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 4                 December 18, 2018

Dr. Charles Ross
“Creative Science and Technology in the Civil War”

Join us for the next meeting of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable at the Williamsburg Public Library Theatre at 7 PM on Tuesday, December 18, 2018. Note change in date to third Tuesday for December meeting only.
On December 18, 2018, Dr. Charles Ross will present “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.

Last Month

On November 27, 2018 J. Michael Moore presented “The Civil War Comes to the Lower Peninsula”.

The Virginia Peninsula, situated between the James and York rivers, was recognized as strategically important by the Confederate and Union leaders in the first few months of the Civil War.  Located on the tip of the Peninsula at Old Point Comfort, Fort Monroe was the only Federal installation remaining in the Upper South and provided a base for riverine and amphibious operations. Moreover, the Confederate capital at Richmond was only eighty miles up the Virginia Peninsula. Richmond was a strategic target not just for political reasons, but was the Confederacy’s industrial center with the South’s largest iron manufacturing firms, two shipyards, and five railroads.  Blocking any Union advance up the Peninsula, Confederate Major General John Bankhead Magruder commanded over 10,000 troops behind three lines of defenses with water batteries on the James and York rivers.  In April 1862, Union Major General George B. McClellan launched the Peninsula Campaign from Fort Monroe and Newport News Point with the ultimate goal of capturing Richmond and ending Civil War.  Join Historian J. Michael Moore for a lively discussion of the Young Napoleon and the ever-colorful “Prince John” Magruder.  This lecture also covers the Civil War’s effects on the common soldiers and the free and enslaved residents of the Peninsula.  Moreover, the April 5 – May 3, 1862 Siege of the Warwick-Yorktown Line played out on a landscape that held memories of the American Revolution.
J. Michael Moore is employed by the City of Newport News as the curator for Lee Hall Mansion and Endview Plantation.  Mr. Moore received a bachelor of arts in history from Christopher Newport University and a master of arts in history from Old Dominion University.  During his tenure with the City, Moore has curated exhibits at several local historic sites and led battlefield tours in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Moreover, he is a popular lecturer for CNU’s LifeLong Learning Society.  Moore has also co-authored two books – The Peninsula Campaign of 1862: A Military Analysis in 2005 and Yorktown’s Civil War Siege: Drums Along the Warwick in 2012.  In addition, Michael has served as the editor and photographic editor for twelve books and written articles for Virginia Cavalcade, North & South, Military Collector & Historian, and Mulberry Island Notes.  In recognition of his work in public history, the Governor of Kentucky commissioned Moore a Kentucky Colonel in 2014.  He is a Newport News native and resides in Historic Yorktown.

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

  • January 22, 2019 - Matt Atkinson "Vicksburg"
  • 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

  • November 23rd to December 18th, 2018. - The MacArthur Memorial in downtown Norfolk will host a family friendly program, Holiday Cards for Veterans. details
  • December 2018 - January 5, 2019 - American Revolution Museum at Yorktown presents 'Artillery in the War of Independence'  details
  • February 9, 2019 - Twentieth Annual Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and Longwood University Free Civil War Seminar 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.

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