Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable

The purpose of this organization shall be to promote discussion and study of the Civil War and to further stimulate interest in all aspects and phases of the Civil War period.

Current Newsletter and Archives

Williamsburg Civil War



  Meeting Place:


Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre


Volume XLII Number 9                 May 22, 2018

Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson, Jr.

"The Four-Legged Soldiers"

Join us for the next meeting of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable at the Williamsburg Public Library Theatre at 7 PM on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, Dr. Bud Robertson will present “The Four-Legged Soldiers”. The Civil War could not have occurred without horses. They were the primary means of transportation for soldiers as well as all the equipment needed to wage battle.  More of these animals would die than did humans in the nation-making struggle.  At the same time, thousands of troops found solace in a wide variety of animals who served as regimental mascots. They played a vital role in sustaining morale in a time of suffering and loneliness.  Such "four-legged soldiers" have a little-known but valuable story to tell.

One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson served as Executive Director of the U. S. Civil War Centennial Commission in the 1960’s and worked with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He then taught 44 years at Virginia Tech, where his upper division course on the Civil War era attracted 300 or more students per semester and made it the largest class of its kind in the nation. He received every teaching award given by Virginia Tech.  At his retirement in 2011, the University named him Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History.

The Danville Virginia native is the author or editor of more than 40 books, including biographies of Generals Robert E. Lee and A. P. Hill, several works on the common soldiers, and three studies written for young readers. His massive biography of General “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the basis for the Ted Turner/Warner Brothers mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Dr. Robertson was the chief historical consultant for the film.

The recipient of every major award given in Civil War history, and a lecturer of national acclaim, Dr. Robertson is probably more in demand as a speaker than anyone else in the Civil War field.

He holds a Ph D degree from Emory University and honorary doctorates from Randolph Macon College and Shenandoah University.

Dr. Robertson is a charter member, by Senate appointment, of Virginia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, and was actively engaged in the Commonwealth’s sesquicentennial observances.

He is the Father of the new traditional state song, “Our Great Virginia”, approved by the General Assembly in March 2015.

Dr. Robertson’s recent publications include “After The Civil War”, published by the National Geographic Society, and his annotated edition of John B. Jones’ “A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary”.

Last Month

On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, Eric Wittenberg presented “The Devil’s to Pay” - John Buford at Gettysburg, is based upon the research that he conducted in conjunction with the publishing of his book by the same title. Eric will outline the role that Brig. General John Buford and his First Cavalry Division troops played up to and through the Battle of Gettysburg. His presentation will focus upon the actions of Buford and his horse soldiers on the first day of the battle when they mounted a stiff resistance to impede the progress of the advance of overwhelming numbers of Confederate infantry until the arrival of the Union First Corps and Eleventh Corps units. Eric will also discuss the actions that Buford’s troopers undertook to shepherd and save the shattered remnants of those two Union infantry corps at the end of the first day of the battle.

Eric J. Wittenberg is a native of Southeastern Pennsylvania. He is an award-winning Civil War historian whose primary focus has been cavalry operations in the Eastern Theater and on the Gettysburg Campaign. He is the author of 21 published books on the Civil War and dozens of magazine articles. He has won the Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award, the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable’s Book Award, and the United States Army Heritage Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award. He is deeply involved in battlefield preservation work, and often works with the Civil War Trust on preservation efforts. He is a former president and program chairman of the Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable, and served on the Governor of Ohio’s Commission on the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. He runs a popular blog, Rantings of a Civil War Historian, and often travels the country lecturing on the Civil War and leading tours. He is an attorney in private practice, where he manages his firm’s litigation practice. He, his wife Susan, and their four golden retrievers live in Columbus, Ohio.

Dues for September 2017 - May 2018 are due. Dues are $30 for an individual and $35 for a family. Please make checks payable to WCWRT. Registration form

2017-2018 Officers of WCWRT:
President: Bill Miller               Vice-President: Lee Underwood
Secretary: Gene Danko         Treasurer:  George Callis

The Executive Committee consists of the elected officers, the immediate past president and other members appointed by the incoming president. Those members include Debbie Bedosti,.Tom Lamb, and Terri Teopke.

Upcoming Meetings and Speakers

  • September 25, 2018 -  John Quarstein: “Wake-Up Call – The Battle of Big Bethel”
  • October 23, 2018 - Dr. Curt Fields, a/k/a General Ulysses S. Grant: “The Battle of Shiloh”
  • November 27, 2018 - Peggy Vogtsberger: “The Battle of Dam #1”
  • December 18, 2018 - Dr. Charles Ross: “Creative Science and Technology in the Civil War”
  • January 22, 2019 - TBA
  • February 26, 2019 - TBA
  • March 26, 2019 - Ryan Quint: “Determined to Stand and Fight – The Battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864”
  • April 23, 2019 - Edward Alexander: “Breaking Through to the Other Side – Petersburg, April 2, 1865”
  • May 28, 2019 - Bert Dunkerly: “To the Bitter End: The Surrenders of the Confederacy”

Special Events

  • May 2018 - The Return of History Happy Hours at the American Civil War Museum. For details and other museum events click here.
  • May 26, 2018 - Emerging Civil War’s first-ever “Pop-Up” Tour! Join ECW’s Kevin Pawlak and Dan Welch for a special trip across part of Antietam National Battlefield. details
  • May 30, 2018 - American Battlefield Trust Annual Conference at Historic Yorktown details
  • May – October 2018 - Chambersburg civil war tours details

Visit the Williamsburg Battlefield Association
(http://www.williamsburgbattlefieldassociation.org/) (https://www.facebook.com/WilliamsburgBattlefieldAssociation)
WEBSITE: Be sure to frequently visit the site for newsletter info, announcements, future and past speakers, and an up to date calendar of events in the Civil War world.  It’s available anytime you need the info. http://www.wcwrt.org.

To access the newsletter archives, 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018