Doug Crenshaw, President Gary Cowardin, Editor
3354 Burnett Field Drive 1404 Lorraine Ave.
Mechanicsville, VA 23111 Richmond, VA 23227-3735
Message from Our President
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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