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January 2023 - Drew Gruber presented “The Siege of
Yorktown”. In the early Spring of 1862, the Union Army of the Potomac was
transported from the Nation’s Capital area down the Chesapeake Bay to the
lower Virginia Peninsula bounded by the James and York Rivers. The Union
manpower of approximately 125,000 troops marched up the Peninsula in early
April until confronting an extensive Confederate defensive line established
behind the Warwick River from Mulberry Island (present day Fort Eustis)
across the Peninsula to Yorktown. The initial Confederate defensive force,
numbering approximately 12,000 troops, brought the Union advance to a halt.
As a consequence of overcoming such a formidable defensive obstacle, the
Union high command chose to implement a siege.
February 2023 - John J. Fox presented “Fort Gregg - The Confederate Alamo”. The Confederate Alamo is the first book-length study ever written about the chaotic and bloody Battle of Fort Gregg. By April 2, 1865, General Ulysses S. Grant’s men had tightened their noose around the vital town of Petersburg, Virginia. Trapped on three sides with a river at their back, the soldiers from General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia had never faced such dire circumstances.
March 2023 - J. Michael Moore presented “John Taylor Wood and The Rebel Horse Marine”. Join historian J. Michael Moore for a lively discussion of John Taylor Wood's career and exploits as one of the most successful Confederate naval raiders. The Chesapeake Bay was a vital Union communication and supply link from Washington, D.C. to Fort Monroe. With great ingenuity and incredible forethought, Wood developed the “boats on wheels” concept for attacking Union shipping. Wood earned the sobriquet of the Rebel Horse Marine with a naval raiding career that was something out of the action-adventure genre of fiction and foreshadowed the development of commando and special operations warfare in the twentieth century."
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