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

February 2007 PROGRAM John Hennessy "Using and Abusing Hallowed Ground: The Adventures, Misadventures and Evolution of Virginia's Battlefields" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 13, 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. Civil War Round Tables like ours devote time, energy, and money to help preserve, protect, and extend Civil War battlefields. This work and the simple act of touring those battlefields make round tables - us - active participants in the ongoing historical drama of battlefield preservation. The preceding acts in this drama will be the focus of February's program. John Hennessy, a veteran National Park Service historian and administrator will put our modern battlefield preservation efforts in historical context. With particular reference to Fredericksburg and Manassas (parks where he has worked), Hennessy will "look at both the changing cultural use of these hallowed places (from 1864 onward) and their physical evolution and (later) struggle for survival." Hennessy will explain how "the place of battlefields and the Civil War in American culture is, nearly 150 years after the fact, very similar to the place held by Ground Zero five years after the event." Hennessy is best known to Civil War audiences as author of Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas. He is also author of Second Manassas Battlefield Study and The First Battle of Manassas: An End to Innocence. After graduating from the State University of New York at Albany, he worked for five years as historian at Manassas National Battlefield. After an interlude with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, he returned to Virginia and the National Park Service as an exhibit planner at Harpers Ferry Center and has worked since 1995 as assistant superintendent at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Brief Summary of January Meeting At the RCWRT's first meeting of 2007, Mark Greenough gave an informal presentation on the Virginia Capitol during the Civil War. The Confederate Congress and the Virginia General Assembly met simultaneously at least 363 days between 1861 and 1865. Jefferson Davis took the oath of office under the George Washington statue on the Capitol grounds on February 22, 1862 (Washington's birthday). This equestrian statue was the inspiration for the seal of the Confederate States. The Robert E. Lee statue inside the Capitol was unveiled on Lee's 125th birthday. The likeness of Marse Robert stands six feet four inches tall. Greenough smiled and reminded the Round Table, "In Virginia, Lee is always larger than life."
Pamplin Historical Park Offers "A Visit with Mr. Lincoln" Nationally renowned Abraham Lincoln actor, James Getty, presents his award-winning one-man show "A Visit with Mr. Lincoln" on Saturday, February 17 at Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. Getty's performance is free and open to the public at 11am and again at 2pm in the park's Education Center. Getty recounts stories of Lincoln's youth, his personal and political life, his views of slavery, the decision to arm African Americans, the impact of African Americans to the war effort and the background of, and rationale behind, the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. Getty conveys the Commander-in-Chief's personal torment over the difficult decisions he faced in preserving the Union. Park members are invited to join President Lincoln for lunch and birthday cake in the Hardtack & Coffee Caf‚'s private banquet room from 12:30-1:30 to commemorate his birthday, February 12, 1809. Members receive a 10% discount on all lunches purchased in the caf‚. Throughout the day, visitors to the park can also watch costumed interpreter Wisteria Perry demonstrate 19th century cooking techniques and the role of domestic slaves at the Tudor Hall Plantation kitchen. She will present an African American storytelling program at 1:30. Throughout African American History Month, park visitors can experience "Many Thousands Go: African Americans and the Civil War." This 1,500 square-foot exhibit highlighting the military and civilian experiences of African Americans on both sides of the conflict was featured on the PBS program, Virginia Currents, in November 2006. The exhibit lists the names of the 25 African Americans who won the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, 15 of those during the Richmond and Petersburg campaigns. "Many Thousands Go: African Americans and the Civil War" closes on May 31. "A Visit with Mr. Lincoln" performances are free and open to the public. All other programming and exhibits are free with paid park admission. For additional information about any of Pamplin Historical Park's programs or about park membership, please call (804) 861-2408 or log on to
ACWC to Examine How George Washington Inspired Civil War Armies 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 Confederate and Union causes during the Civil War. On Saturday, February 17, the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar will present "Liberty's Father: George Washington and the American Civil War." Using images and personal accounts from the Civil War era, this 30 minute program will explore how Washington's legacy was embraced by North and South to promote their respective visions of liberty. The event is free with museum admission and will run between 11am and 2pm. There is no admission charge for ACWC members.
RCWRT Members Invited to Take an Inside Tour of New Exhibit All members of the Richmond Civil War Round Table are cordially invited to an inside tour of "In the Cause of Liberty," the new exhibit at the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. The exhibit has received outstanding reviews nationally. It is the first to weave together Confederate, Union, and African American stories and to show how their interaction shaped the course of American history. The presentation contains artifacts from 30 different institutions and uses a number of different media to tell the story. The group will meet in the entry pavilion of the Center at 10:30am on Saturday, March 10.
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 or $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.
RCWRT Dues for 2007 It's time once again to renew your membership in the Richmond Civil War Round Table. The Ides of March (March 15) is the deadline for payment of 2007 dues. $30 - Resident member $40 - Resident couple $15 - Non-resident member (75 miles outside of Richmond) $20 - Non-resident couple $15 - Senior member (65 and older with at least 10 years of membership) $20 - Senior couple $15 - Student member (age 13-17) $30 - International member $40 - International couple You can make payment at the February or March meetings or mail your check to: Sandy Parker, RCWRT Secretary P.O. Box 37052 Richmond, VA 23234 With your support, 2007 will be another banner year for the Richmond Civil War Round Table!
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2007
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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. 2007