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April 2008
John Coski, President                  Rob Monroe, Editor       
5028 King William Road                 2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Richmond, VA 23225                     Richmond, VA 23228-3040            

April 2008 PROGRAM Patrick A. Schroeder "The Battles of Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, 2008, 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. Our next meeting, on April 8, will mark the 143rd anniversary of the fighting that led to Confederate General Robert E. Lee's surrender the following day at Appomattox Court House. On that afternoon in 1865, General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia arrived near Appomattox Court House, anticipating receiving much needed supplies that were awaiting three miles west, at Appomattox Station. He was only one step ahead of the federal armies that were in hot pursuit. In what promises to be a very timely presentation, Patrick Schroeder, the historian from Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, will be with us to discuss the Battles of Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House and the importance of these battles in forcing Lee's surrender. Schroeder will share with us maps of troop movements as well as photographs and stories of the soldiers, so many of whom were tragically wounded or killed during the intense fighting. Schroeder has been the Appomattox Battlefield Park Historian since 2002. He also has worked at Red Hill, the Patrick Henry National Memorial; and as an independent researcher, historian and author. He has written, edited or published more than 20 Civil War-related titles, including Thirty Myths about Lee's Surrender, which is currently in its 11th printing.
Ceremony to Honor Member of Richmond Howitzers A dedicated group of historians and re-enactors who portray the famous "First Company, Richmond Howitzers" will travel more than 500 miles from Connecticut and Rhode Island to Richmond this April to participate in a ceremony to honor one of Richmond's sons, William Henry Tatum, who was a member of the original Howitzers. The ceremony will be held on Saturday afternoon, April 19 at 2:00 in Hollywood Cemetery. Speaking at the ceremony will be William Tatum's great, great nephew, David Tatum, and Wayne Rowe, CDR, USN-retired, 1st Company Historian and the Head Reference Librarian at the Naval War College. The ceremony will also include the unveiling of a new Veteran's Marker for William Tatum, the laying of a wreath by the Tatum Family and an artillery salute. William Henry Tatum was born in Henrico County on April 15, 1838. Prior to the Civil War, he worked as a grocery clerk in Richmond. He enlisted in the Confederate Army on April 21, 1861 at the age of 23. After the Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Tatum took the Oath of Allegiance in Richmond on April 18, 1865. After the war, he returned to Richmond to resume his livelihood in the grocery business. Tatum became a member of the Richmond Howitzers Association and the R.E. Lee Camp No.1 of the United Confederate Veterans. He died on February 23, 1903. The "First Company, Richmond Howitzers" was mustered into Confederate service on April 21, 1861 and served with distinction until the end of the war. There were 345 men who served in this company. They were primarily Richmonders who worked as clerks, merchants, students, doctors, engineers, teachers and lawyers. A third of the men in the company spent over two years in Confederate service, while over fifty men served the entire four years of the war. Forty men were wounded in battle and 11 were killed in action, while another seventeen died from various causes in the service. These men were part of Lee's "Army of Northern Virginia" and were engaged in battles such as First Manassas, Williamsburg, the Seven Days, Antietam (Sharpsburg), Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Appomattox Station. The New England "Howitzers" are excited about their trip down south and extend an invitation for others to attend and share this celebration of one of Richmond's own. For further information, please call Bill Ward at (804) 332-4522.
History Center Offers "Civil War Sampler" The Valentine Richmond History Center is offering a "Civil War Sampler" bus tour on Saturday afternoon, April 12. The four-hour tour is a comprehensive look at Civil War Richmond and the unique role it played as the Capital of the Confederacy. At 1:00 the bus will leave the History Center at 1015 E. Clay Street and drive through Church Hill, Shockoe Bottom, the Court End and the canal area. There will be stops at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and the Tredegar Iron Works. The guide will discuss Chimborazo Hospital, Libby Prison, the infamous Belle Isle and the Evacuation Fire. The bus will drive by Hollywood Cemetery and then out Monument Avenue to the battlefields, with stops at Gaines Mill and Cold Harbor. Cost of the tour is $20 for adults, $17 for History Center members, and children 6-18. The price includes admission to the History Center on the day of tour.
Two Virginia Battlefields on "Most Endangered" List At a press conference in Washington last month, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) released its list of America's most endangered battlefields. Two Virginia sites - Cedar Creek and Cold Harbor - are included in the CWPT's annual report. Other battlefields listed are Monocacy and Antietam (Sharpsburg) in Maryland; Hunterstown, Pennsylvania; Natural Bridge, Florida; Perryville, Kentucky; Prarie Grove, Arkansas; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Savannah, Georgia. The threat at Cedar Creek stems from a proposal to expand a limestone mining operation onto 639 acres immediately adjacent to Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation estimates that this acreage is at least 60 percent core battlefield. Although the Frederick County planning commission voted by an 8-4 margin against the mining proposal in June 2006, it has yet to go before the Board of Supervisors for an ultimate decision. In the interim, preservationists in the group Preserve Frederick have crafted their own compromise plan, which CWPT supports. "Plan B," as it has become known, would protect the northerly, more historically significant portion of the land up for rezoning, while allowing mining to expand to the south of the current plant, buffered from the park. Though only 158 acres, the site espoused by Plan B contains a limestone vein. At Cold Harbor, development pressure in the Richmond area is so great that only about 300 acres of what was once at least a 7,500-acre battlefield are currently preserved. In March 2007 the Hanover County Board of Supervisors approved a new edition of its Comprehensive Plan that could increase the threat to the Cold Harbor Battlefield. Specifically, the Plan redesignates land on the northern portion of the battlefield, where little has been protected to date, from "Suburban Transitional" to "Suburban General." Though seemingly minor, this change doubled the housing density allowable in the area, which could further encourage development and increase the cost of preserving land. Some of the land impacted lies within the authorized boundary of Richmond National Battlefield, demonstrating its historical significance and making it eligible for inclusion in the National Park System.
Spring Field Trip Set for May The Richmond Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce this year's Spring Field Trip will be to Appomattox Courthouse on Saturday, May 31. The site and date are planned to coincide with the RCWRT's April presentation on Appomattox. We are pleased to have Chris Calkins, from Petersburg National Battlefield Park, as the tour leader. Calkins, known to many of you, has an extensive knowledge of all aspects of Lee's retreat, including Appomattox. A stop will also be made at Sailor's (Saylers) Creek Battlefield where we will have lunch (please bring your own). We will leave at 8 a.m. sharp from the James River Bus parking lot, Allen Ave. and Leigh St., and return at 5:30 p.m. The cost will be $30 per person. Reservations are "first come, first served" and the bus is expected to fill up fast. Reservations and checks may be given to Davis Wrinkle at RCWRT meetings or sent to: Davis Wrinkle 7741 Rockfalls Dr. Richmond, VA 23225 (work) 647-7660 (home) 272-5419
North Anna Battlefield Park to Expand Hanover's largest county-maintained Civil War battlefield park is doubling its size. The North Anna Battlefield Park is in the Doswell area. For the past 16 years the park has consisted of about 75 acres. When the property was dedicated to Hanover County by the General Crushed Stone rock quarry in 1992, historian Michael Miller called it "one of the greatest battles never fought." In February, the Hanover County Board of Supervisors approved a conditional use permit allowing expansion of the quarry now operated by Martin Marietta Materials Inc. and American Aggregates Corporation. As one of the conditions of the approval, the quarry owners donated an additional 90 acres to the county, including what is called "the killing fields" where the heaviest fighting took place. The park is open during daylight hours for self-guided tours. Rifle pits and trenches from the battle remain and are considered some of the best examples of Civil War earthworks in existence. Hanover County's Department of Parks and Recreation maintains the park, which includes a two-mile interpretive trail system. An observation deck allows visitors to witness the vantage point commanded by the Confederates as they faced the Union army. The county will work with representatives of Martin Marietta, the Hanover Historical Society and the Civil War Preservation Trust to develop a park expansion plan to include additional pedestrian trails, signage and overlooks.
Upcoming Events Friday, April 18 and Saturday, May 3 The Museum of the Confederacy offers a walking tour of Jefferson Davis's Richmond. The one-hour tour begins at noon and includes Capitol Square, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Davis's executive office building and the sites of the homes of Alexander Stephens, Mary Chesnut, Matthew Maury and more. Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20 The Richmond National Battlefield Park will commemorate the battles of Glendale (Frayser's Farm) and Malvern Hill with living history artillery and infantry demonstrations and park ranger guided walking tours. Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2008
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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. 2008