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Past Speakers At Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable  

2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012  | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 


January 2020 - Drew Gruber presented “The Battle of Williamsburg…Forgotten Then…Forgotten Now”. The Battle of Williamsburg, fought on May 5, 1862, was the first major battle in the year of 1862 between the Union Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. The battle occurred as Union forces launched attacks against the rear guard of Confederate forces who were withdrawing toward Richmond from defensive lines on the lower Peninsula. Approximately 41,000 Federals and 32,000 Confederates were engaged in the fight which resulted in the significant loss of 2,300 Federal and 1,700 Confederate casualties. On the following day, the Confederates continued their westward march.

By virtue of the subsequent battles around the Richmond area in the following month, the Battle of Williamsburg lost its true relevance as a major engagement and seemed to fade from memory. By contrast, the First battle of Bull Run, fought in July of the preceding year, saw a similarity in forces engaged and casualties, but was afforded great significance by the participants, the press, and those who endeavored to detail the history of that engagement.
In August 2015, Drew Gruber joined the Civil War Trails organization as the Executive Director. He was previously employed with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and was appointed to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources by both Governors McDonnell and McAuliffe. He credits his grandfather for his interest in history and is fascinated by the lives and experiences of the common soldiers and citizens who lived during the Civil War era. Drew currently resides in Williamsburg with his wife Kate, an accomplished historian in her own right. Drew holds an M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University, a B.A. from Mary Washington College, and was the Lawrence T. Jones III Research Fellow in Texas Civil War History in 2013.

February 2020 - Matt Atkinson will present “Vicksburg – The Siege and Surrender”. 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. Last year, Matt focused on the five battles in three weeks that resulted in the entrapment of the Confederate Army. This year’s presentation, entitled “Vicksburg: The Siege and Surrender”, will focus on the final 47 days of the campaign - specifically siege operations. The end 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.

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

March 2020 - No Meeting

April 2020 - No Meeting

May 2020 - No Meeting

October 2020 - Lee Anne Rose presented "Hoop Skirts and Gunpowder". On Friday March 13th, 1863, shortly after 11:00 AM, there was a terrible explosion at the Confederate State Laboratory, located on Richmond’s Brown’s Island on the James River. The explosion was blamed on 18-year-old Mary Ryan.

Learn of the works and lives of the girls and women who worked the Laboratory, and hear some of the names and stories of those that were lost the fateful day.

Lee Ann Rose is the co-owner of "Shades Of Our Past LLC”, which provides historical education and entertainment ranging from America’s founding to WWII.  She received her Theatre Degree at Davis and Elkins College and studied also at Richmond College in London, England. Lee Ann Rose is not only an historical interpreter, but also a playwright writing such plays as “Are We Not One”, and “Back to Our Kitchens”.  She is also currently performing a one woman show entitled “Stowaway on D Day”, a performance about Martha Gellhorn.  Along with Susan B Anthony, she also plays Suffragist Victoria Woodhull, and First Ladies Martha Washington, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Edith Roosevelt.

November 2020 - Scott Mingus presented "Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to The Susquehanna River - June 1863 "

In late June 1863, two powerful columns of Confederate troops approached the Susquehanna River in south-central Pennsylvania. One, under Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell, marched northeasterly from Franklin County through Carlisle toward Harrisburg and the other, under Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early, headed eastward through Gettysburg and York towards Wrightsville/Columbia. This PowerPoint talk covers Early’s expedition as his division seized control of Gettysburg after a series of skirmishes on June 26 and then two days later occupied York, the largest Northern town to fall to the Confederates during the entire war. Early ransomed York for $100,000 and supplies and surrounded the town with artillery and troops.

Scott Mingus is a retired research scientist and current consultant to the global pulp & paper industry. He holds U. S. patents in self-adhesive postage stamps and bar code labels. The Ohio native graduated from the Paper Science & Engineering program at Miami University in 1978. While working for Avery Dennison, he was part of the research team that developed the first commercially successful self-adhesive U. S. postage stamps. He has written 22 Civil War and Underground Railroad books.
Mingus and his wife Debi live in Manchester Township north of York. For more than a decade, he was written a popular blog on the Civil War history of York County ( He received the 2013 Heritage Profile Award from the York County History Center for his many contributions to local Civil War history.

December 2020 -

Dr. Rutherford will present "America's Buried History - Landmines in The Civil War." Dr. Rutherford will trace the development of landmines from their first use before the Civil War, to the early use of naval mines, through the establishment of the Confederacy's Army Torpedo Bureau, the world's first institution devoted to developing, producing, and fielding mines in warfare.

Dr. Rutherford, who is known worldwide for his work in the landmine disciplines, and who himself lost legs to a mine in Africa, relies on a ost of primary resources to highlight the widespread use of landmines across the Confederacy. His work and passion spans over two decades in more than 40 countries, including inVietnam to bring assistance to survivors, and in Bosnia, where he escorted Princess Diana to visit landmine victims and their care providers in an effort to bring attention to their plight.


January 2019 - Matt Atkinson presented “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.

February 2019
- On Tuesday February 26, Dr, Jonathon White presented “Abraham Lincoln – Early Life”. His talk will explore Abraham Lincoln's early life, from his birth in a log cabin in Kentucky through his young adulthood.  It will examine various aspects of his experiences as a child and young adult, including his education, work, travel, family, and romance.  By exploring who Lincoln was as a young man, we can better understand how he became a president who led the Union through the Civil War.

Jonathan W. White is associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University, where he has taught since 2009.  He is the author or editor of eight books, including Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman (2011), and Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln (2014), which was a finalist for both the Lincoln Prize and Jefferson Davis Prize, a “best book” in Civil War Monitor, and the winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute’s 2015 book prize.  He has published more than one hundred articles, essays and reviews, and is the winner of the 2005 John T. Hubbell Prize for the best article in Civil War History, the 2010 Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize, and the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Prize for his Guide to Research in Federal Judicial History (2010). He serves as vice chair of the Lincoln Forum, president of the Abraham Lincoln Institute, and on the boards of the Abraham Lincoln Association and the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia. He also serves on the Ford’s Theatre Advisory Council and the editorial board of the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. In 2017, C-SPAN invited him to participate in its survey of presidential leadership.  His most recent books include Lincoln on Law, Leadership and Life (2015); Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War (2017), which was selected as a “best book” by Civil War Monitor; and “Our Little Monitor”: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War (2018), which he co-authored with Anna Gibson Holloway.  In 2019 he will publish College Life During the Civil War (Kent State University Press) with his student, Daniel Glenn.

March 2019
- Ryan Quint presented “Determined to Stand and Fight – The Battle of Monocacy on July 9, 1864”. In early July 1864, a quickly patched together force of outnumbered Union soldiers under the command of Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace prepared for a last-ditch defense along the banks of the Monocacy River. Behind them, barely fifty miles away, lay the capital of the United States, open to attack. Facing Wallace’s men were Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s Confederates. In just under a month, they had cleared the Shenandoah Valley of Union soldiers and crossed the Potomac River, invading the north for the third time in the war. The veterans in Early’s force could almost imagine their flags flying above the White House. A Confederate victory near Washington could be all the pro-peace platforms in the north needed to defeat Abraham Lincoln in the upcoming election.
What followed, the Battle of Monocacy, came to be known as “The Battle that Saved Washington.” Ryan Quint will tell the story of the fight through the words of those who lived it, using contemporary accounts and photographs to reveal the determined fighting that took place through the hot hours of July 9, 1864.
 Ryan Quint graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a degree in history. He worked as a seasonal park guide at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park before moving to work at as an interpreter for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. His first book Determined to Stand and Fight: The Battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864, was published in 2017 by Savas Beatie as part of their award-winning Emerging Civil War Series. He is currently at work on a second book about the Battle of Dranesville.

April 2019
- Edward Alexander presented “Breaking Through to the Other Side – Petersburg, April 2, 1865”. ‘The breaking of Robert E. Lee's army at Petersburg was achieved through a bayonet charge by the Union VI Corps on the morning of April 2, 1865. Failed assaults at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, and Franklin seemed to prove the futility of frontal attacks, but this particular Union corps demonstrated a recurring ability to punch through fortified positions during the Civil War. This presentation discusses the criteria necessary for their string of successful attacks, the context of the final offensive at Petersburg, and the dramatic story of the very first Union soldiers to reach the top of the Confederate fortifications on the last day of the Petersburg campaign. This decisive day of the American Civil War is brought to life using modern and historic images of the battlefield landscape, compelling primary source material from its participants, and animated topographic maps of the campaign.
Edward Alexander is author of Dawn of Victory: Breakthrough at Petersburg. He has previously worked as a park ranger and historian at Pamplin Historical Park and Richmond National Battlefield Park. He is currently in civil engineering & construction but continues his public history work as a freelance mapmaker and a contributing member of the Emerging Civil War organization. Edward is a graduate of the University of Illinois and currently resides in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

May 2019
- Robert M. Dunkerly presented “To the Bitter End: The Surrenders of the Confederacy”. Appomattox is the most famous of the surrenders that ended the war, but the least representative of any of them. This talk will explore the confusing and complex events that unfolded in the four major surrenders, and a few smaller ones.
Robert M. Dunkerly is a historian, award-winning author, and speaker who is actively involved in historic preservation and research.  He holds a degree in History from St. Vincent College and a Masters in Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State University.  He has worked at nine historic sites, written twelve books and over twenty articles.  His research includes archaeology, colonial life, military history, and historic commemoration. He has taught courses at Central Virginia Community College, the University of Richmond, and the Virginia Historical Society. Mr. Dunkerly is currently a Park Ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park.

September 2019 -
On Tuesday September 24, 2019, Christopher L. Kolakowski presented “Civil War to World War: The MacArthurs and the Buckners”.   Douglas MacArthur and Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. were prominent players in the Pacific War. Both men were influenced by their fathers - Arthur MacArthur, the "Boy Colonel" of the Union Army and Simon Bolivar Buckner, the last living Confederate lieutenant general. These men, and their roles in victory over Japan, thus became prominent parts of these Civil War veterans' legacies. This talk will discuss these four men, their relationships, and the marks they collectively made.

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 at Albany. Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, and the U.S. Army. He has published two books with the History Press: The Civil War at Perryville: Battling For the Bluegrass and The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaign: This Army Does Not Retreat. In September 2016, the U.S. Army published his volume on the 1862 Virginia Campaigns as part of its sesquicentennial series on the Civil War. Chris came to Norfolk having served as Director of the General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership in Fort Knox, KY from 2009 to 2013. He became the MacArthur Memorial Director on September 16, 2013.

October 2019 -
On Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Ethan Rafuse presented "The Civil War in Missouri as a Military Problem”   In 1860, the voters of Missouri made clear they would prefer a middle course in the looming conflict between the North and South, giving over seventy percent of its votes in the presidential contest to candidates pledged to compromise.  Their wishes would not be fulfilled; instead, determined minorities on both sides of the sectional divide decided their differences were irreconcilable and, against the wishes of the state's great moderate majority, plunged Missouri into war.  While Union authorities were able to secure political control of the state in 1861, their efforts to do so contributed to Missouri being the scene of a bitter guerrilla contest.  This presentation addressed the events that plunged Missouri into war, the personalities and dynamics that drove this process, and how Union military and civil leaders quickly settled the state's fate but found themselves confronted with irregular resistance that, while incapable of redeeming Missouri for the Confederacy, make the state's wartime experience of particularly compelling interest today.

Ethan S. Rafuse is professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.  His published works include McClellan's War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union, Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy, 1863-1865, and guides to the Antietam, Petersburg, and Manassas battlefields.  In 2018-19 he was the Charles Boal Ewing Distinguished Visiting Professor at the U.S. Military Academy.

November 2019
- On Tuesday November 26, 2019, Peggy Vogtsberger presented "A Damn Failure - The Battle of Dam No. 1, April 16, 1862 ".   Join us as we hear about one of the local, if lesser known battles on the Virginia Peninsula, the Battle of No. 1, fought on April 16, 1862. Sometimes erroneously called the Battle of Lee's Mill (they are actually separate battles), much of this site is protected and preserved as part of the Newport News City Park. There are still some incredibly intact and well-preserved Confederate and Union earthworks left today, built in 1861-62. They can still be seen from walking trails in the city park. As part of McClellan's siege of Yorktown, this battle came about in an effort to find and exploit a perceived weakness in the Confederate defenses along the Warwick River. For many regiments this was their first taste of fighting. Peggy will talk about some of the possible advantages and lost opportunities for both sides in this little-known battle.

Peggy Vogtsberger is past president, board member, and former newsletter editor in the earlier decades of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable. Her interests are diverse, and she has given many presentations over the years. She enjoys reading and researching and is always fascinated by the personal experiences of the soldiers who fought in the Civil War. In conjunction with Peggy’s preparation for this presentation, she recently traveled to Vermont, and more specifically to the Vermont Historical Society in order to view the George Houghton Civil War photographic album of the Vermont troops who served on the Peninsula.

December 2019
- On Tuesday December 17, 2019, Nathan M. Richardson presented “Frederick Douglas Speaks on The American Civil War”.
Beginning with John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry until Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, abolitionist Frederick Douglass was a direct  influence on many events of the American Civil War. This living history performance will include 1st person reflections on his meetings with President Lincoln to add colored troops to the fight. Mr Douglass will also speak on and answer questions about how he helped recruit thousands of colored soldiers; including the 29th Infantry Division of Colored Troops in Connecticut and his own sons Charles and Lewis who fought with the 54 Regiment of Massachusetts.

Nathan M. Richardson is a published author, performance poet and Douglass Historian. His poetry collections include "Likeness of Being", "Twenty-one Imaginary T-shirts" and "Voices from the Wombs of Wisdom." His work has been widely re-published in anthologies, magazines and newspapers such as the Channel Marker, The Cupola, Coastal Virginia Magazine and the Washington Post. Now in his 5th year of The Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour; Nathan captures completely the physical, spiritual and intellectual essence of the former slave, writer, orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. A short list of Nathan's other affiliations include the Suffolk Arts League, the Poetry Society of VirginiaYoung Audiences of Virginia1st Amendment / 1st Vote, and  the Association of  Native & African History Professionals



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January 2018 - On Tuesday, January 23, 2018, Chris Bryce presented 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. Chris holds a bachelor’s 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

February 2018 - On Tuesday, February 27, 2018 – Ralph Peters will present "Civil War Leadership and its Challenges”. Ralph will discuss well-known commanders and others half-forgotten, how their characters and backgrounds shaped their successes and failures, and how the dynamic times in which they lived--an age of technical and political revolutions--made a war that began under the influence of Napoleon and Frederick the Great end as the first truly modern war, with the first modern staffs; the first industrial war machine; and a new age of mass slaughter.

Ralph Peters is a writer, strategist, media commentator and retired military officer. He is the author of 33 books and over 1,000 columns, articles, essays and reviews. Uniformed service, personal interests and research have taken him to more than 70 countries and six continents. He served in the U.S. Army for 22 years, first as an enlisted man, then as an officer, retiring shortly after his promotion to lieutenant-colonel to write.

A novelist, under his own name and as Owen Parry, he has written a number of bestsellers with international settings, as well as critically praised historical novels about the Civil War. Ralph’s commentaries, essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Post, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Herald, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Newsweek, Harpers, The Weekly Standard, National Review, The Washington Monthly, Wired, Parameters, Armed Forces Journal, Joint Force Quarterly, Strategic Review, Armchair General, Military Review and a range of other domestic and foreign publications.

March 2018 - On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Peggy Vogtsberger presented “Major General Patrick Cleburne”. Major General Patrick R. Cleburne, C.S.A. was born in County Cork, Ireland, the son of a country doctor, on March 16, 1828.  He trained to be a druggist, but his inability to pass the Latin part of his examinations led him to join the British Army as a private.  In 1849, he paid to get out of his enlistment and emigrated to the United States.

Patrick first settled in Cincinnati, but soon learned of a job opportunity as a druggist in the store of Dr. Charles Nash and Dr. Hector Grant in Helena, Arkansas. Cleburne accepted the position and moved to Helena in 1850. His ambition led him to become part owner of the store. Eventually, he quit to study law and was an attorney when the war broke out in 1861. He also dabbled into local politics. Cleburne's political views shifted. He had been a conservative Whig in 1850, but by 1861 he was an ardent States Rights Democrat.

Miss Vogtsberger will answered some questions: Why did Cleburne, an Irish immigrant and a non-slaveowner, become so enamoured of the Southern cause? What did his proposal about slavery really say? She will go into some detail into the language of the proposal. Did he expect the fierce opposition to his proposal? Did his advocacy of the proposal cost him promotion to higher rank, as many believe? Her talk will only speak of the highlights of his military career.

Miss Vogtsberger was former president and editor of the Williamsburg CWRT. She founded the John Pelham Historical Association in 1982, and a few years ago she started a Facebook group, The Society of the Army of the Cumberland. In 1995 she edited the letters of Colonel Richard H. Dulany of the 7th Virginia Cavalry, published as The Dulanys of Welbourne: A Family in Mosby's Confederacy. Her interest in General Cleburne began decades ago, when she read the book, Cleburne and His Command, written by Cleburne's A.A.G., Captain Irving A. Buck.

April 2018 -On Tuesday April 24th,
Eric Wittenberg presented “The Devil’s to Pay” - John Buford at Gettysburg, is based upon the research that he conducted in conjunction with the publishing of his book by the same title. Eric will outline the role that Brig. General John Buford and his First Cavalry Division troops played up to and through the Battle of Gettysburg. His presentation will focus upon the actions of Buford and his horse soldiers on the first day of the battle when they mounted a stiff resistance to impede the progress of the advance of overwhelming numbers of Confederate infantry until the arrival of the Union First Corps and Eleventh Corps units. Eric will also discuss the actions that Buford’s troopers undertook to shepherd and save the shattered remnants of those two Union infantry corps at the end of the first day of the battle.

Eric J. Wittenberg is a native of Southeastern Pennsylvania. He is an award-winning Civil War historian whose primary focus has been cavalry operations in the Eastern Theater and on the Gettysburg Campaign. He is the author of 21 published books on the Civil War and dozens of magazine articles. He has won the Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award, the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable’s Book Award, and the United States Army Heritage Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award. He is deeply involved in battlefield preservation work, and often works with the Civil War Trust on preservation efforts. He is a former president and program chairman of the Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable, and served on the Governor of Ohio’s Commission on the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. He runs a popular blog, Rantings of a Civil War Historian, and often travels the country lecturing on the Civil War and leading tours. He is an attorney in private practice, where he manages his firm’s litigation practice. He, his wife Susan, and their four golden retrievers live in Columbus, Ohio.

May 2018 - On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, Dr. Bud Robertson presented “The Four-Legged Soldiers”. The Civil War could not have occurred without horses. They were the primary means of transportation for soldiers as well as all the equipment needed to wage battle.  More of these animals would die than did humans in the nation-making struggle.  At the same time, thousands of troops found solace in a wide variety of animals who served as regimental mascots. They played a vital role in sustaining morale in a time of suffering and loneliness.  Such "four-legged soldiers" have a little-known but valuable story to tell.

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 1960’s 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.

The Danville Virginia native is the author or editor of more than 40 books, including biographies of Generals Robert E. Lee and A. P. Hill, several works on the common soldiers, and three studies written for young readers. His massive biography of General “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the basis for the Ted Turner/Warner Brothers mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Dr. Robertson was the chief historical consultant for the film.

September 2018 - On Tuesday, September 23, 2018, John Quarstein presented “Wake-Up Call – The Battle of Big Bethel”. Noted as the first land battle of the Civil War, Big Bethel was a mere skirmish soon overlooked by bloodier battles that would follow. Nevertheless, Big Bethel was a baptism of fire for a nation newly involved in civil war. The soldiers that served at Bethel would never forget the rude awakening of shells bursting among the smartly clad Federal Zouaves or how Henry Lawson Wyatt's body of the 1st North Carolina laid lifeless on the field. They all knew that the war would not just be filled with parades, and it would not be over by Christmas. Instead, the soldiers realized that it would be a bloody desperate affair. The Union defeat at Big Bethel would establish the battle lines in Hampton Roads for the next 10 months awaiting the grand events of Spring 1862.

John V. Quarstein is an award-winning historian, preservationist, and author. He is director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center at The Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia.

October 2018 - On Tuesday October 23rd, Dr. E. C. (Curt) Fields, Jr. as General Grant presented his overview of the Battle of Shiloh. It has long and loudly been asserted that Grant (and Sherman) was surprised by the Confederate attack at Pittsburg Landing.  He has been severely criticized about not having built breastworks or dug trenches.  He was held responsible by the Northern press for the appalling loss of life at Pittsburg landing (23,746 killed/wounded), and his dismissal was demanded even unto the President in the Executive Mansion; the President being urged to sack Grant and save himself politically.
Was Grant surprised?  Was it a failure of Leadership not to build or dig breastworks/trenches?  Was he responsible for the staggering loss of life?
Curt Fields has been an avid and lifelong student of the American Civil War.  His interest in portraying General Ulysses S. Grant was driven by that study and his deep respect and admiration for General Grant.  His presentations are in first person, quoting from General Grant’s Memoirs; articles and letters the General wrote, statements he made in interviews or wrote himself, and first-person accounts of people who knew the General or were with him and witnessed him during events. Dr. Fields holds a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Education from the University of Memphis. He later earned a Master’s degree in Secondary Education and Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Curriculum from Michigan State University.

November 2018 - On November 27, 2018, Mr. 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.

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. 

December 2018 - 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.


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January 2017 - On Tuesday evening, January 24, 2017, Dr. White’s presented “Lincoln and Civil Liberties”. In the spring of 1861, Union military authorities arrested Maryland farmer John Merryman on charges of treason against the United States for burning railroad bridges around Baltimore in an effort to prevent northern soldiers from reaching the federal capital. From his prison cell at Fort McHenry, Merryman petitioned the Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney for release through a writ of habeas corpus. Chief Justice Taney issued the writ, but President Lincoln ignored it. In mid-July Merryman was released, only to be indicted for treason a Baltimore federal court. His case, however, never went to trial and federal prosecutors finally dismissed the charges in 1867. 
In "Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War", Jonathan W. White reveals how the arrest and prosecution of this little-known Baltimore farmer had a lasting impact on the Lincoln administration and Congress as they struggled to develop policies to deal with both northern traitors and southern rebels.

Jonathan W. White, Ph. D. is an Associate Professor and Senior Fellow in the Center for American Studies at Christopher Newport University in Newport News. He admits a particular interest in Abraham Lincoln and U. S. constitutional history. In addition to teaching courses in American Studies at CNU, he also serves as the university’s Prelaw Advisor. Jonathan has authored several books, including “Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War”, and “Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln”, as well as numerous scholarly papers and articles. Dr. White is an undergraduate of Penn State, and completed his graduate studies at the University of Maryland

February 2017 - Emmanuel Dabney presented “’catching us like sheep in a slaughter pen’…
United States Colored Troops At  The Battle Of The Crater”. In mid-June 1864, Union troops assaulted Petersburg, Virginia for four days; however, a staunch Confederate defense by General Pierre Beauregard and the arrival of General Robert E. Lee’s army forced Lt. General Ulysses Grant to have his troops dig in. Days later, a young officer hatched a plan for digging a mine and blowing up a Confederate battery outside the city. In early July 1864, Major General Ambrose Burnside decided that he wished to use his division of United States Colored Troops in the advance of an assault to be made following the explosion of gunpowder beneath the Confederate earthworks outside Petersburg.
In “‘catching us like sheep in a slaughter pen…’: United States Colored Troops at the Battle of the Crater” Emmanuel Dabney will highlight personal stories of privates, non-commissioned officers, and officers who participated in the battle. He will also address the myth of all the United States Colored Troops being trained for the battle ahead of time. The talk will also uncover some of the fates of those men who became casualties as a result of the fighting.
Emmanuel Dabney has worked at Petersburg National Battlefield since 2001. After completing high school in Dinwiddie, Emmanuel graduated magna cum laude with an Associates of Arts from Richard Bland College, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia and completed a Master’s degree in Public History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

March 2017 - Dr. Ken Rutherford, Ph.D. presented “Landmines in Our Backyard The Civil War’s Buried History”. In early May of 1862, after stalling the Union offensive on the lower Peninsula for well over a month, Confederate forces abandoned the defensive works that spanned from Mulberry Island to Yorktown. As the jubilant Yankees entered the abandoned Rebel positions, they were shocked and dismayed to discover the presence of “subterra torpedoes”, buried to retard the advance of the Union soldiers. The presence of these “subterra torpedoes”, which we currently refer to as “landmines”, signaled the first use of this weapon in modern warfare.
In spite of initial Confederate bans regarding the utilization of landmines, time and the tides of war led to the re-evaluation of their use by the Southern leadership. Dr. Ken Rutherford’s research and presentation will outline the numerous locations throughout the Confederacy where landmines were utilized during the subsequent years of the conflict. 
Kenneth R. Rutherford, PH.D. is the Director of the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery and Professor of Political Science at James Madison University. In his capacity as Director, he leads fundraising and strategic planning for CISR, which is recognized as a global leader in international efforts to combat the effects of landmines and explosive remnants of war, including the rehabilitation of post-conflict societies. 
Dr. Rutherford is the author or co-editor of four books related to issues related to the modern banning and removal of landmines. He has testified before Congress and the United Nations, and published more than forty articles in numerous academic and policy journals.
Dr. Rutherford co-founded the Landmine Survivors Network, and is a renowned leader in the Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition that spearheaded the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and the global movement that led to the 2008 Cluster Munitions Ban Treaty.

April 2017 - Ernie Price presented “Marching Out Of Formation:Confederates Going Home After Appomattox”. After surrendering their arms on April 12, the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia began their individual journeys home with their paroles and little more than the remembrance of General Lee’s poignant farewell address.
Ernie Price will tell the rest of the story about the journey of the soldiers as they left Appomattox. (Keep in mind, as you read this announcement and when you attend the meeting on April 25, that the many if not most of the soldiers were still making their way home on these particular dates 152 years ago.) Ernie Price is the Chief of Visitor Services and Education at the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. After earning an undergraduate degree in history at Longwood College and a Masters of education at Lynchburg College, Ernie joined the National Park service in 1997. He has been at the Appomattox location since 2008.

May 2017 -  Chris Kolakowski presented “The Battle Of Missionary Ridge”.  "The Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863, was the climax of the various Battles for Chattanooga. A great Union strategic victory, it set the stage for the 1864 thrust to Atlanta. It also was the foundation of the MacArthur military dynasty, because of the heroism of 18-year-old Arthur MacArthur of the 24th Wisconsin.

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 at Albany.

Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, and the U.S. Army. He has written and spoken on various aspects of military history from 1775 to the present. He has published two books with the History Press: The Civil War at Perryville: Battling For the Bluegrass and The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaign: This Army Does Not Retreat. In September 2016, the U.S. Army published his volume on the 1862 Virginia Campaigns as part of its sesquicentennial series on the Civil War. He is a contributor to the Emerging Civil War Blog, and his study of the 1941-42 Philippine Campaign titled Last Stand on Bataan is was released by McFarland in late February 2016.

September 2017 - Patrick Falci a/k/a General A. P. Hill presented "Up Came Hill" (A. P. Hill at Sharpsburg).

At 6:30 in the morning on September 17, 1862, a courier sent by Gen. Robert E. Lee arrived at the headquarters of Major General AP. Hill in Harper's Ferry, VA. A battle had commenced early that morning in Sharpsburg, MD and General Lee needed help. Lee knew he was outnumbered more than 2 to 1 at what would be known as the Battle of Antietam, and that A.P. Hill and his men were the only ones who could help him. In one half-hour, Hill would have his men on the march at the double-quick.

For 25 years, Patrick Falci has been the face of General Ambrose Powell Hill. Before that, he spent 15 years as a reenactor with the 14th Tennessee— Archer's Brigade, Hill's Light Division. He created the role of General Hill in the movie Gettysburg and was the historical advisor to director Ron Maxwell, as well as bestselling author, Jeff Shaara. Amongst his many achievements, he served as the 3-time president of the Civil War Round Table of New York and has been a guest speaker all over the country for his knowledge on the Civil War.

October 2017 -Dennis Frye presented “Did McClellan out-think Lee during the first Confederate invasion?”
We often laugh when we think of George McClellan. We enjoy making McClellan the Union's whipping boy. McClellan, himself, brings little sympathy to his cause. Full of bravado, often arrogant, and sometimes insubordinate, McClellan is the general we like to dislike. We chuckle when he claimed, following the first invasion of the North, that it was the second time he had saved the North. Yet when Robert E. Lee was asked after the war who was the best Union general he faced, he responded with George McClellan. Was McClellan as incompetent and ineffective as history has branded him? Discover some answers as we ask:  "Did McClellan out-think Lee during the 1st invasion?"
Dennis E. Frye is the Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Writer, lecturer, guide, and preservationist, Dennis is a prominent Civil War historian. Dennis has numerous appearances on PBS, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, C-SPAN, Fox News, A&E, and Voice of America as a guest historian. He helped produce Emmy award-winning television features on the Battle of Antietam, abolitionist John Brown, and Maryland during the Civil War. Dennis is one of the nation’s leading Civil War battlefield preservationists.  He is co-founder and first president of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, and he is co-founder and a former president of today’s Civil War Trust, from whom he received the Trust’s highest honor - the Shelby Foote Award.  Dennis also earned the prestigious Nevins-Freeman Award for his lifetime achievements in the Civil War community. Dennis is a tour guide in demand, leading tours for organizations such as the Smithsonian, National Geographic, numerous colleges and universities, and Civil War Round Tables.  Dennis also is a well-known author, with 98 articles and nine books.   Harpers Ferry Under Fire received the national book of the year award from the Association of Partners for Public Lands; and September Suspense:  Lincoln’s Union in Peril, was awarded the 2012 Laney Book Prize for distinguished scholarship and writing on the military and political history of the war.  Dennis has written for prestigious Civil War magazines such as Civil War Times Illustrated, America’s Civil War, Blue & Gray Magazine, North and South Magazine, and Hallowed Ground, and as a guest contributor to the Washington Post.  Dennis resides near the Antietam Battlefield in Maryland, and he and his wife Sylvia have restored the home that was used by General Burnside as his post-Antietam headquarters. 

November 2017 - Eric Buckland presented  “John S. Mosby – The Perfect Man in the Perfect Place”.

Colonel John Singleton Mosby, Commanding Officer of the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry (Mosby’s Rangers) - remains a sterling example of the quintessential unconventional warfare warrior and leader. The tactics, techniques and procedures he used during the War Between the States from January 1863 to April 1865 are still studied today by United States Army Special Forces and Rangers and by the United States Marine Corps. Mosby’s personal courage, intelligence, innovativeness, audacity and innate understanding of how to plan, conduct and command irregular operations made him a very painful and persistent thorn in the side of Union forces arrayed against him and a celebrated hero in the South.

However, even strong personal attributes and exceptional ability need to be coupled with good fortune and circumstances in order to achieve the type of sustained success enjoyed by Mosby and his Rangers. “John S. Mosby: The Perfect Man in the Perfect Place” will offer superb insight into how John Mosby was able to utilize and adapt his strengths and abilities to successfully fulfill his mission requirements, confront the enemy threat, use the operational area’s terrain to his benefit, recruit men to his unit and garner the support and loyalty of the local population.

Eric Buckland’s interest in Mosby's Rangers began when he was a young boy and increased during his 22-year military career.  Most of that time - he retired from the Army as a LTC - was spent in Special Forces. Eric had multiple deployments to Panama, Honduras and El Salvador in the 1980’s and believes that his military experience provides a unique understanding of Mosby’s Rangers.

December 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.

Brian Steel Wills is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.  He is the author of numerous works relating to the American Civil War.  His most recent publications are The River was Dyed with Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014), Confederate General William Dorsey Pender: The Hope of Glory (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013) and George Henry Thomas: As True as Steel (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2012), which was the recipient of the 2013 Richard Barksdale Harwell Award for the best book on a Civil War topic for the year 2012 presented by the Civil War Round Table of Atlanta.  His latest work is Inglorious Passages: Noncombat Deaths in the American Civil War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2017), just out.


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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.


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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.



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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.




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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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