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

May 2008 PROGRAM George C. Rable "God as General: Religion in the Civil War" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, 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. Is there a religious history of the Civil War? Our May speaker, George C. Rable, says there is; and in his talk on "God as General," Dr. Rable will discuss his current research project on this subject. According to Dr. Rable, it mattered not whether they were Southerners or Northerners; many Americans at the time of the Civil War interpreted the causes, course, and consequences of the war through the lens of their religious faith. His major themes will be providence, sin and redemption with examples drawn from First Manassas, slavery and Lincoln's second inaugural address. He will emphasize how the people of the time believed that the war was part of a mysterious and still unfolding providential design. George Rable is professor and Charles C. Summersell Chair in Southern History at the University of Alabama. He is the author of several books including News from Fredericksburg; Confederate Republic: A Revolution Against Politics and But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction. Dr. Rable penned the award-winning Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism and, more recently, Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! He also is President of the Society of Civil War Historians.
Last Call for Field Trip Reservations There are less than ten seats remaining for the Richmond Civil War Round Table's Spring Field Trip. This year we are traveling to Appomattox Courthouse on Saturday, May 31. 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. If you haven't reserved your seat, be sure to act fast before the bus sells out. 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
Museum to Celebrate Davis' 200th Birthday The Museum of the Confederacy will celebrate the 200th birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on Tuesday, June 3. Jim Bazo, Jefferson Davis re-enactor, will be on hand for a speech and a photo-op. A walking tour of Jeff Davis' Richmond leaves from the museum lobby at noon and will offer participants the opportunity to see the city from the Confederate president's point of view. On Friday and Saturday, June 6-7, the museum will hold its annual Membership Weekend. This year's main event will highlight two major events: Davis' 200th birthday celebration and the opening of the museum's newest exhibit, "Between the Battles." The two-day event will commence on Friday evening at 6:00 with a private viewing of this new exhibit. The tour will be preceded by a private reception and silent auction featuring valuable items donated by local businesses. Saturday will kick off with a book talk and signing featuring author Julia Oliver. There will be another Davis Walking Tour as well, with all events culminating in a Garden Party Luncheon beginning at 1:30. For more information about Member Weekend and volunteer opportunities, please contact Diane Willard at or (804) 649-1861 ext. 42
Lecture Explores Origins of Proslavery Christianity At noon on Tuesday, June 3, Charles F. Irons be at the Library of Virginia to discuss and sign his new book, The Origins of Proslavery Christianity. Set in Virginia, the largest slaveholding state and the hearth of the southern evangelical movement, the book uses church records, denominational newspapers, slave narratives, and private letters and diaries to show the dynamic relationship between whites and blacks within the evangelical fold. Irons reveals that when whites theorized about their moral responsibilities toward slaves, they thought first of their relationships with bondmen in their own churches. Thus, asserts Irons, African American evangelicals inadvertently shaped the nature of the proslavery argument.
NPS News and Events This spring, the National Park Service (NPS) began work on a new visitor contact station at the Five Forks Battlefield in Dinwiddie County. The new contact station will be a 2,400 square-foot building with a large exhibit space. Over seven miles of new trails will allow visitors to experience the battlefield on foot, bicycle, or horseback. The new contact station and surrounding grounds will allow visitors the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the significance of the Five Forks Battlefield and its role in our nation's history. The NPS has a number of events scheduled around Petersburg and Richmond in the coming weeks. Civil War telegraphy will be the topic of a program at the Petersburg Battlefield's Eastern Front on Saturday, May 24. This program will show how messages were passed during the war by observing and communicating using the telegraph. Also on the 24th, civilians will be pressed into service during a demonstration on local militia in the Civil War. Come ready to drill as "muskets" will be provided. Demonstrations begin at 10 a.m., 1:30 and 3 p.m. at Modern Central Park on South Sycamore Street in Petersburg. On Memorial Day, May 26, there will be a wreath laying ceremony at Fort Harrison National Cemetery. The program begins at noon and will feature a guest speaker to be announced. On the weekend of May 31-June1, there will be several events in connection with the anniversary of the Battle of Cold Harbor. There will be ranger guided walking tours, living history encampments, and artillery and rifle firing demonstrations at the battlefield. That evening there will be live period music and a candlelight tour of the battlefield featuring volunteers portraying Confederate and Union soldiers and private citizens. On Saturday, June 7, living historians will play the roles of Petersburg civilians as they react to the threat of invasion by Union forces on June 9, 1864. Citizens took up arms and defended their city with successful yet tragic results. Programs begin at 10 a.m., 1:30 and 3 p.m. at the South Side Railroad Depot in Petersburg.
Lecture Examines When Lee Became a Hero to Southerners Robert K. Krick is the author of many books and for 30 years was chief historian of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. At noon on Thursday, May 22, he will speak at the Virginia Historical Society on "Lee and the Historians in the Age of the Anti-Hero." According to some recent historians, Gen. Robert E. Lee was not a hero to southerners during the Civil War but only afterward. Krick argues to the contrary that he was idolized as a great leader in the midst of the conflict, not just later when the defeated South groped to interpret what had happened.
Kaine Allocates $5 Million to Preserve Battlefields The Civil War Historic Site Preservation Fund will receive $5 million in incentive funding over the next two years. The money will be used for grants to non-profit organizations that preserve Virginia's historic sites. Under the plan, Virginia will pay $1 for every $2 raised by private groups. The funding was one of 41 amendments to the state's budget announced last month by Gov. Tim Kaine. The money will go toward preserving the Glendale, Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg, New Market, Brandy Station, Appomattox, Chancellorsville and Petersburg battlefields.
RBA Announces Annual Meeting and Tour The Richmond Battlefields Association (RBA) will hold its annual meeting and tour on Saturday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year's events will take place at White House Landing, an almost forgotten place of supreme historical importance. Used by Native Americans for centuries, this site on the Pamunkey River sits directly across the shore from today's Pamunkey Indian reservation. It was settled and farmed by colonist John Custis. He left a wealthy widow, Martha, who here met, married and honeymooned with an up-and-coming Virginia Militia officer named George Washington. White House Farm passed through the Custis family to Robert E. Lee's son, Rooney. Father and son both toiled here to restore the plantation to profitability. Mrs. R.E. Lee spent much of the early days of the war here until it was occupied by the Union Army of the Potomac. It was a key component of McClellan's 1862 Peninsula Campaign to take Richmond. The home "White House" was burned by Federal troops during the "Change of Base." The home that Rooney Lee rebuilt on the foundation was also lost to fire in the late 19th century. Today only the foundation and a springhouse remain. This is a rare opportunity to soak up centuries of American history at this privately-held site. Speakers will include Jim Harris, Robert K. Krick, and Robert E. Lee Krick. This event is open to the general public and the RBA recommends bringing a lawn chair and picnic lunch. So they may plan appropriately, the RBA asks attendees to please RSVP at this link: Directions to 9980 Rockahock Bar Road in New Kent can be found on the RBA website:
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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