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May 2007
Bernard Fisher, President              Rob Monroe, Editor       
7300 Ann Cabell Lane                   2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Mechanicsville, VA 23111               Richmond, VA 23228-3040      

May 2007 PROGRAM William W. Freehling "The Road to Disunion" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 8, 2007, 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. Dr. William Freehling is one of the leading authorities on antebellum American politics. His first book, Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Crisis in South Carolina, was published in 1966 and won the Nevins and Bancroft prizes. He has edited books on the Nullification Crisis and the secession debate in Georgia. Another book, The South versus the South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War, received The Museum of the Confederacy's 2001 Jefferson Davis Award. The Road to Disunion, Volume I: Disunionists at Bay, 1776-1854, published in 1990, was a History Book Club main selection. The long-awaited second volume of this landmark study, The Road to Disunion: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861, was published on April 15 and is the main selection of the History Book Club. His talk will be an overview of his work on the coming of the Civil War. Bill Freehling is a native of Chicago. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. at University of California at Berkeley. After short teaching stints at the University of South Carolina, Harvard, and the University of Michigan, he taught for 19 years at Johns Hopkins University and held the Otis A. Singletary Endowed Chair in the Humanities at the University of Kentucky from 1994-2005 and won teaching awards at both schools. He is married to Dr. Alison Goodyear Freehling, who is author of Drift Toward Dissolution: The Virginia Slavery Debate of 1831-2. Fortunately for the RCWRT, the Freehlings "retired" to Charlottesville (where he is a Senior Fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities) to be closer to two of their children who are journalists in Fredericksburg and Newport News. Copies of Freehling's newly-published book will be available for sale at the meeting.
Pamplin Park's Spring Tour Examines Overland Campaign On May 10-13, Pamplin Historical Park will present "The Wilderness to North Anna," a guided tour highlighting the Civil War's 1864 Overland Campaign. Based in Fredericksburg and led by Pamplin Park's President & CEO, A. Wilson Greene, the tour will visit sites, prominent and obscure. John Hennessy, Chief Historian of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, will deliver the introductory lecture Thursday evening. The tour itinerary includes a series of easy to moderately difficult walks exploring the important landscapes of the critical battles of The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House and North Anna. A modern motor coach will carry tour participants along routes following the historical paths of the armies. The tour costs $299 (includes lectures, tours and most meals) and reservations are required. Discounted rates are available for Pamplin Historical Park Members.
Two Lectures Scheduled for May 24 We've all heard the old saying, "You can't be in two places at the same time." The truth of this statement will be evident to Richmond Civil War enthusiasts at noon on Thursday, May 24. They'll have to choose between two thought provoking lectures occurring at the same time. At the Virginia Historical Society, Elizabeth Pryor, author of Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters, will examine previously unpublished correspondence of the Confederate general. These letters paint what is perhaps the most intimate picture to date of Lee, one that deftly analyzes the meaning of his actions within the context of his personality, his relationships, and the social tenor of his times. At the Library of Virginia, Chandra Manning, assistant professor of history at Georgetown University, will offer an unprecedented account of why Union and Confederate soldiers identified slavery as the root cause of the Civil War, how the conflict changed troops' ideas about slavery, and what those changing ideas meant for the war and the nation. Using soldiers' letters, diaries, and regimental newspapers, Manning's research permits a better understanding of the thinking of black and white, northern and southern soldiers.
ACWC Announces Book Signing In May 1864, Union and Confederate forces clashed in a densely wooded area of Central Virginia in what became known as "the Wilderness." In his 1999 book, Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle, Stephen Cushman brilliantly intertwines eyewitness accounts, contemporary newspapers and magazines, memoirs by participants, studies by historians, and even today's re-enactors. The book addresses the legacy of a battle and a war that has left an indelible memory on the American psyche. Cushman will be at the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar on Saturday, May 26. The author will be available to sign copies of his book which can be purchased in the museum's store. The book signing is free with paid admission to the ACWC. There is no admission charge for ACWC members.
Civil War on the Silver Screen Few events have shaped the course of U.S. history more significantly than the Civil War. On five consecutive Thursday evenings, the Virginia Historical Society will screen and discuss seminal Civil War films in the Robins Family Forum. The discussions will be led by Dr. Paul A. Levengood, managing editor of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography and program coordinator for the Reynolds Business History Center. The films will be: May 31 "The General" (1927) June 7 "The Red Badge of Courage" (1951) June 14 "Shenandoah" (1965) June 21 "Glory" (1989) June 28 "Pharaoh's Army" (1995) The films begin at 5:30 and are free with regular VHS admission. No reservations are necessary.
Walking Tours to Focus on Jefferson Davis Ever wonder what Richmond was like during the Civil War? Wished to walk the streets of the capital of the Confederacy as the leaders and thinkers of the South would have seen them? The Museum of the Confederacy will bring history to life this summer and fall in a walking tour titled "Jefferson Davis's Richmond." Walk in the shoes of the embattled leader of the Confederacy and see Richmond as you've never seen it before. The museum will host two walking tours on June 3 at 1:00 and 3:00 as part of a series of activities recognizing Jefferson Davis's birthday. The tour will incorporate various anecdotes about Davis and stories of life in Richmond during the Civil War. Highlights of the tour include 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. Space for these tours is limited and reservations are required. Please contact Dean Knight at or (804) 649-1861 ext. 37 to reserve a spot.
RBA Announces Annual Tour and Meeting The Richmond Battlefields Association will hold its annual meeting on Saturday, June 9, at Drewry's Bluff (Fort Darling), eight miles south of Richmond in Chesterfield County. National Park Service historian Robert E.L. Krick will lead a walking tour of the site giving special emphasis to subjects and locations not commonly addressed by the onsite interpretation. The RBA's annual meeting will follow the tour. The event will begin at 10am and last approximately two hours. It is free to everyone, including non-members. Onsite parking is available but not abundant. Please carpool with friends if possible. Direct any questions to the RBA's webmaster at:
Last Chance to Reserve a Seat for Fredericksburg Field Trip Only four spots remain for our June 2 field trip to the Fredericksburg battlefield. We will visit the Southern section of the battlefield where some of the most significant fighting took place on Dec.13, 1862. Together with our tour leader, Frank O'Reilly, we will follow Meade's advance against Jackson's line on Prospect Hill. We also will tour Slaughter Pen Farm, which has recently been preserved by the Civil War Preservation Trust. This is a trip you don't want to miss! As a reminder, the bus will leave at 8am sharp-rain or shine-from the James River Bus Lines terminal at 915 N. Allen Street (between Leigh and Broad streets) and return to that location around 5pm. Please plan to be at there by 7:45am so we can get the bus loaded and on the road promptly. Remember to bring your lunch and be prepared for a lot of walking. Cost of the trip is $25. Make your reservation now and don't miss out on this opportunity. Either mail your check to Ed Wooldridge or bring it to the May meeting; however, contact Ed ahead of time to make sure seats are still available. Make check (payable to RCWRT) to: Ed Wooldridge 13700 Lintel Lane Midlothian, VA 23113 Name _______________________________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________________________ City _________________________________ State ______ Zip ____________ Phone number and/or email address __________________________________ Number of seats requested ___ X $25 each = $ ________ Total payment If you have any questions, please contact Ed Wooldridge via phone at 804-897-9840, or e-mail:
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2007
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Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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