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Past Speakers At Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable  

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2016

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January 2016 - Chris Mackowski, Ph.D.  presented "That Furious Struggle - Chancellorsville and the High Tide of the Confederacy”. Chris is a professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University. He also works as a historian at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he gives tours at four major Civil War battlefields (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania), as well as at the building where Stonewall Jackson died. With Kris White, he is co-founder of Emerging Civil War. Together, they have co-authored Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House; Simply Murder: The Battle of Fredericksburg; The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson; Grant’s Last Battle: The Story Behind the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant; and Chancellorsville’s Forgotten Front: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church. He’s also written books on the battles of Wilderness and Chancellorsville. Mackowski and White have written for Civil War.

February 2016 - Peggy Vogtsberger presented  "The 32nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry, an all-German regiment".  This regiment consisted of German immigrants, many who fled Germany as a result of the failed Revolution of 1848.  Most had been in this country slightly more than a decade when the Civil War began.  Peggy will discuss what motivated these men to endure three years of hardship and death to fight for a country not their own.  She will discuss how they perceived their experiences as soldiers differently than those of  "the Americans."  The regiment, enlisted for three years, was part of the Army of the Ohio and later the Army of the Cumberland.  They  fought at Shiloh, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and in the Atlanta campaign.   She was fortunate to discover paintings and drawings of the regiment as well as published personal letters, some which she will share with us during her program.  About fifteen years ago, Peggy discovered she had a personal connection to this regiment--Private Frederick Vogtsberger served in Company H.

Miss Vogtsberger has served as past editor and president of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable.  She is the author of The Dulanys of Welbourne: A Family in Mosby's Confederacy (Rockbridge Publishing, 1995).  She has long had an interest in Major John Pelham and wrote an introduction to the reprint of Pelham's biography, The Life of the Gallant Pelham by Philip Mercer.   In October 2014 she began a Facebook group, The Society of the Army of the Cumberland, which now has over 100 members, including (besides herself) five published authors.  She is a frequent speaker to the Round Table.  She is always reading and researching and hopes to develop a future program on General Patrick Cleburne and his proposal to emancipate slaves during the Civil War.

March 2016 - Dr. Matthew Laird presented “Searching for Slabtown: The Archaeology of Hampton’s Grand Contraband Camp”.   In the summer of 2014, the James River Institute for Archaeology, Inc. (JRIA) conducted an archaeological investigation on behalf of the City of Hampton to identify and document a portion of the Grand Contraband Camp, a large settlement of recently enslaved African Americans who came to the Union-controlled area around Fort Monroe seeking to begin new lives in freedom. JRIA’s targeted testing revealed a dense concentration of intact features evidently associated with the Grand Contraband Camp, and the subsequent occupation of African American families who purchased lots on the property in the early 1870s.

April 2016 -   Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant (Dr. Curt Fields) is still in command of all forces of the U.S. Army. Demobilization of the Army’s volunteer units is underway, and the General is finally able to spend a few moments to reflect upon the momentous events that have taken place since his elevation to overall command.   The General, escorting Mrs. Grant, discussed his recollections of the major offensive that took place in Virginia during the late spring of 1864. He identifies his remarks as “The Overland Campaign – Forty Days in Hell”.  

May 2016 - John Quarstein presented “The Battle of Mobile Bay”. John described the dramatic naval action which featured the confrontation between the Union’s Rear Admiral David G. Farragut and Confederate Admiral Franklin Buchanan. This battle is remembered for Admiral Farragut’s famous order…”damn the torpedoes…!

September 2016 - Robert Krick presented “Frayser’s Farm / Glendale: The Penultimate Fight of the Seven Days Campaign, and a Battle Known by Six Different Names”. The Seven Days Campaign outside Richmond in 1862, so sweeping in its scope and complex in its details, remains imperfectly understood.  Today the battle is best known as a failed opportunity for the Confederate army, which had the Army of the Potomac in an awkward and vulnerable situation on that June 30 afternoon.

Robert Krick has lived or worked on Civil War battlefields almost continuously since 1972.  He grew up on the Chancellorsville battlefield near Fredericksburg and has worked in various historical capacities at several battlefields, including Custer Battlefield in Montana, and Manassas Battlefield.  Since 1991 he has been an historian on the staff at the battlefield park in Richmond. 

October 2016Robert Orrison presented “The Bristoe Campaign”. Most people skip from Gettysburg to the Wilderness when studying the Civil War in the east. But in doing so they are skipping over a very combative fall between the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac, in which Robert E Lee proved that the Confederate army was not as wounded as most believed. The events in October 1863 led the Army of Northern Virginia back to the doorstep of Washington, DC and left a frustrated Lincoln looking for new military leadership.

Historian Rob Orrison is a
native Virginian, Rob received his B.A. in Historic Preservation at Longwood College and his M.A. in Public History from George Mason University. He now serves as the Historic Site Operations Supervisor for Prince William County. He also leads tours with Civil War Excursion Tours, which he co-founded, and he’s co-author of A Want of Vigilance: The Bristoe Station Campaign (Savas Beatie, 2015) and A Long Road North: A Guide to the Gettysburg Campaign (Savas Beatie, 2016).

November 2016 - Scott Mingus presented “William ‘Extra Billy’ Smith”. Extra Billy Smith, the oldest and one of the most controversial Confederate generals on the field at Gettysburg, was also one of the most colorful and charismatic characters of the Civil War and the antebellum Old South. Known nationally as “Extra Billy” because of his prewar penchant for finding loopholes in government postal contracts to gain extra money for his stagecoach lines, Smith served as Virginia’s governor during both the War with Mexico and the Civil War, served five terms in the U.S. Congress, and was one of Virginia’s leading spokesmen for slavery and States’ Rights. Extra Billy’s extra-long speeches and wry sense of humor were legendary among his peers. A lawyer during the heady Gold Rush days, Smith made a fortune in California and, like his income earned from stagecoaches, quickly lost it.
 
Scott Mingus is a scientist and executive in the paper industry, and holds patents in self-adhesive postage stamps and bar code labels. The York, Pa., resident has written fifteen Civil War books. His biography of Confederate General William “Extra Billy” Smith won the 2013 Nathan Bedford Forrest Southern History Award as well as the Dr. James I Robertson, Jr. Literary Prize, and was nominated for the Virginia Literary Award for Non-Fiction.

December 2016 - Sue Boardman presented a program that cover the history of Cyclorama paintings along with the technical issues of painting an event on a canvas measuring approximately 380 feet in circumference, 40 plus feet in height, and weighing approximately 4 tons. She will outline the history of the Gettysburg Cyclorama paintings, (...there were several versions made and exhibited in major northern cities…) and focus on the Phillippoteaux painting that is displayed at Gettysburg. Her presentation will outline the efforts to produce the painting in the 1880’s, and then fast forward to the restoration efforts and reinstallation in the new Visitor Center in the early 2000 time period. In addition, Sue will point out numerous individuals and features on the restored canvas to enhance the interests of the viewing audience. 
 
Sue Boardman, A Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide since 2000, is a two-time recipient of the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence as a Battlefield Guide. She is a recognized expert of not only the Battle of Gettysburg, but also an expert of the early history of the National Park and the National Cemetery. In 2004, Sue served as the historical consultant for the Gettysburg Foundation during the construction of the new Visitor Center Museum as well as the principal consultant for the massive undertaking to conserve and restore the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting which was removed from the 1960’s era Visitor Center and subsequently installed in the new Visitor Center. The conservation and restoration experience led her to author a book on the history of the painting entitled “The Gettysburg Cyclorama: A History and Guide” in 2008. She currently adds the title of Leadership Program Director of the Gettysburg Foundation to her Licensed Battlefield Guide duties.

2015

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January 2015 - Eric Campbell presented “We Scared Abe Lincoln Like Hell - Jubal Early’s Operations in the Summer of 1864” Eric will trace the independent operations of the Army of Northern Virginia’s Second Corps from June through September of 1864. Robert E. Lee dispatched the Second Corps from the Richmond/Petersburg area, under the command of Jubal Early, in June to first drive a Union advance away from Lynchburg, then to clear the Shenandoah Valley of Union occupation, and to threaten Washington D.C. General Early achieved those objectives with unparalleled success and was able to maintain Confederate control of the Shenandoah Valley well into the autumn of 1864 before being forced southward by vastly superior numbers of Union forces.
 
Eric Campbell is the Chief of Interpretation at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. He has worked as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service for over 28 years, over 20 of those at Gettysburg National Military Park. He has authored over two dozen articles and essays and the book, “A Grand Terrible Dramma’: From Gettysburg to Petersburg, The Civil War Letters of Charles Wellington Reed.

February 2015 - Michael Durling & Gina DeAngelis from Colonial Williamsburg presented a film, “Civil War Ironclads”: from Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trip Series Films.

In the Civil War, both the Union and the Confederacy raced to build armored, steam-powered warships that were the ancestors of today’s navies. In our program, you can meet the people behind and aboard the “ironclads”—and relive the famous 1862 battle between the Monitor and the Merrimack (Virginia).
Civil War Ironclads (Colonial Williamsburg Productions, 2014) is an Electronic Field Trip—an interactive educational program with video, live television, and online components—created by Colonial Williamsburg Education Outreach and produced and broadcast by Colonial Williamsburg Productions. It premiered on March 13, 2014 on public television and cable educational channels nationwide.

Mike Durling is the Manager of Digital Media Services for Colonial Williamsburg Productions. He directs and edits video programs and manages the media archives and many aspects of digital media technology.

Gina DeAngelis is the Senior Editor-Writer in Educational Media at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

March 2015 - Chris Kolakowski presented “The Campaign and Battle of Stones River”. On the last day of 1862 and the first two days of 1863, the Union Army of the Cumberland and the Confederate Army of Tennessee clashed outside of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in an engagement that was the Civil War’s bloodiest by percentage of loss. This presentation will discuss the battle and its context, and highlight its importance to the Civil War’s course.

Christopher L. Kolakowski was born and raised in Fredericksburg, VA. He received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York in Albany.

April 2015 - Patrick Schroeder presented “A Visit to Old Appomattox With County Clerk George Peers”. Patrick will portray the persona of George Peers, a civilian resident of Appomattox Court House, who will provide eyewitness observations of  the military operations and cessation of hostilities in the Appomattox area in April of 1865.

May 2015 - Brian Steel Wills presented “Nathan Bedford Forrest”. Dubbed the “Wizard of the Saddle,” and “That Devil Forrest,” Nathan Bedford Forrest rose from private to lieutenant general in the Confederate cavalry during the American Civil War.  His application of common sense tactics and ferocious combat leadership by example won for him a reputation as one of the finest commanders of mounted troops on either side in the conflict.

September 2015
– J. Michael Moore presented a program on the Atlanta Campaign.  As a part of General in Chief U.S. Grant’s grand strategy for 1864, Major General William T. Sherman’s Western armies were to maneuver from Chattanooga against General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee toward Atlanta with the objective of destroying Johnston’s army and the Confederate interior war industries.

J. Michael Moore is 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. Moore has led battlefield tours in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.  In addition, he is a popular lecturer for CNU’s LifeLong Learning Society. Mr. 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.

October 2015 - Erick Bush presented “Selma - Alabama’s Arsenal City in the Civil War”. The city of Selma, Alabama was transformed into the Confederacy’s second most important war manufacturing center, outside of Richmond.  Key war support industrial activities were located in Selma due to its secure location in the interior of Alabama.  The Civil War in Selma also has critical connections to Virginia, through the Civil War experiences of Catesby Jones, Josiah Gorgas, and Franklin Buchanan.  Selma was essential to the Confederate war effort, especially with the construction of the CSS Tennessee ironclad and the Brooke cannon.

Erick Bush is a Civil War historian, with a specialization on the Civil War in Central Alabama.  His particular areas of focus are Alabama’s Confederate ironclads and Wilson’s Cavalry Raid in Central Alabama.  He has previously lectured on a number of Alabama and Virginia related topics to Civil War Round Table and history enthusiast groups in England, Ohio, Alabama and Texas.  His first talk on the Civil War in Alabama was at the Royal Army Museum in London in 2005.  He has a recurring article series entitled “Letter >From Civil War Alabama” in the magazine “Crossfire”. 

November 2015 - Dr. Robertson presented – “Robert E. Lee – The Postwar Years. Robert E. Lee has traditionally been regarded as a leader in fostering postwar reconciliation between North and South, That has been a major reason for the national admiration in which he is held. Recently, however, revisionists have charged that Lee harbored a deep anger at having to surrender, and that this anger proved a hindrance to the new union that came from the Civil War. Dr. Robertson will present his interpretation of Lee's conduct after the gunfire ceased.
One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history,

Dr. Robertson served as Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission in the 1960s and worked with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He then taught 44 years at Virginia Tech, where his upper division course on the Civil War era attracted 300 or more students per semester and made it the largest class of its kind in the nation. He received every teaching award given by Virginia Tech. At his retirement in 2011, the University named him Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History.

December 2015 - Carson Hudson presented “The President is Dead! A Photographic Study of the Lincoln Assassination”. Join historian Carson Hudson as he tells the story of President Lincoln’s assassination through the examination and analysis of period photographs.

Carson Hudson is passionate about history. He is a practicing military and social historian, published author, Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, and circus fire-eater. He lectures regularly at museums and colleges on a wide variety of subjects, but his particular interests are the Civil War, military medicine, colonial witchcraft & piracy, and the history of American popular music. In his spare time he likes to sleep.

 

2014

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January 2014 - Dr. Anna Holloway presented “The Last Voyage of the Monitor”. Although the USS Monitor may have ended her career in a gale off Cape Hatteras in December 1862, her story does not end there. Discovered in 1973, and the subject of recovery operations by NOAA since then, the "cheese box on a raft" which famously fought the CSS Virginia (ex-Merrimack) still has stories to tell. This lively, illustrated presentation brings the Monitor to life by combining log entries, official correspondence, personal letters from officers and crew, and evidence found in the ship itself.
 
Anna Gibson Holloway is the Vice President of Museum Collections and Programs at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA, where she oversees the Curatorial, Collections Management, Education, Conservation, Photography & Licensing, USS Monitor Center, and Exhibition Design functions of the institution. This Winston-Salem native graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with baccalaureate degrees in English Literature and Medieval Civilization.  She received her Masters degree in Tudor/Stuart History and her Ph.D. in American History from the College of William and Mary.

February 2014 -Robert Doares presented “God’s Wayward Boy: The Revolutionary Lives of the Rev. Charles Minnigerode”. Richmond’s most prominent Civil War clergyman, the Rev. Charles Minnigerode of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, began his career as a social and political revolutionary in his native Germany, where he was incarcerated five years for sedition before fleeing to Philadelphia in 1839. Landing a classical language professorship at William and Mary in 1842, he sojourned six years in Williamsburg, where he married, embraced the Southern way of life, and received ordination to the priesthood at Bruton Parish Church. Celebrated each holiday season in Williamsburg today as the man who introduced the Christmas tree to Virginia, Minnigerode’s ultimate notoriety derived from his intimate friendship with Jefferson Davis, his wartime ministry to Robert E. Lee and numerous other Confederate military and civilian notables, and his steadying presence during the evacuation of Richmond in April 1865.
 
Bob Doares will discuss his ongoing research for a comprehensive biography of the man. A native North Carolinian and graduate of Davidson College and Ohio University, Bob is a museum educator in the Department of Training and Historical Research at Colonial Williamsburg. Fluent in German and French, he occupies his free time with independent scholarship on a variety of subjects. He has numerous published articles to his credit, as well as a book on French decorative arts.

March 2014 - Jeff Toalson presented “Mama, I Am Yet Still Alive – A Composite Diary of 1863 in the Confederacy.” When local Williamsburg author and historian Jeff Toalson was offered access to a treasure trove of Civil War diaries, letters and journals at the Brewer Library of the United Daughters of the Confederacy he embarked on a two year effort to create a companion volume for his 2006 work: No Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea, Dysentery & Desertion – A Composite Diary of the last 16 months of the Confederacy from 1864-1865. Take a journey through 1863 as he shared selected letters from farm wives, privates, doctors, ministers, sergeants, clerks, nurses and refugees. 

Jeff Toalson has a B. S. in Business Management from Missouri State University, is a 23 year resident of Williamsburg and a regular speaker at roundtables, historical societies, SCV Camps, UDC Chapters and National Park Battlefields. Jeff is the author of two books on the WBTS: Send Me a Pair of Old Boots & Kiss My Little Girls - The Civil War Letters of Richard and Mary Watkins, 1861-1865, which was published in 2009, and his first book No Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea, Dysentery & Desertion - A Composite Diary of the Last 16 Months of the Confederacy

April 2014 - Mr. Steve French presented “Captain Redmond Burke - Stuart’s Border Scout.” In the first two years of The War between The States, Irish immigrant Redmond Burke first served as a scout and later personal aide to General J.E. B. Stuart. The colorful off- told stories of his thrilling exploits behind enemy lines, spread by newspaper and word-of-mouth throughout Northern Virginia and the lower-Shenandoah Valley, eventually turned him into an almost mythical figure. Mr. French’s presentation briefly examined some of Burke’s exploits, including his adventures during the Battle of Williamsburg and Stuart’s Chickahominy Raid, before focusing on his last behind-the-lines mission that resulted in his death in a Union ambush in Shepherdstown, Va., on the night of  Nov. 24-25, 1862.

Steve French is a member of a number of historical organizations including the Harpers Ferry Civil War Round Table and the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Imboden’s Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, which received the prestigious 2008 Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award, the 2009 Round Table of Gettysburg Book Award and the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal. He is also the author of Rebel Chronicles: Raiders, Scouts, and Train Robbers of the Upper-Potomac, the Blue&Gray Education Society monograph The Jones-Imboden Raid on the B&O Railroad at Rowlesburg, Virginia, and edited Four Years Along the Tilhance, the Civil War Dairy of Elisha Manor. French has written more than seventy Civil War articles and numerous book reviews that have appeared in national and international publications such as The Washington Times, Gettysburg Magazine, North& South Magazine, Crossfire: The Magazine of the American Civil War Round Table U.K., and The Southern Cavalry Review. He has appeared in internet and television documentaries including The Civil War in Washington County, Maryland. French’s other activities include speaking at various round tables and seminars and serving as guide for Civil War tours of the lower-Shenandoah Valley, Potomac Highlands, and the Retreat From Gettysburg.

May 2014
-  Dr. Jonathan L. Stolz presented “Civil War medicine: Myths & Misperceptions”. Medical care during the fratricidal struggle that divided our nation  150 years ago harbors many historic misunderstandings about the insurmountable challenges that doctors from the North and South faced. The myths and misperceptions about the two thirds of the war fatalities  from disease will be the topic of the discussion. The surgical aspects of care will be presented at another time.  The qualification of the physicians, the various maladies, the treatments, and innovations that took place during the war will be highlighted.
 
Doctor Stolz is a physician who practiced in the specialty of radiology in Reading, Pennsylvania before retiring to Williamsburg in 2004. He has had a longtime interest in the history of medicine in the United States. He has taught courses at William & Mary's Christopher Wren Association including Presidential Illnesses, Civil War Medicine: Myths & Misperceptions, and in the 2014 Fall Semester will present Medicine in Colonial America (1607-1783). In 1863 his great grandfather John Christopher Keatley was appointed as one of the assistant paymasters of the Army of the Potomac by President Lincoln.

September 2014
- Carson Hudson and Amy Miller presented "The Civil War in Seven Songs". Using themes such as patriotism, home, freedom, bravery, loss, and hope, this program, performed by Carson Hudson and Amy Miller, is a compact and moving study of the catastrophe that overtook America in the 1860s
Carson Hudson is passionate about history. He is a practicing military and social historian, published author, Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, and circus fire-eater. He lectures regularly at museums and colleges on a wide variety of subjects, but his particular interests are the Civil War, military medicine, colonial witchcraft & piracy, and the history of American popular music. In his spare time he likes to sleep.
Amy Edmondson Miller, D.M. (FSU 1989) is Fife Supervisor for the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums in Williamsburg, Virginia, as well as a performer for evening programs. In 2011, she made presentations for the National Flute Association’s Annual Flute Convention, held in Charlotte, North Carolina and for Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s First Annual Early Music Festival. She has published three online articles for Flute Focus Magazine on "Fifing and Drumming in the Eighteenth Century". Amy recorded a CD of Stephen Foster’s music with Carson Hudson entitled, “Hard Times: Stephen Foster Remembered.” She and Carson performed monthly programs during 2013 at the Hennage Auditorium entitled, “The Civil War in 7 Songs”.

October 2014 -
Drew Gruber presented “Preservation of Williamsburg Battlefield Sites”. Listed as one of Virginia's 'Most Endangered Sites' in 2014 the battle's continued recognition as one of the most pivotal of the war has been met with continued misinterpretation and subsequent neglect. Drew's presentation entitled; "Preserving Williamsburg's Battlefield" utilized new research and maps to highlight the areas which have been lost to development as well as the opportunities which still exist for preservation and interpretation. Additionally he discussed the ongoing efforts of the Williamsburg Battlefield Association as well as the battlefield’s value and relevance to our community.

Drew Gruber holds his B.A. in Historic Preservation and a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning. He was the 2013 Lawrence T. Jones III Research Fellow in Texas Civil War History and is working on a biography of Decimus Et Ultimus Barziza. He has authored several articles about the Battle of Williamsburg and has been actively involved in the Williamsburg Battlefield Association. He was recently appointed by the Governor to serve a four year term on the Commonwealth's Board of Historic Resources.

November 2014
- Edward Freyfogle MD presented “Civil War Surgery”. His slide presentation focused on the tools of the trade for doctors of the era, operating conditions in the field, and medical advances gained from the medical experiences on the battlefield. While the Union forces had many more medical staff than the Confederates, medical care quality in the south often exceeded that available to the Union forces. Doctors of that era were often self taught through on the job training. The most significant medical advance from the war was the introduction of ambulance services and triage practices.

Edward Freyfogle MD was born and raised in the heart of the Land of Lincoln, and graduated from Lehigh University and received his medical degree from the University of Illinois.  He served in the Illinois National Guard at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, and made a career as a Urologist in the Army Medical Department, including multiple tours in Germany where he served as the chief of the Surgery Department and also at other overseas locations.  He retired after 30 years of service and settled in Williamsburg, and has been active in our roundtable and has served as an officer in the Sons of Union Veterans.

December 2014
- Peggy Vogtsberger presented "The Battle of Nashville - Annihilation of an Army", the battle, fought December 15-16, 1864. Peggy presented the story of the end of Hood's ill-fated Tennessee Campaign of 1864,the reasons why Hood entered into Tennessee and what he hoped to accomplish. She will tell how General George H. Thomas, who commanded at Nashville, prepared for this battle. As always, she will go into some tactical detail so we can understand how the battle unfolded. This was one of the most complete Union victories of the Civil War.
 
Peggy Vogtsberger for years served as editor of the newsletter of the WCWRT, was past president and a Member of the Executive Board.  She is the author of A Family in Mosby's Confederacy:  The Dulanys of Welbourne.  She founded the John Pelham Historical Association. Peggy learned of Private Frederick Vogtsberger of Co. H, 32nd Indiana Infantry, who as part of an "all-German" regiment fought at Shiloh, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and the Atlanta Campaign. Private Vogtsberger, as part of Buell's Army of the Ohio, was wounded on the second day of Shiloh, April 7, 1862. Last year after almost 30 years she returned to tour these battlefields with a different perspective, as she followed the footsteps of the 32nd Indiana. She has recently founded on Facebook a new group, The Society of the Army of the Cumberland. This was the name given by General George H. Thomas to the veterans of his army, and General Thomas was its first president.  In less than two months, it already has 35 members, two who are published authors. She founded the Facebook group not as one who is an "expert" on the subject but one hopes to learn from others. Peggy has recently created for her family a brief history of the 32nd Indiana. She is working on a future talk about the 32nd Indiana as an example of the German immigrant experience in the Union army.

 

 

2013

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January 2013 - Mr. Brian McEnany presented "The West Point Class of 1862." Brian McEnany’s lecture used one of the cadet classes, the Class of 1862, to illustrate what happened at the Academy and the cadets at the outset of the Civil War. During the tumultuous months after Lincoln’s election, the cadets were forced to make momentous decisions as eleven states seceded, officers resigned or returned to their regiments and multiple resignations or dismissals became everyday occurrences.

Mr. Brian R. McEnany was born in Cornwall, New York. An Army Brat, he traveled extensively with his family in the US and Japan.

He entered the United States Military Academy with the Class of 1962. After graduation, he served an initial assignment in Germany, followed by a tour in Vietnam as an advisor. In January 1984, after various assignments at battery, battalion, brigade and division level in Germany, Korea, the US, combat service in Vietnam, and multiple tours in the Pentagon as an operations research analyst, he elected to leave the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. 
 
Military history has always fascinated him and has now become his full-time avocation.  He is currently using his skills as an analyst of military operations to write a narrative history of the West Point Class of 1862. 
 
Brian is a member of the Bull Run Civil War Roundtable and has given presentations about this class to numerous civil war groups in Northern Virginia, the History Department at West Point, the Brandy Station Foundation, the Army-Navy Club in DC, a few West Point class luncheons, the US Army’s Center for Army Analysis and AUSA’s Leminitzer Lecture series. His article, John Brown’s Raid and West Point, was published in the Association of Graduate’s Assembly magazine in October 2009 and War comes to West Point was published in North&South magazine (Vol, 12, Nr.5) in December 2010.

February 2013 -  The guest speaker was Peggy Vogtsberger. She discussed "Into the Maelstrom:  The Battle of Franklin, Tennessee". Two months after the fall of Atlanta, the Army of Tennessee under the command of General John Bell Hood marched into Tennessee.  Peggy talked about the genesis of Hood's campaign and the Federal response to it.  She will describe the lost opportunity at Spring Hill.  On November 30, 1864 Hood's army attacked strong entrenchments at Franklin, Tennessee.  It was a charge comparable to Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, with more disastrous results.  Sam Watkins, Co. H, 1st Tennessee, upon seeing the battlefield the next day, wrote:  "It was a grand holocaust of death.  Death had held high carnival that night...I was never so horrified and appalled in my life." Peggy described in tactical detail the battle and its effects.  She tied it up with a brief summary of the battles near Nashville and the end of Hood's campaign.

Ms. Vogtsberger's work with WCWRT included, former newsletter editor, former member of the board, former vice-president and program chairman. She has also been active as founder of the John Pelham Historical Association and author of The Dulanys of Welbourne and A Family in Mosby's Confederacy (1995). Peggy currently works at Colonial Williamsburg in Orientation & Admissions.

March 2013 - Patrick Schroeder presented "Myths about Lee's Surrender" in which he discussed some of the most interesting aspects from the books he wrote , Thirty Myths About Lee's Surrender and More Myths About Lee's Surrender. This talk is about what really happened at Appomattox, separating myth from fact.

Mr. Schroeder was born January 1, 1968, at Fort Belvoir, VA, and was raised in Utica, New York. In the spring of 1990, he graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Historical Park Administration from Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, WV.  He has a M.A. in Civil War History from Virginia Tech.  From the summer of 1986-1993, Patrick worked as a seasonal living history interpreter at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park.  In 1993, he wrote Thirty Myths About Lee's Surrender, which is currently in its twelfth printing.   From 1994-1999, he was employed at Red Hill, the Patrick Henry National Memorial.  Patrick has written, edited and/or contributed to more than twenty-five Civil War titles.  Patrick resides in Lynchburg, VA, and  has worked as an independent researcher, author, historian, and tour guide.  He has been the Historian at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park since 2002.  In an effort to protect sites relevant to the Appomattox Campaign, Patrick has set up the "Appomattox Fund" with the Civil War Trust, to save land important to the climatic events of April 1865.

April 2013 -  Mr. Earnst presented "An evening with a Confederate Soldier, Major Heros Von Borcke.  He took us back to that period of history in the person of Major Heros Von Borcke, chief aide to General JEB Stuart. Although a Prussian officer he was no mere observer.  He was a fully invested Confederate and was a prolific writer about his exploits.  The audience was taken back to the spring of 1863 and this colorful character will bring them up to date on the War thus far.

Frank Earnest is a historian and member of several historical societies most prominently the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He has held offices in this organization for over 20 years.  Serving as his camp's charter chaplain to International Chief of Heritage Defense to his current position as Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia.  He was informed of his deep Virginia roots and his Confederate Heritage at an early age by his maternal grandmother.  Although born in Norfolk, Virginia most of his ancestors were from the Petersburg, Virginia area.

His ancestors served in all branches including the Navy but most especially the cavalry.  Commander Earnest is a retired United States Navy veteran.  He now resides in Virginia Beach with his wife, Billie, who is also an ardent historian of this period. 

 May 2013 - Mr. Eric Douglas App, the Director of Museum Operations at the Museum of the Confederacy, presented "Richmond Bread Riots". He also used a self-developed virtual 3 dimension computer map of the Civil War city to identify where events leading up to the riot and the riot itself were located in the city.

Mr. App was born and raised east of Richmond, he attended Virginia Tech, where he received his degrees in both history and art.  He has worked at the Museum of the Confederacy for 22 of the past 23 years.  His present responsibilities, there, are wide-ranging, from restoration and interpretation of the White House of the Confederacy and school programming to visitor services and retail sales, from working with the governing board to hosting VIPs, and from working with the Museum’s attorneys, bankers, and insurance to dealing with physical plant issues.

His latest project is a virtual map of Civil War Richmond.  Utilizing open source CAD software and a mass of research on every period building on every block, he has been able to recreate much of the old City in a fully-interactive, near 3-dimentional format.  Tonight, Eric is here to talk about the Richmond Bread Riots, and will use his map to help follow the route of the mob as it made its way through the streets.

September 2013 - Dr Michael Stevens, President of Central Virginia Battlefields Trust presented "Preserving the Land,  Preserving the Stories: Central Virginia Battlefields Trust and Its Fight to Save America's Sacred Soil."

Dr. Michael P. Stevens, earned a B.S. from Texas A & M University and a M.D. from Tulane School of Medicine. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1971-73. He entered in private practice of dermatology in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Dr. Stevens is married to Pat and they have three grown children.

Dr. Stevens is a member of Rappahannock Valley CWRT, Friends of Fredericksburg Area Battlefields, Founding member of Central Virginia Battlefields Trust. One Great-grandfather served in the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery while the other served in Hart's Battery, Stuart's Horse Artillery.

October 2013 - Mr. Scott Williams presented “The Bermuda Hundred Campaign”; one of the least know campaigns of the war. In May of 1864, Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler landed the 38,000 man Army of the James on the Bermuda Hundred Peninsula in Chesterfield County. Butler made tentative advances toward Richmond and Petersburg but fell back to his defenses each time.  Meanwhile, Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard scrambled to find enough troops to place in Butler's path. Scott's talk will highlight these actions and the lost opportunities of one of the most overlooked campaigns of the war. He will also discuss some of the little known events that took place on the James River in the early days of the campaign.

Scott Williams is a Geographic Information System Analyst for Chesterfield County. He has worked for Chesterfield County for 17 years. He is a Volunteer for the Chesterfield Historical Society and has been Chairman of the Military History Committee since 2006. Scott has assisted with the preservation and interpretation of several Civil War Sites in Chesterfield. He most recently helped obtain funding to preserve the Confederate Gun position on the James River known as Battery Dantzler. Scott wrote several sections of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign Tour Guide and created all of the maps for that book. He also created the maps for the regimental history of the 7th South Carolina Cavalry. Scott is a 1986 graduate of Old Dominion University. He and his wife Sandy live within earshot of the falls of the James in Richmond.

November 2013 -Mr. Jeffry Burden presented “Unionist Gone Underground: Life in a Divided Richmond’. This talk focuses on the widespread --  and surprisingly effective -- Unionist activity in Richmond during the War.  Elizabeth Van Lew may be the most famous such Richmonder, but she was only one part of a widespread network that worked to thwart the Confederate war effort.  Just as Copperheads proved troublesome in the Northern states, Van Lew, John Minor Botts, Erastus Ross, and many other Richmonders from all walks of life demonstrated how divided the "Solid South" really was.
 
Jeffry Burden is a native of California, but a resident of Virginia for the past 27 years.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri and his law degree from the University of Richmond.
 
He has long been a freelance writer on Civil War and other topics.  In 2008, he edited and released the previously-unpublished regimental history of the 22nd Iowa Infantry -- the only Iowa regiment to serve in the Richmond theater.
 
Jeffry is now serving as Commander-in-Chief of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, the first Civil War hereditary organization.  He follows in a line of Commanders-in-Chief including Winfield Scott Hancock, Phillip Sheridan, and Rutherford B. Hayes. 
 
In recent years, he has served on the advisory committee for the “Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission”, and also as a member of the Commonwealth’s “Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Committee”. 
 
He also is the current President of the “Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery”.   This Richmond cemetery is the final resting place of Chief Justice John Marshall, four Virginia governors, and Confederate Brig. Gen. Patrick Moore, as well as an estimated 300 to 400 other Confederate soldiers.  To date, the Friends group is responsible for marking 13 unmarked C.S.A. graves, with several more in the pipeline.

December 2013 - Ms Peggy Vogtsberger presented the life of Lieut. Col. John Pelham, C.S.A.  Known as "the Gallant Pelham," he was killed at the Battle of Kelly's Ford (March 17, 1863), age 24.  John Pelham was a war-time hero of the South.  He was good-looking and charismatic.  He already had gained a high reputation, if not already a living legend, even before his death in 1863.
 
Ms. Vogtsberger gave her first talk to the Williamsburg CWRT on John Pelham in December 1978.  She returns to give this talk this month with, she hopes, more maturity and insight.  She will especially talk on the development of Pelham's legend in the immediate aftermath of his death and the rather unusual honors given to him.  She will speak on the continued fascination that many have on him, even today:  books are still written, articles, and years ago a character was based on him on a TV special.  For that all has been written and said about Pelham, his true personality is obscure, and even the events surrounding his death are something of an enigma.
 
Ms. Vogtsberger edited the letters of Col. Richard H. Dulany, 7th Virginia Cavalry, in Welbourne: A Family in Mosby's Confederacy (1995).   She wrote an introduction for a reprint of Philip Mercer's book The Gallant Pelham .  For years she was the editor of the WCWRT newsletter, served as its President, and was active on the Executive Board.  Recently, she returned from a trip to Tennessee, where she began research on Private Frederick Vogtsberger, Company H, 32nd Indiana Infantry, who fought at Shiloh, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and various battles during the Atlanta Campaign.  She is researching his regiment, and has developed an interest in his brigade commander, General August Willich.

2012

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January 2012 Catherine M. Wright presented "Lee’s Last Casualty: The Life and Letters of Sgt. Robert W. Parker, Second Virginia Cavalry". The letters of Sgt. Robert W. Parker provide a window into the daily life of an enlisted cavalryman, as well as highlight the unique story of the soldier believed to be the last man killed in action in the Army of Northern Virginia. In many ways, Parker was representative of the average Confederate soldier: a modest farmer in the antebellum years, his patriotic fervor spurred him at the beginning of the war to enlist in the Confederate cavalry. His letters reveal how home front and battlefront were closely intertwined, and the importance of correspondence in sustaining that connection and the will to fight. The role of the cavalry and Parker's tragic death are also highlighted in the program.

Ms. Wright was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up there and in Norfolk, Virginia. She is the editor of Lee’s Last Casualty: The Life and Letters of Sgt. Robert W. Parker, Second Virginia Cavalry (University of Tennessee Press, 2008) and is a contributing historian to the online Encyclopedia of Virginia. She was formerly the curator at the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, VA, and is currently the curator at The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. 

February 2012 - Patrick Schroeder presented "Zuaves: America"s Forgotten Soldiers". Mr. Schroeder was born January 1, 1968, at Fort Belvoir, VA, and was raised in Utica, New York. In the spring of 1990, he graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Historical Park Administration from Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, WV.  He has a M.A. in Civil War History from Virginia Tech.  From the summer of 1986-1993, Patrick worked as a seasonal living history interpreter at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park.  In 1993, he wrote Thirty Myths About Lee’s Surrender, which is currently in its twelfth printing.   From 1994–1999, he was employed at Red Hill, the Patrick Henry National Memorial.  Patrick has written, edited and/or contributed to more than twenty-five Civil War titles.  Patrick resides in Lynchburg, VA, and  has worked as an independent researcher, author, historian, and tour guide.  He has been the Historian at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park since 2002.  In an effort to protect sites relevant to the Appomattox Campaign, Patrick has set up the “Appomattox Fund” with the Civil War Trust, to save land important to the climatic events of April 1865. 

March 2012 - Scott Patchan presented "Second Manassas". Mr. Patchan was born in Cleveland, Ohio and is a graduate of James Madison University. He currently resides in Haymarket, Virginia. Mr. Patchan is a prolific author and historian. His books include: The Forgotten Fury; The Battle of Piedmont; Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign; The Battle of Piedmont and Hunter's Raid on Staunton; Second Manassas: Longstreet's Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge; The Last Battle of Winchester: Phil Sheridan: Jubal Early and the 1864 Valley Campaign. Mr. Patchan has also written four feature essays for Blue and Gray Magazine on the 1864 Valley Campaign, working on two more on the Second Manassas Campaign as well as dozens of articles for other historical publications. He is currently researching and writing on the Battle of Resaca, Georgia, 1864 Atlanta Campaign.

April 2012 - Michael Moore discussed the Peninsula Campaign of 1862. Michael Moore is the curator and registrar for Lee Hall Mansion and Endview Plantation in Newport News. Moore received a bachelor or arts history from Christopher Newport University and a master of arts in history from Old Dominion University. While earning his graduate degree, he taught American history at ODU. During his tenure with the City of Newport News, Mr. Moore has curated several exhibits at local historic sites and lectured to various historical societies and civic groups. In addition, he has led battlefield tours throughout Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. Aside from his work with the City of Newport News, the Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society, the Isle of Wright County Historic Recourses, and the York County Historical Museum retain him as a consultant. Moore is the co-author of The Peninsula Campaign of 1862: A Military Analysis. Michael has also served as editor and photographic editor for eight books and written articles for Virginia Cavalcade, North & South, and Military Collector & Historian.

May 2012 -  Dr. Lisa L. Heuvel and her son Sean Heuval presented "The Old College Goes to War: Exploring William & Mary's role in the American Civil War". When most people think of the College of William and Mary, they usually associate it with the colonial era.  However, the College had an equally rich and eventful history during the American Civil War. This presentation will explore key Civil War-era events on the William and Mary campus, as well as the wartime contributions of its students, faculty, and alumni.

Lisa L. Heuvel is a museum administrator, teacher, and educational consultant who specializes in higher education history and Native American Studies.  She has extensive work experience with several public history institutions, including the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Sean M. Heuvel is a faculty member with the Department of Leadership and American Studies at Christopher Newport University, where he specializes in military leadership, the American Revolution, and the Civil War.  His previous publications include Life After J.E.B. Stuart: The Memoirs of His Granddaughter, Marrow Stuart Smith.

September 2012 - S. Waite Rawls III, CEO, Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond. Mr. Rawls presented “Burying the Dead, But Not the Past”.

A native of Franklin, Virginia, he joined the Franklin Civil War Roundtable at age 9. He has a BA from the Virginia Military Institute and his MBA and JD from the University of Virginia. He is a member of the Richmond Civil War Roundtable and former member of the Chicago and New York Roundtables.

Formerly, he spent thirty years as an investment banker in New York and Chicago, with responsibilities in the capital markets areas, including being the Vice Chairman of Continental Bank. Additionally, he has been an Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Visiting Professor at the Darden School (University of Virginia), concentrating on the derivatives and capital markets. 
 
Mr. Rawls is a Trustee of the Camp Foundation, a member of Virginia’s Robert E. Lee Commission, a former Trustee of the Civil War Preservation Trust and of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a former Trustee and President of the Alumni Association of the Darden School, and a former member of the Board of Visitors of the Virginia Military Institute

October 2012 -Thomas "Doc" Wheat presented "The Siege Of Yorktown". Additionally, he focused on the use of maps in the peninsular campaign.

Thomas Wheat was born in Tennessee in June of 1945 and developed an intense interest in the American Civil War starting in early childhood.  He went to undergraduates school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, then to the University of Tennessee medical school in Memphis.  Thomas graduated in 1970 during the latter stages of the Vietnam war and, rather than serving as a general medical officer,  chose to volunteer for the Berry plan to could complete his general surgery training at University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville.  He ended up making a career of the Army for 25 years in various medical assignments such as: serving  as a clinical general surgeon, chief of surgery at Fort Eustis, Virginia.  and deputy commander of the combat support Hospital attached to the 82nd airborne division. He retired from the Army in 1995 and practiced for 10 years doing general medicine in the public health department.
 
Mr. Wheat helped found the national Museum of Civil War medicine in Frederick Maryland and the exchange Hotel medical exhibit in Gordonsville Virginia.  He loaned his  collection of Confederate medical memorabilia to the National Park Service in Richmond Virginia so they could establish a medical exhibit at the Chimborazo Hospital site.
 
In addition to his interest in Confederate medicine he also has an intense interest in the Yorktown Peninsula and its role during the American Civil War in 1862.

November 2012 - Kirsten Talken-Spaulding of the  National Park Service discussed " Fort Monroe: Past, Present, and Future" . Built between 1819 and 1834, the fort occupies a strategic position for coastal defense dating back to the earliest days of the Virginia Colony. It was the place where Dutch traders first brought captured Africans in 1619. During the Civil War, the fort remained in Union hands and became notable as a historic and symbolic site of early freedom for escaped slaves to find refuge.

Kirsten Talken-Spaulding currently serves as the superintendent of Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Virginia. Ms. Talken-Spaulding came to Fort Monroe after serving as the Bevinetto Congressional Fellow where she worked in both the National Park Service Washington directorate and the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during the two-year fellowship. She began her career as a student employee with the Virginia State Park System before launching her 20-year National Park Service career as a seasonal interpreter at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Ms. Talken-Spaulding completed her undergraduate degree in biology at the College of William & Mary and
later graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC with a Master of  Divinity. Talken-Spaulding has held management positions at Prince William Forest Park in Virginia, Haleakala National Park in Hawaii, and Mojave National Preserve in California. She’s served as chief ranger of National Capital Parks – East in Washington, D.C., and was the coordinator of seasonal employment for the National Park Service in Washington D.C.

December 2012   The speaker was Frank O'Reilly of the National Park Service. Mr. O'Reilly presented "The Battle Of Fredericksburg". He talked about the strategic errors made on both sides and in particular, the Union's missed opportunity to end the war at this early stage.

Mr. O'Reilly received both a BA and MA in American History with a concentration on Early American Military History and Civil War Studies.  He did his undergraduate work at Washington & Lee University before joining the National Park Service at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park.  He also worked briefly at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and then returned to Fredericksburg in 1990 as the permanent historian for the "Stonewall" Jackson Shrine and has served as an historical consultant for the City of Fredericksburg.

Mr. O'Reilly's latest book, The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock, received a 2003 nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in Letters. He has written numerous articles on the Civil War and Mexican War, and introductions to several books, including Phil Sheridan's memoirs, William McCarter’s My Life in the Irish Brigade, and the History of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry.  He released a book on the Fredericksburg Campaign titled, Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg, in 1993.  Frank has appeared in quite a few video documentaries, and has lectured extensively on military history to audiences around the world.  Recently, he presented in the United Kingdom at Oxford, on the bicentennial of Robert E. Lee’s birth; and the sesquicentennial of the beginning of the war in 1861. Mr. O'Reilly is currently researching a book on the Battle of Malvern Hill and the Seven Days’ Campaign.

2011

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December 2011 Jack Tuttle, Williamsburg City Manager discussed the Riverside development and its impact on the Williamsburg battle ground.

Teresina Toepke presented "Civil War Christmas: In The Field and On The Home Front". She shared excerpts from letters, diaries, and newspapers of the period, along with quotes and illustrations from popular magazines of the time.  The presentation will trace attitudes, hopes, and customs as they evolve from Christmas, 1860, through New Year’s, 1866.

Teri Toepke attended the College of William and Mary where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in elementary education and then went on to receive a Master’s in Education as well as completing additional coursework toward a doctorate in special education.  In addition to teaching in elementary and special education classrooms, Teri has taught GED classes for the state prison system and was an assistant professor of education at Hampton University for two years.  She moved to museum education in February, 2000, taking a position at Endview Plantation in Newport News before going to the Hampton History Museum in November, 2002.  In the summer of 2006, she became Director of Elderhostel Road Scholar programs at the College of William and Mary.

Outside of her work at the College, Teri is actively involved in several historical organizations.  She is past president of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable, participates as a civilian reenactor with the 44th Virginia Volunteer Infantry, and volunteers with the Longstreet Memorial Fund to maintain the sites of the North Carolina and Longstreet monuments at Gettysburg National Military Park. Joining with two fellow Civil War reenactors in The Ladies’ Historical Review, she conducts living history programs at fairs, schools, and museums, often appearing as her alter ego, Miss Sallie.  She is also a member of the National Council for History Education and the Virginia Association of Museums.

November 2011 David Corlette discussed  "The Improbable Invasion: The Confederate New Mexican Campaign 1862." Mr. Corlette graduated from Gonzaga University in 1994 with a degree in history, after writing a thesis on Civil War chaplains After serving in the military, he worked on his graduate studies at William and Mary, writing a Master's thesis on early American warfare and then a Ph.D. dissertation on early Indian Wars in New England.  David has published several dozen articles in the Encyclopedia of North American Conflict to 1775, Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War, and Encyclopedia of American Military History. He is currently editing a book manuscript, Steadfast in their Ways: New England Colonists, Indian Wars, and the Persistence of Culture, 1675-1715.

Mr. Corlette is currently the Assistant Director of the National Institute of American History and Democracy, an organization dedicated to teaching American history through a multidisciplinary approach of history, archaeology, anthropology, and public history. Since 2002, he has taught colonial American, Atlantic World, and modern US Military History for NIAHD, William and Mary, and the University of Virginia.  Of particular note is a course David teaches with NIAHD, From the Revolution through the Civil War, which analyzes trends in American history by teaching on historic sites and at museums.  Over one third of the course is devoted to the Civil War in Virginia, and he can frequently be found leading classes over regional battlefields, along the canals of Richmond, or through the ramparts of Fort Monroe.

October 2011 Art Grant discussed "The Military Genius of U. S. Grant." Art  graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and was commissioned in the Armor Branch. His military service included tours with combat arms units both overseas and in the Continental United States including two combat tours in the Republic of Vietnam. He has held staff positions at all levels of command from squadron through the Department of the Army. Art retired from the Army at the rank of Colonel in May 1991. Following retirement from the Army, he joined the staff of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

He has been a member of the faculty of the U.S. Army Infantry School and was an Assistant Professor of History at the U.S. Military Academy, an Adjunct Professor of History at George Washington University, and a Professor of Military Strategy at the National War College. He has authored several books and articles on the American Civil War and on current military strategy.

September 2011 Robbie Smith of the National Park Service. Robbie discussed "Fruits of Leadership: Vicksburg and Chancellorsville."  Robbie Smith is a graduate of Goucher College in Towson, Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and economics.  She has been with the National Park Service for eleven years and during that period has worked at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Vicksburg National Military Park and the Yorktown Battlefield site of Colonial National Park

May 2011  George Wunderlick discussed “Civil War Medicine in the 21st century”. The battle of Antietam may be the single bloodiest day in our nation's history, but few know it for an even deeper meaning to those alive today. It is also the birthplace of modern emergency medicine.  George Wonderlick is the director of the National Museum  of Civil War Medicine in Fredericksburg, MD.

April 2011 John Bray presented "Counter-espionage and Law Enforcement during the Civil War". The discussion focused on the women who were spies during the war. John presented some interesting accounts of ladies spying, being captured and then released because "ladies" would not do anything of the sort.

March 2011  Will Molineux  presented “A Young Virginia Boatman Navigates the Civil War”. The journals of a  boatman who plied the waters of Virginia during the Civil War. George Randolph Wood, who was 14½ in 1861, spent much of the next three years aboard river boats and barges in the service of the Confederacy. His recollections of his experiences delivering supplies – shot and shell, hay and wood – present a rare glimpse of life aboard quartermaster vessels, often “arks” of various description that were pulled by tugs, or propelled by polls and floated with tide and current. His waterborne platform gave him opportunities to witness cruelty and compassion, to visit compatriots posted as lookouts, to observe Robert E. Lee in the field, to attend the theater in Richmond. In order to care for his widowed mother, he sneaked through the lines and, after taking an Oath of Allegiance to the United States, returned to Hampton.

February 2011   Jeff Toalson presented from his newest book, "Send Me a Pair of Old Boots & Kiss My Little Girls - The Civil War Letters of Richard and Mary Watkins, 1861-1865".  The book resulted when he discovered the previously unpublished  letters held by the Virginia Historical Society. He performed a reading of selected letters in character as Richard Watkins.

January 2011  George Callis presented "Union and Confederate Cavalry: Myths & Facts I Didn't Know". Some of the items to be discussed include Bugle Calls, Weapons, Flags and Jeb Stuart at Gettysburg. Mr. Callis retired from the  Xerox Corporation. He is a member of the Company of Military Historians. He  collects Union & Confederate Cavalry Sabers and regimental histories. George also teaches cavalry courses at Christopher Wren.

2010

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December 2010 Feather Foster a local author and member of our Roundtable discussed "The Civil War Divas:  A Personal Look at Mary Lincoln, Julia Grant and Varina Davis". She has been an independent presidential historian for nearly four decades, with a personal library of more than 1,500 president and president-related volumes. Her first book, LADIES: A Conjecture of Personalities was published in 2003, and she began lecturing about the “old” First Ladies at various venues in New Jersey, her native state, including historical societies, libraries, woman’s clubs and senior organizations.  She has made more than 300 personal appearances, including dozens of radio and television interviews.  Recently moved to Williamsburg, she now lectures about the “old” First Ladies at adult education venues associated with both the College of William and Mary and Christopher Newport University.  The First Ladies, due to be released in February, 2011, is her fourth book.

November 2010 Robbie Smith of the National Park Service. Robbie discussed the importance of the City Class gunboats on the western waters and contributions to the Union war effort in that theater in a program entitled, “City Class Ironclad Gunboats:  Essentials to Union Victory.” Robbie Smith is a graduate of Goucher College in Towson, Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and economics.  She has been with the National Park Service for eleven years and during that period has worked at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Vicksburg National Military Park and the Yorktown Battlefield site of Colonial National Park

October 2010 Charles Knight discussed the battle of New Market called "Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market and the Opening of Shenandoah Valley Campaign, May 1864". Mr. Knight is Curator of the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk. He's written a book about He will be speaking on this topic. The book was released in early May 2010. He spent several years working at the New Market Battlefield as an historical interpreter and lived in one of the outbuildings on the Bushong Farm there one summer.

September 2010  Carson Hudson discussed "Civil War Williamsburg". Carson Hudson is a Civil War living historian; author of publications on the Civil War in the Williamsburg area; Civil War music interpreter; frequent lecturer on a wide variety of topics from the colonial through the Civil War eras including the Battle of Williamsburg; and a group guide for battlefield tours.

May 2010  Michael Moore presented "Jeb's ride around the Union Army a story of where he went, who chased him, and where he finished his famous 1862 excursion. Michael Moore is the curator and registrar for Lee Hall Mansion and Endview Plantation in Newport News. Moore received a bachelor or arts history from Christopher Newport University and a master of arts in history from Old Dominion University. While earning his graduate degree, he taught American history at ODU. During his tenure with the City of Newport News, Mr. Moore has curated several exhibits at local historic sites and lectured to various historical societies and civic groups. In addition, he has led battlefield tours throughout Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. Aside from his work with the City of Newport News, the Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society, the Isle of Wright County Historic Recourses, and the York County Historical Museum retain him as a consultant. Moore is the co-author of The Peninsula Campaign of 1862: A Military Analysis. Michael has also served as editor and photographic editor for eight books and written articles for Virginia Cavalcade, North & South, and Military Collector & Historian

April 2010  Dr. Bruce M. Venter presented "Myths, Misconceptions and Mistakes of the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond." Over the years, myths and legends have grown up around one of the most controversial cavalry raids of the Civil War: the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond in 1864.  Similarly, our speaker has spent years trying to unravel the mysteries surrounding this raid and the colorful characters involved in it. Dr. Venter is a leading authority on the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond in 1864.  His interest is Union cavalry, with particular research emphasis on the career of General Judson Kilpatrick.  He has lectured at numerous cavalry conferences and Civil War Round Tables on this controversial cavalry leader He is currently preparing a manuscript for book publication which expands the article he published in Blue & Gray magazine on the raid. Dr. Venter holds a B.A. in history from Manhattan College, and a doctorate in educational administration from the University at Albany.

March 2010  Dr. Jere Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Geology at the College of William and Mary presented "Landforms in the Virginia Peninsula Campaign". Dr. Johnson attended Purdue University and Indiana University, from which he received his bachelor's degree and Ph.D. in Geology. After several years at an Indiana geological agency, he came to W&M in 1965 and retired in 2001. He is well known for his energetic, humorous, and non-geologist-friendly talks.

February 2010  Richard Gillespie presented a talk on Colonel Mosby's valiant battle in the burned-out buildings of William & Mary College.  Richard is the Director of Mosby Heritage Organization and a graduate of William & Mary.

January 2010   Jeff Toalson told stories of the last 16 months of the Confederacy from his first book - "No Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea, Dysentery & Desertion".  These will be stories from the common soldiers and civilians as written in their diaries, letters and journals. Jeff Toalson has a B. S. in Business Management from Missouri State University is a  23 year resident of Williamsburg and a regular speaker at roundtables, historical societies, SCV Camps, UDC Chapters and National Park Battlefields.  Jeff is the author of two books on the WBTS:  Send Me a Pair of Old Boots & Kiss My Little Girls - The Civil War Letters of Richard and Mary Watkins, 1861-1865, which was published in 2009, and his first book  No Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea, Dysentery & Desertion - A Composite Diary of the Last 16 Months of the Confederacy.

2009

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December 2009  Cheryl Jackson has worked with the Virginia General Assembly for over 20 years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, a legislative body charged with planning the statewide commemoration of thr 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Her duties include planning and implementation of Commission programs, activities, and meetings; oversight of a multi-million dollar budget and fundraising initiatives; serving as Commission liaison on the local, state, and national levels; and supervision of public relations and marketing. In addition, Cheryl staffs the House and Senate Rules committees during session and is a section manager at the Division of Legislative Services with oversight of the Legislative Reference Center and Capitol Tour Guide program. Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political science and Master of Public Administration, both from Virginia Commonwealth University.

November 2009  John Fennell, a member of the Williamsburg Round Table retired from the Agricultural Chemical Division of the DuPont Company where he was in middle management in marketing and field research. He holds BS and MS degrees in Agronomy and Crop Science from Colorado State University and a Certificate of Environmental Studies from the University of Delaware. His interest in Civil War history has spanned more than 30 years. In addition to the Williamsburg round table, he also belongs to the Richardson CWRT of central coastal Maine, where he spends his summers.  John is currently in the 5th year of research and writing of a manuscript on the lives of a very large, but specific group of Civil Wars soldiers.  The 288 group members had all been West Point cadets who became Union or Confederate veterans of the Civil War. John discussed the Wilson-Kautz cavalry raid of June, 1864, part of the Petersburg campaign.

October 2009  Richard Rankin is a retiree from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, where he served as an administrator. He has a B.S. from the University of Kentucky, M.B.A. from George Washington University, and a doctorate in education from George Mason University. He has taught economics at Rappahannock Community College. He is a member of the Williamsburg CWRT and has recently taught a well-received course at the Christopher Wren Association on "Nathan Bedford Forrest" and his exploits in the western theatre of the Civil War.  He was "that devil Forrest" to his Union foes and was "perhaps the South's greatest fighting man" according to Robert E. Lee. His topic is "Nathan Bedford Forrest".

September 2009   Henry Kidd a recognized author and historical artist presented "Petersburg; War on the doorstep". Born in 1950 in Petersburg, Virginia, Henry Kidd is a lifelong resident of Colonial Heights. He grew up playing on the battlefields surrounding Petersburg and has studied the war and its’ people extensively. He has a great passion for this period of American history. To him, it is more than mere history, it is family pride. Many of his ancestors followed General Robert E. Lee into battle. His fine art has appeared in documentaries on the History Channel and on covers of many books and magazines. He designed the Confederate Medal of Honor.

May 2009  Dr. Jimi Elizabeth Thomas will present "A Re-examination of the Legacy of James Longstreet, Lt. General, CSA." The purpose of this presentation is to reexamine the systematic process by which James Longstreet became the scapegoat for the defeat of the Battle of Gettysburg and thus faulted for the failure of the confederate States to become an independent nation. Dr. Thomas has a B.S. and M.S. in Elementary Education and a Ph.D. in Urban Services from Old Dominion University. She is a writer and recurrent speaker on "A re-examination of the Military Record and Legacy of James Longstreet". She has held a number of teaching positions in public schools and colleges from Hawaii to Italy. She currently lives in Virginia Beach where she has held various positions as an English, History, Civics teacher as well as a Teacher Mentor and Student Teacher Supervisor. 

April 2009  Dr. Thomas A. Wheat's will speak on the subject of "Early Civil War Medicine on the Lower Peninsula". Dr. Wheat, is a retired Army Surgeon and has studied CW medicine for 30 or 40 years creating a wide demand for his lectures and consultations. He has founded several Civil War museums, works closely with the NPS and is writing a book on Confederate Surgeons. He lives in Yorktown with his wife Marla.  

March 2009  Dr. Ludwell Johnson will speak on a subject, for which he is probably the foremost authority: "The Red River Campaign". For those of you who do not know Dr. Johnson’s Summer Enrichment class, "The Civil War In Virginia" resulted in a spin-off by class attendees forming this roundtable in 1976. The roundtable began meeting in Morton Hall on the campus at that time. It is a great honor to welcome Dr. Johnson as a speaker to this group.

February 2009  Mrs. Billie Earnest was born and reared in Franklin, VA. Her ancestral families were from the surrounding counties of Isle of Wight and Southamption, VA, Hertford and Gates Counties, NC. Her love of history and genealogy has grown over the years to include not only her family, but also the study of the life of Major General George Pickett and his third wife, Sallie Anne Corbell from Chuckatuck, VA. Due to her extensive research on George and Sallie, she has been contacted by Professor Richard Selcer of Fort Worth, TX, and is providing research material for their pending book. Because of her research, some membeers of the Corbell/Picket families have come together for the first time in fifty years.

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