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 2015 through May 2016. 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

Join us for the next meeting of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable at the Williamsburg Public Library Theatre at 7 PM on Tuesday evening, February 28, 2017 for Emmanuel Dabney presentation “‘catching us like sheep in a slaughter pen…’: United States Colored Troops at the Battle of the Crater”

In mid-June 1864, Union troops assaulted Petersburg, Virginia for four days; however, a staunch Confederate defense by General Pierre Beauregard and the arrival of General Robert E. Lee’s army forced Lt. General Ulysses Grant to have his troops dig in. Days later, a young officer hatched a plan for digging a mine and blowing up a Confederate battery outside the city. In early July 1864, Major General Ambrose Burnside decided that he wished to use his division of United States Colored Troops in the advance of an assault to be made following the explosion of gunpowder beneath the Confederate earthworks outside Petersburg. Despite his intentions, the black soldiers were the last to advance. These troops had a strong desire to be used in their own efforts to secure emancipation and to be considered citizens. The resulting battle of the Crater turned into a fiasco for the Union in what became one of the best-known battles of the Petersburg Campaign.   In “‘catching us like sheep in a slaughter pen…’: United States Colored Troops at the Battle of the Crater” Emmanuel Dabney will highlight personal stories of privates, non-commissioned officers, and officers who participated in the battle. He will also address the myth of all the United States Colored Troops being trained for the battle ahead of time. The talk will also uncover some of the fates of those men who became casualties as a result of the fighting.

Emmanuel Dabney has worked at Petersburg National Battlefield since 2001. After completing high school in Dinwiddie, Emmanuel graduated magna cum laude with an Associates of Arts from Richard Bland College, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia and completed a Master’s degree in Public History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

 

2017 $1000 SCV Essay Contest  Enter the 2017 Lt. Colonel James Harvey Allen Memorial Scholarship Contest (co-sponsored by WCWRT) details

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