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December 2003
Brag Bowling, President         Rob Monroe, Editor     
3019 Kensington Ave             2416 Edenbrook Dr.     
Richmond, VA 23221              Richmond, VA 23228-3040

Monday, 12/8/03, IMPORTANT NOTICE: We have been informed by the Methodist Church that their furnace is down and won't be operating by tomorrow night. We are forced to cancel the meeting. I would appreciate it if you all could help spread the word to our members so they won't come out to the Church tomorrow. Thanks, Brag Bowling
December 2003 PROGRAM Dana B. Shoaf, "The Odyssey of a Field Officer: John I. Nevin" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 9, 2003, 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. Interested in history and the Civil War since childhood, Dana B. Shoaf obtained a B.A. and M.A. in history from Slippery Rock State University and is currently struggling to complete his Ph.D. program at Kent State University. He has persisted in his efforts to find work in the low-paying field of history and is the editor of America's Civil War Magazine. A resident of Burkittsville, Maryland, the site of an 1862 Sharpsburg Campaign fight, he serves on the board of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation and was chosen to serve as an historian for the Maryland Civil War Trails program. The subject of Shoaf's topic is certainly not a household word. Nevin served in three different units: the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, an artillery battery he raised, and the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, which he led at Gettysburg as a Major. It was in the only Sixth Corps brigade to fight on July 2, 1863. Nevin was captured, paroled, and wounded out of the service at the Wilderness. Looking at his military career provides a very interesting snapshot of one man's efforts to serve the Union and the internal problems of a volunteer regiment, the 93rd Pennsylvania. In addition, taking a look at how the 93rd commemorated its involvement in the Gettysburg campaign and remembered Nevin's role in that campaign is an interesting case study of how the Keystone State veterans chose to interpret their service.
Review of the November Program
Robert K. Krick
On September 26, 1918, Colonel George S. Patton III engineered a breakthrough in the German lines at St. Mihiel leading the 304th Tank Brigade. He recognized the value of following through an assault and led a small number of men saying, "It is time for another Patton to be killed." Robert K. Krick explained in this introduction to his Christmas Dinner presentation that Patton drew upon the experiences of his Civil War ancestors. Patton's forebears had come from Scotland and brought with them a military tradition. Hugh Mercer fought with George Washington during the American Revolution. His daughter married Robert Patton. Robert's eldest son, John Mercer Patton, married Peggy "French" Williams. This marriage produced twelve children, seven of them boys who fought for the Confederacy. Krick presented brief biographical sketches of five of the brothers and then went into more detail about two of them. Hugh Mercer Patton served in the artillery and infantry before becoming a member of Brigadier General John R. Cooke's staff. William McFarland Patton was a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute and fought with the cadets in the Battle of New Market; after the war he became an engineer and taught at VMI. James French Patton served as brigade inspector of his brother's (George Smith Patton I) brigade and received several wounds. Isaac Williams Patton moved to New Orleans before the war and became colonel of the 22nd Louisiana Infantry Regiment. Isaac became mayor of New Orleans after the war. John Mercer Patton, Jr., graduated from VMI and practiced law in Richmond. He became lieutenant colonel and colonel of the 21st Virginia Infantry. Poor health led him to resign this post, but he later served as Judge Advocate for the Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. The two most "noted" of the seven brothers were Walter Tazewell Patton and George Smith Patton I. Known as Taz, Walter graduated second in his class at VMI and was a member of the faculty there during the 1850s. He commanded the Culpeper Minutemen in 1859 and became Captain of Company B, 13th Virginia Infantry, when the war began. In a short time, Taz received an appointment as major of the 7th Virginia Infantry, and rose to the rank of colonel in June 1862. He was ill during the early months of the conflict but served notably in the Seven Days Battles. At Second Manassas, he received a serious wound in the hand. Taz led his regiment during Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863, and was badly wounded and captured at the stone wall. Shot through the jaw, he died nine days later. George S. Patton I had been a teacher and lawyer before the Civil War and was briefly on the faculty at his alma matter, VMI. He moved to western Virginia and married there in 1855. George organized the Kanawha Riflemen and commanded the company from 1856-1861. His unit became Company H, 22nd Virginia Infantry, and he soon became the regiment's lieutenant colonel. George and his men fought primarily in western and southwestern Virginia, where they did not get much recognition. The regiment was a part of John Echols' brigade, and Patton sometimes commanded it when the general was absent. Several generals praised him for his conduct in battle and recommended him for promotion to brigadier general. After fighting at New Market, Patton and his men joined the Army of Northern Virginia for the Battle of Cold Harbor. They returned to the Shenandoah Valley with Jubal Early's army. On September 19, 1864, at the Third Battle of Winchester, Patton was mortally wounded by a shell fragment. He died ten days later. Georg th buried in the Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester. Krick concluded his talk by explaining that George's grandson grew up in California and heard stories of the bravery of his Confederate ancestors. Given the World War II hero's mystic side, it was not unusual for him to have thought of them and his place in the family as he led his tanks at the Battle of St. Mihiel.
Upcomming Events
December 14 "Court End Christmas", noon-5 pm. The Museum of the Confederacy along with Historic Richmond Foundation's Monumental Church, John Marshall House and Valentine Richmond History Center will offer free admission for the day. Costumed interpreters, children's activities and live music will be featured as well as special house tours. The White House of the Confederacy will be decorated as it was when Jefferson Davis and his family lived there. December 20-21 Sailor's Creek Battlefield State Park presents living history and a 19th-century Christmas party complete with Santa Claus. Admission is $2 or $5 per family. Contact Dave Born for more information, or 434-392-3435 December 26-31 "Christmas at Home and on the Front", living history at Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier near Petersburg. Free with admission. More information at 1-877-PAMPLIN or Fredericksburg Events Mark Anniversary of Battle The 141st anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg will be commemorated with several events in that city during the weekend of December 12-14. On Friday night from 6-8:30 the National Park Service will host "Privation and Joy: Wartime Christmas at Chatham" featuring refreshments, living history and a Civil War-era Santa. Reenactments will take place throughout the day on Saturday: the Battle of Prospect Hill at Ferry Farm at 10 am, Exchange Across the Rappahannock at the city dock and Ferry Farm at 12:30 pm and Street Fighting Along Lewis Street at 3 pm. On Sunday, a church service will take place at 11:00 am and historian Frank O'Reilly will lead a walk along the route the Union Irish Brigade took during the 1862 battle. Beginning at noon, the tour will depart on the south end of Sophia St. at the city dock. The walk will conclude at the Richard Kirkland Memorial where the Park Service will host a program at 2:00 featuring period music, the playing of taps and flag and wreath presentations. If there is inclement weather, the program will take place at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, 1013 Lafayette Blvd. The Friday and Sunday events (excluding the church service) are sponsored by the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, 540-373-6122 or The Saturday reenactments and the Sunday church service are sponsored by the 47th Virginia Infantry, Company I ( in partnership with the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Company B, the Irish Brigade (

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RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2003
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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