Robert E.L.Krick, President John M.Coski, editor 10407 Leander Dr. 1201 E.Clay St. Glen Allen, VA 23060 Richmond, VA 23219 OCTOBER 1999 PROGRAM SCOTT MAUGER The Cabinet of Jefferson Davis 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Boulevard United Methodist Church 321 N. Boulevard (Corner of Boulevard and Stuart Ave.) Enter basement door from Boulevard side. The four years of the Civil War, while long in many, many ways, were short in others. Four years is a short period of time for a new government to assemble, organize, establish then move its capital, and carry on the day-to-day business of governing. And when a bloody, costly war is raging, then the time seems even shorter. Who were the men who helped make the day- to-day decisions of this new government. Were they all suited for the job? Did they stay in the positions they started in or did they move around? Did President Davis have some favorites or so me he didn't work well with? Come and find out the answers to these and other questions as Scott Mauger takes a look at the cabinet of President Davis, Scott Mauger is well known to the members of the Richmond Civil War Round 'Fable and the Civil War community. Having been a RCWRT member for 1O years, he has served as president and led last fall's field trip with J.E.B. Stuart IV. For the last several years we have all looked forward each month to his book reviews. Scott also currently helps each meeting with the 50/50 Preservation Fund Raising Drive. This is Scott's second presentation for the RCWRT. Review of September Program by R. Danny Witt John Heatwole's interest in the burning of the Shenandoah Valley started years ago when he was collecting folklore from the people of the valley. He kept hearing stories of when "the Yankees burned the valley." This interest led him to write the first major book on the subject, published in 1998. Three things happened in 1864 that caused U.S. Grant to look for someone who could prevent the Confederacy from using the valley: the defeat of Franz Sigel at New Market, the defeat of David Hunter at Lynchburg, and Jubal Farly's march to the gates of Washington which caused the recall of the 6th Corps from Petersburg. Grant then assigned 33-year-old Phil Sheridan to command the valley forces. With his arrival at Charles Town on August 7. 1864 he was commanded by Grant to neutralize the valley by burning out as much as possible. This would stop the valley from furnishing food and supplies to the Southern army. Also, it could not be used psychologically against Washington to draw troops from Petersburg again. Mr. Heatwole cleared up two common misconceptions. The burning lasted thirteen days, not three, and not every house and barn were burned. On September 27th the systematic burning of the valley began. Sheridan gave meticulous orders that only barns and mills with grain in them were to be burned while empty barns were to be left alone. Also, tile barns (even with grain in them) of widows, orphans and single women were not to be burned. It seems that in most cases these instructions were well followed. To Sheridan's credit, he even gave people the opportunity to leave the valley and furnished them with a wagon, and horses or mules to pull them. He had 400 families leave the Harrisonburg area on October 5th. When tile burning ended on October 8 around 2000 barns, 70 mills, 12 sawmills, 7 furnaces and miles of fencing in four Counties had been destroyed. Also taken were thousands of head of cattle and sheep. If the cattle couldn't be used by tile army they were destroyed as well as pigs which couldn't be driven. Sheridan tried to rationalize that if the valley was destroyed to end the war, then the husbands and sons would come home sooner and alive. On a visit to the valley years after the war, Sheridan received a surprisingly friendly welcome. But, as John Heatwole round in his research, the people of tile valley even to tills day remember the destruction that Sheridan wrought.
December Banquet Meeting Date: Thursday, December 2, 1999 Title: Dinner at 7:00 cash bar 6:00-7:00 Location: Holiday Inn Crossroads / 2000 Staples Mill Road Food Menu: fresh garden salad with dressing, pasta salad, marinated vegetables, tender medallions of beef, boneless breast of chicken Santa Fe, two fresh vegetables, one starch, warm rolls & butter, coffee and tea, holiday dessert table Speaker: William C. (Jack) Davis Cost: $26.00 per person Reservations: limited to 150 people, reservation and check must be received by November 24 Mail check to: R. Danny Witt, 5500 Ashton Park Drive, Glen Allen, VA 23059 Any questions? Please call (364-5589) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fall Field Trip: A. P. Hill's Last Battles When? Saturday, November 6 and will leave from Azalea Mail at 7:45 a.m. (or, if Azalea Mail is not available, from Brook Hill Mall) Where? (1) St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Petersburg (2)batttle of the Crater (3)Confederate lines (Mahone's division's position) south of Petersburg (4)battle of Weldon Railroad [a site that will soon be developed as an industrial park] (5)battle of Ream's Station (6)battle of Peeble's Farm (7)battle of Hatcher's Run [now an APCWS site] (8) battle of Boydton Plank Road (9)site of A. P. Hill's headquarters at 4'lndiana" (1O)Hill's last ride and death site Who? Chris Calkins will lead the tour - the same tour devised for "Bud" Robertson to assist in writing his biography of A. P, Hill. How Much? $12 per person. Use the form below to register for the tour. Please return it with your payment to Sam Craghead at a meeting or mail to: