Wednesday, April 15, 2020

American Civil War Battlefields
Ellwood Manor House
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, VA

Ellwood on Wilderness Battlefield, part of Fredericksburg & 
Spotsylvania National Military Park

If Ellwood Manor, the home of the Jones/Lacy family, were simply a late 18th Century structure in Orange (formerly Spotsylvania) County, VA, it would deserve attention. Add to that  its use as a field hospital after the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville, as a staging site for Union troops during the Battle of the Wilderness, and the headquarters of Army Corps Commanders Generals Gouverneur Warren and Ambrose Burnside, and it becomes even more deserving. 

But I suspect it's lasting fame is that its cemetery contains the burial location of Stonewall Jacksons amputated left arm.  From
"On May 2, 1863, Jackson was wounded by the mistaken fire of his own troops at Chancellorsville. Surgeons removed the injured limb at nearby Wilderness tavern. The following day, Jackson's chaplain Beverley Tucker Lacy, carried the amputated arm across the fields and buried it in his brother's graveyard. It remains here to this day, the only marked grave in the cemetery."

During and after these battles, Ellwood did not fare well and stood empty until 1872, when the Lacys returned from their primary  home, Chatham Manor. The cemetery and grounds were used for soldiers' burials, both CSA and USA. Those remains were transferred after the war. 
Ellwood was sold in 1907,  donated  to the National Park Service in 1971 and then officially acquired by the NPS in 1977. 

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Announcing Our 549th Meeting
Saturday, February 15, 2020           

 Civil War to World War: The MacArthurs and the Buckners
   Presented by Chris Kolakowski

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 was released in late February 2016. He is currently working on a book about the 1944 India-Burma battles. 

On January 6, 2020, Chris became Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, after serving as MacArthur Memorial Director from September 16, 2013, to December 6, 2019.  Chris is a past member of our Round Table and a Past President.  He has also led 3 field trips for our group.
Chris will have copies of his books The Civil War at Perryville: Battling For the Bluegrass and The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaign: This Army Does Not Retreat and Last Stand on Bataan at the meeting.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Announcing Our 548th Meeting
Saturday, January 18,2020
The 25th Annual Frank Rankin Lecture

The Civil War: Kentucky’s Mercurial Path
Presented by Kent Masterson Brown 

We welcome back Kent Masterson Brown who will deliver the 25th Annual Frank Rankin Lecture. Kent was born in Lexington, Kentucky on February 5, 1949.  He is a 1971 graduate – and in 2014 named a distinguished graduate - of Centre College and received his juris doctor degree in 1974 from Washington and Lee University School of Law.  Kent has practiced law for forty-four years with offices in Lexington and Washington, DC.  Kent has published six books, all on the Civil War, including Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander, Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign, and One of Morgan’s Men: The Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry; they have been selections of the History Book Club and Military Book Club.  All of them have received rave reviews and numerous national awards.  He is currently writing George Gordon Meade and the Gettysburg Campaign, which will go to press in the summer of 2020.

Kent has also written, hosted, and produced eight award-winning documentary films for public and cable television, including: Bourbon and Kentucky: A History Distilled, Henry Clay and the Struggle for the Union, Unsung Hero: The Horse in the Civil War, Daniel Boone and the Opening of the American West, and “I Remember The Old Home Very Well:” The Lincolns in Kentucky. All Kent’s films have been widely broadcast throughout the United States, Canada, and overseas. Two of his films, Daniel Boone and The Lincolns in Kentucky, won the regional television ratings when they were premiered on Kentucky Educational Television. All have won Telly Awards; Unsung Hero was nominated for an Emmy Award.

A nationally known speaker and Civil War battlefield guide, Kent was the first chairman of the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission and the first chairman of the Perryville (Kentucky) Battlefield Commission, a seat he held for eleven years overseeing the expansion of the Perryville Battlefield.  He served on the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and is now a member of the Kentucky Film Commission.  He has also been a director of the Gettysburg Foundation.  Kent is now the President and Content Developer for the Witnessing History Education Foundation, Inc.  Kent lives in Lexington with his wife, Genevieve, and their three children, Annie Louise, Philip and Thomas.

The Civil War: Kentucky’s Mercurial Course
At the time of the secession crisis in the winter and spring of 1861, Kentucky had all the indicators of joining her sister slave States in seceding from the Union but did not.  Instead, Kentucky became, for all practical purposes, a Union State, even though 35,000 Kentuckians joined the Confederate armies.  By War’s end, Kentucky, as a State, believed it had embraced the wrong side, and, in the years after the War, became as ardently “Confederate” as its sister southern States.  It remains so all the way through the mid-twentieth century.  This is that story.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Announcing our 546th Meeting
Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Lost Gettysburg Address
Presented  by David Dixon
David Dixon earned his M.A. in history from the University of Massachusetts in 2003. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and magazines. Most focus on Union sympathizers in the Civil War South. 

David spoke at the 2016 Sacred Trust Talks in Gettysburg and has delivered nearly 100 talks to audiences across the country. He appeared on Civil War Talk Radio and other podcasts. He hosts B-List History, a website that features obscure characters and their compelling stories. You may download free pdf versions of his published articles on that website at

David’s latest book is the biography of German revolutionary and Union General August Willich and will be published by the University of Tennessee Press in September 2020. It highlights the contributions of more than 180,000 German-American immigrants to the Union effort in the Civil War. Transatlantic radicals like Willich viewed the war as part of a much larger, global revolution for social justice and republican government. David is currently writing a biography of U.S. and Confederate Congressman Augustus Wright of Georgia.

The Lost Gettysburg Address

Few remember Edward Everett's oration that preceded Lincoln's famous address, but hardly anyone is aware of Kentucky native Charles Anderson's oration, which concluded the day's events. The speech was never published, and the lost manuscript only recently uncovered at a ranch in Wyoming.  Dixon argues that the three featured speeches of November 19, 1863 need to be viewed as a rhetorical ensemble to better understand the political context of the Gettysburg dedication.  The back story to this is the saga of Anderson himself, a slaveholder who sacrificed nearly everything to help Lincoln save the Union. An escapee from a Confederate prison in Texas, he became Lincoln's emissary to Great Britain. He then nearly died commanding a Union regiment at Stones River. He eventually became governor of Ohio. These are just some of his amazing adventures during the war.

In Memoriam

Dr. James I. “Bud” Robertson Jr. 

July 18, 1930 – November 2, 2019

     We regret to inform you that James I. “Bud” Robertson Jr., passed away on Saturday, November 2, after a long battle with cancer.  He had spoken at our round table over 40 times beginning in the 1960’s and always looked forward to coming to Kentucky.  He will be greatly missed by all the Civil War community.  

     William C. “Jack” Davis said, “For fully six decades Bud Robertson was a dominant figure in his field, and a great encouragement to all who would study our turbulent past during the middle of the 19th century,. Moreover, amid a conversation that can still become bitter and confrontational, his was a voice for reason, patience, and understanding. In the offing, he has become virtually ‘Mr. Virginia,’ a spokesperson for the commonwealth past, present, and future. His voice is now sorely missed — and irreplaceable.”

Friday, October 11, 2019

Announcing Our 545th Meeting
Friday, October 11, 2019 

The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
Presented by Robert Lee Hodge 

 Born on Stonewall Jackson’s birthday, Robert Lee Hodge has had a keen interest in America’s Civil War history since age 4. Over the course of more than 30 years, Hodge has worked on several history-based films—from dramas like ABC’s North and South and TNT’s Gettysburg and Andersonville, to many programs on The History Channel, Arts and Entertainment Channel, and the National Geographic Channel, to his own Civil War documentaries, which have won 5 Telly awards and a regional Emmy in 2007. Hodge has been featured on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation and Soundscapes, NBC’s Late, Late Show, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, the PBS program Going Places, and C-SPAN II’s Book TV. Robert has also written for The Nashville Tennessean, Civil War Times, America’s Civil War, The Washington Post, and North and South magazine. He played a major role in, and appears on the cover of, the New York Times’ 1999 best-seller Confederates in the Attic—hosting Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tony Horwitz on an eclectic and memorable Civil War tour-de-force of historic sites. 

 Robert has been a historical researcher, primarily at The National Archives and Library of Congress, working with nationally-recognized experts. He also was principle researcher on Time-Life Books 18-volume series Voices of the Civil War and The Illustrated History of the Civil War. Hodge’s interest became preserving historic green space when he interned with the National Park Service’s Civil War Sites Advisory Commission in 1992. He has organized battlefield preservation fund-raisers that have garnered over $160,000. He also serves on the board of directors of the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (the CVBT); an organization that has protected over 1,300 acres at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, since 1996. Hodge was featured on the National Geographic Channel and Time magazine in 2011, wrote for The Washington Post during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and was a researcher for the U.S. Army in 2013. In 2016 he wrote the script for the film at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. In 2017 he appeared in The Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio’s Kojo Nnamdi Show and Chinese Central Television about Confederate monuments and Civil War memory. 

In 2019 Hodge started blogging for the Emerging Civil War. ECW is currently running his “Yellowhammers and Environmentalism” series about Evander Law’s Alabama Brigade’s route of march to Gettysburg. He’s also writing about the loss of historic green space.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

American Civil War Monuments
Civil War Soldiers' Monument
Main Street and Elm Street, Route 1
Searsport, Maine

 all photos courtesy of LCWRT Member Holly Jenkins-Evans

This granite shaft with marble plaques was erected in 1870 between Mt Ephraim and Goodall Streets in coastal Searsport. then  moved in 1896 in front of the then new Masonic and Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street near Elm.  On two marble plaques the monument lists the names of 18 Searsport men who fought and died from these Maine units:  the 4th, the 1st Mounted Artillery, the 1st Cavalry, the 2nd Cavalry, Heavy Artillery, and 2 who enlisted in other states:  the 13th NY Artillery and the 113th ILL Regiment. It is flanked by a pair of iron cannons.
 From : 
"Local legend claimed that one of the tablets had been engraved with the name of a living man who had paid a volunteer to enlist in his place. The enlistee was killed but the name engraved was the surviving individual. Subsequent research in 1982 by Charlene Knox Farris revealed legend to be fact."

Re-dedicated July 4, 1990.

A Tribute To Our Citizens Who fought in defense of the Union 1861-5