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August 2002
Clark H. Lewis, President         Art & Carol Bergeron, Editors
P. O. Box 1122                    3901 Paces Ferry Road      
Richmond, VA 23218                 Chester, VA 23831-1239   

August 2002 PROGRAM

Scott Bowden "Robert E. Lee and the en échelon attack of July 2, 1863" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 13, 2002, at the Boulevard United Methodist Church, 321 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA (corner of Boulevard and Stuart Ave.) Scott Bowden is a graduate of Texas Christian University and the author of 22 titles related to Napoleonic and American military history. His most recent work, Last Chance for Victory: Robert E. Lee and the Gettysburg Campaign, has won the 2001 Douglas Southall Freeman History Award, the 2001 General Nathan Bedford Forrest Southern History Award, the 2001 Grady McWhiney Award of Merit, and has officially been named as part of the curriculum at the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. By late afternoon on July 2, 1863, elements of the Army of Northern Virginia have fiercely attacked, mauled and driven back a significant portion of the Federal Army of the Potomac. As a result of this attack, numerous "opportunities" (to use Lee's description) have developed along the Federal line, but none more important than those along Cemetery Ridge north of the Copse of Trees. On this ground facing west towards the Confederates of A. P. Hill's Third Corps are only a half-dozen brigades, and four of these belong to the dubious Eleventh Corps. The reason this ground is so thinly held is because many other Federal formations previously positioned on this ground have long since been moved by Meade and Hancock to the left wing of the embattled Federal army in the attempt to stem the Confederate tide. Poised to strike the Federals that remain on this crucial ground are two veteran brigades of Anderson's Division as well as the four hard-fighting brigades of the famed Light Division under the aggressive leadership of Dorsey Pender. Lee's modified plan that Thursday to attack "en échelon" has indeed delivered to his subordinates what is arguably the most significant "opportunity" ever presented to the Army of Northern Virginia. Robert E. Lee's modified plan to attack "en échelon" at Gettysburg on July 2 ranks among the least understood events in American military history. Proper examination of the attack "en échelon" will help students of the War Between the States comprehend and appreciate Lee's unique genius.
Review of the July Program
Cramer  Gallimore
Cramer Gallimore gave a fascinating and informative presentation on the recovery and excavation of the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley. His position as official photographer for the project gave him access to the entire process, and he showed many of the images that have been released to the public. Gallimore stated that he had always been interested in time travel and felt that the six months he spent last year in Charleston gave him an opportunity of sorts to go back in history. Horace L. Hunley was a businessman whose interests were hurt by the Union blockade of the Southern coast. He began designing a submarine in 1861 with the goal of breaking the blockade so that the Confederacy could resume imports and exports. Hunley's vessel was the first true submarine-it could navigate, dive, and surface. It became the first such vessel in history to destroy an enemy warship. On February 17, 1864, the Hunley used a spar torpedo to sink the U. S. S. Housatonic. The latter sank in about 22 feet of water, but most of her crew survived the attack. Even though successful in its mission, the Hunley itself sank with all of its crewmembers. The great mystery has been what happened to the submarine. Gallimore pointed out that the Hunley was found covered by sand under about 22 feet of water. She lay at a 45-degree angle. On a good day, the divers had about three feet of visibility, while on bad days they had none. The recovery team consisted of both military and civilian divers and archaeologists. Gallimore began by shooting their efforts from the air. He had a great bird's-eye view from a small airplane. After the submarine was uncovered, it was lifted by a crane and placed on a large barge. It was then taken past Fort Sumter and The Battery up the Cooper River to a conservation laboratory that had been set up in a navy warehouse. The Hunley remained submerged in a special tank for four months before excavation began. Gallimore was able to use special photography to obtain incredible views of this work, which began in February 2001. Water was drained from the tank, and scaffolding was set up to give the team access to the submarine. They were able to remove the rivets to get into the sub's interior with virtually no damage to the vessel. Geologists took core samples of the sediment that filled the Hunley in an attempt to help understand why it sank. Every bit of water and sediment was strained as it was removed to find things like human hair and remains of maritime creatures that had gotten into the hull. The excavation team used wooden tongue depressors because they are soft and would not hurt human remains or artifacts. Everyone wore hairnets and full surgical outfits to prevent any modern contamination of the Hunley. The recovery revealed many things about the submarine that no one knew about before. For example, the wooden bench on which the sub's crew sat had been whitewashed. Everything was in a remarkable state of preservation. Workers even found a candle that had been placed in a carved holder and a small piece of paper with printing on it. On the last day of the excavation, Lieutenant George Dixon's good luck piece, a gold coin that was hit by a Minie ball at Shiloh, was found in the left pocket of his trousers just where it was supposed to be. When asked his opinion of what happened to the Hunley, Gallimore stated that the evidence showed that she had gone down dry, and he believed Dixon took her to the bottom to avoid all the Union boats in the area. There the air apparently ran out unexpectedly, and the crew died from asphyxiation.
Fall Tour On October 5, our fall tour will take us to Brandy Station. Clark B. "Bud" Hall, who was one of the driving forces behind the preservation efforts at that battlefield, will serve as tour guide. The cost is very reasonable-just $20 per person. We will depart from the WalMart parking lot at Brooke and Parham at 8 a. m. and return about 5:30 p. m. Everyone should bring a lunch and their own drinks. We will provide pastries and fruit as breakfast, as well as cookies for an afternoon snack. This promises to be one of the best trips the Round Table has been on because we will have access to some areas not normally open to the public.
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. There is particular need for volunteers with fund-raising or marketing experience. If interested, please see Carol Bergeron at the next meeting.
Book Signing Scheduled Pamplin Historical Park near Petersburg will host a book signing on Saturday, August 17. Art Bergeron and Lawrence L. Hewitt will available to autograph copies of their new book Louisianians in the Civil War, published by the University of Missouri Press. The signings will be held from 1-2 p.m. and again from 4-6 p.m. Copies of the book will be available for sale in the park's Museum Store. There is no admission charge for this special event. For more information, call Pamplin Historical Park at (804) 861-2408.
New Online Newsletter Feature The online edition of our newsletter now features an articles section. They are under the link: RCWRT Members' & Speakers' Articles & Speeches on our home page. Dr. Edward Smith has sent an article that is an 800 line copy of his 1992 speech. The latest article, by our November speaker, is just a link to another web site. Members should submit to Gary Cowardin any published articles and permission to reproduce them on the web site. Gary will put them in the appropriate location. He will need to receive the articles in e-mail format, attachment, FAX, or paper with the preference in that order (e-mail preferred). We can also link to another web site if necessary. Each article will need to be approved as submitted to avoid any negative situations (language, continent, etc.).
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: August 23 for September September 20 for October October 18 for November 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