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August 2001
Sam Craghead, President         Art & Carol Bergeron, Editors
4361F Lakefield Mews            3901 Paces Ferry Road      
Richmond, VA 23231              Chester, VA 23831-1239   

August 2001 PROGRAM

Christopher L. Kolakowski

"Stars and Stripes on Marye's Heights"

8:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 14, 2001, at the
Boulevard United Methodist Church, 321 N. Boulevard,
Richmond, VA (corner of Boulevard and Stuart Ave.)

Christopher L.  Kolakowski will present an overview  of  the
fighting near Fredericksburg from April 29-May 5, 1863, with
emphasis on the assault and capture of  Marye's  Heights  on
the  morning  of May 3.  He will start by explaining who the
two principal  commanders  were  (John  Sedgwick  and  Jubal
Early), then relate the story up through the night of May 2.
A good bit  of  time  will  be  spent  on  Marye's  Heights,
including the two failed attacks, the flag of truce, and the
successful 11 a.  m.  assault (which  is  a  very  near  run
thing).   He  will  wrap  up  with  a brief account of Salem
Church and the May 4 fighting, plus a bit of analysis.      

Kolakowski is a graduate of Emory & Henry College with a  B.
A.  in History and Mass Communications.  A lifelong resident
of Fredericksburg, Virginia, he has worked  as  a  historian
with  Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
for four  years.   Kolakowski  has  recently  written  about
Thomas G.  Stevenson's Federal division in the Battle of the
Wilderness for Civil War Regiments and a comparison  of  the
Battles  of  Gettysburg  and  Waterloo  for  the  Napoleonic
Wargaming Club Newsletter.  Currently, he writes a  biweekly
column  for  the  Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.  He has an
article  for  Civil  War  Regiments  on  the  14th  Brooklyn
scheduled  for  publication  in  2001  and  has submitted an
article  on  John  Sedgwick  at  Second  Fredericksburg   to
America's  Civil  War magazine.  He is researching a book on
the Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church.      

Review of the July Program
H. Alexander Wise Jr.
H. Alexander Wise, Jr., presented a program on "The Tredegar National Civil War Center: A Vision Whose Time Has Come." He is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Tredegar National Civil War Center Foundation. This new facility will have several objectives-to deal constructively with the central event of our nation's history, to honor the Americans who died in that war, to tell the untold stories of the conflict, to create an uplifting experience for the visitor, and to educate ourselves and our children to be better citizens. The museum will tell the entire story of the Civil War at ground zero, Richmond, Virginia. As expressed by Wise, the Civil War redefined the United States. It established federal supremacy. The ideals of the Declaration of Independence were written onto the Constitution in blood. Freedom and citizenship were granted to black Americans. Before 1861, people spoke in terms of "the United States are," but after 1865 the phrase changed to "the United States is." We truly became one nation. Richmond is the natural place for this national center. The city was the epicenter of the war and the capital of the Confederacy. The Civil War Sites Advisory Commission identified 384 major battlefields. Of that number, 123 are in Virginia, and 43 of those are within thirty miles of Richmond. As the conflict was ending, President Abraham Lincoln visited Richmond to begin the healing process. The city was a center of black life, history, culture, and achievement before, during, and after the war. Richmond has tangible, authentic physical evidence to help tell the story, not just interpreted sites. Tredegar was an important landmark before and during the fighting. Finally, Virginia Civil War sites already get more than five million visits annually. Richmond is the place to impress visitors, to teach lessons, and to tell the authentic story of the Civil War. The Tredegar Center will seek to portray why the war happened. It will explain all of the causes, showing that slavery was a central issue in the dispute between the sections. Exhibits will treat the conduct of the war and describe the consequences of it. The focus will be on Union, Confederate, and black participants. It will show the historical roles of all three groups in working out the nation's destiny. It is anticipated that the center will serve as the country's primary visitor center for Civil War sites. Wise and his staff are working closely with the Richmond National Battlefield Park, Pamplin Historical Park, and the Petersburg National Battlefield to make the Richmond-Petersburg area a destination for all Civil War visitors. Other partners are the Ethyl Corporation, which owns the building where the museum's first phase will be constructed; John Motley, who has donated an outstanding collection of black historical artifacts; the Museum of the Confederacy, which will loan some of its holdings; and the Civil War Library and Museum in Philadelphia, which will loan parts of its impressive collection of Union items. The center already has broad community support. Wise said that the 10-year project will occur in phases at a total cost of $45 million. He hopes the Tredegar Center will have the gravity of the Holocaust Museum, the sweep of Ellis Island, and the mythic American quality of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Round Table Raffle The item for this month's raffle is an 1864 Confederate $50 bill valued at $45. It is worth more now than it was in 1864.
Cold Harbor Tour Richmond National Battlefield Park will conduct a one-day bus tour of the Battle of Cold Harbor on Saturday, August 11. The tour will run from 9 a. m. to 4 p. m. There is a fee, and information and signup can be accomplished by calling the Tredegar Visitor Center bookstore at 771-2035.
North Anna Campaign Reenactment On August 17-19, a reenactment of the battles of the North Anna Campaign will be held at Rock Castle Farm in historic Hanover County. The program will feature reenactments of the battles of Jericho Mills and Chesterfield Bridge. Rock Castle Farm was the site of Union headquarters on May 24, 1864, and was also used as a Federal field hospital. These events are a part of Hanover Civil War Heritage Weekend. For more information, call (804) 530-1597 or (804) 356-8868 or see:
Sharpsburg Heritage Festival Each September on the weekend closest to the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, the Town of Sharpsburg in conjunction with the Antietam National Battlefield presents the Annual Sharpsburg Heritage Festival. This year the festival will be held on September 15-16. The Heritage Festival showcases regional and international lecturers, musicians and artists while telling the story of our history beginning in colonial times. The mission of the festival is to make Sharpsburg a place "where history comes alive." As visitors stroll through town, they can speak with the many Confederates and Federals who are camped in the yards of the Colonial and Civil War homes. There will be continuous concerts of Civil War music, starting Friday night with an old fashioned Barn Dance and ending on Sunday afternoon with a Grand Patriotic Concert by the U. S. Marine Corps Band. Visitors can attend one of the many free historical lectures or workshops or wander through our arts area featuring folk art, Appalachian crafts and demonstrations of the lost arts of the 18th and 19th centuries. Homemade food produced by the town's churches and service clubs will be available for the visitors' enjoyment. There is something for every one at this great family event, and all activities, except the Barn Dance, are free. For more information, see the website: or E-mail Paul Breitenbach at:
Fall Field Trip "Gettysburg, July 2, 1863: Longstreet's Assault" Brag Bowling has announced that the Roundtable's Fall field trip will be to the Gettysburg National Battlefield on October 20. Wayne Motts, who has lectured at our Roundtable, will be the tour guide. The focus of the field trip will be July 2, 1863. Wayne is an expert on the events of that day. Among the sites to be visited are Little Round Top and Big Round Top, Devil's Den, the Wheatfield, and the Peach Orchard. We are tentatively planning to eat lunch and visit the Daniel Lady Farm, which is featured in the current Civil War News. Dr. Walter Powell, Historic Preservation Officer for the Borough of Gettysburg, will discuss the events at this historic site and the importance of its being preserved. Costs for the tour will be $25 per person. It would be great if this were less, but rising gas costs have made a tour of this distance more expensive. The bus will depart from the shopping center parking lot at the corner of Brook Road and Parham at 6:30 a. m. Return will be around 6:30 p. m. that evening. Please bring a lunch and drinks. Brag wishes to remind everyone that if you want to go on this trip, please get your money to him ASAP. There were a number of Roundtable members who missed out on our trip to Manassas with John Hennessy last spring because they waited until the last minute to make their reservation. Don't do it again. Please make your reservation with Brag personally, or mail it to him at his home-Brag Bowling, 3019 Kensington Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221.
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Art & Carol Bergeron, Editors 3901 Paces Ferry Road Chester, VA 23831-1239

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