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 20th of April. 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.
MEMBERSHIP DRIVE Announced
See President's Corner
CIVIL WAR PRINTS SILENT AUCTION
FOLLOWING MAY'S MEMBERSHIP MEETING
We have five beautiful civil war prints that have been donated to the Fredericksburg CWRT for auction, See the President's Corner Menu (above) for photos, descriptions and estimated values. Remember it's for the Round Table so bring your wallets and checkbooks.
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
April 22, 2015
Myth of the Lost Cause
False Rememberances of the Civil War
Guest Speaker: Ed Bonekemper, Author, Historian
Last month Eric Wittenberg discussed the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston's Confederate Army to General William T. Sherman at the Bennett Place, April 26, 1865. It was the second and last major stage in the peacemaking process, which ended the War Between the States. General Lee's surrender at Appomattox 17 days earlier was the first. Johnston surrendered by far the largest share ofthe troops still in the field. He surrendered all Confederate forcesin the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, which took those States out of the war.With these surrenders, we have essentiallycompleted the battlefield journey through the Sesquicentennial. We now turn our attention to study the peace and the meaning of the Civil War. Historically important questions arose which are still argued today. What was the nature of slavery and was it a dying institution in 1860? Was slavery the primary cause of secession and the Civil War? Could the South have won the Civil War? Was Robert E. Lee one of the greatest generals in history? Did James Longstreet lose the Battle of Gettysburg and thus the Civil War? Did Ulysses S. Grant win the Civil War simply by brute force and superior numbers? Did the North win by waging an inglorious “total war”?
This month’s speaker, Ed Bonekemper, loves to advance these arguments and debate them at Civil War Roundtables and other forums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, the Delta Queen, the Lincoln Forum of the District of Columbia, and the Chautauqua Institution. A good example is his highly critical analysis of Robert E. Lee’s Civil War generalship that led to a C-Span appearance. During his research, he discovered that many pro-Lee historians had denigrated Ulysses S. Grant in order to glorify Lee, leading to a positive analysis of Grant, another book and yet again another appearance on C-Span. His presentation to us will be largely based upon his soon to be published book of the same title, where he explodes notional answers to many of these central questions as “False Remembrances of the Civil War” which have fueled the “Myth of the Lost Cause”. His presentation will undoubtedly prove to be lively but ￼￼learned.
Ed earned his B.A., cum laude, in American history from Muhlenberg College, an M.A. in American history from Old Dominion University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He is the author of five Civil War books: Lincoln and Grant: The Westerners Who Won the Civil War; Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian; McClellan and Failure: A Study of Civil War Fear, Incompetence and Worse; A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant’s Overlooked Military Genius, and How Robert E. Lee Lost the Civil War. He is the Book Review Editor of Civil War News and was an adjunct lecturer in military history at Muhlenberg College from 2003 to 2010. His latest book The Myth of the Lost Cause will be published this fall.
Pat Quinn, President 2014-15