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August 2004
First Vice President:                   Rob Monroe, Editor       
Richard Forrester                     2416 Edenbrook Dr.     
Second Vice President:                  Richmond, VA 23228-3040  
Shep Parsons                   

August 2004 PROGRAM Jeffry D. Wert, "John Singleton Mosby" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 10, 2004, 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. In 1968 Jeffry D. Wert graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Lock Haven State University in Pennsylvania. From 1969 to 2002, he taught history at Penns Valley High School in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania. He has written more than 100 articles, essays and columns for various magazines, including Blue & Gray Magazine, Civil War Times Illustrated, America's Civil War, American History Illustrated, Virginia Cavalcade and Pennsylvania History. He works frequently for various publications as a reviewer of new Civil War books. He has appeared on numerous television programs for the History Channel, A&E, C-Span 2 and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. Wert is the author of six books: From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign of 1864; Mosby's Rangers; General James Longstreet: The Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier; Custer: The Controversial Life of George Armstrong Custer; A Brotherhood of Valor: The Common Soldiers of the Stonewall Brigade, C.S.A. and the Iron Brigade, U.S.A.; Gettysburg: Day Three and the forthcoming The Sword of Lincoln. Each of Wert's published books has been either a main or alternate selection of the History Book Club and the Book-of-the-Month Club. His books have won a number of awards for Civil War scholarship, and Gettysburg: Day Three was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Wert's talk to the RCWRT will focus on John Mosby and the reasons why he was the Civil War's most effective partisan ranger commander. Regarding Mosby, Wert writes, "Of all the individuals I have studied he was probably the most deadly. A sprig of a man, Mosby was absolutely fearless and exceptionally intelligent. His personality dominated the command of young, rambunctious fighters."
Review of the July Program
Ken Grandstaff descendant of Capt. Frank Smith Roberson Robert Jay Trout, and J. E. B. Stuart, IV (L-R) Robert Jay Trout was the guest speaker for the July meeting of the Richmond Civil War Round Table. After being recognized for winning a recent award from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Trout spoke to the Round Table on the famed Stuart Horse Artillery. Trout acknowledged that for many people, John Pelham is the Stuart Horse Artillery. The legendary feats of "the gallant Pelham" have somewhat overshadowed the rest of the horse artillery, its accomplishments and its enormous contribution to the Confederate Army. Trout gave a brief outline of the horse artillery's purpose and how it differed from regular batteries. As its name suggests, the horse artillery was designed to operate with the cavalry. But unlike the regular artillery, everyone rode in the horse artillery. Extra men were needed to hold horses and the horse artillery was generally larger than most artillery batteries. Ideally, the horse artillery would be positioned at a rallying point that the cavalry could fall back upon if needed. Some Civil War buffs are surprised to learn that the horse artillery often served picket duty. Likewise, they were frequently used in raids for their "intimidation" factor. This use was generally not successful, however, because the horse artillery found it difficult to "keep up" with the cavalry. The Ashby Battery was the first horse artillery unit. In the fall of 1861, two of Stonewall Jackson's former students at VMI convinced the general to allow them to have a battery. The unit was not engaged until May of 1862. The months before this first action afforded the men of the Stuart Horse Artillery plenty of time to train under Pelham. Eventually the horse artillery would fight in over 130 engagements before the end of the war. The eight guns of the Stuart Horse Artillery were split in September 1862. Later, the unit was joined by the Lynchburg Artillery and eventually included ten batteries. At no time during the war, however, did all ten batteries come together at the same time. Four batteries fought at James Church during the Battle of Brandy Station. This would be the greatest number of Stuart Horse Artillery batteries fighting together at any one time during the war. The horse artillery, Trout stated, was a novelty to the Confederate Artillery. Part of John Pelham's legacy was what happened to the battery after his death at Kelly's Ford in 1863. Originally, the horse artillery was to carry light guns. It was soon discovered, however, that these could not compete with the Union guns. Eventually, the horse artillery would carry 3-inch ordnance and Napoleon guns (weighing about 1,700 lbs. each), same as the regular artillery. Trout's research revealed that the battery carried between 109 to 123 horses. Crews were given the power to requisition horses and often mules were used. Crews could fire about two rounds every three minutes. During battle, horse artillery officers would remain mounted, shouting orders from horseback behind the guns. This practice made them tempting targets for enemy fire. The soldiers manning the guns had perilous duties as well. Trout found many official reports of horse artillery soldiers listed as having been "killed at mouth of gun." Being a soldier in the Stuart Horse Artillery, "you were expected to do things and go places you weren't supposed to go," Trout said. Though its accomplishments are legendary, the horse artillery was not without its misfortunes. Trout said the unit was "clobbered" at Upperville and lost three guns in action at Brandy Station in September 1863. Only the heroics of J.E.B. Stuart saved the fourth gun from being captured. During the Battle of Toms Brook in October 1864, the Stuart Horse Artillery was overrun, horses gave out and 11 guns were taken by Union forces under Sheridan. The Lynchburg Artillery covered the retreat for five miles up the Valley Pike. By firing and "leapfrogging" guns, the battery spared the Confederate Army countless casualties. Trout called this action "the greatest display of what horse artillery can do." In all, 69 officers and 2,200 men served in the Stuart Horse Artillery. Some were hand picked by Stuart himself. Trout explained, they "were always, it seemed, in action." Even at the close of the war, Hart's Battery was the last unit to surrender.
AUGUST EVENTS August 14 140th Anniversary Commemorative Siege Tour of Western Front of Petersburg National Battlefield. Starting from the Eastern Front visitor center, this all-day bus tour of the Western Front, includes the 1864 battlefields of Jerusalem Plank Road, Weldon Railroad, Reams Station, Peebles' Farm and Boydton Plank Road. 9:30am - 4:00pm. Reservations required. Fee to be announced. Some walking to be expected. Info: or (804) 265-8244. Digging Butler's Ditch. In 1864, Union troops under Gen. Ben Butler began the arduous task of changing the course of the James River in order to avoid Confederate batteries. Living history demonstrations and activities conducted by reenactors bring this massive engineering project to life. Noon - 5:00pm. Info: or (804) 706-1340. August 20 A Photographic Tour of Fort Harrison. A park historian will present an illustrated evening program using a series of fascinating historical photographs taken of the Fort Harrison area in 1864 and 1865. Many of these have never been published and historians have misidentified others. Part of a series of events commemorating the 140th anniversary of the 1864 Overland Campaign. 7:00pm. Info: or (804) 226-1981. August 21 The Siege of Petersburg - Diversity of Perspectives. This two-hour program will feature guest speakers and living historians as they bring to light points of view that don't always fit the stereotypes people may be used to seeing in regards to the war. Program takes place at the Petersburg courthouse area, 2:00pm- 4:00pm. Info: or (804) 732-3531 ext. 203. Victorian Symbolism in Cemetery Art. This walking tour around Petersburg's historic Blandford Cemetery will use the cemetery's monuments to explore the symbolism of mourning which was so popular in Victorian society. The program will start at the Blandford Church Reception Center. 7:00pm. - 8:00pm. Info: or (804) 265-8244. August 20 - 21 Civil War Show. Annual show with hundreds of tables of Civil War items for sale and show at the Showplace on Mechanicsville Turnpike in Richmond. Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm, Sunday 9:00am - 3:00pm. Fee charged. 540-672-4845.
Conference Focuses on 1864 Valley Campaigns The 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaigns will be the focus of the Seventh Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War. Presented by the Mosby Heritage Area Association, the conference will take place Friday - Sunday, October 8 - 10 at the Middleburg Community Center in Loudon County. The conference will feature an impressive roster of speakers including the RCWRT's Robert E.L. Krick and recent Round Table speaker Gary Ecelbarger. A reception will be held Friday followed by Scott Patchan speaking on Gen. Jubal Early's Valley Campaign in the summer of 1864 and Joe Whitehorne on the leadership of Gen. Phil Sheridan. Saturday's events will feature a panel discussion and book signing. Speakers include Ecelbarger ("Abraham Lincoln and the 1864 Valley Campaign"), William Miller ("Maps and Mappers in the 1864 Valley Campaign"), Eric Whittenberg ("The Battle of Toms Brook: Rosser Fails to Save the Valley"), Keith Bohannon (The Early-Gordon Controversy at Cedar Creek"), John Heatwole (Campaign Within a Campign, 13 Days of Destruction"), Robert K. Krick ("The Undisciplined Valley Cavalry in the 1864 Campaign") and Robert E.L. Krick ("Confederate Collapse at Fisher's Hill"). Buses will depart Sunday morning for a full day of touring the Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek battlefields. The conference is limited to the first 100 people to register. The cost is $300 per person and full payment is required upon registration. You may also register to attend only the Saturday lectures for $120. Registration forms will be available at the RCWRT's meeting on August 10. For more information go to or contact Program Director Childs Burden at or by calling 540-687-4195 or 540-687-6681.
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2004
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 September 3 October newsletter October 1 November newsletter October 29 December newsletter December 3 Information may be emailed to
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. 2004