelson Lankford "The Crooked Road to the Civil War, 1861 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 8, 2008, 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. When Abraham Lincoln became president on March 4, 1861, crisis had already gripped the nation. Perhaps by then it was too late to avert civil war, but the conflict that broke out a few weeks later was by no means preordained. The particular way it unfolded rested in the hands of individuals, not irresistible historical forces. Getting the Round Table's year off to an exciting start, at our January meeting, Richmond's own Nelson D. Lankford will recount the quirks of timing, character, and place-especially in Virginia and Maryland-that influenced the trajectory of events during the weeks from Lincoln's inauguration through the explosion at Fort Sumter and Lincoln's response to it. A chain of decisions and miscalculations, influenced by swollen vanity and wishful thinking, gave shape to the dreadful conflict to come. Nelson Lankford is with the Virginia Historical Society (VHS), and, for the past 23 years, has edited the organization's quarterly journal, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. He also is VHS's director of publications and scholarship. Lankford is an award-winning editor and author of several books, among them Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capital; Last American Aristocrat: The Biography of Ambassador David K. E. Bruce, 1898-1977, Vol. 1 and the critically acclaimed Cry Havoc: The Crooked Road to Civil War, 1861!, which was published in 2007.
ACWC to Host Events in January and February Was Robert E. Lee one of the great captains of American history or a bumbling practitioner of old-fashioned warfare? American Civil War Center (ACWC) educator Jimmy Price will survey the writings of authors who both deified and vilified the military career of the Confederacy's most renowned general. Price will present his program, "The Fox & the Statue: Portrayals of Robert E. Lee, 1865-2008," on Saturday, January 19 at 2 pm at the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. On Sunday afternoon, February 10, ACWC will take an in-depth look at America's most enduring historical figures. By the early 19th century, George Washington had achieved iconic status in the United States as a soldier, statesman, and politician. Heralded as a hero in the fight for independence during the American Revolution, Washington became a symbol of freedom for both Union and Confederate causes during the Civil War. Using images and personal accounts from the Civil War era, "Liberty's Father: George Washington and the American Civil War" is a 30-minute program that will explore how Washington's legacy was embraced by North and South to promote their respective visions of liberty. The 1 pm program on Washington will be followed at 3 pm by "Liberty's Son: the Presidential Legacy of Abraham Lincoln - Hero or Tyrant?" Was Lincoln the savior of the Union or a slayer of state rights? Price will present a revealing look at how authors and historians have viewed our nation's 16th president. Admission for each of these events is $10 or free with ACWC exhibit admission or membership.
Richmond NBP Superintendent Accepts Position in Philadelphia The National Park Service (NPS) recently announced that Cynthia MacLeod has been selected as the superintendent of Independence National Historical Park and will also manage other NPS sites in Philadelphia. MacLeod will begin her assignment in late January. MacLeod has served since 1990 as superintendent of Richmond National Battlefield Park and Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site. Richmond NBP preserves more than 1900 acres of Civil War resources at nine sites in the Richmond area. During her almost 18-year tenure in Richmond, MacLeod lead her team in expanding battlefield and resource preservation and interpretation at both parks. She was instrumental in park historic building rehabilitations and established new visitor centers for each park, including the Visitor Center at Tredegar, the partnership venture that opened in 2000. "I will miss the NPS staff in Richmond, our wonderful partners, and the vibrant programs that we have built over the years," said MacLeod. "Richmond has been a wonderful home for my family, and I will always treasure the friendships and memories we have made here. It is a jewel of a region." MacLeod has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Richmond since 1991. She has a master's degree in architectural history from the University of Virginia and a bachelor's degree from Duke University.
News from Museum of the Confederacy The Museum of the Confederacy is celebrating Jefferson Davis's 200th birthday and his tenure as Commander in Chief of the Confederate States of America by conducting popular war games. On Saturday, January 19 Senior Curator and Director of Collections Robert Hancock will teach the basic strategies of war and then split the participants into teams for competition. Each team will be given an objective and certain resources to plan its strategy. This will be an all day event with lunch included. Space is limited and registration is required. The cost is $20 for members, $25 for non-members. From 1-3 pm on Saturday, February 9 the museum will present a program commemorating the relationship of Jefferson Davis and his wife Varina Howell Davis. "Hearts at War" will look at Valentine traditions and courtship during the Civil War through Valentine artifacts, Civil War love letters, and stories. Light refreshments will follow. Throughout 2008, the museum will be working on restoration projects to the White House of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis's executive mansion from 1861 to 1865. These projects include replacing worn carpets, installing draperies, interior paint and UV filters, installing a new fire suppression system and making repairs to the front porch. The White House will be closed to visitors during the months of January and February to allow for completion of some of these projects. The House will reopen for daily tours on March 1.
Commission Endorses Plan for Funding Battlefield Preservation The Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission has unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the Civil War Preservation Trust's (CWPT) Virginia Sesquicentennial Battlefield Initiative. The Initiative encourages state funding for battlefield preservation in Virginia prior to and during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (2011-2015). In the Initiative, CWPT calls for a yearly appropriation of $5 million for battlefield preservation to be considered along with each annual state budget. If approved, the money will be made available in the form of matching grants requiring two dollars in private funds for each dollar allocated by the state. This mechanism effectively triples the power of the state's contribution and creates a powerful public-private partnership. Previously, in fiscal years 2006-07 and 2007-08, the state legislature has approved a total of $700,000 in appropriations for battlefield preservation, funds that have been used toward the acquisition of the Slaughter Pen Farm in Spotsylvania County and portions of the Glendale battlefield in Henrico County.
Election of 2008 Officers At the December meeting of the Richmond Civil War Round Table, Jack Ackerly, Dan Balfour and Shep Parsons were elected to the executive board for 2008. Also, the 2008 officer slate was approved by the members: John Coski (President), Ed Wooldridge (1st Vice President), Davis Wrinkle (2nd Vice President), Sandy Parker (Secretary), Richard Grosse (Treasurer), Gary Cowardin (Webmaster), and Rob Monroe (Newsletter Editor).
RCWRT Dues for 2008 It is time once again to renew your membership in the Richmond Civil War Round Table. The 2008 dues reflect the $5 across-the-board increase approved by the members last October. Also, please note the introduction of a new membership category, "Sustaining Member." This is an entirely voluntary option for those members who choose to increase their support of our organization. The Ides of March (March 15) is the deadline for payment of 2008 dues. Select one category: o $50 - Sustaining member (voluntary) o $35 - Resident member o $45 - Resident couple o $20 - Non-resident member (75 miles outside of Richmond) o $25 - Non-resident couple o $20 - Senior member (65 and older with at least 10 years of membership) o $25 - Senior couple o $20 - Student member (age 13-17) o $35 - International member o $45 - International couple You can make payment at the January, February or March meetings or mail your check to: Sandy Parker, RCWRT Secretary P.O. Box 37052 Richmond, VA 23234 Thank you for your continued support for the Richmond Civil War Round Table!
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2008
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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. 2008