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

September 2003 PROGRAM Stephen Davis, "Why John Bell Hood Has Gotten a Bum Rap for the Fall of Atlanta" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 9, 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. Stephen Davis of Atlanta is the Book Review Editor of Blue & Gray Magazine. A "Civil Warrior" since the age of 9, he attended Emory University and studied under the renowned historian Bell I. Wiley. After receiving a master's degree in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he taught high school for a few years and then earned his Ph.D. at Emory, where he concentrated on the theme of the Civil War in Southern literature. Davis currently serves as Medical Relations Manager for MAG Mutual Insurance Company in Atlanta, the professional liability insurer for Georgia physicians. Over the years, Davis has written more than a hundred articles and book reviews on the Civil War and Southern history for such scholarly and popular publications as Civil War Times Illustrated and Civil War History. He is the author of Atlanta Will Fall: Sherman, Joe Johnston and the Yankee Heavy Battalions, published last year by Scholarly Resources. Davis has long been a spirited defender of General John Bell Hood's conduct during the Atlanta Campaign. Davis is also interested in Civil War medicine and had published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia a scholarly survey of medical care in Atlanta's Confederate hospitals during the conflict.
Review of the August Program
Clint Johnson
Clint Johnson presented a talk based upon his latest book Bull's Eyes and Misfires: 50 People Whose Obscure Efforts Shaped the American Civil War. He covered more than a dozen individuals and summarized how they had had positive or negative impacts on the conflict. Johnson explained that the idea for his book was to find people whose actions had affected the course of the war but who are largely unknown to people of today. What follows are brief synopses of some of the persons about whom Johnson. Elizabeth Keckley was a former slave who became a seamstress in Washington, D. C. She made up Mary Todd Lincoln's hair for the inauguration in 1861 and then became a friend of the Lincolns. After the war, Keckley wrote a book about her experiences with them during the war, but the Lincoln family abandoned her because of her revelations. Johnson claims that Keckley kept Mrs. Lincoln from interfering in her husband's political affairs. William Barry was an artillery officer before the war and wrote a manual on artillery tactics. During the Battle of First Manassas, Barry was in command of the Union army's artillery with the rank of major. Some of the batteries got too far forward, and infantry supports were ordered up to assist. The battery commanders saw blue-clad men approaching, thought them to be Confederates, and wanted to open fire. However, Barry told the officers that the troops were Federals and would not let them fire. It turned out that the soldiers were members of the 33rd Virginia Infantry Regiment, and they succeeded in overrunning and capturing the guns. John B. Floyd and Henry A. Wise were Virginia politicians who received general's commissions in the Confederate army. They hated each other and refused to cooperate while serving in western Virginia in 1861. Even Robert E. Lee could not get them to work together. This led to Confederate defeat and almost ruined Lee's career. Wise learned from his mistakes and improved as a commander, but Floyd continued to perform poorly. Benjamin Isherwood was the chief steam engineer of the United States navy. Naval captains opposed steam engines, but Isherwood was able to design and build a number of different engines. They made the United States naval vessels faster than any Confederate ships. Isherwood was one of the early proponents of the idea that the navy could dominate the high seas through steam power. Gabriel Rains developed the idea of the land mine during the Seminole Wars. He pushed for the construction of mines by the Confederacy when the war began. Rains was forced to place the devices at places where soldiers might expect to be killed, in keeping with the idea of honorable conduct in battle. He developed water mines for the Confederacy, and more than twenty Union vessels were sunk by the "infernal devices." Henry Hunt was responsible for the Confederate losses at Malvern Hill and Gettysburg because of his supervision of Union artillery. He had taught his men to fire slowly and accurately rather than to indiscriminately shell advancing enemy formations. Hunt did not receive the recognition he deserved for his actions.
Upcomming Events
Sept. 13 Civil War Lantern Tours at Meadow Farm, north of Richmond. 7:15-9 pm with tours leaving every 15 minutes. Free but reservations are required. 804-501-5520. Sept. 13-14 "Round-ball to Rim-fire - Civil War Firearms" at Pamplin Historical Park near Petersburg. Free with park admission. Information: or 877-PAMPLIN Sept. 14 "Civil War Days: the Other Half of the Story" at Meadow Farm, north of Richmond. Noon - 4 pm. Free 804-501-5520. Sept. 20 "Medal of Honor" unveiling by Don Troiani at Pamplin Historical Park near Petersburg. 11 am unveiling followed by artist signing and special tour. Free with park admission. Information: or 877-PAMPLIN Sept. 20-21 "A Taste of the Past - Fall Food-ways" at Pamplin Historical Park near Petersburg. Free with park admission. Information: or 877-PAMPLIN Sept. 25 "An Evening with Ed Bearss", 7:30-9 pm, Robins Pavilion at the University of Richmond. Sponsored by the Museum of the Confederacy. $5 for members, $10 for non-members. Information: or 804-649-1861 Sept. 27-28 Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Harrison. Walking tours and living history at the battlefield off Route 5 in Varina. 10 am to 5 pm Saturday; 10 am to 4 pm Sunday. Free. Information: or 804-226-1981
Conference Will Explore Leadership at Battle of Gettysburg The Mosby Heritage Area Association will present the 6th annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War. Events will take place Friday through Sunday, October 10 - 12 at the Middleburg Community Center in Loudon County. This year's seminar will take an in-depth look at the command and control at Gettysburg. Speakers scheduled for Friday and Saturday include Eric Wittenberg, Robert K. Krick, Jeffery Wert, Kim Holien, Brooks Simpson, Gary Kross, Charles Fennell and RCWRT's own William Young. On Sunday, buses will leave Middleburg for Gettysburg to tour the site where Longstreet's Corps attacked on July 2, 1863. Registration is $300 and seating is limited to the first 100 people to register. Those wishing to attend the Saturday lectures only may purchase a ticket for $120. To register, contact the Mosby Heritage Area Association at 540-687-6681 or Program Director Childs Burden 540-687-4195. For updates check the association's website,
Group Seeks to Restore Historic House The Friends of Wilderness Battlefield is seeking funds to begin refurbishing and restoring Ellwood, an historic plantation home that played a significant role in the Wilderness and Chancellorsville battles. In 1863, Stonewall Jackson's amputated arm was buried in Ellwood's cemetery. A year later, Gens. Lee and Grant clashed for the first time on the fields of this old plantation and Union Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren set up a makeshift headquarters in Ellwood's parlor. The initial restoration work is estimated to cost at least $100,000. The Friends of Wilderness Battlefield is seeking contributions for its Ellwood Restoration Project. Tax deductible donations may be sent to: Friends of Wilderness Battlefield P.O. Box 576 Locust Grove, VA 22508
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: 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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