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Rob Monroe, President               Gary Cowardin, Editor    
9733 Fireside Drive                 1404 Lorraine Ave.       
Glen Allen, VA 23060                Richmond, VA 23227-3735            

"United States Colored Troops at Petersburg, June 15, 1864" by Emmanuel Dabney 7:30pm, Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at the First Presbyterian Church, Richmond, VA.,
4602 Cary Street Road, 23226. A parking lot is available behind the church with an entrance off the parking lot to the right and up a few steps into the DINING HALL on the left. Emmanuel Dabney has been employed by the National Park Service at Petersburg National Battlefield since 2001. After completing high school in Dinwiddie, Emmanuel graduated magna cum laude with an Associates of Arts from Richard Bland College, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia and completed a Master's degree in Public History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Emmanuel has given many programs on the issues facing African-Americans in antebellum, wartime, and immediate post-war America as well as how to portray these experiences within professional museum settings. He believes his love of history is embedded in his DNA; having on his maternal grandfather's line, ancestors who were slaveholders and free blacks; on his maternal grandmother's line: enslaved people and non-slaveholding whites; and on his paternal line more enslaved people. Meeting Attendance for August: 79 NOTE: Please put on your NAME BADGE on when you arrive for the meeting. (They will be on a table near the back or side of the room.)
Message from Our President
I love cemeteries. That's not something I would admit to a stranger or even many longtime acquaintances for fear of the uncomfortable looks I might receive. However, to members of the Richmond Civil War Round Table, I make this declaration without the slightest hint of apprehension for I perceive many of you share this same fascination. At the RCWRT's August meeting, our own Bert Dunkerly gave a splendid presentation on the March 1863 explosion at the munitions factory on Brown's Island in Richmond. More than 40 people were killed in the blast, most of them girls and young women. The explosion shook Richmond literally and emotionally. When we hear the number of people killed, certainly we feel a measure of sorrow for lives taken too soon. But 156 years does much to dull any pain we feel about the incident. It happened so long ago. None of us knew the victims or anyone who remembered them. We have an immunity to the heartbreak so many Richmonders felt in 1863. When we look at an open field we tend to focus on its size rather than the individual blades of grass that compose it. We tend to do the same thing when we hear or read of the casualties of a Civil War battle, or in this case a disaster on the homefront. The number of people killed becomes the field we perceive rather than the individuals, the blades of grass. If we don't have a direct connection to a person who died it's easy to impersonalize the tragedy. What I appreciated so much about Bert's presentation last month was that he introduced us to the individuals involved in the 1863 explosion. He focused on the blades of grass-Mary Ryan and her coworkers. Still, a century and a half does much to shield us from the blast. But in his presentation, Bert went a step further. Through images in his Powerpoint, Bert took us to the graves of many of those killed in the Brown's Island blast. Suddenly these were no longer tragic characters in a 19th century Dickens novel. They were living, breathing people with families who loved them and would grieve their passing for the rest of their lives. When you stand in the middle of one of the Richmond area's national cemeteries or the Confederate section of Hollywood Cemetery and look at all the headstones that surround you it's impossible not to be overcome with a sense of solemnity. Knowing each one of those stones represents a soldier who lived and played a part in the event that defined what America is today, that is when I feel I start to truly understand the magnitude of what occurred between 1861 and 1865. What great irony it is that a cemetery, a place we associate with death, can provide us with a clearer understanding of life. Rob
Save the Date, Thursday, November 14 The November dinner this year will be at Willow Oaks on Thursday, November 14 (that's the day the speaker had available). Our speaker this year will be Frank O'Reilly. Frank is working on a book on Malvern Hill, and will be bringing us some new insights from his research. It should be an exciting talk! You can bring your checks for $32/person to the September or October meetings, or you can mail them to: Art Wingo 1414 Patriot Circle Glen Allen, Va. 23059 Doug Crenshaw
A Message from our Secretary Andy Keller The proposed 2019 changes to the RCWRT Constitution can be found here. (color indicates the changes) We will vote on this in the October Meeting. The current Constitution can be found here. Andy
Upcoming Events/Links
National Park Service Richmond
Richmond Battlefields Association News & Events
Visit the American Civil War Museum at Tredegar and the White House of the Confederacy
Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier
Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2019
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©R.C.W.R.T. 2019