First Vice President: Rob Monroe, Editor Richard Forrester 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Second Vice President: Richmond, VA 23228-3040 Shep Parsons firstname.lastname@example.org
September 2004 PROGRAM Kent Masterson Brown, "The Retreat from Gettysburg" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 14, 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. Kent Masterson Brown graduated with honors from Centre College in his native Kentucky and received his juris doctor degree from Washington and Lee. He was creator and first editor of The Civil War magazine and is a trustee of the Museum of the Confederacy. Mr. Brown was the first chairman of both the Perryville Battlefield Commission and the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission. He has written numerous articles for history journals and is the author of several books including Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander. His latest book, Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign, is expected to be on the shelves in February 2005. Mr. Brown will discuss foraging as the primary purpose behind Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania. The massive scale of this foraging will be fully described. How Lee successfully withdrew his defeated army and its extensive quartermaster, subsistence, ordinance and ambulance trains from Gettysburg back to Virginia will be thoroughly and closely examined. The discussion will reveal why Gen. George Meade could not bring his Army of the Potomac into a position to confront Lee's army, much less successfully assault it. Meade's serious logistical problems, caused in large measure by Lee's actions taken early in the campaign, and Lee's deliberate pace of retreat and his utilization of terrain and even the inclement weather will be shown to be critical. Lee not only brought back his army intact, but also quartermaster, subsistence, ordinance and ambulance trains in excess of 57 miles. Thousands of horses, mules, cattle, sheep and hogs were seized north of the Potomac. Although the Battle of Gettysburg was a tactical defeat for Lee, the campaign was, in part, a success. For the first time, the Army of Northern Virginia had fodder and fresh meat that would last well into the ensuing season.
Robertson to Lecture on Civil War Centennial "It would be ironic, not to say tragic, coincidence," said historian C. Vann Woodward in 1960 on the eve of the Civil War Centennial, "if the celebration of the anniversary took place in the midst of a crisis reminiscent of the one celebrated." Indeed, as 34 states, including those formerly engaged in the Civil War, commemorated the pivotal 19th-century event with research and publication projects covering every aspect of the war, the Freedom Riders campaigned for racial equality in 1961, civil rights leader Medgar Evers was slain in 1963, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act forever altered the course of African-American life in the U.S. It is against this background that historian James I. "Bud" Robertson Jr. will discuss his experience as executive director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission at 7:30pm Thursday, September 23, at the University of Richmond's Keller Hall. Sponsored by The Museum of the Confederacy and the University of Richmond History Department, Robertson's talk is the ninth annual Elizabeth Roller Bottimore Lecture funded by the Roller-Bottimore Foundation. As federal legislation on the forthcoming sesquicentennial observation of The Civil War (150th anniversary in 2011) is already in the works, Robertson's timely "Reflections on the Civil War Centennial" promises to be thought-provoking. Dr. Robertson is Alumni Distinguished Professor of History at Virginia Tech and the author of ten books, including the prize-winning Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend (1997). He also wrote a biography of A.P. Hill, a history of the Stonewall Brigade, and a series of books on the war for young readers. The great-grandson of a Confederate soldier who survived Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, Robertson is a frequent commentator on nationally broadcast television and radio Civil War programs. Fifty years ago, when Robertson was editor of the journal Civil War History and a professor of history at the University of Iowa, his friend, historian Richard B. Harwell, encouraged Robertson to accept the position as executive director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission. The post took the young Danville native to Washington, where he met Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and where he worked closely with other prominent public officials and historians. Robertson enjoyed a unique insider perspective of one of America's largest public history commemorations -- a perspective that he will share in his lecture. In a surprising turn of the spotlight on the recorders of history, the Civil War Centennial itself is now the subject of study, especially given the new scholarly focus on how memory of public events is constructed and perpetuated. The Centennial, whose primary objective was to encourage Americans to study the Civil War, had its dark days. Robertson will discuss the "bumpy" fashion in which the Centennial got underway and President Kennedy's purging of the first Commission following several controversial incidents, including the clash over Southern segregation laws during the Fort Sumter observation. Robertson has said, "My job, in a real sense, was to keep the peace. By late 1961, real friction had developed between some Northern and Southern state commissions. I spent most of my first year in Washington traveling everywhere to mend fences." Yet Robertson is convinced that the Centennial went far in healing national wounds, and in that context he will consider the role and the challenges of the upcoming sesquicentennial commemoration. Dr. Robertson's talk is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations are required. To reserve a seat call The Museum of the Confederacy at (804) 649-1861, ext. 10.
University of Richmond Offers Course on Civil War in Virginia The University of Richmond's School of Continuing Studies will offer a course titled "Civil War in Virginia - The War's Last Year, 1864-1865." Meeting 7:00 - 9:00pm on the last four Monday nights in November, the course will discuss the Siege of Petersburg, the 1864 campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, the desperate fighting in Southside Virginia in the spring of 1865 that lead to the evacuation of Richmond and, finally, Lee's retreat and surrender at Appomattox. Participants will also take a Saturday field trip to Petersburg, Five Forks, and Appomattox on December 4, 2004. This course is led by retired Brigadier General Jack Mountcastle, the U.S. Army's former Chief of Military History and a RCWRT member. The discussions will focus on the soldiers and leaders who continued to fight on during this last year of the Civil War and on the effects the war had on Virginia and on the families of the fighting men. The instructor will supply additional info as take-home material. The cost of the non-credit course is $159. For details call University of Richmond's School of Continuing Studies at (804) 289-8133 or visit their website at www.richmond.edu. Click on "Continuing Studies" and then select the "Think Again" non-credit course catalog.
Symposium to Focus on Confederate Gen. Joe Johnston Pamplin Historical Park & the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier will hold their eighth annual symposium on October 15 - 17 in Petersburg. This year's subject is "The Controversial Joe Johnston." Friday evening events include a dessert reception and a lecture by Craig Symonds. Speakers on Saturday include Symonds (lecturing on Johnston in Virginia), Terry Winschel (Johnston and the Vicksburg Campaign), Richard M. McMurry (Johnston and the Atlanta Campaign) and Mark Bradley (Johnston and the Battle of Bentonville). Saturday lectures will be followed by a tour of Pamplin Historical Park and evening dinner and entertainment. There will be a special guided bus tour of the Bentonville Battlefield on Sunday. The symposium will be held at the Best Western in Petersburg. The hotel is offering a special $59.95 room rate for reservations made by September 15. The $195 per person symposium registration fee includes lectures, tours and meals. Registration forms will be available at the September 14 RCWRT meeting or you may call Pamplin Park toll-free, 1-877-PAMPLIN.
Seats Going Fast for Conference on 1864 Valley Campaign About 30 seats are still available for the 7th Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War being held October 8 - 10 in Middleburg. Sponsored by the Mosby Heritage Area Association, the conference will focus on the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. For more information on the conference, see last month's RCWRT newsletter, call the association at (540) 687-6681 or see their website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org
Mosby Exhibit at Manassas Museum A new Civil War exhibit, "The Legacy of Colonel John Singleton Mosby" will be open through the end of the year at the Manassas Museum. The exhibit features interesting facts about the elusive "Gray Ghost" who led the 43 rd Battalion of Partisan Rangers in Union-occupied Northern Virginia. The life of Mosby, his Partisan Rangers, and his contributions to healing the wounds of war are examined. The exhibit focuses on Mosby's Civil War exploits in the Manassas area, Mosby Reunions and glimpses of his post-war life. Rare Civil War and Mosby artifacts, many never seen before in public, are displayed. Military passes by Mosby hint at the structure of his partisan group. Among the features of the exhibit are O.W. Beck's famous pastel portrait of Mosby later in his life, Edwin H. Stoughton's sword captured by Mosby at the Fairfax Courthouse, weapons carried by his Rangers, and a set of documents from Mosby's saddlebags captured in 1864. The exhibit also contains original Mosby letters with first-hand accounts of his life, engravings of Mosby and his contemporaries and one of the few existing farewell addresses hand-written by Mosby to his command in April 1865. Operating between 1862 and 1865 from a base in the Virginia counties of Fauquier and Loudon that became know as "Mosby's Confederacy," Colonel John Singleton Mosby and his rangers rode in raids against Union supply lines, railroad and wagon trains, outposts, and detachments. The command provided Robert E. Lee with valuable intelligence information, seized hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of federal material, and captured thousands of enemy troops. "This exhibit is a one of a kind," said Melinda Herzog, Director of Historic Resources, "it's a rare chance to see unique items from private collections and museum collections." The Manassas Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00am until 5:00pm. Admission to the museum is $3 per person, with discounts for members, children and groups. For more information visit www.manassascity.org or call (703) 368-1873.
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2004
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Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040