Speakers & Events

May 13, 2014 - Tom Green - The Making of a Texas Soldier

May 13, 2014 - Tom Green - The Making of a Texas Soldier

Presentation by Dr. Donald Frazier, Professor, McMurry University

And Benefit Honoring the McWhiney Foundation

To be held at the Texas Civil War Museum, 760 N. Jim Wright Fwy, Fort Worth, TX 76108

Museum doors open at 6PM - Admission is free - Light snacks will be served

Program begins at 7 PM

We have had a great year but we have been saving the best for last. Our May meeting and the culmination of our 2013-2014 year will be held at the Texas Civil War Museum and will include time to tour the Museum and a presentation by Don Frazier on "Tom Green - The Making of a Texas Soldier."

Green had been the quintessential Texan. A veteran of San Jacinto, he also fought Comanches, Mexicans, served in the Battle of Monterrey, and mingled with some of the most notable Texas jurists of his day. When the Civil War came, Green was among the first to offer his sword to his state. During the course of the war, he fought in New Mexico, Galveston, and Louisiana where he earned accolades and honors. Some spoke of him a potential future governor. His men loved him, his commanders relied on him, and all mourned his passing upon his death in April 1864.

After the war, Texans loved Green for his manly, soldierly, qualities. Governor Hubbard, who had led the 22nd Texas Infantry in Louisiana, had seen Green in action. On July 4, 1876, while accepting a portrait of Tom Green presented to the state; “When the bugle sounded,” the governor recalled, “he dashed like a thunderbolt upon the foe!” State Senator James H. McLeary served as a private under Green. The lawmaker had fought in New Mexico and Louisiana. He too believed Green an appropriate representative of a heroic age, now fading away. Houston, Rusk, and Austin had been visionary founders—the framers—of Texas. Green was a product of their dream. "He is the fittest and noblest type,” McLeary concluded, “of the age and country which produced him.”

Donald S. Frazier is professor of history at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. A graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington and Texas Christian University, Frazier is also the award-winning author of four books on the Civil War including two that were selected as A. M. Pate, Jr. Award Winners. His latest book, Blood on the Bayou, will release in spring 2015.

Frazier is also active in historic preservation projects. He is currently serving as President and CEO of the McWhiney History Education Group, a Texas-based educational non-profit which, among its various activities, manages and preserves the Buffalo Gap Historic Village, a museum that includes a collection of more than a dozen antique buildings. Don will make a brief presentation on this organization and we will present to him our check for the proceeds of our monthly raffles.

Frazier is also an elected member of the prestigious Philosophical Society of Texas, the oldest learned organization in the state, a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association, and a board member of the Texas Historical Foundation. Don is a great speaker. Please join us to tour the Museum and to enjoy and learn from this program.

For additional information, click here.

April 8, 2014 - Victors in Blue

April 8, 2014 - Victors in Blue

Presented by Brooks Simpson, Professor, Arizona State University

Location: Ol' South Pancake House, University Drive, Fort Worth

Dinner: 6PM Program: 7PM

The story of the Union high command during the Civil War is a tale of cooperation, friction, and confrontation among the leading military commanders and between those commanders and their civil superiors. Only with the emergence of Ulysses S. Grant as general in chief were those problems minimized, although they never faded away; Grant 's own story reflects these themes, for his relationship with Lincoln was slow to evolve, and for every solid relationship he forged (William T. Sherman and Philip H. Sheridan) there were rivals (John McClernand) and rather troubled partnerships (George G. Meade and George H. Thomas). Brooks D. Simpson explores these relationships and others in suggesting that the road to victory was at times a rather bumpy one for the United States.

Dr. Brooks D. Simpson is ASU Foundation Professor of History in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies. He received his BA in History and International Relations from the University of Virginia (1979), followed by his MA (1982) and PhD (1989) in History from the University of Wisconsin. Author of six books, co-author of two more, and editor or co-editor of five other book publications, he was a Fulbright Scholar (Leiden University, 1995). His latest book is the same title as his talk. Books will be available for purchase (at cost) and signing at the meeting. He is recognized as one of the top scholars on the life and times of U.S. Grant and is an outstanding speaker (one of my favorites). See you on the 8th!

March 11, 2014 - The Battle of Malvern Hill

March 11, 2014 - The Battle of Malvern Hill

Presented by Frank O'Reilly, Historian, National Park Service

Location: Ol' South Pancake House, University Drive, Fort Worth

Dinner: 6 PM Program begins at: 7 PM

The Battle of Malvern Hill was the last of the Seven Days' Battles of George McClellan's Peninsular Campaign to take over Richmond. Robert E. Lee had just assumed command of the Confederate Army one month before from Joe Johnston who was injured at the Battle of Seven Pines. Up until that time Lee was busy preparing the defenses for Richmond which gained him the nickname "King of Spades." In the Seven Days' Battles Lee showed that he was the creative and aggressive commander that the South needed. Unfortunately, the command structure in his Army was woefully inadequate which led to many costly and deadly mistakes. The Battle of Malvern Hill was a perfect example. Miscommunication and poor staff work resulted in an uncoordinated Confederate attack on the massed Union forces on Malvern Hill. Superior Union artillery controlled the course of the Battle and resulted in over 5,000 Confederate casualties. Nonetheless, George McClellan decided to abandon his position and move to his new base on Harrison's Landing - thus effectively ending his Campaign. Richmond had been saved.

Lee used the time after the battle to reorganize his forces. He streamlined the command structure, transferred some of his commanders to other fronts and promoted the officers he could count on. The result was the Army of Northern Virginia and a very effective fighting force.

Frank O'Reilly is an historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He received his BA and MA from Washington and Lee University and is a frequent contributor to national and international history journals. He has written several books on Fredericksburg including the Award winning "The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock." Frank is in the final stages of researching and writing his new book on the Battle of Malvern Hill and the Seven Days Campaign around Richmond. He is a popular and skilled presenter and his talks are always entertaining and memorable. It should be a great evening. See you on the 11th!

For more information, send email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com.

February 11, 2014 - The Second Assault on Petersburg - June 15-18, 1864

February 11, 2014 - The Second Assault on Petersburg - June 15-18, 1864

Presented by Ed Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus, National Park Service

Location: Ol' South Pancake House, University Drive, Fort Worth

Dinner: 6 PM Program begins at 7:00 PM

Our program for February will feature the incomparable Ed Bearss and will consist of two parts. The first part will honor Ed's 90th Birthday. A documentary is being made on Ed's life. We are very fortunate to have a preview shortened version of the piece and will show that for the first 10 minutes of the program. In a word: it is outstanding. You will not want to miss this or the full documentary when it comes out later this year.

The second part of the program will be a presentation by Ed on the Second Assualt on Petersburg that took place from June 15-18, 1864. Grant and Lee had been locked in a running series of battles matching wits and armies called the Overland Campaign. The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, and Cold Harbor were the result. But even after the deadly outcome at Cold Harbor, Grant stayed on the offensive and continued to move his armies in an attempt to flank the Army of Northern Virginia. The last opening was Petersburg - South of Richmond. The Second Assault on Petersburg is high drama. The Union forces are manuevering to press the attack while Confederate troops are rushing to build and man the defenses to save Richmond and their Army. The outcome of this "race" is in doubt to the very end and it makes for an excellent story.

There is no better man to tell that story than Ed Bearss. Ed had a long and distinguished career with the National Park Service. But he has never "retired" and still has an active schedule of tours and presentations, writing, and Civil War battlefield preservation work. To most Americans he is "Mr. Civil War." His new book "The Petersburg Campaign: Volume 1 The Eastern Front Battles June-August 1864" will be available for purchase and Ed's signature at the event. Please join me on the 11th to honor and listen to Ed. See you there!

For more information, send email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com.

January 14, 2014 - Pate Award Presentation to Linda Barnickel for her book "Millikens Bend: A Civil War Battle in History and Memory"

January 14, 2014 - Pate Award Presentation to Linda Barnickel for her book

Award Presentation followed by a talk by Linda Barnickel

Location: Ol' South Pancake House, University Drive, Fort Worth, TX"

Dinner at 6 PM Program begins at 7 PM

Linda Barnickel and her book "Milliken's Bend: A Civil War Battle in History and memory is the winner of the 2013 A. M. Pate Award in Civil War History. The Pate Award is presented each year by the Fort Worth Civil War Round Table to the new book that represents the best original research in Civil War history focusing on the far Western theater of the war - commonly called the Trans-Mississippi.

The book focuses on the Battle at Milliken s Bend, Louisiana, where a Union force composed predominantly of former slaves met their Confederate adversaries in a short but bloody engagement. This battle received some initial widespread attention but soon drifted into obscurity. In Milliken s Bend, Linda Barnickel uncovers the story of this long-forgotten and highly controversial battle.

The fighting at Milliken s Bend occurred in June 1863, about fifteen miles north of Vicksburg on the west bank of the Mississippi River, where a brigade of Texas Confederates attacked a Federal outpost. Most of the Union defenders had been slaves less than two months before. The new African American recruits fought well, despite their minimal training, and Milliken s Bend helped prove to a skeptical northern public that black men were indeed fit for combat duty. After the battle, accusations swirled that Confederates had executed some prisoners including white officers and black soldiers. The charges eventually led to a congressional investigation and contributed to the suspension of prisoner exchanges between North and South.

Andrew Wagenhofer of 'Civil War Books and Authors" had this to say of the book in his review: "Linda Barnickel's Milliken's Bend finally gives the battle and the men that fought it their proper due.This study is an exhaustively researched gem and a model for future combined battle and memory studies."

Linda Barnickel is an archivist and freelance writer with master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and The Ohio State University. Passionate about discovering the hidden and fascinating stories of history, she is interested in local history, military history, oral history, and the cultural power of archives. And is a deserving winner of the 2013 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History. Please join me on the 14th in honoring her work and to listen to her presentation on this little-known, but significant, battle.

For more information, send email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com.

December 11, 2013 - Command Decisions at the Battle of the Wilderness (Dallas Civil War Round Table)

December 11, 2013 - Command Decisions at the Battle of the Wilderness
(Dallas Civil War Round Table)

Presented by Elizabeth Parnicza, Historian, National Park Service

Dinner: 6PM Program: 7PM

Virginia's unusually dry spring of 1864 witnessed the first clash of military giants Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Each a legend in his own right, they finally met on the field of battle in the tangled woods of the Wilderness of Spotsylvania County, 70 square miles of dense, second-growth forest. They were well-matched in several qualities: both possessed intense stubbornness and aggressive military instincts. Both faced the challenge of subordinate officers who fell short of their commanders' expectations.

Grant maneuvered an awkward command structure with Army of the Potomac commander George Meade leading his army directly but answering to Grant. Eastern subordinates were not used to Grant's bulldog tenacity, and Grant balked at what he viewed as unnecessary caution. Lee struggled with the lack of trustworthy subordinates and faced an army twice the size of his own. Though he was able to coax Grant into battle in woods that cut down the disparity of numbers, Lee finally confronted a commander who would not back down or offer the kind of opportunities Lee was famous for exploiting.

In dusty crossroads, small farm clearings, and tangled woods, these titans grappled for the slightest advantage or hint of weakness. Their decisions and reactions set the tone for the Overland campaign and ultimately determined the course of the war.

Beth Parnicza is a park historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, where she also supervises the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center. A 2011 graduate of West Virginia University, she joined the National Park Service and moved to the "other Virginia" to pursue her passion for Civil War History. Beth's research interests focus largely on the human aspect of war, including the looting of Fredericksburg, command relationships during the Overland Campaign, the experience of battle, and early historians of the park.

Beth is a leading member of a group of "emerging Civil War historians." She is well regarded for her thorough research and presentation ability. Make sure you mark your calendars for the 10th. See you there!

November 12, 2013 - How Lincoln and Grant Fought the Last Sixteen Days of the War

November 12, 2013 - How Lincoln and Grant Fought the Last Sixteen Days of the War

Presented by Jack Waugh, Author and Historian

Ol South Pancake House, University Drive, Fort Worth

Dinner: 6PM Program: 7PM

The Confederacy is on the ropes in late March and early April, 1865. Grant before Petersburg is looking to land the knockout blow. The man in the White House has been waiting for this to happen for four long years and Grant knows it. In late March he invites Lincoln to City Point to share and participate in the coup de grace. Lincoln comes on March 24 and Grant launches the blow on March 29, delivering a haymaker at Five Forks on April 1. Watching closely, commenting keenly, consulting eagerly, Lincoln sees Petersburg fall the next day, April 2, and Richmond the day after, April 3. In two dramatic separate acts, Lincoln then goes to Richmond for the one of the most dramatic visits to a conquered enemy city in history and Grant pursues Lee's staggering Confederate army to Appomattox Court House for one of the most dramatic surrenders of any army in history. This talk will attempt to recreate the drama of this partnership over those sixteen last days.

Jack Waugh has a national reputation and as an author, historian and speaker. He was a journalist for many years and brings this unique perspective to his work. He once told me: "my research starts in the footnotes of other authors." Combine that research with a talent for artfully using the English language and you know why his reputation is well earned. Please join me on the 12th! You will not be disappointed!

October 8th - The Lincoln Deception and the John Wilkes Booth Conspiracy

October 8th - The Lincoln Deception and the John Wilkes Booth Conspiracy

Presented by David O. Stewart, Author and Historian

Locacation: Ol' South Pancake House, University Drive

Dinner: 6 PM Program: 7 PM

Was John Wilkes Booth the lone mastermind and assassin in the killing of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, or was it a much wider conspiracy? This question has been asked and answered by many over the past century and half. Based on the death bed revelations in 1900 of John Bingham, a former U.S. Congressman, who was the prosecutor involved in the trials of eight people tried for the murder of Mr. Lincoln, David Stewart has woven together a fascinating and plausible scenario for the assassination. The Bingham revelation concerned a "secret" Mary Surratt supposedly divulged to him before her execution that "threatened the survival of the republic." What was the revelation and where did it lead? That will be the focus David Stewart's presentation.

David O. Stewart turned to writing after more than a quarter century of law practice in Washington, D.C. as a trial and appellate lawyer. His first book, about the writing of the Constitution (The Summer of 1787), grew out of Supreme Court case he was working on. It was a Washington Post Bestseller and won the Washington Writing Prize for Best Book of 2007. His second book (Impeached), had its roots in a judicial impeachment trial he defended before the United States Senate in 1989. His next book -- American Emperor: Aaron Burr's Challenge to Jefferson's America -- explored Burr's astounding Western expedition of 1805-07 and his treason trial before Chief Justice John Marshall. All three books have received starred prepublication reviews from Kirkus or Publishers Weekly. Earlier this year he received the 2013 History Award of the Society of the Cincinnati.

David Stewart is known as a good historian and an outstanding speaker. Combine that with a good story (this is a great story) and we should have an entertaining evening! See you on the 8th!

September 10th - The Calvary at the Crossroads - Chickamauga Creek - September 18, 1863

September 10th - The Calvary at the Crossroads - Chickamauga Creek - September 18, 1863

Presented by Dr. Steven Woodworth, Professor, TCU

Location: Ol' South Pancake House, University Drive, Fort Worth

Dinner: 6PM Program: 7PM

It’s the summer of 1863. Brave and resourceful cavalrymen fight a stubborn delaying action against superior numbers of advancing infantry and in so doing provide time for their own infantry to come up and seize positions that will prove crucial in the coming battle. Gettysburg? No, this is not July but September, and the place is not Pennsylvania but Georgia. This is Chickamauga, a battle that is to become famous for the dramatic Confederate breakthrough the routed the Union right wing on the last day of the battle. It was the only Confederate victory in the West. Yet it failed to produce decisive results for the victors. There are a number of reasons why it did not, but some of them—and perhaps the most important—are to be found neither on September 19, which is commonly counted as the first day of the battle, nor on September 20. Rather the reasons are to be found on September 18, which is usually regarded as the day before the battle. The Union cavalry’s fight to hold the crossings of Chickamauga Creek on that day was as important to the battle’s strategic outcome as any other part of the fighting.

STEVEN E. WOODWORTH is professor of history at Texas Christian University and author, co-author, or editor of 31 books. Born in Ohio and raised in Illinois, he graduated from Southern Illinois University, studied at the University of Hamburg, earned a PhD from Rice University. In 1997 he came to TCU, where he specializes in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Professor Woodworth is a two-time winner of the Fletcher Pratt Award, a recipient of the Fort Worth CWRT Distinguished Service Award and winner of the Grady McWhiney Award of the Dallas CWRT for lifetime contribution to the study of Civil War history. In 2012 he was named by the Princeton Review as one of “the Best 300 Professors” in the United States.

December 10, 2013 - Battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864 "A victory turned from disaster…"Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan

December 10, 2013 - Battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864

Presentation by Jonathan Steplyk, Texas Christian University

Ol South Pancake House, University Drive, Fort Worth, TX

Dinner: 6PM Program: 7PM

Following his victories in September and October, 1864, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan and his 32,000 man Army of the Shenandoah conducted a systematic destruction of a 75 mile swath of the Shenandoah Valley. "The Burning" essentially laid waste to the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy." Confident the campaign was over, Sheridan camped his army north of Cedar Creek before traveling to Washington, D.C. to confer with higher authorities about future movements.

The poorly equipped and ill-fed Confederate Army of the Valley, led by Lt. Gen. Jubal Early, reduced to between 14,000-15,000 men, seemed to pose little threat. Desperate to achieve a victory, however, Early and his commanders devised a daring plan to attack Sheridan. Following an all-night march along the base of the Massanutten Mountain, including two river crossings, the Confederates rolled out of a dense fog in the pre-dawn hours of October 19. Catching many Northern soldiers sleeping, the Confederate onslaught overran the Union line and by 10:30 a.m. the stunned Union army was in full retreat.

Feeling he had achieved a spectacular victory, Early sought to secure their captured spoils (including 24 Union cannon and over a 1,000 prisoners), while his soldiers solidified their final line just north of Middletown. Exhaustion, along with widespread looting of the captured Union camps, however, reduced the strength of the already outnumbered Confederate army.

Sheridan, riding from Winchester that morning, was completely unaware of the disaster that had befallen his army. Upon hearing the growing sounds of battle, however, he quickened his pace and rode hard to the field. "Sheridan's Ride" (later celebrated in art and poetry) forever cemented his status in American history. Rallying his defeated forces, he then ordered a counterattack at 4:00 p.m. which swept the Confederates from the field, recaptured all of the lost artillery (plus 24 Confederate cannons) and over 1,200 prisoners. Total casualties numbered approximately 8,600 (5,700 Union and 2,900 Confederate), making it the second bloodiest battle in the Shenandoah Valley.

Early's army was shattered, and with it further Confederate resistance in the Valley ended. Occurring just three weeks before the presidential election, Cedar Creek gave sagging Northern morale a much needed boost and helped carry Abraham Lincoln to a landslide victory at the polls.

Jonathan Steplyk was been a seasonal ranger at Cedar Creek Battlefield Park since interpretive programs began in summer 2010. A long-time student of the Civil War, his history degrees include an AB from Ripon College and MA from Penn State. Currently he is working toward his PhD from Texas Christian University. Jonathan is also active in Civil War reenacting and recently took part in Gettysburg's 150th Anniversary Reenactment. Although a native of Illinois, his family tree includes settlers who lived in the Shenandoah Valley during the 1700s.

Jonathan was highly recommended by Dr. Steve Woodworth and has both the experience and the knowledge to tell the story of the pivotal late Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek. It should be an excellent program. See you on the 10th!

May 14, 2013 - Fearless Under Fire: How Robert E. Lee Commanded the Army of Northern Virginia in Battle

May 14, 2013 - Fearless Under Fire: How Robert E. Lee Commanded the Army of Northern Virginia in Battle

Presented by Scott Bowden, Author and Historian

Location: Ol' South Pancake House

Dinner at 6PM followed by program at 7:00PM

A common critcism of General Robert E. Lee's leadership during the Battle of Gettysburg (and elsewhere) is that he did not give clear and direct commands to his subordinates. The most famous and hotly debated example were the orders supposedly given to Richard Ewell on July 1, 1863 to take Cemetery Hill "if practicable." The failure of Ewell to advance at that moment quite possibly was the turning point in the battle.

But were Lee's orders unclear? Was the command given to Ewell "discretionary" giving him the lattitude to decide whether to advance or were they given "with discretion" with a clear goal in mind and the methods left up to the commander at the front? The answers to these questions and others concerning the leadership style of Robert E. Lee will be the subject of Scott Bowden's talk on May 14th.

Scott's position is that from the time Robert E. Lee ascended to command of the force he renamed the Army of Northern Virginia, he demonstrated a hands-on approach (yes, hands-on) to commanding his army in battle. Lee was not an army commander who issued vague instructions to his lieutenants. He had an understanding of what was happening on the field and a grasp of the details of combat. Scott's talk will focus on an examination of the facts involving Lee's command model on the battlefield..

Scott Bowden is a graduate of Texas Christian University and nine-time award-winning author of 25 works connected to Napoleonic and American military history. Two of his books are included in the curriculum of the School for Advanced Military Studies at the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

One of those works, titled Last Chance for Victory: Robert E. Lee and the Gettysburg Campaign, was also named to the Chief of Staff Air Force Recommended Reading List---only the second Civil War title ever to receive such a distinction. Last Chance for Victory also won five literary prizes, including the Douglas Southall Freeman American History Award.

His current project is a multi-volume work titled Robert E Lee at War: The Mind and Method of a Great American Soldier.

Scott is an excellent presenter. His talks are informative, interesting and thought provoking. Make sure you mark your calendar for this event. See you on the 14th!

April 9, 2013 - Civil War Flags at the Texas Civil War Museum

April 9, 2013 - Civil War Flags at the Texas Civil War Museum

Dr. Robert Maberry, McMurry University

Location: Texas Civil War Museum (admission free to FWCWRT members)

Museum Opens at 6:00 for light refreshments and visiting the collection

Program begins at 7:00 PM

Flags were one of the primary means of communication during the Civil War. Not only did they tell the story of their unit, they were also the way soldiers maintained cohesion in the midst of the fog of war on the battlefield. Many a Civil War soldier died either carrying, defending or attempting to capture a unit flag. The flags of both Union and Confederate forces were their most valued possession. Consequently, a good many survived the War and were "brought home" to be saved.

We are fortunate in Fort Worth in that one of the finest collections of Civil War flags is at our Texas Civil War Museum. The flags at the Museum are actually two collections - one owned by Ray Richey and the other owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. At this time there are 29 of these magnificent flags on display in the Museum. Our meeting this month is at the Museum and will feature a guided tour by the foremost historian on Civil War flags, Dr. Robert Maberry.

Dr. Maberry is a pioneer in the field of Vexillology (the scholarly study of flags) and an authority on historic Texas flags and symbols. He was chief consultant for the Texas Historical Commission’s Historic Flags of Texas Project. Dr. Maberry organized and served as curator for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s groundbreaking exhibition “Texas Flags 1836-1941.” Dr. Maberry wrote the award-winning book Texas Flags in conjunction with the exhibition. In 2009, Dr. Maberry was appointed assistant professor at McMurry University. He maintains his passion for Texas flags and is continuing his research on the San Jacinto battle flag and its artist-creator, James H. Beard.

Don't miss this opportunity to visit the very fine Texas Civil War Museum and learn more about an important part of their collection. See you on the 9th!

March 12, 2013: The Death of Stonewall Jackson

March 12, 2013: The Death of Stonewall Jackson

Presented by Frank O'Reilly, Historian, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

Location: Ol' South Pancake House, University Drive, Fort Worth

Dinner: 6PM - Program begins at 7:00PM

OK, I know that with each of these announcements I make it sound like the program will be the best ever. My hope is that I can do justice to the excellent people we are so fortunate to have present to our group. I think our track record is pretty good and I can't think of any disappointments. However, I am not exagerating when I say that this month's presentation by Frank O'Reilly, Historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NBP, on "The Death of Stonewall Jackson" is a must see.

Frank has been doing this presentation (really it is a performance) for many years. He started his career with the NPS at the Fairfield Plantation in Guinea Station - site of Jackson's death. As he was giving his talks to visitors, he kept adding more details until he developed the minute by minute account of Jackson's death he will be presenting on Tuesday. The end result is what I call a "One Act Play." It starts with the action on the battlefield at Chancellorsville; tells how, why and where he was wounded; recounts his harrowing journey from the battlefield to the plantation; gives details of the medical attention he received; and provides a detailed account of his last days including the visit from his wife.

No one knows more about this event than Frank O'Reilly. No one tells the story better. As Ed Bearss said last month when he heard that Frank was doing this talk: "Don't miss it. There won't be a dry eye in the room."