cguy.gif 01110008.jpg uguy.gif
March 2009
Edward J. Wooldridge, Pres.            Rob Monroe, Editor       
13700 Lintel Lane                      2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Midlothian, VA 23113                   Richmond, VA 23228-3040              

March 2009 Program Michael P. Boehme "Balloon Use in the Civil War" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 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 American Civil War marked an evolutionary point in history concerning the use of technologies during armed conflict. The use of iron clad ships, submarines, land and water mines, telegraph, and railroads are just a few of the new technologies that were successfully employed during the war. Balloons had been around for over 70 years, used generally for sport. They had been employed by some European militaries as reconnaissance and propaganda platforms, but with very limited success. That all changed during the Civil War. Through the efforts of several balloonists, most notably Thaddeus Lowe, the balloon matured into a reliable tool to gain valuable intelligence about one's adversary. At our March meeting, Michael P. Boehme will discuss the development and use of balloons for reconnaissance by both the North and the South during the Civil War. In particular he will talk about Virginia's role in this effort as he discusses the first use of military balloons around Arlington, Ft. Monroe, Hampton Roads, Yorktown and Richmond. Additionally, he will discuss some interesting science and technology the balloonists used to develop their reconnaissance systems. Mike Boehme has been the Executive Director of the Virginia Aviation Museum since 1998. He retired from the Air Force in 1992 after 20 years flying both jets and rescue helicopters. A native of California, Mike has claimed Virginia as his home since 1979. He is active in many local civic groups regularly discussing a variety of aviation topics.
The End is Near The deadline is fast approaching for renewing your membership in the Richmond Civil War Round Table for 2009. As of March 1, over 50 people (about a quarter of our 2008 members) had still not paid their dues. As in years past, the Ides of March (March 15) is the deadline. After this date anyone wishing to renew their membership must pay a $25 initiation fee in addition to their dues. By paying your dues you enable the RCWRT 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!
Conference Examines Lincoln's Relationship with the South Probably no president has ever been as vilified as Abraham Lincoln was in the South during the Civil War. The American Civil War Center's second major conference, Lincoln and the South, will be held at the University of Richmond, Thursday-Saturday, March 12-14. Outstanding scholars on the subject will convene to discuss this bitter relationship. This event is offered in partnership with the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at UR during the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. Among the speakers will be Ed Ayres, Emory Thomas, David Blight and event keynote speaker James McPherson. The conference's proceedings will be a bit different from others in that there will be no traditional reading of prepared papers. After keynote addresses, the scholars will come with a few prefatory comments based on their particular expertise but will devote most of the time to a moderated conversation with each other and the audience. Visit the ACWC's website,, for more information or to register online.
Actress Brings Tubman to Life Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad's "conductors." During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she "never lost a single passenger." At 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, professional actress and historian Gwendolyn Briley-Strand brings to life the courageous story of Harriet Tubman in a 45-minute performance at the National Park Service Theater at Tredegar. The event is free with paid admission to the American Civil War Center or ACWC membership, $10 otherwise.
Reservations Now Being Accepted for RCWRT Tour The Richmond Civil War Round Table will have its annual bus tour on Saturday, June 6. This year we will examine the Culpeper area during the war. Our daylong trip will leave from Mary Munford Elementary School at 7:30 a.m. en route to Kelly's Ford. We will enjoy lunch at the Graffiti House, then ride to the battlefield at Brandy Station in the afternoon. The bus will return to Richmond at 5 p.m. 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. Cost of the trip is $25 per person and payments are now being accepted. You may mail your check to: David Whitehead 4305 Cary St. Rd. Richmond, VA 23221
Welcome New Members The RCWRT wishes to welcome its newest members: John J. Beall, Jr. Tom Carter Angelo Depersis Henry Massie, Jr. William Seward.
Varina Davis Subject of Book and Lecture Known best as the wife of the Confederate president, Varina Howell Davis was a passionate, witty conversationalist, yet ambivalent about the southern cause. In First Lady of the Confederacy: Varina Davis's Civil War, Joan E. Cashin draws a sympathetic, but not uncritical, portrait of Davis, from her Mississippi childhood, to happy years in antebellum Washington, to the stress and heartbreak of wartime Richmond, and finally to life in the North after the Civil War. The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) and the Museum of the Confederacy (MOC) are combining to present a lecture on Thursday, March 26 from noon to 1 p.m.. Dr. Cashin, a history teacher at Ohio State University, will give special insight into Davis's life as a wife, mother, and first lady. The lecture will be held at the Virginia Historical Society. Admission for adults is $5, $4 for seniors, $3 for children and students. VHS and MOC members are admitted free.
Pamplin Park Reestablishes Operating Hours Pamplin Historical Park & the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier have announced that the attraction is now open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The park will continue to be open by reservation only on weekends. "We are extremely pleased to reestablish regular operating hours this spring," said Executive Director, A. Wilson Greene. "With the warmer weather our attendance always perks up and we look forward to welcoming everyone from students to visitors from around the region and the country." Pamplin Historical Park has been open by reservation only since January 2 when the faltering economy forced the park's foundation to reduce funding, causing staff layoffs. During the winter the park has trained nearly three dozen new volunteers, rehired some of its former employees, and cross-trained the permanent staff to perform a variety of duties. "Our generous members have been instrumental in helping us get back on our feet," said Greene. "Many of the Park's friends contributed significantly to our general operating fund, which has allowed us to begin to rebuild our professional staff." Pamplin Historical Park has operated highly regarded school field trips during the spring. According to Greene, some 32,000 students have reservations to visit the park between March and early June. Revenues from these programs will allow the park to serve walk-in visitors as well. Anyone can make a reservation to visit the park on weekends throughout the spring. A basic fee of $100 allows up to ten people to tour the park on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations must be made 48 hours in advance. "Once a group has made a weekend reservation, we will open the Park that day for general visitation," explained Greene. Regular park admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2009
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!
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

Return to News Letters Index
Return to main page
©R.C.W.R.T. 2009