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April 2006 PROGRAM Peter S. Carmichael "Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 11, 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. Peter Carmichael is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The Indiana native attended Indiana University-Purdue University prior to obtaining his Masters and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Carmichael, author of Lee's Young Artillerist: William R. J. Pegram, has contributed to a number of books including Audacity Personified: Essays on the Generalship of Robert E. Lee, which he also edited. He has published several magazine articles and presented to numerous Civil War symposiums and professional societies. Dr. Carmichael will be discussing his recent book Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion. This study examines the lives of more than 120 young Virginians who came of age in the turbulent decade leading up to the Civil War. Many later served as secondary officers in the Army of Northern Virginia. Dr. Carmichael challenges the popular notion of Southern youth as hot-tempered and intellectually lazy. Instead, he finds ideological young men deeply engaged in the political, economic and cultural forces of their time. These "progressives" rejected the Cavalier tradition and were often at great odds with their fathers' generation. Young Virginians vigorously lobbied for disunion and strongly defended the Confederacy. Surprisingly, after the war they preached reunion and reconciliation. Dr. Carmichael sheds new light on the formation of Southern identity as loyalties and identities are transformed by the cataclysm of war.
Exhibition Showcases Wartime and Postwar Soldier Artists In an age before movies and television, soldiers and artists alike portrayed the turmoil of the Civil War not only by the letters and diaries they kept but also by the pictures that they drew of the world around them. Museum patrons will get a rare glimpse into the minds and hearts of Confederate soldiers at the Museum of the Confederacy's newest special exhibition, Art of the Confederacy. On display through December, this small yet significant showcase of works by a handful of professional artists, as well as the far more common amateur soldier artists, features paintings, prints, photography and sketches. The exhibit includes pieces created between the years of 1861 and 1865 and postwar works by Northern publishers and artists lamenting the "Lost Cause" and commemorating the chivalry of Confederate soldiers. Of special interest is the newly restored Mosby Triptych, three oil paintings created to showcase the bravery of Mosby's Rangers during the war. Frequently reproduced for generations following the war, these paintings are on public display for the first time since their recent restoration. This new exhibit captures a rich variety of both private and public sentiment regarding the Civil War in the South. Most art that was produced between 1861 and 1865 was "soldier art," sketches and the occasional watercolor that depicted the war from a soldier's point of view to his family or sweetheart back home. These men portrayed their daily lives and sought to preserve memories amidst the chaos of war. The exhibit also features works by professional artists such as Conrad Wise Chapman, whose deftly executed oil paintings of Charleston Harbor offer an accurate glimpse of wartime scenes. After the war, Northern artists and publishers produced works that glorified and memorialized the valor and bravery of Confederate soldiers. Postwar art reflected an idealized, romantic notion of the Old South that helped Southerners deal with the harsh realities of defeat and a way of life uprooted. Works by Allen Christian Redwood and William Ludwell Sheppard illustrate this deeply rooted sentiment through their nostalgic and idealized portrayals of the common soldier. This unique exhibit offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the lives of Confederate soldiers and a vision of the South as people wanted to remember it.
Tour to Focus on Epic Battle of Ironclads On Saturday, April 22, the Museum of the Confederacy will offer an exclusive daylong tour where participants will get a rare opportunity to study sites around the legendary battle between the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor. The tour will be led by Jeff Johnston, a premier historian of the Monitor and a project specialist from NOAA's Maritime Archaeology Program. Included are visits to Fort Norfolk, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Portsmouth Navy Yard Museum with the trip culminating in a tour of the Monitor Center at the Mariners Museum. Cost of the event is $30 for museum members, $40 for non-members. You'll need to act fast as registration is required by Wednesday, April 12. To reserve your seat, contact Sam Craghead at (804) 649-1861, ext. 44 or email@example.com
Petersburg Breakthrough, Battlefield Designated National Historic Landmark In March, Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton announced the designation of 12 sites in 11 states as National Historic Landmarks. On this list is the Petersburg Breakthrough Battlefield, a majority of which is located on land where Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier now resides. The National Historic Landmark designation is the highest such recognition accorded by our nation to historic properties. These special places are the actual sites where significant historical events occurred, or where prominent Americans worked or lived, and represent the ideas that shaped our nation. Fewer than 2,500 places carry the title of National Historic Landmark. The Petersburg Breakthrough Battlefield hosted the battle that brought an end to the Petersburg Campaign of 1864-65. This resulted in the defeat of Gen. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and resulted in the evacuation of both Petersburg and Richmond. One week after the battle, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House. Today, visitors to Pamplin Historical Park can tour a majority of this battlefield and learn about the surviving battlefield landscape, including Union staging area, attack corridors and Confederate earthworks. One of "Virginia's Best Places to Visit" according to the Travel Channel, Pamplin Historical Park is a 422-acre Civil War campus offering a combination of high-tech museums and hands-on experiences with four world-class museums, three antebellum homes, costumed living history, the Breakthrough Battlefield of April 2, 1865 and Civil War Adventure Camp.
Symposium to Focus on Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign In the spring of 1862, in a feat of marching, deception, counter-marching, and sheer boldness, Stonewall Jackson's army of less than 18,000 Confederates frustrated Federal war efforts. His brash maneuvers in the Shenandoah Valley confounded Union leadership in Washington and tied up more than 60,000 Federal troops, preventing them from reinforcing Gen. George McClellan's Peninsula Campaign. Jackson's effort wrested the initiative away from the northerners' effort to capture the Confederate capital and end the war. On Saturday, May 6, nationally recognized historians will convene at the historic and newly renovated Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center in Staunton for a discussion of Jackson's famous Valley Campaign -- an operation that is still studied by the military today. Speakers include Jeffry Wert, William Miller, Gary Ecelbarger, John Heatwole and Jonathan Noyalas. This daylong symposium is offered in conjunction with the release of If this Valley is lost, Virginia is lost! - Jackson 's Valley Campaign, a compilation of essays by Bud Robertson, Robert Krick, Gary Ecelbarger, and others focusing on the Valley Campaign. The event is free but reservations are required by May 3. To register call the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation at 1-888-689-4545.
Podcast Tour Now Available to Malvern Hill Visitors Working with Civil War Traveler, the staff of Richmond National Battlefield Park has developed the park's first podcast tour to help visitors explore the Malvern Hill battlefield. Podcasts are file systems that can be downloaded onto an iPod or mp3 player, then taken to the battlefield for a 90-minute, 1.5 mile walking tour. The podcast may be found at www.CivilWarTraveler.com. There you will find detailed instructions and a battlefield map in various formats. The Richmond National Battlefield Park advises that you download the map before going on the tour as there are no markers on the battlefield denoting where the ten stops of the walk are located. Your guide is Mike Andrus, an interpretive ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park and a scholar on the subject of the Battle of Malvern Hill. Few visitors get to experience an outing on the battlefield with Andrus, so this effort will make the immense amount of knowledge and information he has accumulated about the battle available to everyone. While his commentary will make the battlefield come alive during a visit, it is also possible to simply listen to the podcast at home on your computer. Again, it is recommended that you download the map so you can see the various house sites, artillery emplacements and battle lines that Andrus describes in the tour. His tour has not been scripted, you are listening to real time interpretation on the battlefield. After you download and listen to the program, the Richmond National Battlefield Park asks that you please take a moment to contact them with your comments and suggestions. They plan to expand their podcast offerings to other battlefield sites within the park and would appreciate your feedback to lead them in the right direction.
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RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2006
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040