Powhatan Civil War Round Table
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DISPATCHES FROM THE POWHATAN CIVIL WAR ROUNDTABLE NEWSLETTER

MAY 2019

Sarah Kay Bierle – The Battle of New Market

This month we welcome Sarah Kay Bierle to discuss the events featured in her new book, Call out the Cadets, about the Battle of New Market.

Sarah Kay Bierle is co-managing blog editor for Emerging Civil War. She has a B.A. in History from Thomas Edison StateUniversity and is exploring and enjoying her career pathas a historian, writer, speaker, and living history enthusiast.

“History, research, and writing are my passion,” she says. “I desire to make history more understandable and accessible to Americans who stumble through school thinking history is a collection of random dates, places, and events. Through thought-provoking writing, I want people to reconsider the past and find lessons which may inspire them to live more courageously today.”

Sarah’s website, Gazette665 is dedicated to helping the public learn about history through quality publications and exciting events. To date, the company has published three books and over 400 blog posts, and has recently launched a YouTube Channel and first history video series, which focuses on Sarah’s new non-fiction book, Call out the Cadets, about the Battle of New Market.

Much of Sarah’s research focuses on real people and their trials and successes of everyday life in challenging eras, with a primary focus on the Civil War. Her interests include the war’s effects on maritime industry, the civilians’ struggles, surgeons and medical care, and officers and families of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. She has published an award-winning, historical novel about civilians at the Battle of Gettysburg, a collection of historical Christmas stories, and a historical novel about the Civil War’s effects on a lighthouse family.

When not researching and writing, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading classic literature, quilting, and traveling. She maintains a personal history blog athttp://www.gazette665.com, and you can follow Sarah on Twitter@sarahkaybierle

MENU OPTIONS

The County Seat offers our members and guests a main course, or the soup and salad bar.  This month’s main course is Shrimp Alfredo, salad, and dessert.  Please specify your dining preference when you submit your pre-paid reservation, which is due the Tuesday prior to each meeting. 

NEXT MONTH

Thursday, June 20, 2019: Gary Dyson, a Civil War Correspondent in New Orleans

CIVIL WAR QUOTES

"Put the boys in, and may God forgive me for the order."

General John C. Breckinridge

LOCAL EVENTS

Book Talk: The Million-Dollar Man Who Helped Kill a President: George Washington Gayle and the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Program Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 1:00pm
Location: Historic Tredegar
Cost:Included with admission; free to ACWW members

Think you know all there is to know about President Lincoln’s assassination? Think again, as attorney and author Christopher Lyle McIlwain delves into the story of George Washington Gayle, the man behind the deadly scheme to kill Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward.

Christopher Lyle McIlwain, Sr., has been practicing law for more than three decades in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His other passion is the study of nineteenth century history. He is the author of two previous books,Civil War Alabama(U. of Alabama Press, 2016), the winner of the McMillan Prize, and1865 Alabama: From Civil War to Uncivil Peace(U. of Alabama Press, 2017). Chris has also published several articles in a variety of history journals.

History Happy Hour RVA: Drinking and Prohibition in Civil War Richmond

Program Date: Monday, May 13, 2019 - 6:30pm
Speaker: Robert Hancock, ACWM
Location: Capital Ale House
Cost: Free

Prohibition on buying and selling intoxicating beverages is not unique to the 1920s. Explore the drinking habits of 19thcentury imbibers and the government's crackdown in wartime Richmond.

Memorial Day at Pamplin Park May 27 - 9:00 am-5:00 pm

Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier will offer a full schedule of daily programs on Memorial Day, Monday May 27. The Park will open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and activities are included with regular museum admission.

A special Memorial Day program will begin at 12:30 p.m. During this program, visitors will hear Jake Wynn, Director of Interpretation at theNational Museum of Civil War Medicine, speak aboutClara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Officein Washington D.C. Barton’s efforts helped thousands of family members and friends find out the fate of their soldier loved ones in effort to hopefully reunite or gain closure. The program will also include an artillery firing followed by the presentation of the colors and a playing of Taps.

A Breakthrough Battlefield Tour will give visitors a chance to learn about the events of April 2, 1865 which is followed by bugle calls and a Civil War camp life demonstration. The viewing of “War So Terrible” which follows two Civil War soldiers, Benjamin Franklin Meyers of the Union and Andrew Jackson Stewart of the Confederacy, will be shown in the Battlefield Center. Programming will conclude with Civil War musical selections performed by the Haversacks & Hardtack String Bandin the Education Center.

All events and activities included with Park admission.

THIS MONTH IN THE CIVIL WAR 1865 - Courtesy History Learning Site

May 1865

Even though the Confederacy had surrendered inApril, May 1865 saw the final moments of theAmerican Civil War.  While Jefferson Davis continued his escape south, a sizable reward was issued for his capture. A few groups of Confederates had yet to surrender and lay down their weapons, but for the first time sinceApril 1861,many Americans could think in terms of peace.

May 1st - A military commission made up of eight army officers was established by President Johnson to try the people arrested for Lincoln’s assassination.

May 2nd - Johnson offered a reward of $100,000 for Jefferson Davis. Johnson, along with many other people in the North, believed that Davis had been complicit in Lincoln’s assassination.  Thinking Southerners would rally around him, Davis met with the army commanders he had left, and told them that the fight could go on.  They told him bluntly that it could not.

May 4th - President Lincoln was buried in Springfield, Illinois.  The remaining forces for Alabama, Mississippi and eastern Louisiana, some 42,000 Confederate troops, surrendered at Citronelle, Alabama.

May 9th - Davis disbanded the large retinue of troops protecting him and chose to travel in a much smaller group. Those who had been protecting Davis were ordered to go home.

May 10th - President Johnson declared resistance “may be regarded as virtually at an end.”  Jefferson Davis was captured at Irwinsville, Georgia, by men from the 4th Michigan Cavalry.

May 12th - Those accused of being involved in the assassination of Lincoln were put on trial. All pleaded not guilty.  However, the mood of the country was barely forgiving and this resonated with those in charge of the military commission. Mercy was not expected. Even Mary Surratt, who owned the boarding house where John Wilkes Booth stayed, was on trial for her life. All eight arrested were found guilty and four, including Surratt, were sentenced to death. These four were hanged on July 7th, despite many calls for clemency for Surratt. The four not condemned received prison sentences; one died in prison but by 1869 the other three had all been pardoned.

May 22nd - Johnson announced that all trade restrictions with Southern ports, with the exception of Galveston, La Salle, Brazos Santiago and Brownsville, would be lifted effective July 1st.   Jefferson Davis was imprisoned at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

May 23rd - The Army of the Potomac paraded through the streets of Washington DC.

May 24th - Sherman’s army, which had done so much to weaken the military ability of the South, paraded through the capital. Sherman was still not popular with some political figures in the government, primarily Secretary of War Stanton. However, his military achievements in the field were considerable in that he achieved what he set out to achieve, regardless of the method.

May 27th - Johnson ordered the release of many of those held as prisoners of war.

May 29th - Johnson issued a general amnesty for those who had fought against the North. All property was restored except for slave ownership. However, there were exceptions. Senior political and military figures had to personally apply for a pardon, as did those who had left a military or judicial position in the North to join the Confederate Army. However, Johnson was generous in this and by the end of 1865, he had granted 13,000 pardons.

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