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2022 2023 Program Year

September 28, 2022


Speaker: Paige Gibbons

A native of Wisconsin, Paige Gibbons Backus graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Historic Preservation and George Mason University with a master’s degree in Applied History. She has been in the public history field for close to ten years focusing on educational programming and operations working at several historic sites throughout Northern Virginia including Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Sully Historic Site, and Ben Lomond Historic Site. She currently serves Prince William County as the Historic Site Manager at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre (a 19th century courthouse and jail complex with a lot of Civil War history) and Lucasville School (a one-room African American schoolhouse).

When out of the office, Paige spends her time serving on the board of the Virginia Association of Museums, exploring, being outdoors, or researching her interests which include women’s history, as well as the more morbid side of history such as death, disease, medicine, murder, or scandal. Her published works include Witness to Peace and Strife: The History of Ben Lomond in Manassas, Virginia, as well as well as numerous articles published for a variety of publications such as Emerging Civil War, Virginia Association of Museum’s Voice Magazine, Civil War Traveler, and Prince William Living. She currently lives in Manassas, Virginia, with her husband, Bill, and dog, Bernard.

October 26, 2022


Speaker: Sue Henderson & Jane Conner

For over a half century, Stafford County residents desired a museum to share their rich history.  Around 11 years ago, a committee was formed to explore options.  Two members from of the Stafford Museum and Cultural Center committee will join us to give the evening presentation.  Sue Henderson will talk about the details of the proposed museum, while CWRTF member, Jane Conner, will part her knowledge of the county’s history.  

November 16, 2022


Speaker: Dr. Peter Carmichael

On August 20, 1863, one day before Jefferson Davis called upon the Confederacy to renew itself through public fasting and prayer, thirteen veteran soldiers from the 3rd North Carolina decided that God had other intentions. That evening, in the blackness of night, they picked up their rifles, slung on their cartridge belts, and escaped into the woods. From that point on, there was no turning back on a trek of some three hundred perilous miles that would eventually take them to their North Carolina homes. Earlier that same day, Lee had ordered his corps commanders to organize armed parties to hunt down runaways while calling for the president to back immediate enforcement of the death penalty against deserters. For the men who left the 3rd North Carolina’s camp that night, the impact of Lee's orders would be felt with surprising swiftness.

Carmichael’s talk will use the experiences of one of these soldiers, Pvt. John Futch, to examine different facets of desertion in Lee's army after Gettysburg, including the use of violence in Confederate ranks and the role of fake news in suppressing dissent among Confederate soldiers and civilians. The program will draw heavily on Futch’s letters, which Carmichael and the audience will read and discuss together.

January 25, 2023


Speaker: David Welker

Febraury 22, 2023


Speaker: Col (R) John Biemeck

Colonel John Biemeck will present an overview of black powder smoothbore and rifled artillery projectiles used by Confederate and Union forces during the American Civil War.  This will include the various types of kinetic energy and explosive projectiles including an explanation of how they functioned; their relative lethality and the how fuses in explosive projectile’s functioned.  He will address the reasons for the very high “dud rate” experienced and will access the level of danger they represent today if specimens in collections still contain explosive charges.  This will dismiss many “black powder myths” and misconceptions that have been passed by word of mouth over the past 150+ years.  The presentation will be fully illustrated with slides of the various projectiles, fuses and procedures discussed.  This will be followed by a brief discussion on how the black powder is removed today to render specimens inert; followed by answering any questions the audience may have on the subject.  

March 22, 2023


Speaker: John Quarstein

John V. Quarstein presents Civil War tours and lectures across the country and is the author of 18 books, with three more on the way. He leads the Museum’s Civil War and Hampton Roads Lecture Series and is now writing blogs and presenting online content via YouTube Live. John’s deep interest in all things related to the Civil War stems from his youth living on Fort Monroe, walking where heroes like Abraham Lincoln and R. E. Lee once stood. An avid collector of decoys, waterfowl/maritime art, and oriental rugs, John lives among them in his home, the 1757 Herbert House on Sunset Creek in Hampton, Virginia. On the National Register of Historic Places, this is the only house to have survived August 7, 1861, burning of Hampton.

John V. Quarstein is an award-winning historian, preservationist, lecturer and author. He served as director of the Virginia War Museum for over thirty years and, after retirement, continues to work as a historian for the city of Newport News. He is in demand as a speaker throughout the nation. Quarstein is the author of fourteen books and has produced, narrated and written six PBS documentaries, including the Civil War in Hampton Roads series, which was awarded a 2007 Silver Telly. Besides his lifelong interest in Tidewater Virginia history, Quarstein is an avid duck hunter and decoy collector. He lives on Old Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia, and on his family's Eastern Shore farm near Chestertown, Maryland.

April 26, 2023


Speaker: Codie Eash

Codie Eash has been part of the Seminary Ridge Museum staff since before the institution’s opening. Prior to his current role as Director of Education and Museum Operations, he previously served as Communications Intern (2012-2013), Visitor Services Assistant (2013-2015), Lead Visitor Services Assistant (2015-2018), Visitor Services Coordinator (2018-2020), and Operations Manager (2020-2021). In 2014, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication/Journalism from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where he also completed a minor in History.

In addition to museum tours and interpretation, Codie lectures for National Park Service sites, historical societies, Civil War roundtables, educational groups, and other organizations. He has published articles and essays in local newspapers, regional magazines, and national history journals. He is a founding contributor to Pennsylvania in the Civil War, writes book reviews for Civil War Monitor, and serves on the editorial board of Gettysburg Magazine.

May 24, 2023


Speaker: Stephen Cushman

In The General’s Civil War, Stephen Cushman considers Civil War generals' memoirs as both historical and literary works, revealing how they remain vital to understanding the interaction of memory, imagination, and the writing of American history. Cushman shows how market forces shaped the production of the memoirs and, therefore, memories of the war itself; how audiences have engaged with the works to create ideas of history that fit with time and circumstance; and what these texts tell us about current conflicts over the history and meanings of the Civil War.

Dr. Stephen Cushman is the Robert C. Taylor, Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He has published six collections of poetry, two books of literary criticism, and several works about the Civil War including The Generals' Civil War: What Their Memoirs Can Teach Us Today (2021), Belligerent Muse: Five Northern Writers and How They Shaped Our Understanding of the Civil War (2014), and Bloody Promenade (1999).  Additionally, Dr. Cushman has edited two books with Gary Gallagher: Civil War Writing (2019) and Civil War Witnesses and Their Books (2021).   He is the 2019-20 recipient of the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th-Century American History from the Huntington Library, among other honors. 

June 21, 2023


Speaker: Dan Davis

With the initiative firmly in hand following his twin victories at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee decided to launch a second northern invasion. Lee ordered his cavalry under J.E.B. Stuart to Culpeper and assigned him the critical task of screening the main infantry movement. Stuart's presence was soon detected by Alfred Pleasonton's Union cavalry. On June 9, 1863 Pleasonton's horsemen crossed the Rappahannock River, intent on destroying Stuart. The resulting fourteen hour engagement that swirled across the surrounding hills and farms opened the Gettysburg Campaign and became the largest cavalry battle ever fought in North America.

Daniel T. Davis is a graduate of Longwood University with a degree in Public History. He has worked as a seasonal historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and a living history interpreter at Appomattox Court House National Historic Site. Dan is the author or co-author of numerous books in the Emerging Civil War Series as well as articles in Blue and Gray Magazine, Hallowed Ground and Civil War Times. He is the Senior Education Manager with the American Battlefield






Civil War Round Table or Fredericksburg, Inc.
Civil War Round Table or Fredericksburg, Inc.
Civil War Round Table or Fredericksburg, Inc.
Civil War Round Table or Fredericksburg, Inc.

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