Clark H. Lewis, President Art & Carol Bergeron, Editors
P. O. Box 1122 3901 Paces Ferry Road
Richmond, VA 23218 Chester, VA 23831-1239
June 2002 PROGRAM
William A. Young, Jr.
"The Rev. Lt. George W. Finley,
56th Virginia Infantry Regiment,
Army of Northern Virginia"
8:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 11, 2002, at the
Boulevard United Methodist Church, 321 N. Boulevard,
Richmond, VA (corner of Boulevard and Stuart Ave.)
Our speaker is William A. Young, Jr. He was born and
raised in Richmond and is a graduate of the University of
Virginia and the University of Richmond Law School. Young
has recently retired from 35 years in the practice of law to
concentrate on making his hobbies into a vocation. His
business is called Talks & Totems. He is a professional
speaker, writer, actor, and wood carver. Young carves
miniature totem poles and wooden soldiers of all historical
periods. He presents first person impressions, including
one of General Douglas MacArthur.
Young has written and illustrated two Boy Scout books and
co-authored with his wife the history of the 56th Virginia
Infantry for the Virginia Regimental Histories Series. He
also writes and illustrates articles for every issue of The
Confederate Veteran, the Max Gazette, and Crossfire, the
newsletter of the American Civil War Roundtable of the
United Kingdom. His articles have appeared in such
magazines as America's Civil War, Blue and Gray, and North
At the meeting, Young will portray George W. Finley, a
first lieutenant in the 56th Virginia who was captured at
the Battle of Gettysburg, spent two years in six Federal
prisons, and became a Presbyterian minister after the war.
Young will bring two photographs of George Finley with him.
One is a wedding portrait of Finley and his wife, and the
other is of Finley in his later years. Young is the same
age today that Finley was in 1902, and he will be dressed as
Finley actually looked in 1902. Young will speak to us in
the first person in the year 1902 as Finley looks back 38
years to his participation in Pickett's Charge on July 3,
1863, at the Battle of Gettysburg. The story is all true,
and much of it is in Finley's own words.
Review of the May Program
Frank A. O'Reilly made an informative presentation on "The
Last Days of Stonewall Jackson." He pointed out that the
general had died 139 years ago from the time of the meeting.
Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson has been seen as
something of a sphinx, an elusive man who was difficult to
fathom. According to O'Reilly, Jackson final days tell us
much about the man and the legacy he left behind.
On the evening of May 2, 1863, while returning from a scout
of the Union lines at Chancellorsville, Jackson was fired on
by his own men and received three wounds-one in his right
hand and two in his left arm. He was evacuated from the
battlefield and taken to a field hospital. There surgeons
extracted the ball from Jackson's hand and amputated his
left arm. From the field hospital, Jackson was taken to
Guinea Station, a trip that took fifteen hours. His
ultimate destination was Richmond, but a Union cavalry raid
had cut the railroad line to the Confederate capital,
delaying the transfer.
Dr. Hunter H. McGuire sent a rider from the hospital to
arrange accommodations at the Chandler house near the
station. Because the home was infected with strep, one of
Chandler's outbuildings was commandeered, and Jackson was
placed in Chandler's office in that cottage. McGuire
remained with Jackson, monitoring his condition closely and
changing his bandages constantly. Jackson seemed relaxed
and became talkative. He appeared healthy and on his way to
recovery. Stonewall spoke of the battle and about the
operation. He also mentioned having heard music during the
surgery. This must have been the sound of the saw removing
With all of these positive signs, McGuire finally went to
sleep on May 6. Jackson woke up that day in a fever.
McGuire was wakened, and he saw the signs of pneumonia in
the general's condition. O'Reilly pointed out that Jackson
had probably been ill before he was shot. The shock of the
event masked the symptoms of the disease. McGuire tried
valiantly to save Jackson and recruited five other doctors
to assist him.
Mrs. Anna Jackson finally reached her husband's side. When
she arrived, he did not recognize her. The pneumonia was
advancing rapidly. Jackson's condition during his last days
was erratic. At times he was lucid, at others he was close
to a coma. McGuire and the other surgeons could not tell if
he was getting better or sinking. Reverend Beverly Tucker
Lacy had spent every day with Jackson. On May 10, during a
time of consciousness, Jackson ordered him to take a message
to General Robert E. Lee. Lacy told Lee that Jackson was
dying, and the general became openly agitated. He sent Lacy
back to Jackson with a message of love, but Lacy arrived 45
minutes too late.
During his last days, Jackson listed to his wife read from
the Bible and sang psalms with her. She told him that he
was dying, and he said that he had accepted his fate. Mrs.
Jackson asked where he wished to be buried. After
mentioning Charlotte and Charlottesville, he said he wished
to be placed in his own plot in Lexington. He allowed her
to bring in their child and place her on the bed next to
him. He cooed at the baby. Finally, Jackson began speaking
of the battle and speaking about some of his generals. His
last words, "Let us cross over the river and rest under the
shade of the trees," were spoken sweetly.
O'Reilly pointed out that during these last days Jackson let
us know what made him Stonewall and what was most important
to him as a man.
Richmond Battlefields Association Event
The Richmond Battlefields Association is sponsoring its
first annual tour on Thursday, June 27, at the Gaines' Mill
battlefield. The tour will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Watt
House and will be led by Ed Bearss and R. E. L. Krick.
This will be 140 years to the day_to the hour_after the
battle. No reservations or fee required. Check the Web
site, www.saverichmondbattlefields.org, for further updates.
Museum of the Confederacy Seeks Volunteers
The Museum of the Confederacy will hold its annual fund
raising event weekend, Celebrate South, on April 4-6, 2003.
Each year the event recognizes a different southern state,
and Florida will be the theme for 2003. Guests from around
the country will enjoy educational events, workshops, an
auction, and the annual Civil War-themed ball, which comes
complete with period costumes and dancing. Information on
this event will be posted as it become available at
www.moc.org. Celebrate South is planned by a committee of
dedicated and interested volunteers. Several committee
positions are currently open. Those interested in finding
out more about participating on the committee may contact
Larisa Morano at (804) 649-1861, ext. 44.
Round Table Makes Donations
President Clark Lewis announced at the May meeting that the
Round Table will make donations to the following
organizations-Museum of the Confederacy ($1,000), Richmond
Battlefields Association ($500), and Pamplin Historical Park
Pamplin Historical Park Programs
Pamplin Historical Park near Petersburg will hold two "Focus
Weekend" special programs during the month of June. The
first will be on June 22-23-"With Spade and Shovel." The
focus of this weekend will be the Confederate Engineer
Corps. Re-enactors will portray soldiers, civilians, and
artificers who constructed earthworks during the Civil War.
At the Fortifications Exhibit, soldiers will build
obstructions (gabions and cheveux-de-frise), will have
entrenching tools and other items on display, and will
interpret life in a Civil War engineer company. "Pastimes
and Playtimes" will be held on June 29-30. Visitors will be
introduced to nineteenth century children's games, parlor
games, and the games played by Civil War soldiers. Scheduled
activities will offer competition between visitors and Park
staff. Visitors will receive token prizes for successful
participation. For more information, call Pamplin
Historical Park at (804) 861-2408.
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2002
To facilitate the printing and timely distribution of the
monthly newsletter, information for it should be submitted
to the editors no later than the following dates:
June 21 for July;July 19 for August;August 23 for September;
September 20 for October; October 18 for November;
and November 22 for December
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter
Art & Carol Bergeron, Editors
3901 Paces Ferry Road
Chester, VA 23831-1239