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December 2008
John Coski, President                  Rob Monroe, Editor       
5028 King William Road                 2416 Edenbrook Dr.       
Richmond, VA 23225                     Richmond, VA 23228-3040            

December 2008 PROGRAM Robert E.L. Krick "The Critical Seven Days Battles: A Confederate Perspective" The eyes of the world fastened on Richmond, Virginia during the Seven Days Battles in 1862. Most participants and observers believed that the events in Hanover and Henrico counties would determine the fate of the Confederacy. We know now that the Civil War lasted nearly three years beyond the Seven Days Battles; and even larger battles and greater campaigns eventually supplanted the events east of Richmond during that summer 146 years ago. However, much of the war's course in 1862 and 1863 evolved directly from the results of McClellan's campaign against Richmond. Indeed, the momentum of the Civil War in Virginia changed in just the 125 hours of time during which the battles were fought. At our December meeting, R.E.L. Krick will present a broad spectrum of subjects related to the campaign-from strategy and tactics, to leadership, geography and modern scholarship-all from the Confederate point of view. His talk will be the first in a series of three on the subject of the Seven Days battles, which will conclude at our February 2009 meeting. Bobby Krick is a member and former president of the Richmond Civil War Round Table. A graduate of Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington) in Fredericksburg, he is an historian on the staff at Richmond National Battlefield Park. He is widely published on Civil War topics.
2009 Meeting Dates-Speakers December brings us to the end of another outstanding year for the Richmond Civil War Round Table. Ed Wooldridge rounded up a stellar cast of speakers in 2008 and Davis Wrinkle has been hard at work on our lineup for next year. Our January and February programs will be the continuation of our three-part series on the Seven Days Battles beginning with Bobby Krick's presentation this month. The 2009 schedule: January 13 Seven Days Battles-Part 2 Dr. Ethan S. Rafuse, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS; Seven Days of Battle and their Long Shadow: The Union Perspective on the 1862 Fight for Richmond. February 10 Seven Days Battles-Part 3 Mike Gorman, Richmond National Battlefield Park; Seven Pines and Drewry's Bluff Battles in 1862, Prelude to The Seven Days Battles. March 10 Mark Grimsley Ohio State University Department of History and Speaker at U.S. Army War College; And Keep Moving On, The Virginia Campaign -- May-June 1864. April 14 Mike Boehme Director of the Virginia Aviation Museum, Richmond; Balloon Use in the Civil War. May 12 Dr. Gerald J. Prokopowicz East Carolina University, Associate Professor of History; Did Lincoln Own Slaves? June 9 Fred L. Ray Author and Publisher, Asheville, NC; Shock Troops of the Confederacy: The Sharpshooter Battalions of the Army of Northern Virginia. July 14 Bevin Alexander Military History Author and Adjunct Professor, Longwood University; Subject to be determined. Recent book: How the South Could Have Won the Civil War. August 11 George C. Wunderlich Executive Director of the Museum of Civil War Medicine, Frederick, MD; Subject to be determined. September 8 Dr. Gary W. Gallagher Professor in the History of the American Civil War, University of Virginia; Grant and Lee in the Overland Campaign: Views from the Battle, Home, and Historical Fronts. October 13 David Poyer Author of Naval Fiction, Eastern Shore; Subject to be determined. November 10 (Annual Dinner) Dr. James I. "Bud" Robertson Jr. Alumni Distinguished Professor in History, Virginia Tech; Subject to be determined. December 8 Dr. Richard M. McMurry Author, Dalton, GA; Joe Johnston-The Man.
Pamplin Park Announces Change in Operation Effective January 2, 2009, Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier will be open by reservation only. Guests wishing to visit the Park may do so by making a reservation 48 hours in advance. Admission fees for non-members will be $100 for a group of up to ten people, and $10 per adult for groups of more than ten. Park members may make reservations 24 hours in advance with no minimum numbers and no admission fee. The Park will continue to offer all reservation-based programming as usual, including school field trips, battlefield tours, Annual Symposium, Civil War Adventure Camps, Summer Teacher Institutes, and History Day Camps. "The severe economic downturn has undercut the ability of the Pamplin Foundation to support the Park at current levels," said Pamplin Historical Park President, A. Wilson Greene. "We deeply regret the necessity to curtail normal daily operations to meet this new fiscal reality." Greene added, "Should economic conditions improve, we hope to restore some regular public operating hours next spring." According to Greene, Pamplin Historical Park's ratio of earned income to operating expenses is nearly double the average for history museums nationwide. "We have maintained steady or increasing visitation and revenues since 1995, even this year when many historic sites have experienced significant declines in attendance and revenues," said Greene. "The difference is that many history museums rely on public funding to bridge the gap between income and expenses, and we receive no government appropriations." The Park will continue to accelerate its use of the internet to fulfill its educational mission through on-line programming. "Pamplin Historical Park has always been on the cutting edge of museum education and we believe that the worldwide web will play an increasingly prominent role in the way museums reach their audiences," said Greene. Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier preserves 422 acres near Petersburg including the Breakthrough Battlefield, a National Historic Landmark.
Upcoming Events On Sunday afternoon, December 7, the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar will host its Third Annual Holiday Happenings event featuring reduced admission, period music, refreshments and holiday displays. At noon on Wednesday, December 10, Elizabeth R. Varon, professor of history at Temple University, will be at the Library of Virginia to discuss and sign her new book, Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859. On Saturday, December 13, the Petersburg National Battlefield will host "Christmas at City Point." Visitors are invited to Grant's Headquarters in Hopewell to discover the different ways plantation owners and enslaved people celebrated Christmas. The Museum of the Confederacy has several holiday themed events planned for this month. From 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, December 6, "Christmas with the Davis Family" looks at how families in the South, especially Jefferson and Varina Davis and their children, celebrated the holiday. The program features a tour of the Davis's decorated White House of the Confederacy. The Museum will join other downtown attractions for Court End Christmas from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 14. There will also be special evening tours of the White House (in Victorian Christmas dress) Friday, December 26 through Tuesday, December 30. Reservations are required for these tours and may be made by calling (804) 649-1861, ext. 37.
Archeological Work Underway at Hanover County Plantation In late October, contractors employed by Richmond National Battlefield Park began archeological work at the historic "Rural Plains" site near Studley, in Hanover County, on the Totopotomoy Creek Civil War battlefield. The objectives are to gather information about the house and its immediate grounds as the National Park Service prepares to open the site to the public in the future. With nearly 285 consecutive years of private ownership by the Shelton family, archeologists and historians are excited about the enormous potential for learning more at this pristine site. The circa-1725 house and the surrounding 124 acres came to the National Park Service through donation in 2006. The property has many connections to colonial and Civil War history. Patrick Henry's marriage to a Shelton girl occurred in the parlor of the house in 1754. Contending Civil War armies waged war on the property 110 years later, damaging the house and scarring the plantation with entrenchments. "Opportunities to investigate such unspoiled properties in detail are rare," noted park Superintendent David Ruth. "Nearly three centuries of Virginia history are wrapped up in this one special place. As the new stewards of this magnificent property our job is to treat the historic resources with care, while preparing the site for enjoyment by generations of visitors. This archeology will help guide us through the basic decisions about mixing permanent preservation with public use." Since acquiring the site in 2006, the Park Service has concentrated on the preservation of the house, and developing plans to provide visitors access to the grounds. Currently the site is open to the public one weekend each fall for house tours and special programs.
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2008
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Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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©R.C.W.R.T. 2008