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May 2005
Richard Forrester, President           Rob Monroe, Editor       
8008 Spottswood Road                   2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Richmond, VA 23229                     Richmond, VA 23228-3040          

May 2005 PROGRAM Mr. Frank A. O'Reilly "The Battle of Fredericksburg" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 10, 2005, 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. Frank O'Reilly graduated in 1987 with a B.A. in American History from Washington & Lee University. As an undergraduate he worked for the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington and was a guest lecturer at Washington & Lee on Civil War topics. He joined the National Park Service in 1987 at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, and later worked at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He returned to Fredericksburg in 1990 to fill the permanent historian's position at the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. He has also served as an historical consultant for the City of Fredericksburg and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Planning Commission. His latest book, The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock, was nominated for a 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Letters. It was released by Louisiana State University Press in December, 2002, and has won the Capital District (Albany, NY) 2002 Book Award; the 2003 James I. Robertson, Jr. Book Award; the 2003 Daniel M. Laney Book Award; and the 2004 Richard Barksdale Harwell Book Award. O'Reilly has written numerous articles on the war in Virginia and introductions to several books, including Phil Sheridan's memoirs, the History of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, and the 155th Pennsylvania's Under the Maltese Cross. In 1993 he released Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg, and he has contributed several articles and essays to publications such as Atlas of the Civil War; Civil War Regiments, and Civil War and America's Civil War magazines. He has made appearances in several video documentaries, including Civil War Journal.
RCWRT Members Invited on Two June Tours The Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia is sponsoring two tours in June and is extending an invitation to RCWRT members. On the weekend of June 11 and 12, Ed Bearrs will be the guide for "Sheridan's 1864 Valley Campaign." There will be stops at Winchester, Kernstown, Fishers Hill, New Market, Cedar Creek and Middletown. The $250 fee includes bus, hotel, Saturday dinner and lunch on Sunday. The following Saturday, June 18, Marc Thompson will be the guide for "Sheridan's Richmond Raid." This tour will include Jarrald's Mill, Mitchell's Shop, Ground Squirrel Bridge, Yellow Tavern, Beaver Dam Station, Brook Church, Chickahominy Bluffs and Meadow Bridge. There is a $50 fee for this daylong tour. For more information, visit the Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia's website, or contact their vice president, Susan Claffey at (202) 654-2907.
Battlefield Ground Preserved at Malvern Hill The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) and the Richmond National Battlefield Park recently announced the preservation of 253 acres of battlefield ground at Malvern Hill in lower Henrico County. The National Park Service (NPS) recently closed on the property, making the transfer from the CWPT official and adding the history-laden acreage to the park's holdings, which now exceed 1,000 acres at the Malvern Hill Battlefield. When the private owner of the land agreed to sell the historic property in 2000, CWPT stepped in at short notice to secure the property, forging an alliance with the county, local developer Andy Shield, the Virginia Land Conservation Fund, and Dr. Robert Bluford of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. According to CWPT President James Lighthizer, "Without the cooperation of Henrico County, Andy Shield and Dr. Robert Bluford, CWPT could not have saved this property. Now, we are partnering with NPS to ensure that this hallowed ground is preserved for all time." The CWPT hoped that the NPS could take over the protection and management of the site in the future. NPS Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod welcomed the new acreage. "The protection of this important ground in perpetuity cements Malvern Hill Battlefield's reputation as the best preserved battlefield in this part of Virginia and will significantly enhance the experience of every visitor to the site," she said. "We thank Henrico County, Andy Shield, and CWPT for their leadership and cooperation in this effort that benefits the American people." The 253 acres now permanently protected include the West House, a battlefield landmark rebuilt since the war using some of the fabric and foundation of the wartime structure. A roaring line of Union cannon that helped to win the battle stood in the yard of the West House. The ground is largely open today, as it was 143 years ago, and visitors to the site can envision the dozens of cannon and thousands of blue-clad soldiers massed there. An eye-catching image of the Malvern Hill Battlefield appeared in the April edition of National Geographic as part of an article on battlefield preservation in America. Richmond National Battlefield Park preserves close to 1,700 acres of battlefield land outside Richmond. With 70,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve America's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds.
Ukrops Certificates Can Help RBA and Museum of the Confederacy The Ukrop's Golden Gift Receipt Program donates money to local organizations including the Richmond Battlefields Association (RBA) and the Museum of the Confederacy. Gift certificates are based on purchases and will be included in Ukrop's May newsletter. Organizations receive a donation based on the amount of receipts they collect by May 29. To donate to the RBA, please bring your receipts to the RCWRT's May meeting or mail them to: David West 88 West Square Drive Richmond, VA 23233 To donate to the Museum of the Confederacy, mail your certificates to: Museum of the Confederacy, Development Department 1201 E. Clay Street Richmond, VA 23219.
Special Tour Gives In-Depth Look at Drewry's Bluff Fort The Museum of the Confederacy is hosting a series of tours designed to compliment its current exhibition on the Confederate Navy. "Drewry's Bluff: Captured Only in Photographs," the initial program in this series, is scheduled for Saturday morning, June 11, from 8am to noon. Strategically located on a bend in the James River south of Richmond, the Confederate fort at Drewry's Bluff successfully kept the United States Navy at bay for nearly three years of war. Known as the "Gibraltar of the Confederacy," this 90-foot-high precipice was home base to the James River Squadron, the Confederate States Naval Academy ship Patrick Henry, and three companies of Confederate marines. Federal forces never captured Drewry's Bluff. Starting at the museum, Richmond historian Michael D. Gorman will give a presentation featuring "then and now" photos of the famous Civil War site. Immediately following the presentation, the group will be transported to the fort for a tour of the photo sites, many of which have been located only recently. Cost of this event is $20 for museum members and $30 for non-members. Members bringing a non-member will receive a $5 discount. Registration forms are available in the Calendar of Events section of the museum's website, For more information, contact Vickie Yates at or (804) 649-1861, ext. 20. Prepayment is required by May 28 and there are no refunds.
Conference Examines African Americans and Civil War Several Petersburg-area organizations (the National Park Service, Pamplin Historical Park, Richard Bland College, the City of Petersburg, the Siege Museum, and Virginia State University) are teaming up to present the Conference on African Americans and the Civil War (CAACW) on the campus of Virginia State University on May 26-28. The purpose of the conference is to examine the impact the Civil War has had on African American culture from the 1860s to present day. The CAACW will comprise an academic program featuring papers by leading academics, a folklore program focusing on African American music and dance, an education program for high-school students, and tours to highlight the cultural and historical assets of the Petersburg area. Among the confirmed speakers are Dr. William B. Gould (Stanford Univ.), Dr. Brenda Stevenson (UCLA), Dr. David Blight (Yale), Robert Stanton (former Director of the National Park Service), Tim Reid (Founder of Millenium Studios), and Frank Smith (Founder and Director of the African American Civil War Memorial). Local residents are welcome to attend the conference. Information about the CAACW and a registration form are available on the conference's website, Those without internet access can gain information by calling Ann Blumenschine at Petersburg National Battlefield, (804) 732-3531, ext. 203
Frequent visitors to Petersburg National Battlefield Park may have noticed a strange new detour as they walked the path near Colquitt's Salient at Tour Stop Number Five. The usual trail has been rerouted due to the discovery of a bald eagle's nest!
And lastly, this tidbit from the newsletter of the Civil War Round Table of Milwaukee: (quoting a Tennessee newspaper) "Based on the battles mentioned in the book `Gone With The Wind,' Melanie would have [been] pregnant 21 months. Author Margaret Mitchell's only reply to the discrepancy was a Southerner's pace is slower than that of a Yankee."
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2005
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Information may be emailed to or Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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