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February 2009
Edward J. Wooldridge, Pres.            Rob Monroe, Editor       
13700 Lintel Lane                      2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Midlothian, VA 23113                   Richmond, VA 23228-3040              

February 2009 Program Mike Gorman "Drewry's Bluff: Taken Only in Photographs" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 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 Civil War Confederate fort at Drewry's Bluff, south of Richmond on a bend in the James River, successfully kept the U.S. Navy at bay for nearly three years. Known as the Gibraltar of the Confederacy, this 90-ft.-high precipice was home base to the James River Squadron and the Confederate Naval Academy. On May 15, 1862 a powerful Union naval flotilla on their way to Richmond was pounded by guns from the fort for several hours before weighing anchor and retreating. This victory was so decisive that the naval route to Richmond was never attempted again. It was only when Confederates abandoned Richmond that Drewry's Bluff was captured. At our February meeting, Mike Gorman will make a photo presentation examining the images of Drewry's Bluff and discussing the May 15, 1862 battle and many new discoveries of one of the Confederacy's most important forts. Mike Gorman grew up in Richmond and began working for the National Park Service (NPS) in 1999 before becoming a ranger and historian for the Richmond National Battlefield Park. He was a key participant in the creation of the Civil War Visitor Center at Tredegar and the Chimborazo Medical Museum. A website he created on the Battle of New Market Heights was recognized by the NPS for excellence. Another website created by Gorman, "Civil War Richmond," ( receives wide acclaim and will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. Gorman is recognized as an expert on Civil War photography. Additionally, he has authored several articles about the war and his maps have been published in numerous books and on interpretive markers.
Membership Dues for 2009 We have an exciting line-up of speakers for 2009 featuring some of America's most respected historians. We hope you will support the RCWRT by renewing your membership at this time. By paying your dues you enable the Round Table to continue to present the enlightening and entertaining programs we've enjoyed in the past. Please select a membership category from the list below. We would like to call your attention to the Sustaining Member category -- a voluntary option but a wonderful way to support of our organization. Select one category: < > $50 - Sustaining member (voluntary) < > $35 - Resident member < > $45 - Resident couple < > $20 - Non-resident member (50+ miles outside of Richmond) < > $25 - Non-resident couple < > $20 - Senior member (65 and older with at least 10 years of membership) < > $25 - Senior couple < > $20 - Student member (age 13-17) As in years past, the Ides of March (March 15) is the deadline for payment of dues. You may make your payment at the February meeting or mail your check to: Sandy Parker, RCWRT Secretary P.O. Box 37052 Richmond, VA 23234 Thank you for your continued support of the Richmond Civil War Round Table!
Other Round Table News At the January meeting of the Richmond Civil War Round Table, our members elected the three members of our executive committee for 2009: Bobby Krick, Sam Craghead and Jack Ackerly. Also, please mark Saturday, June 6 on your calendars. On this day, the RCWRT will have its annual tour. This year we will examine the Culpeper area during the Civil War. Our daylong bus tour will leave from Richmond in the morning en route to Kelly's Ford. We will enjoy lunch at the Graffiti House, then ride to the battlefield at Brandy Station. We are proud to announce that Greg Mertz, a longtime historian with the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, will be our guide. His area of expertise, the cavalry, will be an emphasis of this tour. This will surely be a rewarding day for all who attend. More details will be coming soon.
UR Continues Series on Lincoln's Leadership On Thursday, February 12, The University of Richmond will recognize the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth with the latest program in their ongoing leadership forum. William Lee Miller will present "The Magnanimity of President Lincoln." From the first minute of his presidency, Lincoln confronted the radical moral contradiction left by the nation's founders: universal ideals of equality and liberty and the monstrous injustice of slavery. Drawn to the Lincoln presidency as a case study in political ethics, Miller first explored Abraham Lincoln's intellectual and moral development in Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography. With his 2008 book President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman, Miller completed his "ethical biography" of a backcountry politician transformed by constitutional alchemy into an oath-bound head of state. Miller will talk about Lincoln's resolve, judgment, humility, and particularly his magnanimity, and share his understanding of the qualities that Lincoln developed as he led the nation during its gravest crisis. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. at UR's Modlin Center for the Arts and will be followed by a performance of Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" by the University Orchestra. A book signing and reception will follow. Tickets are free but required and may be reserved two weeks prior to the event by calling (804) 289-8980.
Course Focuses on How Civil War Affected Virginians on the Home Front The University of Richmond's School of Continuing Studies is offering a course titled War Comes Home: Civil War in Virginia. Meeting on five successive Monday nights beginning on February 23, the course is led by RCWRT member Jack Mountcastle, the U.S. Army's former Chief of Military History. Classes begin at 7:00 and end promptly at 9:00. More major Civil War battles were fought in Virginia than any other state. But the great struggle of 1861-65 touched Virginia's men and women in all walks of life, not just soldiers. Major changes in manufacturing, transportation, communications, medicine, and in society itself would affect the very nature of warfare. This series of five lectures will focus on these areas and more to gain an appreciation for the wrenching change and the long-term impact upon those serving on the home front during the Civil War in Virginia. The instructor will provide a number of handouts in this non-credit, no-test course as take-home material. The cost of the course is $169. For more information, call UR's School of Continuing Studies at (804) 289-8133 or visit the school's website, to see the Think Again catalog. The course designation is HIS 209.09
Program Examines How Washington Inspired both North and South 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 14, 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 era, this 30-minute program will explore how Washington's legacy was embraced by North and South to promote their respective visions of liberty. Event begins at 1 p.m. and is $10 or free with paid admission or Center membership.
Symposium Explores The Behavior of Controversial Civil War Generals On Saturday, February 21, The Library of Virginia and The Museum of the Confederacy will co-sponsor an all-day symposium featuring four lectures and a panel discussion examining both Confederate and Federal "Generals Behaving Badly." This symposium will probe the life stories of the fascinating characters and assess how their cantankerous, eccentric, or insubordinate behavior affected their performance as military commanders. The symposium offers an impressive line-up of distinguished Civil War scholars including: Hunter Lesser, author of Rebels at the Gate: Lee and McClellan on the Front Line of a Nation Divided; John V. Quarstein, author and historian for the city of Hampton and director emeritus of the Virginia War Museum; Robert K. Krick, author and former chief historian at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park; and Edwin C. Bearss, chief historian emeritus of the National Park Service and legendary battlefield guide. Generals explored include Henry A. Wise, John B. Floyd, Benjamin F. "Beast" Butler, "Prince John" Magruder, William Barksdale, Daniel E. Sickles and Earl Van Dorn. The symposium will be held at the Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad St., from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $35 for members of the Museum of the Confederacy and Library of Virginia donors, $50 for others. The fee includes a box lunch. Seating is limited and reservations and advanced payment are required. Please call (804) 649-1861 ext. 32 for more information or to register visit
Program will Discuss Difficulties Facing Civilians On Saturday and Sunday, February 21 and 22, Petersburg National Battlefield will present a program featuring historians discussing the difficulties -- emotional and physical -- facing Petersburg civilians during the 1864-65 siege of the city. The program will take place in the Eastern Front visitor center auditorium. There is a $5 vehicle entrance fee. For more information, contact Grant Gates (804) 732-3531 ext. 202
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2009
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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. 2009