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December 2004 PROGRAM Craig L. Symonds, Craig L. Symonds, "Confederate General Patrick Cleburne" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 14, 2004, 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. Craig L. Symonds is Professor of History at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he has taught Civil War history and American naval history since 1976. Winner of both the Naval Academy's "Excellence in Teaching" award (1988) and its "Excellence in Research" award (1998), he also served as History Department chair from 1988 to 1992. He served as Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island (1971-74) and at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, England (1994-95). Symonds is the author of ten books, including Joseph E. Johnston: a Civil War Biography (1992), Stonewall of the West: Patrick Cleburne and the Civil War (1997), and Confederate Admiral: The Life and Wars of Franklin Buchanan (1999) as well as The American Heritage History of the Battle of Gettysburg (2001). He is the editor of nine other books including Charleston Blockade (1976), Recollections of a Naval Officer (1985), and A Year on a Monitor (1987). He has published more than fifty articles in a variety of academic and popular journals, and he has won a number of literary prizes including the John Lyman Award (twice: 1995 and 1999), and the S.A. Cunningham Award (1997); he was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and was a finalist for the Lincoln Prize in 1993. He has delivered public addresses at all of the nation's service academies and war colleges, and at a variety of American and European universities and historical societies. Pat Cleburne may have been the most effective division commander in the Confederate Army. He was almost certainly the best division commander in the Army of Tennessee. His successes at Tunnel Hill near Chattanooga, at Ringgold Gap, at Kennesaw Mountain and elsewhere marked him as a rising star. But Cleburne was never promoted beyond division command, and part of the reason was his other claim to fame, which was his sponsorship of a plan to free the South's slaves and put them in the Confederate army. Cleburne's proposal -- his "Memorial" as it was called at the time -- had the potential to transform the war. But that proposal collided with the assumptions and cultural values of the society he defended. The story of his proposal, the reaction it elicited, and its consequences, are the subject of this month's talk.
Ancestor of Maine Veteran Makes Donation to Petersburg Battlefield
Clarence L. Woodcock, the great grandson of Stillman Smith Woodcock of the First Maine Heavy Artillery Unit, recently visited Petersburg National Battlefield so he could see the site where his great grandfather's regiment lost almost 75% of its soldiers during its fateful charge on June 18, 1864. As he stood by the monument, which lists the names of the over 600 men killed or mortally wounded, he stopped to pay honor to those who made the charge and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. He realized the monument's location could be improved by the presence of a bench. Understanding the number of monuments located at the Battlefield and how difficult it would be for the National Park Service to afford a bench by every monument, Mr. Woodcock took matters into his own hands. He set up a fundraiser to raise the $350 necessary to purchase the bench. Within months, through many generous donations, he had what he needed. On November 24, the bench was erected by maintenance staff at Petersburg National Battlefield and now visitors will have a comfortable spot in which to reflect on the actions and sacrifices made by the 900 members of the First Maine Heavy Artillery Unit. The National Park Service has plans to rehabilitate and repair the First Maine Heavy Artillery Monument. As Mr. Woodcock stated on his web site, www.cwoodcock.com/firstmaine, "providing a bench is just a nice thing to do for future visitors (who may be our own grandchildren)."
New Trail at Pamplin Park Combines History and Nature
Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier has opened a new 1.2 mile self-guided hiking trail that combines history and nature. A peaceful journey, the Headwaters Trail affords hikers a unique opportunity to see native flora and fauna in this forest landscape while learning a bit about Confederate fortifications. Wooden posts mark ten trail stops and indicate the route to hikers. In 1864, the trail crossed the property of three local farmers. By the fall of that year, Confederate troops from North and South Carolina occupied all three of these farms as part of the Petersburg defenses. Just 50 years ago, much of this trail was used by loggers. Today this land is part of the 422 acres Pamplin Historical Park occupies. "During the process of clearing the trail," said Andy Talkov, Director of Programming and Cultural Resources, "many park staff have seen deer, turkey, hawks, snakes, frogs, ground hogs, rabbit, bobcat tracks and of course squirrels." The ten numbered stops along the trail correspond to interpreted narratives on the Headwaters Trail map to ensure visitors will understand the historic and natural features the trail has to offer. A walk on the trail lasts approximately 45 minutes. Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier offers four museums, four historic homes, earthworks, a battlefield tour and four miles of trails. The park is open daily from 9am to 5pm and is located off Interstate 85 in Dinwiddie County near Petersburg.
Sat. & Sun., December 18 & 19 Christmas traditions and living history at the Hillsman House on the Sailor's Creek Battlefield Historic State Park in Amelia County. Decorations, refreshments and an appearance by Santa Claus. Info: (434) 392-3435. "Merry Christmas from Mulberry Hill Plantation" at the Staunton River Battlefield State Park in Halifax County. Historic plantation celebrates Christmas antebellum style. Special programs with holiday music, refreshments and a visit from a Civil War Santa Claus. Info: (434) 454-4312.
Sun., December 19 "Christmas at Chatham" at Chatham Manor in Fredericksburg. Historian Kevin Rawlings will appear as a Civil War-era Santa Claus. Programs at 2:00, 2:30, 3:00 and 3:30. Info: (540) 373- 6122.
New Civil War Books Just in time for the holidays, these new books may be of interest to you and/or the Civil War buff on your shopping list: Chimborazo: The Confederacy's Largest Hospital by Carol Cranmer Green. Soldier of Southwestern Virginia: The Civil War Letters of Captain John Preston Sheffey edited by James I Robertson, Jr. Leaders of the Lost Cause: New Perspectives on the Confederate High Command edited by Gary Gallagher and Joseph T. Glatthaar. Great Maps of the Civil War: Pivotal Battles and Campaigns Featuring 32 Removable Maps by William Miller.
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2004
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Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040