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September 2006
Sheppard Parsons, President            Rob Monroe, Editor       
107 Rose Hill Road                     2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Richmond, VA 23229                     Richmond, VA 23228-3040       

September 2006 PROGRAM Christopher L. Kolakowski "Perryville: The Battle for Kentucky" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 12, 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. Chris Kolakowski is the executive director of the Perryville Battlefield Preservation Association and the Perryville Enhancement Project, charged with preservation and interpretation of the Perryville Battlefield and town. The project has preserved and interpreted over 600 acres of critical battlefield land along with several original structures in the City of Perryville. Mr. Kolakowski graduated from Emory & Henry College with a B.A. in History and Mass Communications. He served as a historian with the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park for four years. More recently, Chris worked for the Civil War Preservation Trust and spent much of his time on preservation efforts in Henrico and Hanover counties. On the night of October 7, 1862, more than 70,000 Federal and Confederate troops converged near the tiny village of Perryville in a desperate search for water. The next day the largest Civil War battle fought in Kentucky exploded. During five hours of intense fighting some 7,500 soldiers were killed or wounded, one of the worst per hour casualty numbers of the war. The fate of Kentucky and, perhaps, the entire nation hung in the balance. Professor Jim McPherson wrote, "It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the Confederacy would have won the war if it could have gained Kentucky, and conversely, that the Union's success in retaining Kentucky as a base for invasions of the Confederate heartland brought eventual Union victory." Today, Perryville stands out among the nation's Civil War sites as a preservation success. In addition to the pristine battlefield, there exists the renovated Merchants' Row, a 19th century commercial area that remains relatively unchanged from the day of the battle. It is what Ed Bearss calls "a gem, . . . a must see for all who enjoy walking in the steps of history."
National Park Service Commemorates the Battle of Chaffin's Farm Richmond National Battlefield Park will commemorate the 142nd anniversary of the 1864 battle of Chaffin's Farm with a weekend series of events at the Fort Harrison battlefield on September 30 and October 1. Activities begin at 10:00 on Saturday and include an evening program. Sunday's schedule runs from 10:00 to 4:00. There is no charge for this event and free parking is available at the Fort Harrison Visitor Center located on Battlefield Park Road off Route 5. Join us for walking and driving tours that highlight the extensive earthen fortifications built to protect Richmond between 1862 and 1865. Park historians will explore the construction of Richmond's defenses with visits to four of the surviving forts; retrace the Union attack route that led to the capture of Fort Harrison and meet visitors at Fort Gilmer to share the fate of one black regiment's attempt to break through Confederate lines. A photographic exhibit using wartime images that highlight the fortifications and their defenders will be on display inside the Log Cabin at Fort Harrison. Volunteers representing Union and Confederate troops will set up camp at forts Harrison and Johnson and perform scheduled artillery and rifle firing demonstrations. Throughout the day young people can participate in activities to become a Junior Ranger and visit the camps to learn about the life of the Civil War soldier. Saturday evening at 7:30, park historian Mike Gorman will present a one hour photographic tour of Fort Harrison and vicinity. The program features rarely seen historic photographs taken in 1864 and 1865 that offer a vivid look at the massive fortifications and surrounding landscape just as they appeared at the end of the war. We recommend bringing mosquito repellent and lawn chairs or blankets. Fort Harrison battlefield is one of 13 units of Richmond National Battlefield Park. It is located eight miles southeast of Richmond, off Route 5 on Battlefield Park Road. All programs are free. For further information, contact park headquarters at (804) 226-1981.
Lecture Focuses on Confederate Emancipation The Museum of the Confederacy and the University of Richmond are teaming up once again to sponsor the 11th Annual Bottimore Lecture on Thursday evening , September 28 at 7:30. Based on his new book, Confederate Emancipation, Professor Bruce Levine will speak on a little-known but very revealing episode in the Civil War -- the proposal to arm Confederate slaves to fight against Union troops and reward those who did so with their freedom. The proposal's significance and its accomplishments will be examined, as well as the light it sheds on relations between slaves and slave-owners, secession, the war, and the nature of the Confederacy. The lecture will be held in Keller Hall on the University of Richmond campus. The event is free and reservations are not required.
American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar to Open October 7, 2006 On Saturday, October 7, the Board of Directors and staff of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar invite the general public, residents and visitors alike, to it's grand opening and the unveiling of the Center's flagship exhibit, In the Cause of Liberty. The permanent 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art interactive exhibit is located in the Center's historic 1861 Gun Foundry. The Center will also incorporate new features including the construction of a pavilion, home to the museum store and visitor welcome area and an adjacent terrace. The construction is more than 85 percent complete. Exhibit installation began in August. The first of its kind in the nation, the In the Cause of Liberty exhibit will explore the American Civil War from three perspectives - Union, Confederate, and African American - while staying true to the Center's mission "to tell the whole story of the conflict that still shapes our nation." In the Cause of Liberty will showcase more than 150 objects from more than 30 premier collections based in places such as Maine and Minnesota, Arkansas and Tennessee. These include artifacts from the John H. Motley Collection illustrating African American roles in the Civil War; objects from the Museum of the Confederacy, the Valentine Richmond History Center, the Virginia Historical Society; and never before seen items borrowed from New York's famed Gilder-Lehrman Institute, to name a few. The Center's grand opening will include indoor and outdoor activities for children, living history demonstrations and period music. Visit for more details.
Registration Now Open for Civil War Class Registration is now open for the fall Civil War class at the University of Richmond. The course, described more fully in last month's newsletter, will focus on the 1862 and 1864 campaigns in the Shenandoah Valley and will be taught by the U.S. Army's former Chief of Military History, Jack Mountcastle (a Richmond Civil War Round Table member). Classes will meet from 7-9pm on four consecutive Monday evenings beginning on October 23. The course will review the "Valley Campaign" of General "Stonewall" Jackson, the impacts of war on the civilian population of the Valley, and the critically important summer campaign of 1864, during which Federal forces seized the Valley. A daylong bus tour of selected battlegrounds of the 1862 and 1864 campaigns on November 18 allows students to walk over the actual ground that was fought upon. To request more information call (804) 289-8133 or visit (choose "Continuing Studies" then look at "Non-credit Courses").
Bus Filling Up for Next Month's Field Trip The bus for the Richmond Civil War Round Table's fall field trip is already half full! Don't wait until it's too late -- reserve your seat now for our unique tour of Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg. Although they are better known for their 17th- and 18th-century history, all three places played roles in the Civil War and boast earthworks or buildings that speak of their significance. For the 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. The bus leaves at 8am from the James River Bus Lines parking lot (on N. Allen St. between Leigh and Broad) 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). Bring your own lunch. The trip costs just $25 per person and is limited to 53 people. Reserve your seat today by completing the form below and bringing it with your payment to the September meeting. You may also register by mailing this form with your check (payable to RCWRT) 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 $25 = (total payment)$___________
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RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2006
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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