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.

Current Newsletter and Archives

Williamsburg Civil War



  Meeting Place:


Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre


Volume XLI Number 8                  April 25, 2017

Ernie Price

“'Marching Out of Formation:
Confederates Going Home After Appomattox

Join us for the next meeting of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable at the Williamsburg Public Library Theatre at 7 PM on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

“Hd qrs. Army of N. Va.
April 10, 1865

General Orders No. 9
          After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, The Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.
          I need not tell the brave survivors of so many hard fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to this result from no distrust of them; but feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.
          By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You may take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed; and I earnestly pray that a Merciful God will extend to you His blessing and protection.
          With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your Country, and a grateful remembrance of you kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you all an affectionate farewell.

(Sgd)  R. E. Lee

After surrendering their arms on April 12, the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia began their individual journeys home with their paroles and little more than the remembrance of General Lee’s poignant farewell address.
Ernie Price will tell the rest of the story about the journey of the soldiers as they left Appomattox. (Keep in mind, as you read this announcement and when you attend the meeting on April 25, that the many if not most of the soldiers were still making their way home on these particular dates 152 years ago.) Ernie Price is the Chief of Visitor Services and Education at the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. After earning an undergraduate degree in history at Longwood College and a Masters of education at Lynchburg College, Ernie joined the National Park service in 1997. He has been at the Appomattox location since 2008.
Last Month
In March, Dr. Ken Rutherford presented “Landmines in Our Backyard”. In early May of 1862, after stalling the Union offensive on the lower Peninsula for well over a month, Confederate forces abandoned the defensive works that spanned from Mulberry Island to Yorktown. As the jubilant Yankees entered the abandoned Rebel positions, they were shocked and dismayed to discover the presence of “subterra torpedoes”, buried to retard the advance of the Union soldiers. The presence of these “subterra torpedoes”, which we currently refer to as “landmines”, signaled the first use of this weapon in modern warfare.
In the May 12, 1862 edition of the New York Herald, General George McClellan stated that…"The rebels have been guilty of the most murderous and barbarous conduct in placing torpedoes within the abandoned works near wells and springs, and near flag-staffs, magazines, and telegraphs in carpet bags, barrels of flour, etc.,”.
In spite of initial Confederate bans regarding the utilization of landmines, time and the tides of war led to the re-evaluation of their use by the Southern leadership. Dr. Ken Rutherford’s research and presentation will outline the numerous locations throughout the Confederacy where landmines were utilized during the subsequent years of the conflict. 
Kenneth R. Rutherford, PH.D. is the Director of the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery and Professor of Political Science at James Madison University. In his capacity as Director, he leads fundraising and strategic planning for CISR, which is recognized as a global leader in international efforts to combat the effects of landmines and explosive remnants of war, including the rehabilitation of post-conflict societies. 

Dues for 2016-2017 are due. Dues for the year are $30 for an individual and $35 for a family. Please make checks payable to WCWRT. Registration form

2016-2017 Officers of WCWRT:
President: Teri Teopke               Vice-President: Gene Danko
Secretary:                                 Treasurer:  John Hale

The Executive Committee consists of the elected officers, the immediate past president and other members appointed by the incoming president. Those members include Tom Lamb, Bill Miller, and J. Michael Moore.

Upcoming Meetings and Speakers

  • May 23, 2017 - Chris Kolakowski - "The Battle of Missionary Ridge"
  • September 26, 2017 – Patrick Falci a/k/a General A.P. Hill – Up Came Hill (A.P. Hill at Sharpsburg)
  • October 24, 2017 - Dennis Frye - Did McClellan out-think Lee during the first Confederate invasion?
  • November 29, 2017 – Eric Buckland – “John S. Mosby – The Perfect Man in the Perfect Place”
  • December 19, 2017 - Brian Steele Wills - Gone with the glory (The Civil War in Cinema)
  • January 23, 2018 – Carson Hudson – TBA
  • February 27, 2018 – Peggy Vogstberger – “Patrick Cleburne”
  • April 24, 2018 - Eric Wittenberg - John Buford

Special Events

  • April 28-30, 2017 - Central Virginia Battlefields Trust annual meeting. details
  • April, July, September, and December 2017 - Prince William County 2017 History Bus Tours details
  • May 5-7, 2017 – Cape fear Civil Was Symposium details
  • June 3, Aug. 5 and Oct. 7, 2017 - Battle of Smithfield tour at Isle of Wight Museum details

Visit the Williamsburg Battlefield Association
(http://www.williamsburgbattlefieldassociation.org/) (https://www.facebook.com/WilliamsburgBattlefieldAssociation)
WEBSITE: Be sure to frequently visit the site for newsletter info, announcements, future and past speakers, and an up to date calendar of events in the Civil War world.  It’s available anytime you need the info. http://www.wcwrt.org.

To access the newsletter archives, 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017