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Doug Crenshaw, President            Gary Cowardin, Editor    
3354 Burnett Field Drive            1404 Lorraine Ave.       
Mechanicsville, VA 23111            Richmond, VA 23227-3735           

Message from Our President Dear members, It certainly has been a strange and stressful year. Ulli has some thoughts and they echo mine, so I won't repeat them, but I would like to add that we are considering holding Zoom meetings for our planned speakers. Please let me know if you are interested in this. Doug Crenshaw: Also, If you would like to write an article for next month's newsletter, please send them to me by the end of November. The subject for next month will be your favorite Civil War general. Please send me suggestions for future topics. Finally, I'd like to thank Joe for his work as 2nd V.P. Owing to personal demands he has felt compelled to step down, but Nick Carico has volunteered to step in, and he's going to do a great job. Looking so forward to a time when we can meet again! Doug Make sure you read the October newsletter
Introduction from Nick Carico I completed both my undergraduate and legal studies at The Ohio State University; graduating in 2005 with both a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and in 2008 with my Juris Doctor. Immediately following law school I worked with the Ohio Attorney General's Office as an assistant attorney general; currently, I work with the Chesterfield County Police Department. For as long as I can remember American history has fascinated me thoroughly. The Revolutionary and Civil War eras in particular have a decided hold on me. I have been a member of this Round Table since 2016. However, I am also a member of the Petersburg Civil War Round Table, serve as the current president of the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia, am a living history volunteer with the Petersburg National Battlefield, and participate in Civil War re-enactments when I find the time. In addition, I am an avid collector of Civil War artifacts, relics, and memorabilia and as such often attend militaria shows throughout the region. It's not unusual to find my young eight-year-old son in tow at various battlefields, museums, and other history-related events; hopefully we will see you out there soon! I truly enjoy learning about history-our collective story-and am sincerely humbled to be afforded an opportunity to assist this prestigious organization in fulfilling its worthy mission. Nick
From Ulli The State of the Round Table Eight months have passed since we had our last round table meeting. And what a meeting it was! We were so fortunate to get to hear Dr. Gary Gallagher grace us with one of his fantastic talks. Shortly after that evening the world stopped. Or so it seemed. At first there was some hope that by the end of the year we might be able to resume our meetings. Then other events happened that added to the pandemic situation. And those events affected us particularly hard here in Richmond. And.. The pandemic didn't show any signs of disappearing any time soon. So, the Board made the decision to cancel the remaining meetings for this year. Of course, our meeting place at First Presbyterian wouldn't have been available anyway, and understandably so. We have been busy re-scheduling this year's speakers for 2021. Where it was not possible, we have booked new speakers. And they are all anxious to come to Richmond. So, the good news is that we have a full program schedule for next year. Now all we have to hope for is that we will be able to meet again. We will certainly keep you informed. If we should not be able to meet in person, we are looking into the possibility of Zoom meetings. During these long months of isolation, with museums closed (at least in the beginning), and no round table meetings of any kind, I found that battlefield walks were always the best "medicine." I live close to Cold Harbor and Gaines' Mill, so that's where I would go. But there are so many more possibilities, as you know. In September and October I even ventured to Gettysburg twice and was surprised at how crowded the battlefield and town were. In closing, the Richmond Civil War Round Table is prepared for 2021. This has been an unconventional and strange year, for sure. Let us all hope and pray that next year will be a much better one. I am optimistic! Ulli Our RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2021
Some Favorite Battlefields:
Andy's Recent Battlefield Hikes The pandemic has given me an opportunity I rarely had before to explore some of the many Battlefield Parks we have in the Richmond area. One of my favorites is the Cold Harbor Battlefield but since many of you have likely hiked that one before let me suggest one a bit farther away but still easily doable, Five Forks. It is in Dinwiddie County about an hour from my home. Their main trail is an impressive 6.4 miles long starting at the Visitors Center but there are several other shorter trails. For me, they have to be a lot shorter. My review from the early Spring with photos is posted on their Google profile. The day we went, the Visitor's Center parking lot was closed so we parked down the road at the Equestrian Parking lot nearby on White Oak Road and picked up the trail there. When I visited for the 150th Anniversary this is also where the tour started. If you take this path west it crosses Courthouse Road and enters a boulder-strewn trail that I would never have expected to see in central Virginia. There are a number of trail options you can choose from, all of which you should find interesting. I would recommend that you download the free Alltrails App to your phone to help keep you from getting lost as well as to see your trail options. Not all the options will be on the App, but the great thing is that you can record and add your own walk so that the options keep growing. Since Cold Harbor is so popular, there are three trail options listed for it, but nearby Gaines Mill is not separately listed. Two of its trails are shown near those on the Cold Harbor map but even they are incomplete. It can be added. The app also includes reviews and photos of the trails to help you decide which ones you would like to try. While we still have some great weather this Fall get out and enjoy our local battlefield parks. Better yet meet up with a few Roundtable friends for a relatively safe outdoor walk. Andy's blog can be found here. Andy
Jack's Favorite Battlefield When I'm asked if I have a favorite Civil War battlefield, I can answer without hesitation. The ferocious battleground of September 17, 1862 near Sharpsburg, MD along Antietam Creek has been wonderfully preserved since the Antietam National Battlefield was established there in 1890. The national park encompasses 10 square miles of ground. The Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg), on September 17, 1862, was the bloodiest one-day battle in American history with 23,100 men killed, wounded, captured or missing in action. Although neither side gained a decisive victory, Lee's withdrawal and failure to carry the war effort effectively into the North caused Great Britain to postpone recognition of the Confederacy. It also gave President Lincoln the opportunity to compose and later issue the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring all slaves free in the states still in rebellion. This battle would live on in the memories of the 132,000 Americans in blue or gray who fought there. Located in beautiful, pastoral western Maryland, the compact battleground has avoided the modern-day encroachment of urban sprawl. The famous Cornfield that saw the day's battle begin, the sunken road held by Lee's Confederate forces until overwhelmed by determined Union assaults, and the original stone bridge called "Burnside's Bridge" are all there to explore. National Park Service interpretive materials are available on-line or at the Visitors Center. The American Battlefield Trust also has useful materials on the Battle of Antietam on its website. I believe that a visit to the Antietam National Battlefield is very well worth the 3.5 hour drive from Richmond. If you go, I'd suggest traveling via I-95 to Fredericksburg, then shifting west to travel beautiful Routes 17 and 15 past Leesburg up to Frederick, MD before driving the final 22 scenic miles on Route Alternate 40 through Middletown and Boonsboro to Sharpsburg and the National Battlefield. The NPS Visitor Center, at 5831 Dunker Church Rd. Sharpsburg, MD 21872, is currently closed for a badly needed renovation that should be completed in early 2022. However, restrooms are available there and an outdoor ranger station is open near the Center during its renovation. The hours are 9 AM -3 PM Monday-Friday and 9 AM- 4 PM Saturday and Sunday. All of the Park's roads and trails are open and provide fascinating experiences for every visitor trying to better understand and appreciate the soldiers who fought there. If you'd like to take a weekend or several days for your visit, consider including visits to the historic attractions at Harper's Ferry (17 miles) or Gettysburg (47 miles.) There are welcoming B&B's located in Sharpsburg and some nice small hotels in Shepherdstown, WV, just 5 miles away on the Potomac. Jack Mountcastle

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