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 XLIII Number 5                 January 22, 2019

Matt Atkinson
“Vicksburg - A Campaign for the Ages”

Join us for the next meeting of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable at the Williamsburg Public Library Theatre at 7 PM on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

On Tuesday January 22, 2019, Matt Atkinson will present “Vicksburg – A Campaign for the ages.”

The Campaign for Vicksburg is one of the most well recognized but understudied events during the Civil War.  The campaign to capture the Hill City encompassed over a year in time. Matt's presentation titled “Vicksburg: A Campaign for the Ages” will focus on the final campaign of 1863.  Grant's subsequent offensive featured five battles in three weeks, and a forty-seven-day siege.  The result is the capture of an entire Confederate army, the opening of the Mississippi River to Union control, and the cementing of Ulysses S. Grant's career.  This is a lot of information for an hour program so grab a chair and strap on your seat belts!  Matt promises a whirlwind program.

Matt Atkinson hails from Houston, Mississippi.  (Grierson’s Raid came through his town.)  He attended Ole Miss and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in History.  In 2016, Matt earned a Master of Arts in History at the University of Louisiana – Monroe.  His thesis is on the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou or, as he would like to call it – “Dead Yankees in a Swamp.”  Matt grew up in Mississippi loving the Civil War.  His parents took him to local battlefields such as Vicksburg and Shiloh.   Matt always asked, Dad, did we win here?” and Dad always responded, “No, not here.”  At age seven, Matt and his parents made a trip to Washington, D. C.  On the way, they stopped at the Manassas Battlefield.  Finally!  A victory!  Alas, his mother was sick though and the family had to move on.  It would take another 20 years for Matt to return and he still has yet to forgive his mother.

Matt currently resides in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with his twin girls, Emma and Aubrey, and his son Benjamin Lee.  He is employed by Gettysburg National Military Park and enjoys listening to sad country songs.

Last Month

On December 18, 2018, Dr. Charles Ross presented “Creative Science and Technology in the Civil War”. The Civil War occurred at an important time in the history of technology as the industrial revolution increased the demand for scientifically literate men. Due to their West Point education many of these men found themselves on battlefields between 1861-1865 and were able to use their scientific knowledge in ingenious ways.  In this presentation Dr. Ross will examine two specific examples of such application of knowledge, the mine at Petersburg and the Confederate Powder Works in Augusta, Georgia.  He will also explore acoustic shadows, a battlefield phenomenon that was widely observed in the Civil War but little understood at the time.
Chuck Ross is Professor of Physics and former Dean of the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences at Longwood University in Farmville.  His study of science and technology in the US Civil War has led to appearances on The History Channel, PBS, the National Geographic Channel and National Public Radio and his work has been featured in US News and World Report, Science, Discover and many other media outlets.  He has written three books on the subject:  Trial by Fire: Science, Technology and the Civil War; Civil War Acoustic Shadows; Never for Want of Powder:  The Confederate Powder Works.  His forthcoming book is about the effects of blockade running on Nassau, Bahamas.  He and his wife Julie live in Farmville, Virginia.

Dues for September 2018 - May 2019 are due. Dues are $30 for an individual and $35 for a family. Please make checks payable to WCWRT. Registration form

2018-2019 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 Debbie Bedosti,.Tom Lamb, and Terri Teopke.

Upcoming Meetings and Speakers

  • February 26, 2019 - Dr. Jonathan White "Abraham Lincln - Early Life"
  • March 26, 2019 - Ryan Quint: “Determined to Stand and Fight – The Battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864”
  • April 23, 2019 - Edward Alexander: “Breaking Through to the Other Side – Petersburg, April 2, 1865”
  • May 28, 2019 - Bert Dunkerly: “To the Bitter End: The Surrenders of the Confederacy”

Special Events

  • February 9, 2019 - Twentieth Annual Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and Longwood University Free Civil War Seminar details
  • June 14 - 19, 2019 - Civil War Institute summer conference at Gettysburg College details schedule

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.

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.

To access the newsletter archives, 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 / 2019