Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable

The purpose of this organization shall be to promote discussion and study of the Civil War and to further stimulate interest in all aspects and phases of the Civil War period.

Meeting Dates

The organization meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month September through May. Meetings are held in the Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre located at 515 Scotland St in Williamsburg, VA, unless otherwise posted. The meetings begin at 6:30 PM. Membership is open to the  general public.

Note change in meeting time to 6:30 PM. The Library has changed its closing time to 8 PM requiring the change in meeting time.

October's Speaker

Wednesday, October 26, 2021 at 6:30 PM

Doug Crenshaw
"Fort Harrison and The Battle of Chaffin's Farm"

Join us for the next meeting of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, October 26, 2021, at the Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre. The presentation will also be carried via Zoom. Details will follow in the meeting announcement later this month.

From mid-July of 1864 until April 1865, Union and Confederate Armies in Virginia were locked down in static siege-like actions which were primarily focused upon the areas around Petersburg.
The Confederate defenses that extended north of the James River and east of Richmond, the so-called “Henrico Front”, seems to have been unfairly relegated as a “backwater” to the actions that were taking place south of the Appomattox River. However, the soldiers, both Rebel and Yank, who were hunkered down and fighting and dying in those defenses may have taken exception to that characterization.
In late September 1864, Ben Butler took his Army of the James across that river to launch a surprise attack and capture Richmond. The attack came close to success... but why did it fail?
Please join us in person or via Zoom as Doug Crenshaw will look at the events and reasons for the failed attack at Chaffin's Farm, and its long-term consequences.

Doug Crenshaw studied history at Randolph-Macon College and the University of Richmond. A volunteer for the Richmond National Battlefield Park, he is a Board member of the Richmond Battlefield Association,  president of the Richmond Civil War Roundtable, and is a speaker, presenter and tour leader. His book, Fort Harrison and The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, was nominated in the nonfiction category for a Library of Virginia Literary award. Doug has also written The Battle of Glendale: Robert E. Lee’s Lost Opportunity, and Richmond Shall not be Given Up!  a survey and tour of the Seven Days campaign, which was a finalist for the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished writing award. Doug has just completed a guidebook on Civil War Richmond with Bert Dunkerly, a book on the Peninsula Campaign with Drew Gruber, and is also working on a book about the Seven Days.

Previous Zoom Meeting Presentations

September 21, 2020 - Kevin Pawlak presented "Robert E. Lee Defends the Confederate High Water Mark at Sharpsburg" (view presentation - 73 minutes) Kevin can be reached at https://antietamguides.com/antietam-guides/antietam-battlefield-guides/kevin-pawlak/

November 24, 2020 - Scott Mingus presented "Flames Beyond  Gettysburg - The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River - June 1863
(View presentation - 85 minutes)

December 8, 2020 - Ken Rutherford presented "America's Buried History - Landmines in The Civil War". View presentation -  66 minutes

January 26, 2021 - Steve Phan presented "The Capital Can't Be Taken! The Civil War Defense of Washington" View presentation

February 16, 2021 - Dr. Thomas G. Clemens presented “Special Orders 191 - Myths, Misconceptions and Facts Related to Lee's Lost Orders”.
A map of the Antietam campaign and special orders 191 are on our website at http://www.wcwrt.org/so191.jpg and www.wcwrt.org/Antietam-Campaign-3-to-17-1862-June.jpg. Please download both. Video link is wcwrt.org/zoom/feb21-clemens.mp4 -For best viewing of entire presentation, fast forward video to 5:24 minutes

March 16, 2021 - Michael Block presented the battle of Cedar Mountan, August 9, 1862. Video link of presentation is  wcwrt.org/zoom/mar21-Block.mp4 - 93 minutes

April 27,2021 - Chris Kolakowski presented "Perspectives of The 1862 Virginia Campaigns". view presentation - 63 minutes

September 28, 2021 - Chris Mackowski's The Battle of Spotsylvania’s Bloody Angle”.   https://youtu.be/qQ5FmlS6LNM

Visit the American Battlefield Trust site to view animated Peninsula Campaign map

Visit the Williamsburg Battlefield Association (view newsletter)

Membership to the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable Mailing List For Newsletters and Meeting Notices

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