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.

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.

December's Speaker

December 19, 2023 at 6:30 PM

 Drew Gruber
“John Bell and the Battle at Eltham's Landing"

Please join us on December 19th for the meeting of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable, commencing at 6:30 PM in the Theater of the Williamsburg Regional Library. The library is located at 515 Scotland Street in Williamsburg.
The program will also be presented online via a Zoom link for our members and friends near and far. The details for the Zoom link will be provided by a follow-up announcement several days prior to meeting date.

On December 19th, 2023,  Drew Gruber will present “John Bell Hood and the Battle at Eltham’s Landing”

In August 2015, Drew Gruber joined the Civil War Trails organization as the Executive Director. He was previously employed with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and was appointed to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources by both Governors McDonnell and McAuliffe. He credits his grandfather for his interest in history and is fascinated by the lives and experiences of the common soldiers and citizens who lived during the Civil War era. Drew currently resides in Williamsburg with his wife Kate, an accomplished historian in her own right. Drew holds an M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University, a B.A. from Mary Washington College, and was the Lawrence T. Jones III Research Fellow in Texas Civil War History in 2013.

Last Month
On November 28th Frank O’Reilly presented “William Barksdale and the Changing Face of War at Fredericksburg”.

William Barksdale and his Mississippi brigade initiated the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 11, 1862—and changed the face of war for American soldiers.  Barksdale’s Mississippians staged an unprecedented defense of the town’s riverfront, fighting as individuals to slow Federal engineers attempting to bridge the Rappahannock River.  Their stand provoked a massive bombardment of a large populous area, the first American riverine assault under fire, the first beach head established under fire in American military history, and the first urban combat in North America.  According to Confederate leaders, Barksdale won the Battle of Fredericksburg—and everything that followed December 11 was a foregone conclusion.  We will look at the innovations used at Fredericksburg and see how they changed the course of American military history. Mr. O’Reilly’s latest book, The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock, received a 2003 nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in Letters.  Released by LSU Press in December, 2002, it has won the 2002 Capital District (Albany, NY) Book Award; the 2003 James I. Robertson, Jr. Book Award; the 2004 Daniel Laney Book Award; and the 2004 Richard Barksdale Harwell Book Award. 

Mr. O’Reilly received both his BA and MA in American History with a concentration in Early American Military History and Civil War Studies.  Mr. O’Reilly did his undergraduate work at Washington & Lee University before joining the National Park Service at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. Mr. O’Reilly worked briefly at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and then returned to Fredericksburg as an historian in 1990. Mr. O’Reilly has been an historian for the battlefields for 35 of my 36 years of service.   Mr. O’Reilly has written numerous articles on the Civil War and Mexican War for national and international journals; and introductions to quite a few books. Mr. O’Reilly released his first book on the Fredericksburg Campaign titled, Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg, in 1993. Mr. O’Reilly have appeared in quite a few documentaries, on CSPAN, and have lectured extensively on military history to audiences around the world, from the Pentagon to numerous conferences with the American Civil War Round Table of the United Kingdom.   Mr. O’Reilly is currently writing a book on the 1862 Battle of Malvern Hill and the Seven Days’ Battles around Richmond.

Giving Tuesday Campaign a CWRTC / ABT PARTNERSHIP - Williamsburg CWRT President Bill Miller created a video message about our Giving Tuesday campaign. WATCH VIDEO     Donate Now

Membership Update: As of this month, we are pleased to advise that we have received dues payments from 95 members. For those who have not yet made your payment, please be reminded that your financial support is crucial to maintain the quality of our programming.

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

Visit the Williamsburg Battlefield Association (view newsletter)

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