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DISPATCHES FROM THE POWHATAN CIVIL WAR ROUNDTABLE NEWSLETTER

APRIL 2017

Kelly Hancock on “One Bright Moment: The Wedding of Hetty Cary and John Pegram”

Born in Baltimore on May 15, 1836, Hetty Cary was related to two of Virginia's most influential families, the Jeffersons (through her mother's family) and the Randolphs (through her paternal grandmother, Virginia Randolph Cary).

When the Civil War began, Hetty gave her support to the Southern cause.  Whether enthusiastically waving a smuggled Confederate flag in the face of Union soldiers in Baltimore, or by smuggling drugs and clothing through the blockade with her sister Jennie, Hetty did not hide her Confederate sympathies, and soon faced arrest or exile from her Union hometown.

Choosing exile and the South, Hetty and Jennie escaped to Richmond where they resided with their cousin Constance Cary and her mother. The three young ladies became known as the “Cary Invincibles,” and earned fame for making the first three battle flags of the Confederacy.

John Pegram was born inPetersburg, Virginia in 1832, the oldest son of third generationplanterJames West Pegram and Virginia Johnson Pegram. His grandfather had been amajor general, commanding all Virginia forces during theWar of 1812. His father, James Pegram, was a prominent attorney, militia brigadier general, and bank president in Richmond

After his father’s unexpected death in 1844, Pegram’s mother opened a girl’s school in Richmond to support herself and her five children.  Six years later, Pegram attended West Point with future generals, J.E.B. Stuart, Stephen D. Leeand, Oliver O. Howard, and was commissioned as asecond lieutenant upon graduation.

After learning of the secession of Virginia, Pegram resigned his lieutenant's commission and accepted a commission as alieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army,and assigned command of the20th Virginia Infantry.  Pegram was imprisoned for six months after surrendering his regiment during the Battle of Rich Mountain in 1861.  After receiving parole in January 1862, he traveled to Richmond, where during a party at his mother’s home he met Hetty Cary, and thus began one of the most famous romances of the Civil War South.

This month, we welcome Kelly Hancock of the American Civil War Museum and White House of the Confederacy, who will take us back to “One Bright Moment: The Wedding of Hetty Cary and John Pegram.”

Kelly’s presentation will relate the story of Hetty Cary and John Pegram, and the events surrounding their wedding on January 19, 1865. Hailed as the social event of the season, the wedding of one of the most beautiful belles in the South to a dashing brigadier general was one bright moment amid the tragedy and gloom experienced in Virginia during 1865.  However, Kelly reminds us, ill omens preceded the wedding, and tragedy would follow soon on its heels.

Kelly Hancock serves as the American Civil War Museum’s Interpretation and Programs Manager, coordinating the research, development, and implementation of interpretive programs for public audiences both on and off-site; supporting the work of the Education Department by leading projects focused on the heritage traveler audience; and collaborating on offerings for the teacher audience.

A native of New Mexico, Kelly received her B. A. in history along with her teaching certification from Eastern New Mexico University. She taught 7th grade social studies before moving to Richmond. Kelly began work at The Museum of the Confederacy in 1998 and served as Manager of Programs and Education from 2002 - 2013. With the creation of the American Civil War Museum, Kelly assumed her current position.

Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband Robert, playing with her two cats, Cordelia and Ophelia, supporting the work of her church, and feeding her new found passion for the 1920s.

We look forward to her presentation on this chapter of Richmond’s history. 

NEXT MONTH

Thursday, May 18, 2017, Dr. John Marsh on Stonewall Jackson and Autism

REMINDER: 2016 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES

Your Membership Dues for 2017 are now due. With no increase in price to PCWRT Membership, we hope you will encourage friends and neighbors to also join. All dues must be received by March 31, 2016 to insure continuation of your membership

Remit your membership today to:

Powhatan Civil War Round Table

P.O. Box 1144

Powhatan, Virginia 23139

PCWRT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

If you have an interest in becoming more involved with the PCWRT, or have a special skill to offer, why not consider volunteering? New ideas and new people are the life-blood of any organization, and the PCWRT is no different. We need new volunteers with new ideas to move forward into our second decade. To get involved, please see one of our Leadership Committee members at our next meeting.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

See our website’s FAQ page for a list of our most frequently asked questions. Don’t see your question addressed there? E-mail us at info@PowhatanCWRT.org

CIVIL WAR QUOTES

During the autumn of '61, to my cousins Hetty and Jennie and to me was entrusted the making of the first three battle flags of the Confederacy. They were jaunty squares of scarlet crossed with dark blue edged in white, the cross bearing stars to indicate the number of the seceded states. We set our best stitches upon them, edged with gold fringe, and when they were finished, dispatched one toGeneral Joseph E. Johnston, another to General Pierre Beauregard and the last to General Earl Van Dorn. The banners were made from red silk for the fields and blue silk for the crosses.

~Constance Cary~

THIS MONTH IN THE CIVIL WAR 1863 - Courtesy History Learning Site

April 2nd: Riots occurred in Richmond where people were becoming desperate at the economic plight of the Confederacy. Food in particular was in short supply. The riot was termed a “bread riot” by locals though it turned into a general looting session. It was only quelled when the rioters listened to Jefferson Davis who spoke to them in person and then threw the money in his pockets at them. It was a sufficient gesture to disperse the rioters.

April 3rd: Lincoln visited Hooker and pressurized him into an attack on Richmond. In response Hooker put in for 1.5 million ration packs.

April 4th: Hooker prepared the Army of the Potomac for an attack on Richmond. The Army’s Secret Service Department was ordered to prepare updated maps on the defenses at Richmond.

April 5th: Several Confederate ships were detained in Liverpool docks, as it was believed that they were blockade-runners.

April 10th: Lincoln reviewed the Army of the Potomac at its winter quarters in Falmouth, Virginia. The troops he met expressed their full confidence in Hooker – a view not totally shared by the president. Lincoln had to dampen down Hooker’s rhetoric about capturing Richmond and remind him that defeating Lee’s Army of Virginia was far more important and that Richmond was the bait to lure Lee into battle.

April 13th: General Burnside issued his General Order Number 38, which threatened the death penalty for anyone found guilty of treasonable behavior.

April 17th: This day saw the start of Colonel Ben Grierson’s Union legendary raid into the Confederacy. With 1700 cavalrymen, Grierson roamed 600 miles during his raid deep into the South. The raid lasted 16 days and within the Union army Grierson became a legend.

April 20th: Lincoln announced that West Virginia would join the Union on June 20th 1863.

April 21st: Hooker finalized his plan of attack. He hoped to fool the South into thinking that Fredericksburg was his main target while moving three corps of troops against Lee’s left flank. 2000 mules were acquired by Hooker to speed up the movement of his army

April 24th: The Confederate Congress passed a tax set at 8% on all agricultural produce grown in 1862 and a 10% tax on profits made from the sale of iron, clothing and cotton. There was much public hostility to these new taxes but a general acceptance that they were needed. The biggest problem facing the South’s economy was the fact that much land was used for the growing of cotton and not for food.

April 26th: Hooker’s offensive against Lee’s Army of Virginia and Richmond started. However, torrential rain turned many of the roads/tracks he used to mud and made movement very difficult.

April 28th: The rain has made movement so difficult that engineers had to lay logs on the surface of roads/tracks to allow wagons to move.

April 29th: Lee’s scouts informed him that it was their belief that the attack on Fredericksburg was a feint and that their observed movement of many men on Lee’s left flank was the real target of Hooker. Lee accepted the advice of his scouts and ordered Stonewall Jackson not to attack Union troops at Fredericksburg – despite Jackson’s request to do just this.

April 30th: Hooker ordered 10,000 cavalrymen to raid Lee’s communication bases. The raids, while impressive with regards to the number of men involved, achieved very little and if anything served to boost the confidence of Lee’s Army of Virginia.

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MARCH 2017

JOHN V. QUARSTEIN – THE C.S.S. ALBERMARLE

For the 14th consecutive year, John V. Quarstein joins us on Thursday, March 17th to discuss the steam-powered ironclad ram of the Confederate Navy, The C.S.S. Albemarle.

John 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, is in demand as a speaker throughout the nation.

He has been involved in a wide variety of historic preservation initiatives including the creation of Civil War battlefield parks like Redoubt Park in Williamsburg or Lee’s Mill Park in Newport News as well as historic house museums such as Lee Hall Mansion and Endview Plantation. His current preservation endeavors feature the Rebecca Vaughan House, Lee Hall Depot, Causey’s Mill, Big Bethel Battlefield and Fort Monroe. John Quarstein also serves on several boards and commissions such as Virginia Civil War Trails, Virginia War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Advisory Council and the Newport News Sesquicentennial Commission.

John Quarstein is the author of numerous books, including Fort Monroe: The Key to the South, A History of Ironclads: The Power of Iron Over Wood, Big Bethel: The First Battle, and The Monitor Boys: The Crew of the Union’s First Ironclad. His newest book is Sink Before Surrender: The CSS Virginia

He also has produced, narrated and written several PBS documentaries, such as Jamestown: Foundations of Freedom and the film series Civil War in Hampton Roads, which was awarded a 2007 Silver Telly. His latest film, Hampton From The Sea To The Stars, was a 2011 Bronze Telly winner. His more recent film projects have been Pyrates of the Chesapeake and Tread of the Tyrants Heel: Virginia’s War of 1812 Experience.

John is the recipient of the national Trust for Historic Preservation’s 1993 President’s Award for Historic Preservation; the Civil War Society’s Preservation Award in 1996; the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s Jefferson Davis Gold Medal in 1999; and the Daughters of the American Revolution Gold Historians Medal in 2009. Besides his lifelong interest in Tidewater Virginia’s Civil War experience, Quarstein is an avid duck hunter and decoy hunter and decoy collector. He lives on Old Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia, and on his family’s Eastern Shore farm near Chestertown, Maryland.

As always, we look forward to a lively presentation from this most entertaining historian. We hope you will join us!

NEXT MONTH

Thursday, April 20, 2017, Dr. John Marsh on Stonewall Jackson and Autism

REMINDER: 2016 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES

Your Membership Dues for 2017 are now due. With no increase in price to PCWRT Membership, we hope you will encourage friends and neighbors to also join. All dues must be received by March 31, 2016 to insure continuation of your membership

Remit your membership today to:

Powhatan Civil War Round Table

P.O. Box 1144

Powhatan, Virginia 23139

PCWRT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

If you have an interest in becoming more involved with the PCWRT, or have a special skill to offer, why not consider volunteering? New ideas and new people are the life-blood of any organization, and the PCWRT is no different. We need new volunteers with new ideas to move forward into our second decade. To get involved, please see one of our Leadership Committee members at our next meeting.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

See our website’s FAQ page for a list of our most frequently asked questions. Don’t see your question addressed there? E-mail us at info@PowhatanCWRT.org

CIVIL WAR QUOTES

‘Again we marched on with the firm resolution in our hearts to do or die; and again we were halted, this time to receive orders not to fire a shot, meanwhile, continuing our interminable marching, as if there was no end. Almost unaware we found ourselves marching through a deserted town with here and there some negroes reported, but not a sign of the enemy. Upon asking where they might be, the negroes reported, “They’re all gone. They began going yesterday. Some went last night, and the rest this morning.” They had divided and their destinations were Mobile and Richmond. We occupied the city without a shot.’

John Ritland – on the capture of Meridian, Mississippi, Feb 1864

THIS MONTH IN THE CIVIL WAR 1863 - Courtesy History Learning Site

March 1, 1863 - Lincoln met with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to discuss future military appointments.

March 2, 1863 - Congress approved the President’s list of promotions but also dismissed 33 officers for a variety of offences.

March 3, 1863 - Both Senate and House passed The Enrolment Act. All able-bodied men between 20 and 45 were to serve for three years. The act was unpopular with the public because of its compulsion. Congress must have sensed this as in 1863 only 21,000 men were conscripted and by the end of the war conscription only accounted for a total of 6% of the North’s army. Congress also suspended habeas corpus on this day – much to the anger of the Democrats in Congress.

March 6, 1863 - One of Hooker’s attempts to develop the Army of the Potomac was to ensure that it had the most modern weapons available. By this day, his men were starting to be equipped with the Sharp’s breech-loading carbine. This rifle gave Hooker’s army unrivalled firepower at close range.

March 10, 1863 - Such was the problem of desertion across all armies of the Union, that Lincoln pronounced an amnesty on this day for all those who were absent without leave. Any deserter who returned to duty before April 1st would not be punished.

March 13, 1863 - 62 women workers were killed in an explosion in a munitions factory near Richmond. The Confederacy was to become more and more reliant on female workers as the war progressed. March 24, 1863 - The last Union attempt to take Vicksburg failed. The Mississippi River was very high for this time of the year and it made navigation very difficult. Grant wanted to use the many waterways that surrounded Vicksburg to his advantage – but his plan failed.

March 26, 1863 - West Virginia voted to emancipate its slaves.

March 30, 1863 - Lincoln announced that April 30th would be a day of prayer and fasting throughout the Union

FEBRUARY 2017

ROBERT M. DUNKERLY

RAILROADS IN THE CIVIL WAR

This month we welcome Robert M. Dunkerly, a historian, award-winning author, and speaker who is actively involved in historic preservation and research.  He holds a degree in History from St. Vincent College and a Masters in Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State University.  Robert has worked at nine historic sites, written twelve books and over twenty articles.  His research includes archaeology, colonial life, military history, and historic commemoration.  He is a past President of the Richmond Civil War Round Table, and serves on the Preservation Commission for the American Revolution Round Table-Richmond.  He has taught courses at Central Virginia Community College, the University of Richmond, and the Virginia Historical Society.  Dunkerly is currently a Park Ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park.  He has visited over 400 battlefields and over 1000 historic sites worldwide.  When not reading or writing, he enjoys hiking, camping, and photography.  

NEXT MONTH

Thursday, March 17, 2017 – John Quarstein - Topic to be announced.

SPECIAL LOCAL EVENT, FEBRUARY 13, 6:30 to 8:30 P.M.

History Happy Hour at Capital Ale House

Yankee Doodle to Dixie: The Importance of Music in Early Virginia

Music played a vital role in the social development of early Virginia. From formal dances to casual gatherings, discover how Virginians integrated music into their daily lives, including how Civil War soldiers used music to brighten up their days during one of America's darkest times. Led by Josh LeHuray, of the American Civil War Museum.

REMINDER: 2017 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES

Your Membership Dues for 2017 are now due. With no increase in price to PCWRT Membership, we hope you will encourage friends and neighbors to also join.  All dues must be received by March 31, 2017 to insure continuation of your membership

  • Individual Membership - $25.00
  • Family Membership    -    $35.00     

Membership includes 12 newsletters per year and entitles you to membership rates at our monthly dinner meetings. 

Remit your membership today to:

Powhatan Civil War Round Table

P.O. Box 1144

Powhatan, Virginia 23139

PCWRT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

If you have an interest in becoming more involved with the PCWRT, or have a special skill to offer, why not consider volunteering? New ideas and new people are the life-blood of any organization, and the PCWRT is no different. We need new volunteers with new ideas to move forward into our second decade.  To get involved, please see one of our Leadership Committee members at our next meeting.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

See our website’s FAQ page for a list of our most frequently asked questions. Don’t see your question addressed there? E-mail us at info@PowhatanCWRT.org

THIS MONTH IN THE CIVIL WAR 1863 - Courtesy History Learning Site

February 1, 1863 - The dollar used in the Confederacy was worth just 20% of what it did when the war broke out. Such was the success of the Federal Navy in the rivers of the South that a decision was taken to remove any stores of cotton away from rivers. Any cotton that could not be moved was burned to save it falling into the hands of the Union.

February 2, 1863 - Grant started his attempt to build a canal around to the rear of Vicksburg using the Yazoo River as his source of water. By doing this, Grant’s men would avoid the Confederate artillery stationed in Vicksburg.

February 3, 1863 - The French continued to offer attempts at mediation. Secretary of State Seward met the French ambassador in Washington DC to discuss such a move.

February 5, 1863 - The British government announced that any attempts at mediation would result in failure. Their lack of action was in stark contrast to the pro-active stance of the French government.

February 6, 1863 - The Federal government officially announced that it had rejected French offers of mediation.

February 9, 1863 - General Hooker started his reorganization of the Army of the Potomac. He decided that his first task was to improve its intelligence gathering. On his arrival at his headquarters he found no document that could inform him about the strength of the Army of Virginia. General Butterfield wrote: “There was no means, no organization, and no apparent effort to obtain such information. We were almost as ignorant of the enemy in our immediate front as if they had been in China. An efficient organization for that purpose was instituted, by which we were so enabled to get correct and proper information of the enemy, their strengths and movements.”

February 11, 1863 - Hooker then turned his attention to the conditions his men lived under, which he linked to the high levels of desertion. New huts were built that could cope with the winter weather and fresh fruit and vegetables were provided. Medical facilities were also improved. The impact on desertions was dramatic and even men who had deserted returned to their regiments.

February 12, 1863 - The Union’s naval blockade had a disastrous impact on the South’s economy and the river patrols of its flat-bottomed boats were equally as successful. However, the sheer size of the fleet operating meant that the Federal government faced a supply problem no one had encountered before. It was estimated that the North had to supply 70,000 bushels of coal each month to keep the fleet on the move. Food and water could be obtained locally but there was little chance of getting hold of large quantities of coal.

February 13, 1863 - General Hooker made what was to prove to be one of the most important changes to the Army of the Potomac during the war. Scattered cavalry units were amalgamated into one corps. No one was immediately appointed to command it as no army commander had ever had access to one concentrated cavalry unit. Hooker was willing to wait to appoint the most suitable candidate – he later selected General Stoneman to command it.

February 16, 1863 - The Senate passed the Conscription Act, which was passed, as volunteers for the Union army were not forthcoming.

February 22, 1863 - Hooker believed that his changes were starting to have an impact as the levels of scurvy and intestinal diseases dropped quite markedly.

February 25, 1863 - Congress authorized a national system of banking.

DECEMBER 2016

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS DINNER

We close out our 13th year with our annual Christmas dinner at the County Seat Restaurant on Thursday, December 15th.  With holiday music performed by the Judes Ferry Band, we look forward to celebrating the season with our members and guests.  Information about upcoming presentations in 2017 will soon follow, and we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

UPCOMING TOPICS

2017 events to be announced.

PCWRT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

If you have an interest in becoming more involved with the PCWRT, or have a special skill to offer, why not consider volunteering? New ideas and new people are the life-blood of any organization, and the PCWRT is no different. We need new volunteers with new ideas to move forward into our second decade.  To get involved, please see one of our Leadership Committee members at our next meeting.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

See our website’s FAQ page for a list of our most frequently asked questions. Don’t see your question addressed there? E-mail us at info@PowhatanCWRT.org

CIVIL WAR QUOTES

“The north wind comes reeling in fitful gushes through the iron bars, and jingles a sleigh bell in the prisoner's ear, and puffs in his pale face with a breath suggestively odorous of eggnog....  Christmas Day!  A day which was made for smiles, not sighs - for laughter, not tears - for the hearth, not prison.”

Lt. Col. Frederic Cavada, Christmas 1863, Libby Prison, Richmond

THIS MONTH IN THE CIVIL WAR 1862 - Courtesy History Learning Site

December 1, 1862 - Lincoln addressed the 37th Congress in the capital and once again announced his intention of abolishing slavery within the United States

December 7, 1862 - A battle fought at Prairie Grove left 167 Union soldiers dead, 798 wounded and 183 missing. The Confederates lost 300 killed, 800 wounded and 250 missing

December 10, 1862 - The House of Representatives passed a bill to create the state of West Virginia.

December 13, 1862 - Burnside started his attack against Fredericksburg. However, the delay in doing so allowed Lee’s men time to dig themselves into well-fortified positions both in the town and in the hills that surrounded it. All attacks were repulsed. An attack on Confederate troops dug in on Marye’s Heights led to many Unionist deaths. By the end of the day the Army of the Potomac had lost 1200 killed, 9000 wounded and 2145 missing. Many of these were at Marye’s Heights. The Confederates had lost 570 killed, 3870 wounded and 127 missing. Many of the wounded left out on the battlefield died of the cold during the night. Lee was heard to say: “It is well that war is so terrible; we should grow too fond of it.”

December 14, 1862 - Burnside wanted to repeat the assault on Fredericksburg but was persuaded otherwise by his commanders in the field. The Army of the Potomac camped out along the Rappahannock River.

December 17, 1862 - General Grant’s reputation was tainted when he issued General Order Number 11, which expelled Jews from his department because “they are a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department.”

December 20, 1862 - A Confederate force attacked a major Union supply base at Holly Springs, Mississippi. Over $1 million in supplies was seized along with 1000 prisoners. Such a loss of supplies meant that Grant had to postpone his attack on Vicksburg.

December 23, 1862 - Jefferson Davis names General Butler, formally in charge of New Orleans, an outlaw and an enemy of Mankind. Davis stated that Butler would be hanged if the Confederates captured him.

December 28, 1862 - A unit of Union troops captured a considerable amount of Confederate supplies at Van Buren, Arkansas.

December 31, 1862 - Lincoln met Burnside to discuss what went wrong at Fredericksburg. The ironclad ‘Monitor’ sank in a storm.

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