Founded in 1957, our Round Table is one of the oldest in the nation. We couldn't ask for a better location: four major battles of the Civil War were fought within 20 miles of Fredericksburg. Our group of about 100 members meets once each month for a catered dinner followed by the presentation of a Civil War topic by a guest speaker - frequently a nationally-known author.
We meet the fourth Wednesday of every month (except December, July and August) at the Washington Jepson Alumni Executive Center at 1119 Hanover Street in Fredericksburg.
The bar opens at 5:45pm. Social begins at 6pm. Dinner is at 6:45pm. The program starts around 7:30pm. usually conclude by 9pm.
Reservations are required. Please call (540) 361-2105 and leave a message regarding how many seats you require. Place your reservation request NLT Noon, Monday, the 17th of November. If later you find you cannot attend, please call in your cancellation.
Men are expected to wear a coat and tie, with equivalent attire for ladies.
The dinner cost is $32.00 for members, $37.00 for others, by cash or check at the door.
Civil War Books & DVD Donations
We have,over the past, raffled off CW books and DVDs etc. as a source of income for the Round Table. If you have anything that you can donate, please bring the item(s) to our next meeting and help us out
See: Picture of the Proposed Name-Tag Lanyard in the President's Corner
November 19, 2014
"Battle Of The Crater”
Guest Speaker: Emmanuel Dabney, NPS Historian, Civil War Author
Of the eight offensive operations of the Petersburg Campaign, the Battle of the Crater was intentionally not covered during Grant Gates presentation last meeting. The “Pit” deserves a more detailed examination for in its study, we are given insight into the times. Its history contains displays of marvelous Yankee ingenuity amidst massive brutality, politics, racism and incompetence. By early June 1864, federal trenching in Maj. Gen. Burnside’s IX Corps sector had progressed to within 400’ of Elliott’s Salient. A bold idea was then seized upon by Lt. Col Pleasant, Commander of the 48th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry for breaking the Confederate earthworks. His idea was to secretly tunnel under and explode 8000 pounds of black powder in a mine paralleling the earthworks thus creating a hole in the Confederate line. This “opening of the gates”, would allow Union troops to rush in to take Petersburg with a full frontal assault that, if successful, could have decided the war. As we will see, however, despite weeks of preparation, one of the Civil War's most horrific events took place: the slaughter of thousands of Union troops, including many African-Americans (USCT), in a giant pit created as a result of a poorly planned and executed Union mission. After several hundred Confederates perished in the initial mine explosion and the Union troops entered the crater, the Confederates quickly recovered and launched several counterattacks led by Maj. Gen. William Mahone. The break was sealed and the Federals were repulsed with severe casualties. Brig. Gen. Ferrarro’s division of black soldiers was badly mauled. Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside was relieved of command while General Grant, disgusted, summed it up best saying it was "the saddest affair I have ever witnessed in the war”
We heartily welcome Ranger Emmanuel Dabney of the National Park Service at Petersburg National Battlefield to discuss—The Battle of the Crater. The fact that he is an African-American provides us a most unique perspective that has long been missing of this battle. After completing high school in Dinwiddie County, 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 and completed a Master's degree in Public History at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.