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Bill Welsch, President               Gary Cowardin, Editor    
10708 Rocket Dr.                     1404 Lorraine Ave.       
Glen Allen, VA 23060                 Richmond, VA 23227-3735               

Trouble in the Valley Including the Fires and Other Heretofore Mostly Uncovered Episodes by Dr. Edward Ayers 6pm, WEDNESDAY, November 9, 2016, at the Willow Oaks Country Club, Richmond, VA.,
6228 Forest Hill Avenue Edward Ayers is Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and president emeritus at the University of Richmond. Dr. Ayers was named National Professor of the Year and received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama at the White House in 2013. Ayers's The Promise of the New South was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and another book, In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America, based on a pioneering online archive, "The Valley of the Shadow," won the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history. His new book, The Thin Light of Freedom: Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America, will be out next fall. Ayers is one of the co-hosts for BackStory, a radio show and podcast about American history, heard every week coast-to-coast on over 200 stations and with over ten million downloads. He is also an editor for American Panorama, an interactive digital atlas of American history, produced at the University of Richmond with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation." It's not too late to sign up for this dinner, see below. Meeting Attendance for Last Month: 57
Message from Our President The year has been a financially challenging one for the Richmond Civil War Round Table. Early on, we discovered that for the last few years our expenses have exceeded our income, resulting in a significant reduction of our reserves. I wish to thank the members of the Executive Committee for their important efforts in getting us back on a sound footing. Collectively, we have developed a new fiscal reporting system, controlled speakers expenses, and made the annual dinner and field trip self-supporting. Without these changes, we were headed for financial trouble. The one area that remains problematic is our dues structure. Thanks to a committee of members and ex-presidents, chaired by Dan Balfour, the Executive Committee is now ready to endorse their recommended changes. Under this new plan, our only membership categories would be regular with annual dues of $35 and married couples with dues of $45. This will not affect life and student members. But it will raise the dues of senior members from $20 to $35. Here's the background thinking. Approximately one third of our members are currently senior status, paying $20. That divides to $1.67 per monthly meeting - certainly a great bargain. The regular rate of $35 would amount to a $1.25 increase per meeting - still a great bargain. The $35 rate equals $2.92 per meeting - to be redundant - still a great deal. Yes, I realize this sounds a public TV fund raising campaign, but it's true! We cannot continue to provide our quality programming and activities at the current level without an increase in revenue. The last dues increase was about ten years ago. Obviously, costs have increased since then. With the graying of the RCWRT, our situation will only become more critical, unless changes are made. Another piece of the picture is the cost of sending our monthly newsletter via USPS - a cost of about $10 yearly per member. Given the above, the math is obvious. But neither the dues committee nor the Executive Committee recommends a surcharge for that service. We do, however, strongly encourage all members who are able to receive the newsletter only through email to do so. That will also help the cause. Finally, for current members who do not pay their annual dues by April 1 of a given year, a $25 re-initiation fee will be assessed. This is timely in allowing for yearly budget planning and enabling the secretary and treasurer to maintain accurate membership listings. Our constitution mandates that all such changes to the dues structure be approved by the membership in attendance at the December meeting. This, then, is the preview of what will be proposed at that gathering. The Executive Committee strongly and unanimously endorses these proposals and recommends your endorsement in December. Please feel free to contact any one of us for further clarification and with questions. It's never easy requesting more money from members, but the situation is serious and must be addressed. Thanks to all for your anticipated support. To end on a Civil War note, here's a fascinating video of the restoration of Lee's Gettysburg headquarters from the Civil War Trust. In March, I offered a story about Confederate veterans in London. Here's one from the Library of Virginia about a New York Englishman in Dixie. Enjoy and see you at the annual dinner next week to hear Dr. Ed Ayers. Bill
Annual Members Dinner Meeting Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 6pm River Dining Room Willow Oaks Country Club 6228 Forest Hill Avenue, Richmond, VA 23225 Cost: $35.00 per person A Cash Bar will be available Menu: Chicken Night Buffet featuring Fried or Baked Chicken Choice of two salads One vegetable Spaghetti Choice of two desserts IT'S NOT TOO LATE, YOU HAVE UNTIL SUNDAY 11/6 TO CALL OR E-MAIL TROY. Contact Troy Arnold: E-mail: Phone 804-740-8718 (leave a clear message & call back number if no answer)
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Civil War Trust For the latest CWT news visit:
Upcoming Events/Links
National Park Service Richmond
Richmond Battlefields Association News & Events
Visit The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar
Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier and their Special Events Calendar
Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2016

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