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 7 PM. Membership is open to the  general public.

This Month's Speaker

TUESDAY, October 27, 2020 at 7 PM
Our October presentation is
"Hoop Skirts and Gunpowder"
A "Shades of Our Past" Performance
by Lee Ann Rose

On Friday March 13th, 1863, shortly after 11:00 AM, there was a terrible explosion at the Confederate State Laboratory,
located on Richmond’s Brown’s Island on the James River.  
The Richmond Examiner described the initial reaction thusly:

      “ A dull, prolonged roar in the direction of Brown’s Island, across the James River from the foot of Seventh Street, startled

      that portion of the city and directed attention to the Island, on which is located the Confederate Laboratory Works, for the

      manufacture of percussion caps and gun cartridges,,, a tide of human beings, among them the frantic mothers and kindred

      of the employees in the laboratory, immediately set towards the bridge leading to the island, but the Government authorities,

     soonest apprised of the disaster, had already taken possession of the bridge, and planting a guard of soldiers, allowed

     passage to none except the workmen summoned to rescue the dead and wounded from the ruins.”  

The explosion was blamed on 18-year-old Mary Ryan.  
Hear tonight from her sister, the story of what really happened,
what the inquiry into the explosion found out,
and was it wholly her sister’s fault?
Learn of the works and lives of the girls and women who worked the Laboratory,
and hear some of the names and stories of those that were lost the fateful day.

Lee Ann RoseLee Ann Rose is the co-owner of "Shades Of Our Past LLC”, which provides historical education and entertainment ranging from America’s founding to WWII.  She received her Theatre Degree at Davis and Elkins College and studied also at Richmond College in London, England.  Lee Ann is not only an historical interpreter, but also a playwright writing such plays as “Are We Not One”, and “Back to Our Kitchens”.  She is also currently performing a one woman show entitled “Stowaway on D Day”, a performance about Martha Gellhorn.  Along with Susan B Anthony, she also plays Suffragist Victoria Woodhull, and First Ladies Martha Washington, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Edith Roosevelt.



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/


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

Visit the Williamsburg Battlefield Association (view newsletter)

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