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Presidents Corner

September 2017 Newsletter

Our September program is our first meeting of the 2017-2018 Program Year, which will run from September 2017 through June 2018. Our year begins on Wednesday, September 27 with James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr.

James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr. Dr. Robertson has made his career teaching thousands of college students in his Civil War and Reconstruction course at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, in Blacksburg, Virginia, as the Alumni Distinguished Professor in History from 1967 to 2011. He is the founding executive director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies research and education center. He is considered the preeminent scholar on Confederate Lieutenant General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. Robertson was the Chief Historical Consultant in the 2003 Warner Brothers film Gods and Generals, which prominently features Stonewall Jackson. Robertson is also a former member of the Board of Trustees at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.

Robertson has authored 18 books including award-winners General A.P. Hill, Soldiers Blue and Gray, and Civil War! America Becomes One Nation. His biography Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend, won eight national awards including the American Library Association's Best Book for Young Readers Award. Robertson also edited an additional 18 books on the Civil War.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy nominated Robertson to serve as the executive director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission, a federal committee that was foundering under the pressures of regional differences and the emerging civil rights movement, unable to organize a dignified commemoration of the war era. Robertson worked effectively with 34 state and 100 local centennial committees to create a successful result. Fifty years later, he was named a charter member of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission.

In 1963 he worked with David Mearns, director of the Library of Congress, to assist in the planning of Kennedy's funeral by researching the funeral of Abraham Lincoln, after which Kennedy's was patterned. Robertson and Mearns referenced Frank Leslie's Weekly and Harper's Weekly for details of the 1865 funeral that were used to transform the East Room of the White House.

In 2011, Robertson wrote and hosted, with William C. ‘Jack’ Davis, the 3-hour documentary "Virginia in the Civil War: A Sesquicentennial Remembrance".

Since 2000, Robertson has also sponsored an award in his name honoring scholarship in the field of Confederate history.

June 2017 Program

Our June program, Shannon Pritchard speaking on “Collecting the Confederacy” described the unique challenges and opportunities in collecting the wide panoply of Confederate paraphernalia. We appreciate his knowledge and experience in assisting us to understand what to look for and what to do when interested in purchasing an item without ruing the fact afterward.

The Program Committee

The Program Committee consists of Pat Quinn, Scott Boyd and Paul Scott. I wish to personally thank Paul, Pat and Scott for their knowledge, input and the contacts made to the prospective speakers and for arranging such unique and interesting programs for next year. Please note that the date for the October meeting has changed from October 25th to October 18th.

Brochures and Community Contacts

The Executive Committee has approved the design of the new brochures, and they will be printed this summer and distributed throughout the city retail establishments, libraries and local museums. The Executive Committee also approved the design of professional cards for our officers and general membership. Special thanks goes to Ted Watkins for his expertise in designing the brochures and professional cards. Front Porch publication continues our ads each month. Notices of our meetings are printed in Alan Zirkle's History Alert, The Civil War News newspaper, North South Traders Civil War magazine and the History Calendar of the Town & County Section of the Free Lance-Star.

New Website and Email Address

The new website is and the new email address is Please make note of these citations. Thanks to Roger Leturno for a fine job in revamping our website and remaining as our new webmaster.

Membership and Roster

Our great thanks to Paul Scott and all members of the Roundtable in helping to increase our membership. Please note that the bylaws provide that for one joining the round table after April 1 through June of any year that person's dues payment also pays for the following program year. We have consistently had guests at our meetings. Some are members' guests and some come on their own. Please make our new members feel at home and our guests welcome by introducing yourself and inviting them to sit at your table. Bring your friends and acquaintances as guests to our meetings and solicit their membership in order to continue the growth of the club.

Rather than having an officers' head table as we have had in the past, the officers are sitting with the membership to facilitate getting better acquainted. Besides the speaker, we have also endeavored to seat some guests and new members at the head table. So take the opportunity to ask your fellow members about themselves, their backgrounds, their history, whether it be professional or military or whatever, and you'd be surprised at the "history" of each person.

The roster of our current membership has been completed, but we are adding new members monthly. Those who have not provided their cell phone number to our secretary, Beth Daly, please do so.

National Park Service Intern

The Round Table’s sponsored intern, Emily R. Crawford, has concluded her assignment with the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, to the internship sponsored by our round table. Emily will graduate from East Tennessee State University this coming December. She is a history major who aspires to become a professional historical interpreter at either a state or national park. We wish Emily the best in all of her endeavors.

New Officers for the 2017-2018 Program Year

The officers for the 2017-2018 Program Year, John Harris, President; Clint Van Zandt, Vice President; and Jim Davis, Treasurer, were installed at the June meeting. Beth Daly has graciously agreed to stay on as Secretary. The “New” officers wish to thank Paul Scott for his leadership during our previous two years.

50/50 Raffle

Please buy raffle tickets for the 50/50 raffle in order to support the projects of our club at the table just inside the Rappahannock Grand Ballroom.


The entrance table also contains brochures and printouts for other history related events, and is available for such bulletins as members may wish to place. Books donated to the club may also be placed there by members.

CWRTF Resolution March 23, 2016

Non-cancellations after reservations have been made creates a financial difficulty for the club since the club has the responsibility for the cost of that meal with our caterer. As this is an ongoing issue, the round table passed the following resolution at its March 23, 2016, meeting: "In the future, short of an emergency (classified as a personal unforeseen emergency event, which is reported by the member to the treasurer within five (5) business days post- meeting), the treasurer shall be authorized to invoice such member for the meeting/dinner cost incurred, who fails to honor his/her reservation(s) having missed the schedule CWRTF meeting/dinner event."


Please make your reservations for our September 27th meeting by Friday, September 22, 2017, by calling (540) 361-2105, emailing or responding to this newsletter by email. Late reservations can usually be accepted, but it 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. If you, subsequently, find that you cannot attend, please be sure to cancel your reservation in a timely manner so that the club does not have to assume the cost of that meal.

Thank you, members, for your attendance, participation and input in our club. It has, indeed, been a pleasure to see and experience the passion and interest of our members both in the study of the Civil and War and in sharing it with others in bringing guests and new members aboard.

We look forward to our new Program Year and many years of success for the round table.

I will see you all at the September 27th meeting.

John Harris

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

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