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

March 2006 PROGRAM Stephen Cushman "Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 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. Stephen Cushman is the Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the director for American Studies Major and the International Center for American Studies Degrees. Dr. Cushman's expertise is in 19th and 20th century American literature and poetry. The courses he teaches include the works of Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Dickinson, as well as modern poetry. Professor Cushman graduated from Cornell University in 1978 and received his PhD from Yale in 1982. In addition to writing several studies of American poetry, Professor Cushman has authored two books of poems - Blue Pajamas and more recently Cussing Lessons. Professor Cushman's life long interest in the American Civil War led to Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle. This highly acclaimed book reflects on the complexities and contemporary reverberations of the bloody Battle of the Wilderness. Professor Cushman will discuss his work in a presentation that has been characterized as "a highly personal, introspective and intellectually absorbing experience." Copies of Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle will be available to purchase at the meeting. This hardback book has a list price of $32.50 but will be sold for the special price of only $20. "Whenever I Smoke a Cigar," a poem by Stephen Cushman, is printed on the back page of this newsletter.
Lectures Provide Opportunity to Brush Up on Civil War Art On Thursday, March 16 at noon, Harold Holzer, senior vice president for external affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and one of the country's leading Lincoln scholars, will speak on Art in the Civil War South. Co-sponsored by the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) and the Museum of the Confederacy (MOC), this program explores the variety of art created in response to the war. The lecture, held at the VHS, marks the opening of the MOC exhibition, Art of the Confederacy, featuring works by soldier artists and postwar paintings and prints. The event is free to VHS and MOC members, $5 for non-members, $4 for seniors and $3 for students. Mr. Holzer will be one of a number of renowned speakers and artists attending a seminar in Lynchburg on Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25. "Blood on the Canvas: The History of Civil War Art" will also feature artists Keith Rocco and Bradley Schmehl, sculptor Gary Casteel and Civil War photography expert/photographer Rob Gibson. All of the artists/speakers will display examples of their work. Other Civil War related displays and vendors will be available to the public. A presentation of the video An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge will be a special highlight of the seminar. The event will be held in DeMoss Hall on the campus of Liberty University. Reservations for the seminar are $55 by March 22. After March 23 the price for both days is $65. Admission for Friday only is $25; Saturday only is $30. For more information, visit or call (434) 592-4031.
Round Table Members Invited to Tour Civil War Center Members of the Richmond Civil War Round Table are invited to an inside tour of what's coming this fall at the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. Attendees will see a presentation on the new exhibit being designed for the Tredegar Gun Foundry. Called In the Cause of Liberty, it will weave together Confederate, Union, and African American stories and will show how their interaction shaped the course of American history. RCWRT members will also go inside the foundry and see the construction currently underway. The tour begins in the courtyard at Tredegar at 9:30am on Saturday, March 25.
Pre-dawn Lantern Tour Will Mark 141st Anniversary of Breakthrough On Sunday morning, April 2, Pamplin Historical Park & the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier will host a pre-dawn lantern tour of the breakthrough battlefield of April 2, 1865. This unique tour will begin at the site of the assault that decided the fate of Petersburg, Richmond and the Confederacy 141 years ago to the minute. The tour costs $7 and includes a buffet breakfast afterward. Park members will be admitted free. A full day of activities will follow. To make reservations for the pre-dawn tour, visit or call (804) 861-2408.
Three Virginia Sites on CWPT's Most Endangered List Three Virginia locations are among America's most endangered Civil War sites according to an annual report issued by the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) on February 28. The Wilderness, Shenandoah Valley and Glendale (or Frayser's Farm) battlefields are listed with seven other sites on the CWPT's list of endangered battlegrounds. The first clash between Robert E. Lee and U.S. Grant left more than 25,000 dead and wounded in the Wilderness west of Fredericksburg. Today, Orange County is transforming itself from a largely rural area to a suburban community with immense population growth. Proposed home construction threatens areas of the battlefield not protected by the National Park Service. From the very beginning of the war until its tragic end, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia was one vast battlefield. Stonewall Jackson won immortal fame in the valley for his series of victories in the spring of 1862. Later in the war, Federal General Phil Sheridan would clinch Union victory in a series of battles culminating at Cedar Creek. Today, that battlefield and ten others are threatened by the proposed widening of Interstate 81 running the entire length of the valley. The CWPT and a coalition of conservation groups have proposed a rail solution as an alternative to widening the road. The savage fighting at Glendale led to 6,500 casualties during the famous 1862 Seven Days battles around Richmond. Currently only 262 acres of the 7,888-acre battlefield are preserved. Construction has begun on three housing projects in the area immediately surrounding the battlefield and three more are in the planning stages. Other sites named on the CWPT's Most Endangered list include battlefields at Gettysburg, Raymond, MS and Glorieta Pass, NM; the Chattahoochee River Line in Georgia and forts in Washington, Alabama and south of New Orleans.
Last Word on Round Table Dues A quick reminder: the Ides of March (March 15) is the deadline to pay Round Table dues for 2006. 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 March meeting or by mailing your check to: Sandy Parker, RCWRT Secretary P.O. Box 37052 Richmond, VA 23234 Your support keeps the Richmond Civil War Round Table thriving. Thank you!
Whenever I Smoke a Cigar A poem by Stephen Cushman Whenever I smoke a cigar I think of Grant in the Wilderness writing orders out in faultless prose without revision, then chewing on a burnt out stub and weeping as numbers flooded in and names piled up on lists the Northern papers printed along with the outcry Butcher, Butcher, but by the time he hooded himself in a shawl on the porch to finish a book that provided the wife he couldn't stand to part from with nearly half a million, before the sore throat he'd nursed for four months, the thirty pounds gone, and the vomited blood finished him, everybody up there loved Grant, and yet whenever I smoke a cigar I wonder what it takes to be happy in marriage and march through the woods making widows.
To facilitate the printing and timely distribution of the April newsletter, information for it should be submitted to the editor no later than Friday, March 31. You can receive your newsletter sooner and help the Richmond Civil War Round Table save money by signing up to receive your newsletter via email. To add your name to the list, simply email the editor at Thanks!
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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