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June 2002
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 South Trader. 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
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 his arm. 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,, 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 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 ($500).
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
Newsletter Deadlines 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

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©R.C.W.R.T. 2002