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October 2007
Bernard Fisher, President              Rob Monroe, Editor       
7300 Ann Cabell Lane                   2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Mechanicsville, VA 23111               Richmond, VA 23228-3040      

October 2007 PROGRAM James A. Morgan "The Battle of Ball's Bluff" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 9, 2007, 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. Most Civil War students are familiar with the October 21, 1861 Battle of Ball's Bluff because of its far-reaching political fallout. The battle itself remains relatively obscure. Nestled in the midst of Northern Virginia sprawl (the entrance to it is through a Leesburg housing development), the battlefield itself has been preserved and is accessible for those who want to understand the dramatic fight that occurred there. Our October speaker will discuss the battle and the misunderstandings about it. A lifelong Civil War enthusiast, Jim Morgan was born in New Orleans, grew up in Pensacola, Florida, and now lives in Lovettsville. He holds master's degrees in Political Science from the University of West Florida and Library Science from Florida State University. He works as the Acquisitions Librarian for the State Department's Office of International Information Programs in Washington, D.C. Jim is a reenactor, a past president of the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable, and a volunteer guide at Ball's Bluff for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. His interest in the battle led him to write A Little Short of Boats: the Fights at Ball's Bluff and Edwards Ferry, October 21-22, 1861 that a reviewer praised as "the definitive account of Ball's Bluff." He also wrote Always Ready, Always Willing: A History of Battery M, Second United States Artillery, From Its Organization Through the Civil War and has written articles for Civil War Times, America's Civil War, Blue and Gray and The Artilleryman among others. His accounts of Ball's Bluff appear on the "" website, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority website (, and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground website ( He currently is researching a biography of Union Brig. Gen. Charles P. Stone. Copies of A Little Short of Boats will be available at the meeting.
Museum of the Confederacy Announces Plans for the Future In September The Museum of Confederacy released its plan to expand to a statewide system of visitor sites that would advance the institution's educational mission by broadening the reach of its extensive artifact collection. The visitor sites will concentrate on and complement existing flows of both historical and recreational travelers. The museum will remain in Richmond with its headquarters, marketing and development functions, research library, collections storage and conservation and preservation efforts. The White House of the Confederacy will serve as a major visitor site. Additional locations under consideration include Appomattox, Chancellorsville and Fort Monroe in Hampton. "It is an exciting prospect to expand our outreach to a greater number of historical tourists in Virginia," stated Museum Board Chairman Carlton P. Moffatt. "The plan is contingent on financing. After three years of hard work involving a state study commission, a peer review study and a large number of volunteer experts, the Board feels that a system of museum sites is the best way to accomplish our central mission of using artifacts to educate the public about the Civil War and the Confederacy." "We are focused on taking our collection to the visitor, rather than trying to get the visitor to come to us," said S. Waite Rawls, III, museum president and CEO. "Richmond and the other sites under consideration hold great war-time significance. They have strong visitation numbers and name recognition. We are looking to have space for many more artifacts that can be seen by three to four times as many people." Museum officials had considered relocating all functions outside of Richmond. Plans call for the current museum building to remain operational and open to the public for the next five years. The new facilities will be built in time for the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015).
The Museum of the Confederacy will host a casual open house for RCWRT members and their guests from 6:30 to 9:00 on Wednesday evening, October 10 (the night after our meeting). Waite Rawls will discuss the proposed museum system and answer questions.
Pamplin Park Symposium Explores Civil War Mishaps On Friday through Sunday, October 19-21, Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier will host its 11th Annual Symposium, "Infamous Episodes and Disastrous Endeavors of the Civil War." Speakers and topics include James Blankenship on "Sabotage at City Point," Terry Winschel on "Blunders of the Vicksburg Campaign," David Long on "The Dahlgren-Kilpatrick Raid," Dennis Frye on "The Surrender of Harpers Ferry," William Marvel on "Mr. Lincoln Goes to War," and Richard Sommers on "Grant's Failures at Petersburg." James I. "Bud" Robertson will be a special guest. Registrations for the symposium are $206 for park members, $229 for nonmembers and can be made by calling the park toll-free at 1-877-PAMPLIN.
Virginia Historical Society Examines Lee and Grant On October 20 the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) will open its new exhibition, "Lee and Grant." Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the exhibition will explore the boyhoods of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, their West Point careers, their early assignments, their service in the Mexican War and on the nation's frontiers, their Civil War campaigns, and their postwar contributions to national reconciliation. Actual uniforms and accouterments owned by the generals will be displayed to suggest the presence of Lee and Grant as contemporaries knew them. Letters and other written records, and visual images-paintings, photographs, prints, and sculpture-will be presented, to allow a glimpse of each man as he understood himself and his place in the world. In conjunction with the new exhibition, VHS will also present two lectures next month. At noon on Thursday, November 1, William M.S. Rasmussen will present an illustrated lecture examining Lee and Grant and their influence on our history. Rasmussen is co-author (with Robert S. Tilton) of Lee and Grant. The book is a major re-assessment of the lives, careers, and historical impact of the two generals that addresses the question: "How should Lee and Grant be evaluated in 2007, the 200th anniversary of Lee's birth?" At noon on Thursday, November 8, Josiah Bunting III, superintendent emeritus of VMI, will present a lecture titled "Who is Buried in Grant's Tomb?" Ulysses S. Grant's image in the eyes of historians and the general public has varied over the years. In this lecture, Bunting will describe the general's character and survey the changes in his reputation since his own time. Also next month RCWRT member Brig. Gen. John W. Mountcastle will teach a four-session class on Lee and Grant in the 1864 Overland Campaign. Classes will be held on November 1, 8, 15, and 29 from 5:30-7:00 pm in the VHS's Robins Family Forum. Tuition is $110 for VHS members and $125 for nonmembers. To register go to the VHS website,, email or call (804) 342-9676.
ACWC Lectures Will Focus on Battles of Monocacy and Lynchburg The Battle of Monocacy occurred on a scorching hot day in July 1864 fifty miles outside Washington. On Saturday, October 20, acclaimed author and historian Marc Leepson will speak at the American Civil War Center on his new book, Desperate Engagement, which chronicles this overlooked battle and its consequences. Leepson contends that had the Confederacy attacked at a different time, and had they been victorious that day, they would have been able to push even further to the nation's capital. From there the final outcome of the war may have taken a very different look. A book sale and signing will follow the event. On Sunday, November 4, historian Greg Starbuck will speak on Union Major General David Hunter's raid on the Shenandoah Valley in 1864, his attempts to take the vital transportation center of Lynchburg, and the clever tactics employed by Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early to repel Hunter's attack. Both lectures begin at 2 pm and are free to ACWC members, $10 for nonmembers or free with museum admission.
RCWRT's Annual Banquet Scheduled for Thursday, November 15 By popular demand, the 2007 annual Richmond Civil War Round Table banquet will be held at the top of the world (well, of Richmond, anyway) - in the restaurant on the 24th floor of the SunTrust Bank tower, 919 E. Main St. Mark Thursday, November 15th on your calendars. We'll gather at 6:00 p.m. for drinks (cash bar) and socializing and the dinner (chicken Florentine) will begin at 7:00 p.m. At 8:00, Thomas P. Lowry, M.D., will present "Confederate Heroines: Southern Women Convicted by Union Military Justice." Known best for his best-selling 1994 book, The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell: Sex in the Civil War, Dr. Lowry has mined U.S. court martial records for the dramatic stories of real life Southern women whom history had long forgotten. The cost of the banquet is $37.50 per person and includes all services and gratuities. Parking is free in the SunTrust garage, entered from the Cary St. side. To reserve your spot(s), bring to the next meeting a check made payable to RCWRT or mail it to: Richard Grosse 14187 Hickory Oaks Ln. Ashland, Virginia 23005-3148
Proposed Increase in Annual Dues The Richmond Civil War Round Table has a long tradition of providing superior speakers on a year round basis. Our invited speakers do not receive an honorarium. As our guest, they are reimbursed for travel, food and lodging. Over the last four years, mileage reimbursement rates have risen 35% due to increased fuel prices. In order to continue providing an excellent speaker program, the executive board has recommended a $5 across-the-board increase in RCWRT annual dues. Members will have an opportunity to vote on the proposed dues increase at the October meeting.
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2007
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Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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©R.C.W.R.T. 2007