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July 2006
Sheppard Parsons, President            Rob Monroe, Editor       
107 Rose Hill Road                     2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Richmond, VA 23229                     Richmond, VA 23228-3040       

July 2006 PROGRAM John J. Fox III "Brutal Realities of War" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 11, 2006, 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. John J. Fox III, a Richmond native, is a 1977 graduate of Collegiate School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in U.S. History from Washington & Lee University in 1981. After graduation he served on active duty in the U.S. Army for seven years as an armor officer and aviator. While living in the Atlanta, Georgia area for thirteen years, he was a member of the Atlanta Civil War Roundtable. Mr. Fox is the author of the well-received regimental history Red Clay to Richmond: Trail of the 35th Georgia Infantry Regiment, CSA. For this work, he won the 2005 James I. Robertson Jr. Literary Prize for Confederate History awarded by the R.E. Lee Civil War Round Table of Central New Jersey. Mr. Fox resides with his family in Winchester and is an advisory board member of Shenandoah University's McCormick Civil War Institute. When he is not researching Georgia Civil War information he works as a pilot for American Airlines based in Washington, D.C.. His father, John J. Fox Jr., is a long time member of the Richmond Civil War Round Table. Mr. Fox's book, Red Clay to Richmond: Trail of the 35th Georgia Infantry Regiment, CSA will be available at a discounted price to RCWRT members.
Items for the RCWRT's August newsletter should be submitted no later than July 28. Thank you.
New Film Tells Story of Fredericksburg Area Civilians In June the National Park Service and Friends of Fredericksburg Area Battlefields premiered a new film chronicling the struggles of civilians in the Fredericksburg region during the Civil War. Two years in the making, "Virginians Desolate, Virginians Free" is the work of more than 350 professionals and local residents. Using largely the words of the people who lived there, the new film tells the story of a community faced with tragedy and change amidst war. The project called on actors and volunteers-many of them from the Fredericksburg region-to portray the struggles (and occasional triumphs) of local civilians. "Before these were battlefields, they were farms and homes," said Russ Smith, Superintendent of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. "War transformed both the places and the people who lived here. That's an important story for us to tell. We're so pleased to be able to bring the story of this community onto the national stage, and to do it in such vivid form." The film was shot entirely in the Fredericksburg area. In 2004, George Street was transformed for a day back to the 1850s. Last year, the outbuildings and ruins at Idlewild offered a perfect backdrop for a massive scene showing the exodus of refugees. Half a dozen local homeowners made available historic homes and back yards as sets. "This has truly been a community project," said Smith. "More than 100 local residents put on costumes and joined in the filming. Antique shops loaned us props. Local restaurants helped feed a huge cast and crew. It was an immense undertaking-one that I hope the community at large will be proud of." Chief Historian John Hennessy, who wrote the film's script and coordinated production, noted that for the park, this film represents an important step in the development of its public programs. "Most importantly, the new film tells a story that's never been told," said Hennessy, "and it does it in a way that recognizes that not everyone saw every event in the same way. For example, for slaves here, about half of the area's population, war meant more than just anguish-it meant a chance for freedom. White residents, though, saw the arrival of the Union army as a disaster, and for them it indeed was." Actors and volunteers came from as far away as Wisconsin and Indiana to participate in the film. Groups of students from both Parkside Elementary School in Spotsylvania and Hartwood Elementary in Stafford appear. Local actresses Laura Wandres, Shannon Howell, and Sue Henderson played key roles, as did Connie Watkins-Spotsylvania born, but now an actress in New York City. The 30-minute film is being shown three times daily at both Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Visitor Centers-at 9:25, 12:25, and 3:25. "We're excited that we can add this to the choices our visitors have," said Smith. The film was produced by Historical Films Group of Lansing, Michigan, under the direction of Brad Graham.
Pamplin Historical Park Offers Tour of South Carolina and Georgia Sites Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier has announced its inaugural summer tour, "Civil War in the South Atlantic." Led by the park's executive director A. Wilson Greene, the tour features the Civil War history of the legendary Low Country of Georgia and South Carolina. The August 1-5 tour will follow the course of the Civil War from the dramatic opening shots at Fort Sumter, through the heroic charge of the 54th Massachusetts at Battery Wagner, to General Sherman's infamous march through the Carolinas. Accommodations are in the Mills House in Charleston's Historic District and the Mulberry Inn near the Savannah Riverfront. Reservations are now being accepted and space is limited. On August 1 there will be a welcome reception, introductions and an opening briefing in Charleston. August 2 events include tours of Charleston Museum, the C.S.S. Hunley and Fort Sumter with a visit to the exhibits at the National Park Service Visitor Center. On August 3 there will be a morning boat tour of Fort Moultrie, Morris Island, Castle Pinkney and Fort Johnson. Afternoon tours of Secessionville and Fort Lamar will be followed by check-in and an informal reception in Savannah. August 4 events include tours of Fort McAllister and Fort Pulaski and a dinner program and tour of Old Fort Jackson. August 5 will feature tours of Honey Hill Battlefield, Old Sheldon Church, and Rivers Bridge State Historic Site. Single occupancy price of Pamplin Historical Park's Inaugural Summer tour is $2,095. Cost for double occupancy is $1,795 per person. Price includes all lectures, tours, lodging, lunch and dinner, and transportation. For further details about the tour, contact a reservation specialist at (804) 861-2408 or toll free at 1-877-PAMPLIN.
Summer Tours Offered in Petersburg Petersburg's Blandford Church has evolved, from its colonial beginnings, throughout the Victorian era and into modern times. On July 22 a walking tour will explore the evolution of the cemetery by visiting one of the lesser-known areas near Memorial Hill. The tour begins at the Blandford Church Cemetery Bandstand at 7pm. The Civil War meant different things to different people. Some saw the conflict as a fight for preservation of self and society while others saw it as a chance for freedom. On August 5, a one-hour program will feature guest speakers and living historians as they bring to light points of view that don't always fit the stereotypes you might be used to seeing. This program begins at 2pm in the Old Petersburg Courthouse Building on Sycamore Street. Old cemeteries are full of soaring obelisks, covered urns and reverent angels. What you may not be aware of is the meaning behind the symbols. On August 7, a Powerpoint presentation will explore the influence the Victorian era had on some of the monuments in Petersburg's largest local cemetery. The program begins at 7pm at the Blandford Church Reception Area. For more information on any of these tours call (804) 732-3531 extension 202.
State Grant for Museum of the Confederacy Much Smaller Than Expected There's good news and bad news for the Richmond's Museum of the Confederacy. Mostly the latter. The good news is that the institution will be receiving $50,000 from the state. The bad news is that figure is only a small fraction of the $700,000 a House subcommittee recommended granting the museum. The $50,000 is part of the General Assembly's long-delayed two-year state budget. The museum had hoped to use the one-time $700,000 grant to sustain operations and for future planning. The institution has been operating at a deficit for a number of years due in part to a decline in visitation. The museum expects about 55,000 visitors this year. That figure is down from a high of 92,000 a decade ago. The House subcommittee reported that the museum's dwindling visitation numbers are due in large part to the expansion of the neighboring Virginia Commonwealth University medical campus. In the past few years, construction zones around the museum have impeded traffic flow in the area creating severe accessibility difficulties for the Museum and White House of the Confederacy.
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RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2006
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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