cguy.gif 01110008.jpg uguy.gif
February 2002
Clark H. Lewis, President         Art & Carol Bergeron, Editors
P. O. Box 1122                    3901 Paces Ferry Road      
Richmond, VA 23218                 Chester, VA 23831-1239   

February 2002 PROGRAM

John V. Quarstein "C. S. S. Virginia: Sink Before You Surrender" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 12, 2002, at the Boulevard United Methodist Church, 321 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA (corner of Boulevard and Stuart Ave.) For those who do not know John Quarstein, get ready for a huge treat. John is really a younger version of Ed Bearss with the same type of inclusive knowledge, effusive personality and great sense of humor. His topic for our February meeting will be the C.S.S. Virginia and her monumental battle with the Monitor. His lecture will be based on his book, C.S.S. Virginia: Mistress of Hampton Roads. John V. Quarstein is an award-winning historian, preservationist and author. John has served as Director of the Virginia War Museum in Newport News since 1978 and, in addition to his duties, oversees the management of the City of Newport News' historic properties including Endview Plantation, Lee Hall Mansion, Young's Mill, and the Newsom House. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University. John is the author of seven books including Newport News: A Centennial History, and Fort Monroe: The Key to the South. John is the recipient of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 1993 President's Award for Historic Preservation, the Civil War Society's 1996 Anne D. Snyder Preservation Award, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy's Jefferson Davis Gold Medal in 1999. Presently, he serves on the board of several national organizations including Virginia Civil War Trails and the John Singleton Mosby Foundation. John lives in Hampton, Virginia, and on his Eastern Shore farm with his wife Martha and son John Moran.
Review of the January Program
John C. Waugh
John C. Waugh's presentation was based upon his book The Class of 1846. He described the men who graduated from West Point in that year as natural friends made into unnatural enemies by the American Civil War. Waugh began his talk by discussing two men who dropped out of the class-John Gibbon and Birkett D. Fry. A native of Pennsylvania raised in North Carolina, Gibbon was held back a year and did not graduate until 1847. During the Civil War, Gibbon commanded a division in the Second Corps at the Battle of Gettysburg. Fry was a native of Virginia and spent only one year at West Point before returning to the Old Dominion to become a lawyer. At Gettysburg, he was a colonel and led a brigade in the division of Major General George E. Pickett. Fry's brigade was in the center of the line during the famed attack on July 3. He received two wounds and fell into the hands of men of Gibbon's division. Fry became a prisoner of war at Fort McHenry. Gibbon was also wounded and went to Baltimore to recuperate. There he learned that Fry had been accused of ordering the murder of Union troops in the Western Theater. Gibbon went to the prison, talked with his old classmate, and was successful in having the charges against Fry dropped. The men who started out as plebes in 1842 and graduated in 1846 made up one of the most star-studded classes at the Military Academy. Future Civil War generals were George B. McClellan, John G. Foster, Jesse L. Reno, Darius N. Couch, Thomas J. Jackson, Truman Seymour, Samuel D. Sturgis, George Stoneman, Dabney H. Maury, David R. Jones, George H. Gordon, Cadmus M. Wilcox, William M. Gardner, Samuel B. Maxey, and George E. Pickett. McClellan was second in the class, while Pickett was last. Two men who entered West Point in 1842 but did not graduate until 1847 were Ambrose P. Hill and John Gibbon. Hill and McClellan were roommates and best friends. They became rivals for the same woman-Nellie Marcy-with McClellan eventually marrying her. One of the little-known but interesting characters in the Class of 1846 was George Horatio Derby. An odd and eccentric young man, Derby became the Academy's leading prankster. After graduation, he became a humorist and published two books. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis asked for suggestions for a new army uniform in the 1850s, and Derby responded with a recommendation for a fancy suit that included a hook on the pants. The hook could hold the man in a saddle, hang him on a fence rail to rest, or be grabbed by an officer to keep the soldier in line. Davis was not amused and wanted to court martial Derby. Another suggestion made by Derby in the years prior to the Civil War was for a mule-howitzer. The animal would have a howitzer attached to his back and belly, and when one gun fired, it would flip him around so that the other gun was ready for action. Members of the class met on opposite sides of a number of battlefields during the conflict. Foster and Seymour were members of the garrison at Fort Sumter during its bombardment in April 1861. As major and chief of staff to General Gustave T. Beauregard, David Jones accepted the surrender of the fort on April 14. George Gordon commanded the rear guard of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks' army in the Shenandoah Valley in May 1862 as Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson pushed his army northward against Gordon at Front Royal. The Battle of Antietam was a virtual class reunion, with McClellan, Gordon, Couch, Gibbon, Jackson, and Hill participating in the fighting. Some of the classmates met and talked briefly at Appomattox Court House prior to General Robert E. Lee's surrender on April 9, 1865.
Round Table Web Site For those members who have Internet access, the Round Table has a Web site that features the monthly newsletter, past newsletters, book reviews, and much more. The address is or just
New Officers The following slate of officers was elected at the December meeting - Clark Lewis, President; Brag Bowling, First Vice President; and Art Bergeron, Second Vice President. Jack Ackerly, Bob Krick, and Scott Mauger were named to the Executive Board.
Membership Renewal This year, membership renewal is being handled by a separate mailing from Sandy Parker. Everyone should try to renew as promptly as possible so that Sandy can compile a membership list and so that the newsletter mailing list will be up to date.
Civil War Field University The Blue and Gray Education Society of Danville is offering a variety of tours and symposia this year. Included are staff rides and tours of several Virginia battlefields. Guides include Ed Bearss, Greg Mertz, and Perry Jamieson. Fall events planned by B&GES include a staff ride of Port Hudson, Louisiana, led by Art Bergeron, and a symposium/tour focusing on New Orleans in the Civil War. Programs of the Blue and Gray Education Society have benefited battlefield preservation efforts at places like the Wilderness and Cedar Creek. Flyers with more information on this year's programs will be available at the February meeting.
Sons of Confederate Veterans Tour The Sons of Confederate Veterans Spring tour will be held on April 20 and will visit Peninsula Campaign sites. Guide for the tour is John V. Quarstein, Director of the Virginia War Museum and author of Civil War on the Virginia Peninsula and several other books on this area. Quarstein, who is the Round Table's February speaker, is an expert on this theater and a dynamic tour guide. The tour will depart at 7 a.m. from the James River bus lot at 915 North Allen. Cost is $20.00 per person. For reservations, contact Reginald Roberts, 2239 Burroughs St., Bon Air, VA 23235, phone 272-3041.
Richmond Civil War Round Table Speakers for the Rest of 2002 March - William J. Cooper, Jr. April - Edward Smith May - Frank O'Reilly June - Gordon Rhea July - Cramer Gallimore August - not determined September - not determined October - Gabor Boritt November - Jay Winick December - William C. "Jack" Davis
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: for March; March 22 for April; April 19 for May; May 24 for June; June 21 for July; July 19 for August; August 23 for September; September 20 for October; October 18 for November; and November 22 for December
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Art & Carol Bergeron, Editors 3901 Paces Ferry Road Chester, VA 23831-1239

Return to News Letters Index
Return to main page

©R.C.W.R.T. 2002