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August 2006 PROGRAM Noah Andre Trudeau "Black Soldiers' Experience: History of the 4th Division, 9th Corps" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 8, 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. Noah Andre Trudeau is the author of the celebrated trilogy on the end of the Civil War: Bloody Roads South, The Last Citadel, and Out of the Storm. His recent works include Like Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865 and Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage. He has won the Civil War Round Table of New York's Fletcher Pratt Award and the Jerry Coffey Memorial Book Prize. Mr. Trudeau is a history graduate of the State University of New York at Albany. A 25-year veteran of National Public Radio, Trudeau supervised NPR's cultural programming and produced award-winning programs on everything from jazz to classics, opera to folk. Mr. Trudeau lives in Washington, D.C. and now devotes more time to writing. Like all of his other books, Trudeau's Like Men of War received great critical acclaim. The Miami Herald lauded, "A remarkable contribution to Civil War history. There is so much astonishing material here that Like Men of War can be read even by Civil War addicts with something very like the thrill of new discovery." The Raleigh News and Observer proclaimed, "An amazing story of triumph over adversity..The most comprehensive study available of the battlefield experiences of the nearly 180,000 blacks who donned the Union blue." The Washington Times stated, "This book is a chilling reminder that the echoes of an era some 130-plus years distant still resonate today."
Summary of July Meeting At the July meeting of the Richmond Civil War Round Table, John J. Fox III spoke on the 35th Georgia Infantry, the subject of his book, Red Clay to Richmond. Though he now lives in Winchester, Fox -- the son of RCWRT member John Fox, Jr. -- said it was an honor to be speaking in his hometown. He opened his presentation with the touching story of a wounded Alabama soldier who approached a farmhouse west of Rome, Georgia in May of 1864. The soldier found only an older lady at home and asked her if she might be able to spare some food. The woman gave him something to eat and invited him to spend the night in a spare bedroom. The soldier declined telling the woman he feared he might die that night and he did not want to be a burden to her. The woman insisted he sleep in the spare bed and the soldier eventually acquiesced. The next morning the woman arose and went to check on the wounded soldier. She opened the door to the spare bedroom only to find it empty with the window opened. Going outside she found the soldier lying beneath a tree. He was dead. Fox recounted the story of seven members of the 35th Georgia and their first year of war. The men arrived in Richmond in 1861 and trained at Camp Lee, the current location of Broad Street station. The new recruits entertained themselves by chasing and killing rats. The frivolity soon gave way to seriousness when measles swept through the camp and claimed several Georgians among its victims. In November the men boarded trains and left Richmond heading north. They went into winter quarters at Camp French on the Potomac River between Fredericksburg and Washington. It was here that the members of the 35th were supplied with weapons but these were merely antiquated muskets. The men again fell under attack, not by the Union army but by disease. This time it was not only measles but typhoid that swept through the camp. In March of 1862 the 35th abandoned the Potomac River and fell back to Fredericksburg. On April 9, 1862 one prophetic Confederate wrote that he hoped the war would continue another three years (to coincide with Lincoln's term). Eventually the men were ordered to Richmond and sent by boat from Rocket's Landing to Yorktown. There they would join Magruder's men in fighting McClellan on the Peninsula. The 35th experienced their first combat death when a soldier was killed by friendly fire in the nighttime darkness at Yorktown. It would be the first of many battles for the Georgians. In the coming months they would fight at Seven Pines, Mechanicsville, Cold Harbor, Frayser's Farm and Cedar Mountain. The Georgians were heavily involved at Chancellorsville the following year and eventually ran out of room on their battle flag to include more engagements. Of the seven soldiers Fox detailed, only three would live to return home.
RCWRT's Fall Field Trip Set for October Almost everyone has visited Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg, but we see them as 17th- and 18th-century sites. All three places played roles in the Civil War and boast earthworks or buildings that speak to those later roles. For the Richmond Civil War Round Table's fall field trip we have enlisted the services of expert guides who have helped develop Civil War tours of these famous Colonial sites. The Saturday, October 28 date will allow us to see the Yorktown fortifications after their annual autumn trim and to tour Jamestown without the company of the usual regiments of mosquitoes and flies. The bus leaves at 8am and returns at 6pm. Our guides will be David Riggs (curator at Colonial National Historical Park and author of Embattled Shrine: Jamestown in the Civil War), Dr. Adrian Wheat (author of guidebook to Civil War Yorktown) and Robin Reed (Director of Historic Area Programs at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and formerly Executive Director of The Museum of the Confederacy). Meet at the James River Bus Lines parking lot on N. Allen St. between Leigh and Broad. Bring your own lunch. The field trip costs just $25 per person and will be limited to 53 people so please register soon to reserve your seat. Complete the form below and bring it with your payment to the August meeting or enclose the registration form and a check (payable to RCWRT) and mail to: Richard Grosse 14187 Hickory Oaks Ln. Ashland, VA 23005 Name_______________________________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip___________________________________________________________ Phone number and/or Email address__________________________________________ Number of seats requested_______________x $25 = (total payment)$___________