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July 2003
Brag Bowling, President         Rob Monroe, Editor     
3019 Kensington Ave             2416 Edenbrook Dr.     
Richmond, VA 23221              Richmond, VA 23228-3040

July 2003 PROGRAM Dave Smith "They Didn't Like Each Other Much: Joseph E. Johnston and John C. Pemberton at Vicksburg" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 8, 2003, 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. Dave Smith is a two-time past president of the Cincinnati Civil War Round Table and currently serves as newsletter editor, program chairman, and webmaster for the Round Table Web site. Ask a Civil War buff about the Vicksburg Campaign, and invariably, the story that comes forth starts and ends with Union General Ulysses S. Grant. And rightly so, for it was Grant who maneuvered seemingly at will through the interior of the state of Mississippi, defeated Confederate General John C. Pemberton at the battles of Champion Hill and Big Black Bridge, forced Pemberton into a siege, held off the army of relief of General Joseph E. Johnston, and forced Pemberton's surrender on July 4, 1863. But what of the Confederate command effort? The relationship between Pemberton and Johnston, while civil during the campaign, turned bitter and acrimonious after the surrender of Vicksburg, and carried into their post-war writings. Johnston fueled the controversy with the publication of his memoirs in 1874, in which he placed all blame for the loss of Vicksburg on Pemberton and Confederate President Jefferson F. Davis. Pemberton, the native Northerner who married a Virginia native and cast his lot with the Confederacy, was trying to live out his post-war years as a quiet farmer in Virginia. Johnston's memoirs, however, spurred Pemberton to attempt a response to Johnston - an effort that historians knew was started, but never pushed forward to any great extent. Since 1874, the primary story of the Confederate command at Vicksburg has been the story told by Joe Johnston. Pemberton's response, however, was written, and nearly finished before his death in 1881. His manuscript turned up several years ago at a dealer in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was subsequently edited and published by Smith. His talk will look at the controversy between these two men and will discuss Johnston's arguments as well as Pemberton's subsequent response. In the end, no matter what the reasons were, Pemberton surrendered to Grant on July 4, 1863. Perhaps, in the detailing of the reasons for Southern defeat as told by Pemberton, our basic understanding of the Confederate command situation may be brought into balance.
Review of the June Program
Chris Calkins
Chris Calkins of the Petersburg National Battlefield gave a talk on "Saving Petersburg's Battlefields." This was the first time that this portion of the park's proposed General Management Plan has been presented in a public forum. The initial General Management Plan contained no land protection element, but the National Park Service recognized that, without preservation, the plan would not be as strong as it should be. Petersburg National Battlefield employees were charged with putting together a proposal to protect significant portions of the Petersburg Campaign's battlefields. That campaign lasted nine and a half months and covered approximately 176 square miles. It included around 108 engagements, 26 of which were of major importance. Petersburg National Battlefield includes Poplar Grove National Cemetery, the City Point Unit, and the Five Forks Unit. The General Management Plan process began in 1994, lapsed for a time, and was restarted in 2000. If approved, the preservation portion of the plan may take 15-20 years to accomplish. Calkins pointed out that 6,997 acres, with 50 miles of earthworks, have no protection at this time. These lands are important to tell the entire story of the Petersburg Campaign. When the American Battlefield Protection Program studied Civil War battlefields, it identified twelve Priority A and B sites associated with the Petersburg Campaign that need protection. Petersburg National Battlefield personnel came up with maps showing the epicenters of those twelve battlefields. Epicenters were defined as areas of either heavy fighting or where a turning point occurred. Of concern are the facts that there has been industrial and commercial development as well as inappropriate recreational use in the Petersburg and Dinwiddie County area. In drawing up the epicenters, personnel looked for property that retains its historical integrity and would be feasible to manage. The epicenter maps were compared with tax maps to determine landowners. Land acquisitions would depend upon willing sellers. Partners in the whole preservation process include the Civil War Preservation Trust, Pamplin Historical Park, the City of Petersburg, and Dinwiddie County. Petersburg National Battlefield's preservation plan consists of four alternatives that have differing objectives concerning acreage protected and the extent of interpreting the battlefields. The public will have several opportunities in the near future to review and make comments on the General Management Plan. It is hoped that the plan will be approved by February 2004.
New Civil War Books
June saw the release of Staff Officers in Gray: A Biographical Register of the Staff Officers in the Army of Northern Virginia by the RCWRT's own Robert E.L. Krick. Among the titles scheduled for release in July are Gettysburg by Stephen W. Sears and The Trial: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the Trial of the Conspirators edited by Edward Steers. Also due for July release is a pair of books by Edward G. Longacre, Gentleman and Soldier: A Biography of Wade Hampton III and The Cavalry at Appomattox: A Tactical Study of Mounted Operations during the Civil War's Climactic Campaign, March 27-April 9, 1865.
July Announcements & Events
July 11-13 "Living Liberty - Bedford Life in the 1860s" in downtown Bedford (or "Liberty" as it was known during the War). A period wedding and reception will be held Friday night. Saturday's events include a military parade, spy capture, period music and a ladies tea and fashion show with special guest Robert E. Lee. A period church service will be among the Sunday events. Military encampments and book signings will be held each day with lantern tours each night. For more information call 540-586-2148 or log on to
July 12 "Battle of the Crater" at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm in Petersburg. Experience the horrors of one of the bloodiest events of the Civil War through the eyes of "witnesses". Reenactors of Confederate soldiers and the 48th Pennsylvania, U.S. Colored Troops will discuss their roles in the June 1864 battle. For details on this free event call 804-733-2396 or 804-732-3531.
July 12-13 July Living History at Malvern Hill Battlefield, 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm Sunday. Walking tours and demonstrations of Confederate infantry and Union artillery highlight the events commemorating the final conflict of the Seven Days battles. Contact the Richmond National Battlefield Park for more information, 226-1981.
July 12-13 Pamplin Park will bring to life the traditions of a 19th century county fair. This family event will feature food, games, a midway, a medicine show, period baseball games and children's activities. For more information call the park toll- free at 1-877-PAMPLIN.
July 19 "Caring for the Wounded" at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm in Old Town Petersburg. This program will explore the ways in which men and women, black and white, aided the thousands of sick and wounded soldiers in and around Petersburg. For details on this free event call 804-733-2396 or 804-732-3531.
July 20 "Mourning is Woman's Work", 3 pm at Blandford Church in Petersburg. This program will take a look at the unique rules and customs of expressing grief in the Civil War era. For more information on this free event call 804-733-2396 or 804- 732-3531.
July 28-31 The Museum of the Confederacy will conduct a Civil War Explorers Camp for rising 5th, 6th and 7th graders. Children will travel with museum educators to monuments, battlefields and other historical sites. The camp will include hands-on activities and crafts. Registration is required. For an application call 649-1861 ext. 22.
A group of preservationists is attempting to raise $1,000,000 to restore the boyhood home of Confederate General Jubal Early in the Red Valley section of Franklin County, south of Roanoke. The homeplace and eight acres of land have already been donated to the Jubal A. Early Preservation Trust. The group is seeking funds to preserve and interpret the tobacco plantation where the future general spent his formative years. A foundation has agreed to match donations up to $250,000 toward the goal. Contributions are tax deductible and may be mailed to: Jubal A. Early Preservation Trust, Inc. P.O. Box 638 Rocky Mount, VA 24151 More information may be found at the group's website,

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: August newsletter, July 25 September newsletter, August 22 October newsletter, September 26 November newsletter, October 24 December newsletter, November 21 Information may be emailed to
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2003
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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©R.C.W.R.T. 2003