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

August 2003 PROGRAM Clint Johnson "Bull's Eyes and Misfires: 50 People Whose Obscure Efforts Shaped the American Civil War" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 12, 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. Clint Johnson is a native of Florida and descendant of Confederates from Florida, Georgia and Alabama. His ancestors suffered the range of Civil War experiences. One Florida ancestor lost an arm at Fredericksburg when he had to fight in the open after those selfish Mississippians hogged all the houses for cover. One Alabama ancestor was mortally wounded charging up Snod Grass Hill at Chickamauga with his regiment suffering 73 percent killed and wounded. One Georgia ancestor was labeled as "addle-brained by the war" in his pension application. Another Georgia ancestor survived the frigid Ohio winters after nearly two years in the Johnson's Island prison camp for officers, only to die at the age of 36 from the ill health he suffered from the result of his prison camp experience. Johnson returned to the home of his ancestors, North Carolina, in 1987. Both branches of his family had settled in the colony in the 1720's and 1750's. He has lived in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, since 1989 and makes his living writing books and magazine articles. He has just finished his seventh book, In The Footsteps of J.E.B. Stuart, which will come out in September. That finishes his trilogy with the earlier publication of In The Footsteps of Robert E. Lee and In The Footsteps of Stonewall Jackson. His other books include Touring Virginia's and West Virginia's Civil War Sites, Touring The Carolinas' Civil War Sites, and Civil War Blunders. All of his books can be purchased and autographed by him from his website at or ordered from any bookstore or Internet-based bookseller. His books have garnered mostly 5-star reviews on Amazon. His latest book and the subject of this month's presentation is Bull's-Eyes and Misfires: 50 People Whose Obscure Efforts Shaped the American Civil War. This book is a collection of mini-biographies that looks at 25 Confederates and 25 Federals, men and women, blacks and whites, military officers and civilians who initiated some type of major action during the war, but who are mostly unknown to the average person reading about the war. Each person is labeled either a "bull's-eye" for a positive contribution to their side or a "misfire" for a mistake that damaged their side's chances of winning a battle or, in some cases, the entire war.
Review of the July Program
Dave Smith gave a lively talk on the controversy between former Confederate generals Joseph E. Johnston and John C. Pemberton that developed after the Civil War. In 1874, Pemberton was living in Warrenton, Virginia, and was angry after having fought for years to clear his name and re-establish his reputation. He had just read Joe Johnston's memoirs, Narrative of Military Operations and decided that he had to write a response to set the record straight. Pemberton began with a point-by-point refutation of charges that Johnston had leveled against him. The latter's book blamed Jefferson Davis and Pemberton for the Vicksburg debacle in the summer of 1863. By 1881, Pemberton had completed his manuscript, but it was not published before his death that year. His widow sent it to former general Marcus Wright, in whose papers it was discovered several years ago. Smith edited and published it in 1999 as Compelled to Appear in Print: The Vicksburg Manuscript General of John C. Pemberton. In October 1862, Pemberton received assignment to command of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana with the recently conferred rank of lieutenant general. Born in Pennsylvania, he had graduated from West Point and married a woman from Norfolk, Virginia. Pemberton resigned his commission in April 1861 and by January 1862 was a major general commanding Confederate forces in South Carolina. There he performed competently but not spectacularly. Smith said that we might never know why Jefferson Davis chose Pemberton as commander in Mississippi. Johnston was a Virginian and also a graduate of West Point. He served in the Mexican War and became quartermaster general in 1861. When Johnston joined the Confederate army, he became upset with Davis for not placing his name at the top of the list of full generals. He commanded the Confederate army at First Manassas and during the Peninsular Campaign. Wounded at Fair Oaks, Johnston did not recover until November 1862, when he was assigned by Davis to command the armies of General Braxton Bragg and Pemberton. Johnston was never comfortable with this position. The three main charges leveled by Johnston that rankled Pemberton were: (1) Pemberton was at fault for allowing Ulysses S. Grant's army to gain a foothold on the east side of the Mississippi River in early May 1863; (2) Pemberton failed to take advantage of opportunities to defeat Grant before the Battle of Champion Hill; and (3) Pemberton should not have fallen back to the trenches at Vicksburg and become besieged. In his manuscript, Pemberton refuted these charges and pointed to Johnston's failures to support him before the siege or come to his relief during it. Smith concluded that Pemberton's account doesn't change our understanding of the flow of the Vicksburg Campaign, but it helps to balance our understanding of the Confederate perspective of the loss of Vicksburg and, perhaps, our understanding of the war as well.
Upcomming Events
August 15 "War at Their Doorstep, Spotsylvanians Caught Amidst War". This free walking tour offered by the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park begins at 7 pm in front of the old Spotsylvania Courthouse, Rt. 208 at Rt. 613. Information: or 540-373-6122.
August 16 "Every Tombstone is a Biography", a special program presented at historic Blandford Church in Petersburg. Free of charge, this event begins at 7 pm. Information: 804-732-3521.
August 16 & 17 National Civil War Antiques and Arms Show at The Showplace on Mechanicsville Turnpike in Richmond. Show will feature more than 500 tables of swords, guns, artwork and books. Open 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and 9 am to 3 pm Sunday. Admission is $6. Sponsored by North South Trader's Civil War magazine of Orange. Information: or 540-672-4845. Richmond National Battlefield Park presents "The Changing Face of War" at Cold Harbor and Gaines' Mill battlefields in Hanover County. Re-enactors of the 4th Texas Infantry will be present to discuss the changes in attitudes, uniforms and tactics between the battles of Gaines' Mill in 1862 and Cold Harbor two years later. Rifle firing demonstrations and ranger-guided walking tours will take place both days from 11 am to 2 pm at Gaines' Mill and from 12:30 to 3:30 pm at Cold Harbor. Information: or 804-226-1981.
August 22 "Place of Worship, Scene of War: Old Salem Church by Candlelight", hour-long tours beginning at 8:00, 8:30 and 9:00 pm at the church on Rt. 3 west of Fredericksburg. Parking will be available at the adjacent "new" Salem Baptist Church. Information: or 540-373-6122.
August 28 "Stories in Stone: A Tale of Two Cemeteries", a special program presented at Petersburg's Blandford Church. Event begins at 7 pm, no admission charge. Information: 804-732-3521.
August 29-31 Manassas National Battlefield Park will feature numerous tours and living history programs throughout the weekend to commemorate the anniversary of the 1862 Battle of Second Manassas. Several one-hour walking tours will be conducted throughout the weekend as well as soldier portrayals, encampments and infantry demonstrations. Information: or 703-361-1339.
September 7 The Valentine Museum Richmond History Center presents "Civil War Richmond", a walking tour of war related sites near the Capitol and the Museum of the Confederacy. The two-hour walk begins at 2 pm at St. Paul's Church (often called the Church of the Confederacy) on the corner of Grace and 9th St.
New on Video and DVD Warner Home Entertainment has announced the release of "Gods and Generals" on videocassette and DVD. The Civil War epic was released in theaters nationwide earlier this year. Based on the book by Jeff Shaara, "Gods and Generals" is a production of Antietam Filmworks and is presented by Ted Turner Pictures. Directed by Ron Maxwell, the film stars Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson, Jeff Daniels as Joshua Chamberlain, Robert Duvall as Robert E. Lee, Kali Rocha as Anna Jackson and Mira Sorvino as Fanny Chamberlain. Special features of the DVD include an introduction by Ted Turner and music videos of songs on the soundtrack by Bob Dylan and Mary Fahl. Also included on the DVD are commentaries by Maxwell, James "Bud" Robertson Jr. (history professor, Virginia Tech) and Col. Keith Gibson (Executive Director, VMI Museum). Also available from Warner Home Video is Ken Burns' landmark documentary "The Civil War". Long available on videocassette, the nine-episode series is now being offered on DVD as well. Among the extra features included on the DVD are biographies of key figures of the war, an interview with historian Shelby Foote and five hours of commentary by Burns.

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: 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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