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

Roundtable

 

  Meeting Place:

WILLIAMSBURG

Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre

     

Volume XLII Number 5                 January 23, 2018

Chris Bryce

"Gone With The Glory:
The Civil War In Cinema
"

Join us for the next meeting of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable at the Williamsburg Public Library Theatre at 7 PM on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
 
On Tuesday, January 23, 2018, Chris Bryce will present Grant’s crossing of the James River and the defense of Petersburg June-July 1864
 
On June 12, 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant, secretly withdrew the Army of the Potomac from its position's in front of Cold Harbor. From there he and over 100,000 men of the army would embark on one of the more impressive turning movements of the war. Two days later after some hard marching and superb logistical work, the Federals began crossing the James River. Once across the river Grant set his sights on the vital transportation hub of Petersburg. Defended by roughly 4,600 Confederate troops under the command of General P.G.T. Beauregard, could Petersburg hold out until reinforcements arrived from General Robert E. Lee who was in the dark about the whereabouts of Grant's army?

For three days, June 15-18 Grant’s forces pressed the Confederate defenders to the point of breaking, but the southern troops held on and inflicted staggering losses upon the Union attackers with one regiment suffering the highest regimental single battle loss of the entire war.   By the end of June with an infusion of Lee’s forces from Richmond the battle lines around Petersburg began to stabilize.
 
In an effort to break the Confederate line Union troops from Pennsylvania devised a plan to tunnel underneath the Petersburg defenses and pack the tunnel with explosives to rupture Lee’s line and enter Petersburg.  Would this plan lead to the capture of Petersburg in July 1864 or would it be another example of “Wasted Valor” that had been witnessed in front of Petersburg before?
 
Chris Bryce, is the Assistant to the Superintendent/Public Affairs, Petersburg National Battlefield.
Chris Bryce began his National Park Service Career in 1987 as a seasonal park ranger at Manassas National Battlefield Park. He became a permanent employee in 1988 as an interpretive park ranger at Independence National Historical Park.
 
In 1992 he returned to Manassas NBP serving as an interpretive park ranger. In 1999 he became an interpretive park ranger at Colonial National Historical Park/Yorktown Battlefield.  In 2008 he became the supervisory park ranger for the Historic Jamestowne unit of Colonial National Historical Park. Where he oversaw the visitor services operations of the site.  In 2010 he became the Chief of Interpretation for Petersburg National Battlefield. He is currently serving as the assistant to the park superintendent and the public affairs officer for the Petersburg National Battlefield.
 
Chris holds a bachelors degree in History with a concentration in 18th and 19th American military history and 20th century European military history from East Tennessee State University.  He resides with his family in Williamsburg, VA.

Last Month

On December 19, 2017, Brian Steel Wills presented “Gone with the glory: The Civil War in Cinema”.

History comes at us in many fashions. Cinema has offered its own version of the Civil War, often reflecting the times in which films appear and the expectations that audiences of those periods bring with them. Reality is less well served, but the characters and stories that emerge are nevertheless indelible parts of our collective culture and experience. When it comes to popular presentations of the American Civil War, few phrases evoke images of that conflict as powerful as Gone with the Wind, although that epic motion picture had more to do with the adventures of a young Southern woman than depictions of war-related themes. This difficulty in melding stories with facts has been the dilemma of film regarding historical subjects, with Hollywood frequently turning its focus first to entertainment values and then to the historical foundation or framework. Nevertheless, from the silent era to the present day, motion pictures have provided one means by which people have connected with their past.  In the process a rich mosaic of figures has emerged for movie audiences that, in some instances, have become iconic, and the sweep and grandeur of the subject matter has proven particularly well-suited to the big screen of the cinema. In more recent years, subjects have broadened to include other aspects, such as the famed 54th Massachusetts in Glory, the smaller-scale drama in backcountry Kentucky of Pharoah’s Army, or the struggle for passage of the 13th Amendment in Lincoln. But, in each instance, the Civil War in cinema has provided at least the introductory platform for learning more about the era’s issues, events and personalities.


Dues for September 2017 -May 2018 are due. Dues are $30 for an individual and $35 for a family. Please make checks payable to WCWRT. Registration form

2017-2018 Officers of WCWRT:
President: Bill Miller               Vice-President: Lee Underwood
Secretary: Gene Danko         Treasurer:  George Callis

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 and Terri Teopke.

Upcoming Meetings and Speakers

  • February 27, 2018 – Ralph Peters - "Civil War Leadership and its challenges
  • March 27, 2018 - Peggy Vogstberger – “Patrick Cleburne”
  • April 24, 2018 - Eric Wittenberg - John Buford
  • May 22, 2018 - Dr. James I. Robertson - TBD

Special Events

  • January – May, 2018 - The Return of History Happy Hours at the American Civil War Museum. For details and other museum events click here.

 

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 / 2018