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February 2006
Richard Forrester, President           Rob Monroe, Editor       
8008 Spottswood Road                   2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Richmond, VA 23229                     Richmond, VA 23228-3040          

February 2006 PROGRAM A. Wilson Greene "Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 14, 2006, 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. A. Wilson Greene is the Executive Director of Pamplin Historical Park & the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. He served for 17 years with the National Park Service as a historian and manager at a number of historic sites including the Fredericksburg and Petersburg National Battlefields. He was the founder and first president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, the predecessor of the Civil War Preservation Trust. Mr. Greene holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in American History from Florida State University and Louisiana State University, respectively. Mr. Greene has addressed more than 80 Civil War Round Tables nationwide and has directed or participated in dozens of Civil War symposiums. He serves on the National Advisory Board of the Civil War Preservation Trust and has authored more than 25 publications on the Civil War and Southern History. Among his recent books are Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion: The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign and the updated Whatever You Resolve To Be: Essays on Stonewall Jackson. Mr. Greene will be speaking about his forthcoming book (2006 release), Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War. Petersburg was Virginia's second-largest city in 1860 and a major transportation hub connecting Richmond with North Carolina, south-central Virginia, and Tidewater. It was also the locus of the longest military siege in American history from June 1864 through April 1865. Mr. Greene will chronicle the experiences of the city's 18,000 residents during this time as they transitioned from a predominately Union community to a stronghold of Confederate support by war's end.
Summary of January Meeting Roger Mudd Roger Mudd "If our speaker did not show tonight my name would be Mudd," quipped Dick Forrester as he opened the Richmond Civil War Round Table's first meeting of 2006. Fortunately for Dick and the rest of the RCWRT, our speaker, former CBS and NBC newsman Roger Mudd, was indeed in attendance. Mudd stated that he would be speaking to the Round Table as a history buff rather than a historian. That certainly didn't deter the overflow crowd that packed into the basement of Boulevard United Methodist Church. "I'm astonished so many people showed up to see if I'd give away this gavel," joked outgoing president Forrester to his mass audience. He did indeed turn over the Round Table reigns to new president Shep Parsons whose quick work had lured Mudd to visit the RCWRT on short notice. "It's always a delight to come back to the town where I started," Mudd remarked. The veteran reporter landed what he described as his "first serious job" with the Richmond News Leader in 1953. On Mudd's first day at work the city was abuzz with the news of the death of famed writer Douglas Southall Freeman the previous day. Like Freeman, Mudd possessed a love of history and immersed himself in the Capital City's past. "I tried to learn the seven hills of Richmond but never found them all," he confessed. In the 1950s the News Leader owned WRNL and made Mudd the radio station's first news director. Just before one of his updates an announcer introduced him, "Here's Roger News and the Mudd." The young newsman began to chuckle and only made it through his update after turning off his microphone several times to laugh out loud. Mudd married E. J. Spears in Richmond. His wife is a true child of the South he acknowledged. Mudd drew a roar of laughter from the crowd as he recalled how E.J. told acquaintances she was moving "up north" to Fairfax County. Not all of Mudd's talk centered on his news career. He also spoke on his distant relative, Dr. Samuel Mudd, the man who set John Wilkes Booth's broken leg after Lincoln's assassination. The Maryland physician owned slaves and was probably a Confederate sympathizer, Mudd explained. After a speedy trial, Dr. Mudd was found guilty and escaped hanging by a mere one vote. Sent to a prison in the remote Florida Keys, he was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson in 1868 for his work in controlling a yellow fever outbreak. Following his talk, Mudd took many questions from the audience, most pertaining to his long, distinguished career as a journalist. He surprised Round Table members by stating that the 1954 prison break at Oregon Hill was possibly the most gratifying story he ever covered. The most traumatic event he reported was the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Mudd admitted that he "fell in love with the legislative process" while covering the filibuster that preceded the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The passage of that legislation was the most historically significant event of his career, Mudd said. He reminisced about Walter Cronkite and Charles Kuralt, two of his former colleagues at CBS. Mudd drew another great burst of laughter from the room when he professed having a "minimum high regard" for Dan Rather. Television network ownership has changed and news coverage has suffered, Mudd lamented. News departments are now viewed as profit centers that must pay their way, he said. After leaving the news business Mudd worked for The History Channel until his retirement in 2004. He was questioned about the abundance of World War II programming on the cable outlet (some viewers refer to it as The Hitler Channel). Mudd stated that with the downfall of Communism, WWII film footage from former Eastern Bloc countries has now become available to film and video producers from the Western World. The result: more World War II documentaries. In other news from the January meeting, the Richmond Battlefields Association sent a kind letter to the RCWRT thanking the Round Table for its recent donation to the RBA. Alex Wise announced that the American Civil War Center At Historic Tredegar is due to open in September. Waite Rawls introduced the Museum of the Confederacy's newest staff member, our own Sam Craghead.
Controversial Confederates to Take Center Stage Nearly 150 years after the Civil War, controversy still swirls around the lives and careers of some Confederate military leaders. Saturday, February 25, the Museum of the Confederacy and the Library of Virginia will sponsor a symposium on "Controversial Confederates." The museum's 2006 symposium includes lectures on Nathan Bedford Forrest by biographer Brian Steele Wills; James Longstreet and Col. John S. Mosby, by biographer Jeffrey D. Wert; Jubal A. Early, by Gary W. Gallagher; and George Pickett by biographer Lesley J. Gordon. The symposium will close with a panel discussion about controversial Confederate leaders and how they illuminate the larger study of Confederate and Civil War history. The symposium is being held 10am to 4pm in the Lecture Hall of the Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad St. in downtown Richmond. Free parking is available in the garage under the library. The cost of the event is $20 for museum members and Library of Virginia donors, $25 for others, and includes a box lunch. Pre-registration is required at (804) 649-1861, ext. 28.
March Events Next month Harold Holzer, Senior Vice President for External Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, will present a lecture on Art in the Civil War South. The event will be held at noon on Thursday, March 16 at the Virginia Historical Society, 428 N. Boulevard in Richmond. This lecture is free to Museum of the Confederacy members showing their membership cards but seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission for non-members is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for children and students. On Saturday, March 18, the Museum of the Confederacy is offering a bus tour of Stuart's famous ride around McClellan's lines. Tickets for the tour (being lead by JEB Stuart IV, JEB Stuart V, and JEB Stuart VI, accomanied by well-known cavalry historian Scott Mauger and Ed Sanders of the National Park Service) are $150 per person and include a $100 donation to the museum.
RBA and CWPT Acquire Land at Frayser's Farm The Richmond Battlefields Association (RBA) and the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) have collaborated to acquire a crucial 40-acre parcel in the heart of Frayser's Farm Battlefield. The tract includes land where George Meade's Pennsylvanians clashed with Alabamians under Cadmus Wilcox on June 30, 1862 during the Seven Days Battles. The land is not yet paid for and the RBA must contribute $175,000 this year to conclude the deal. The association is calling on its members and others to help them raise the funds necessary to make the sale final. The RBA welcomes contributions to: Richmond Battlefields Association P.O. Box 13945 Richmond, VA 23225 More information on the RBA and its preservation efforts can be found on the association's website:
Round Table Dues It's that time again. Time to pull out our wallets and check books to pay our Round Table dues for the new year. Once again, the Ides of March (March 15) will be the deadline. Dues are $30 for residents, $40 for couples. For those living at least 75 miles outside of Richmond, non-resident dues are $15 for individuals, $20 for couples. For seniors 65 and older with at least ten years of membership, dues are $15 for individuals and $20 for couples. Dues are $30 for international members and $15 for students age 13 to 17. You may pay your dues at the Round Table's February or March meetings or by mailing your check to: Sandy Parker, RCWRT Secretary P.O. Box 37052 Richmond, VA 23234 Thanks for your help in making 2006 another great year for the Round Table!
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2006
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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