Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg
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Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg

Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg

CVBT Executive Director Terry Rensel and CWRTF guest speaker Kevin Pawlak

Harriett Wang and CVBT Assistant Executive Director Sarah Kay Bierle

Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg
CVBT 2020 Annual Conference

April 24 - 26, 2020 Central Virginia Battlefields Trust 2020 Annual Conference "FIRST DAYS - A...
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President Notes

Thank you for your continued support to our club and patience with me as I execute my responsibilities.  I am proud to be your club president and am very pleased with our meeting attendance and steady growth. 

February’s meeting of 87 members and guests joined together to welcome guest speaker, Sarah Kay Bierle.  Her presentation, Call Out the Cadets - The Battle of New Market, was based on her book of the same name.  Sarah expanded on her book by telling us about the lives of several cadets after the war ended.  Her presentation was both interesting and educational.  We had several VMI graduates attending the evening's event and I noticed no one challenged Sarah.  She obviously knew her subject. 

I believe you will find our March speaker every bit as interesting as February’s.  Dr. Caroline E. Janney is the John L. Nau III Professor of the American Civil War and Director of the John L. Nau Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia.  She serves as a co-editor of the University of North Carolina Press’s Civil War America Series and is the past president of the Society of Civil War Historians. Dr. Janney has published five books, which include, Burying the Dead, but Not the Past, the subject of this month’s presentation.  I just finished reading this book and was surprised by the Ladies’ Memorial Associations’ contributions to Southern history.  Most recently, Dr. Janney has published Remembering the War Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation and Petersburg to Appomattox: The End of the War in Virginia (both University of North Carolina Press).

One hundred and fifty-five years after the close of the Civil War, reminders of the Confederacy can be seen and, in many ways, felt in nearly every southern community.  Rare is the southern town or city that cannot boast of a Confederate cemetery or, at the very least, a marble statue dedicated to its Confederate soldiers standing guard over the town square or courthouse lawn.  Along with these physical reminders of the South’s history, numerous southern communities continue to observe many of the traditions put in place by the Ladies’ Memorial Associations (LMAs) in the 1860s. 

Frank O’Reilly, Lead Historian for the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, interviewed candidates for summer internship with the Park.  He’s found one who is a perfect fit for this year’s Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg's Albert Z. Conner internship.  His name is Andrew J. Heaton.  Andrew lives in Lenexa, KS, and is a student at Oklahoma State University, where he is on the President’s List and in the university marching band. 

Andrew initially planned on being a professional pilot (even obtaining his pilot’s license) but had an epiphany and now wants to teach social studies and history.  He is currently a senior and will graduate in the fall of 2020 with degrees in Secondary Education and History.  Andrew intends to go on to graduate school, pursuing an MA in American History.  He is very articulate and has a comfortably confident rapport that will fit well with the park.  According to his professors, he excels in tough situations and thrives on challenges. 

I contacted Andrew.  He appreciates the sponsorship and definitely looks forward to working at the NMP this summer.  I hope to introduce Andrew at our May meeting. 

Seating at round table programs often puts us with new members and guests.  Although it is natural to converse with those we know, it is important that we introduce ourselves and engage others in conversation.  It’s the interaction that is most remembered and brings people back.  So, include those new to our meetings in your conversation.

This edition of Hardtack includes a special circulation.  On behalf of the club, I wish to invite members of the Fredericksburg Ladies Memorial Association to join us for our March meeting.  We would be honored by your presence.

I am very pleased to announce that Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, City of Fredericksburg, will join us this month.  Please take the time to introduce yourself.

Please make your reservations for our March 25th meeting by Friday, March 20, 2020, by signing into our website at, calling (540) 361-2105, or emailing Late reservations can present difficulties in food preparation.  Our caterer prepares our meals based on our expected attendance and we do not want to be short of food or place settings.  If you make a reservation and realize you will not be able to attend, prior to the dinner, please call or email Beth Daly immediately so the club does not have to assume the cost of that meal.   

                                            For the Good of the Club

In January the Free Lance-Star eliminated the “History Calendar” in the Tuesday Town and Country section.  It was the one place readers could find and publicize upcoming historical events in our community.  Last month 27 concerned individuals representing a dozen organizations, including CWRTF, petitioned the FLS to reconsider their decision. We are hoping to see the History Calendar restored.

The Society of Civil War Surgeons annual gathering will be held March 27-29, 2020, at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Lexington, VA. The gathering will offer the participant’s dynamic sessions on historical medicine with experts in the medical field. The gathering will also provide a major opportunity for exchanges between representatives of different specialties with the medical community in this transitional period in American Medicine. 

CVBT Annual Conference 24 – 26 April, 2020, tickets are still available.  The dinner and meeting is April 25th at 6:00 p.m. at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House. This year’s speaker is Chris Kolakowski.  Visit for more information about CVBT and the conference.

That same weekend, St. Mary’s County Museum Division in Southern Maryland is having an American Civil War event weekend in remembrance of the Black Diamond disaster.  The Black Diamond disaster occurred on the Potomac near St. Clement’s Island during the hunt for John Wilkes Booth where 87 men were killed.

Saturday, May 16, 2020, the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table will conduct its 2020 bus tour “7 Days in the 1862 Spring Time.”  The cost is $90 for members of both round tables.  Estimated departure from Gordon Road is 8 a.m. with a return at 6 p.m.

The Society of Women and the Civil War will hold its 21st annual conference July 24 - 25, 2020 at the Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.  This year’s theme is “Women of the Valley”. 

This year’s Emerging Civil War Symposium is August 7 - 9, 2020, at Stevenson’s Ridge.  The theme is “Fallen Leaders of the Civil War” and the cost is $175 per person.        

Historic Fredericksburg Foundation is preparing for their 50th Annual Holiday Candlelight Tour December 12 – 13, 2020.  This year’s tour homes will be on the 1100 block of Princess Anne Street and the surrounding area.


Our club membership continues to grow.  As of this writing we are 142 strong.  Several new members joined the Civil War Round Table of  Fredericksburg since February’s issue of Hardtack.  They are:

Sarah Kay Bierle.  Sarah recently moved from to Virginia from California.  She is the Assistant to the Director for Central Virginia Battlefield Trust and managing editor for Emerging Civil War’s blog.

Drew Calhoun.  Drew is a Self/Manufactures Representative and lives in Fredericksburg.  He enjoys golf and fitness.  Drew found us through our ad in Front Porch.

Alexander Ivanchishin.  Alex is a retired Air Force Officer.  He is a Revolutionary War Reenactor, enjoys tabletop war-games and board games, military modeling, Civil War history, and battlefield preservation and tours.  David Hamon introduced Alex to our club.

Frank Pacello.  Frank is a retired Marine Officer. He collects coins and enjoys military history.  Ted Watkins was instrumental in introducing Frank to the club.

Terry Rensel. Terry is the Executive Director for Central Virginia Battlefield Trust. He came to Virginia last year from Alaska.

John Sapanara.  John is a retired FBI Special Agent.  He enjoys reading and collecting postage stamps.  I am honored to share with you that John is also President of Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table.  We can thank Scott Walker. 

Anthony & Cathy Scocco.  Cathy works for USPS.  They enjoy drones, 3D printing, travel, and history.  Anthony has volunteered to help with Hardtack by writing about civil war books he reads.  He is also interested in joining our membership committee.


Wanted. Volunteers to help with membership, advertising, newsletter, website, Facebook, or Heritage Award selections. Please feel free to contact me anytime.  I can be reached by phone at 719-650-8135 or email at

Your Obedient Servant,

Roger L. Leturno

Upcoming Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg Meetings

Program Year 2019-2020

The Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table

The Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table meets on the second Monday of each month at Brock's Riverside Grill, Sophia Street at Lafayette Blvd. Social time begins at 6:30 p.m., dinner begins at 6:45 p.m., and the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Reservations should be made by emailing Bob Jones at (Preferred) or call (540) 399-1702.

2020 Program Schedule

CWRTF Website, Facebook and Email Address




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