Powhatan Civil War Round Table
Powhatan Civil War Round Table
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Powhatan Civil War Round Table
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Powhatan Civil War Round Table

DISPATCHES FROM THE POWHATAN CIVIL WAR ROUNDTABLE NEWSLETTER

Daniel T. Davis - Yellow Tavern

For nearly two years, Confederate cavalryman James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart held the upper hand against his Northern counterparts. Even after the pivotal battle of Brandy of Station in June, 1863, Stuart remained a thorn in the side of the Federals. But in the spring of 1864, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan took command of the Army of the Potomac's cavalry. Sheridan possessed an aggressive air that matched Stuart and exceeded that of his predecessors. It was not long before the two would meet on the field of battle. The engagement came on May 11, 1864, several miles north of Richmond and ultimately cost Stuart his life.

This month, author and historian Daniel T. Davis will discuss the lost battle of Yellow Tavern. He will examine the events leading up to the battle, its tactical aspects and its aftermath. Dan will also discuss the death of Stuart, its impact on the Army of Northern Virginia and ramifications for Robert E. Lee's cavalry.

Our speaker, graduated from Longwood University with a B.A. in Public History in 2005. He worked for five years as a historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and Appomattox Court House National Historic Site. He is the webmaster for Emerging Civil War, a public history-oriented platform for sharing original scholarship related to the American Civil War, and is the co-author of Fight Like the Devil: The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863, Out Flew the Sabres: The Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863 and Calamity in Carolina: The Battles of Averasboro and Bentonville, March 1865, which he will have available for purchase.

NEXT MONTH

Thursday, July 19, 2018, Chris Mackowski - Topic TBA

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The County Seat offers our members and guests a main course, or the soup and salad bar.  June’s main course will consist of tossed salad, fried chicken, baked sweet potato, peas & corn, and dessert. Please specify your dining preference (main course or soup and salad bar) when you submit your pre-paid reservation, which is due the Tuesday prior to each meeting.  This month reservations must be received by June 19th...

REMINDER

2018 marks the 200 anniversary of the John Brockenbrough Mansion in Richmond.  Over the years, it has served many roles, most famously that of Executive Mansion of Jefferson Davis and his family from 1861-1865. While those four years cemented the house's importance in history, it also was a private residence (1818-1861), a headquarters of Union occupying forces during Reconstruction (1865-1870), the Richmond Central School (1871- 1894), home to The Confederate Museum (1896- 1976), and the fully restored White House of the Confederacy (1988-present). It was one of the first places designated as a National Historic Landmark.

 The American Civil War Museum will mark this bicentennial with a series of monthly programs that focus on the broad sweep of the house’s history and the people who made it. The programs will feature a variety of formats, from panel discussions to interactive tours to “eyewitness” storytelling sessions. The bicentennial programs will be held within the house itself at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. They are free to Museum members and $10 for the general public (includes museum admission). A series subscription for the year is available for $100. All proceeds go directly to the White House of the Confederacy.

See our website, and click on the links below for more information:

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.

CIVIL WAR QUOTES

"Go back! Go back, and do your duty, as I have done mine, and our country will be safe. Go back! Go back!"  I'd rather die than be whipped!"

~General JEB Stuart, May 11, 1864~

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 PowhatanCWRT@gmail.com  

THIS MONTH IN THE CIVIL WAR 1864 - Courtesy History Learning Site

June 1, 1864 - The Battle of Cold Harbor started. Grant attacked Lee’s position near to the 1862 Seven Days battlefields. Sherman sent out nearly 7,000 troops (3,000 cavalry and nearly 4,000 infantry) to hunt down the cavalry of Bedford Forrest, who continued to be a serious problem along Sherman’s supply lines. It was Bedford Forrest’s cavalry that was associated with the Fort Pillow, Tennessee incident.

June 2, 1864 - Grant spent the day improving the entrenchments of his army. Having captured the Allatoona Pass, Sherman was able to speed up his drive to Atlanta.

June 3, 1864 - At 04.30 Grant launched a major attack on Lee’s positions at Cold Harbor. However, Lee’s men were well dug in and in just one hour the Union force lost 7,000 men. The Confederates lost 1,500 men. At 12.00 Grant called off the attack. If the attack had been successful nothing would have stopped Grant and the Army of the Potomac getting to Richmond – just eight miles away. Those living in the city could hear the cannon fire.

June 5, 1864 - The South suffered a major defeat at Piedmont in the Shenandoah Valley. A Confederate force of 5,000 suffered 1,500 casualties, including the loss of their commanding officer, General W E Jones. The Confederate army was incapable of sustaining a 30% loss.

June 6, 1864 - Union troops commanded by Major-General David Hunter destroyed much private property in the Shenandoah Valley.

June 8, 1864 - Lincoln received the nomination from the National Union Convention to stand for president in the forthcoming election. The party platform was that there should be no compromise with the South.

June 10, 1864 - The Confederate Congress introduced military service for all men in the South aged between 17 and 70. Bedford Forrest defeated a large Union force at Brice’s Cross Roads, Mississippi. Forrest had 3,500 men under his command while the Union cavalry force, commanded by General Samuel Stugis, stood at 8,000. The Union army suffered over 25% casualties (a total of 2,240) to Forrest’s total loss of 492 men.

June 12, 1864 - After some days of military inactivity, the Army of the Potomac moved out of its lines at Cold Harbor. However, while the army had not been fighting, it had been constructing better roads and pontoons to allow for the swifter movement of men and supplies. Such planning paid off.

June 13, 1864 - Lee withdrew his army to Richmond in the belief that Grant had built the roads and pontoons to allow his army to get behind the Army of Northern Virginia and attack Richmond. Lee was wrong in his assessment.

June 14, 1864 - The South lost one of its top generals, Leonidas Polk. Killed by artillery fire on Pine Mountain, Polk was not a great strategic commander but he was popular with his men and his loss was a bitter blow to the morale of the Army of the Tennessee.

June 15, 1864 - The North started a major assault on Petersburg, the ‘backdoor to Richmond’.

June 16, 1864 - More units from the Army of the Potomac joined the attack on Petersburg. Against the odds, the defenders held out.

June 17, 1864 - The defenders of Petersburg managed a counter-attack. It was not successful, but it did stop the Union troops from advancing any nearer to Petersburg.

June 18, 1864 - Lee’s main army arrived at Petersburg to bolster the city’s defenses. The North carried out the last of its attacks – the four days fighting for Petersburg had cost the Union 8,000 men.

June 20, 1864 - Grant decided to besiege Petersburg. He concluded that even the Army of the Potomac could not sustain further heavy losses.

June 21, 1864 - President Lincoln paid a visit to the Army of the Potomac. Grant enlivened the command of the army by appointing new generals. He hoped that new blood would invigorate the way the Army of the Potomac is led. One of his appointments was General David Birney who was given the command of II Corps.

June 22, 1864 - The Confederates launched a ferocious attack on Birney’s II Corps at Jerusalem Plank Road. Birney lost 604 killed, 2494 wounded and 1600 captured. The Confederates lost in total 500 men.

June 25, 1864 - Union forces started to build a tunnel underneath one of the main Confederate redoubts in Petersburg.

June 27, 1864 - Sherman launched a major attack against Confederate positions at Kennesaw Mountain. The North’s forces were stopped just short of the Confederates front line. Union losses were 2,000 killed or wounded out of 16,000 men.

June 28, 1864 - Though they held Sherman at Kennesaw Mountain, the South knew that it was only a matter of time until it fell, such was the size of the force they were facing. Their commander here, Johnston, decided to pull back to the Chattahoochee River.

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