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.

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Williamsburg Civil War



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Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre


Volume XLII Number 1                  September 26, 2017

Patrick Falci

"Up Comes Hill "

Join us for the next meeting of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable at the Williamsburg Public Library Theatre at 7 PM on Tuesday, September 26, 2017. On September 26, 2017, Patrick Falci a/k/a General A.P. Hill will present “Up Came Hill (A.P. Hill at Sharpsburg)”
At 6:30 in the morning on September 17, 1862, a courier sent by Gen. Robert E. Lee arrived at the headquarters of Major General AP. Hill in Harper's Ferry, VA. A battle had commenced early that morning in Sharpsburg, MD and General Lee needed help. Lee knew he was outnumbered more than 2 to 1 at what would be known as the Battle of Antietam, and that A.P. Hill and his men were the only ones who could help him. In one half-hour, Hill would have his men on the march at the double-quick.
A.P. Hill, wearing his red battle shirt—which he called his hunting shirt—and his Light Division (so-called because he trained it for speed) knew that the fate of the Army of Northern Virginia was in their hands. They knew they would be going against George McClellan and the strong Army of the Potomac, and that the war could be decided by the outcome of this battle.

Hill had so much confidence in his division (5000 men on the march) that he decided to take a longer route of 17 miles to Sharpsburg instead of the more direct 12-mile route. He knew the speed and endurance of the men would make up for the 5 extra miles, and he didn't want an engagement with reported enemy troops in the area. With the point of his sword, he pushed his men forward. He would ride up and down the line through clouds of dust to inspire them during their breathless pace. After so many miles, some of the men could not keep up. They were suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and even a few heart attacks. At one point, while crossing the Potomac at Boteler's Ford, Hill lost 500 men. Yet, A.P. Hill would not stop. Getting closer and closer to Sharpsburg, he could hear the sound of the guns. But would he make it in time to save General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia?
After seven hours of fighting, Lee would see a new column of soldiers approaching. All day long, his Army had been pushed back through the cornfield, the sunken road and the lower bridge, and now it looked as though the end had come. "What flags do you see?" Lee asked his aide. 'They are flying the Virginia and Confederate flags!" A joyful if reserved Lee exclaimed, "It is A.P. Hill, up from Harper's Ferry!"

AP. Hill and his Light Division made it to the right place at the right time to save Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. Hill started out with 5000 men at Harper's Ferry, arrived at Sharpsburg with 3000, and utilized 2000 men to fight the Yankees. But that would be enough. As he would say in his after-battle report, "With a yell of defiance, my troops were not in a moment too soon."
To his dying day, Robert E. Lee never forgot September 17th, 1862 and the timely arrival of AP. Hill. On his deathbed, Lee is reported to have uttered among his last words: "Tell AP. Hill he must come up," remembering with his last breath, the heroic rescue of his Army by General Hill at Sharpsburg.

For 25 years, Patrick Falci has been the face of General Ambrose Powell Hill. Before that, he spent 15 years as a reenactor with the 14th Tennessee— Archer's Brigade, Hill's Light Division. He created the role of General Hill in the movie Gettysburg and was the historical advisor to director Ron Maxwell, as well as bestselling author, Jeff Shaara. Amongst his many achievements, he served as the 3-time president of the Civil War Round Table of New York and has been a guest speaker all over the country for his knowledge on the Civil War.

Last Month

At the May meeting Christopher L. Kolakowski presented "The Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863. The presentation explored the battle, its context, and its legacy. The battle was the climax of the various Battles for Chattanooga. A great Union strategic victory, it set the stage for the 1864 thrust to Atlanta. It also was the foundation of the MacArthur military dynasty, because of the heroism of 18-year-old Arthur MacArthur of the 24th Wisconsin.
Christopher L. Kolakowski was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va. He received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany
Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, and the U.S. Army. He has written and spoken on various aspects of military history from 1775 to the present. He has published two books with the History Press: The Civil War at Perryville: Battling For the Bluegrass and The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaign: This Army Does Not Retreat. In September 2016, the U.S. Army published his volume on the 1862 Virginia Campaigns as part of its sesquicentennial series on the Civil War. He is a contributor to the Emerging Civil War Blog, and his study of the 1941-42 Philippine Campaign titled Last Stand on Bataan is was released by McFarland in late February 2016.
Chris came to Norfolk having served as Director of the General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership in Fort Knox, KY from 2009 to 2013. He became the MacArthur Memorial Director on September 16, 2013.

Dues for 2017-2018 are due. Dues for the year 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 Tom Lamb and Terri Teopke.

Upcoming Meetings and Speakers

  • October 24, 2017 - Dennis Frye - Did McClellan out-think Lee during the first Confederate invasion?
  • November 29, 2017 – Eric Buckland – “John S. Mosby – The Perfect Man in the Perfect Place”
  • December 19, 2017 - Brian Steele Wills - Gone with the glory (The Civil War in Cinema)
  • January 23, 2018 – Carson Hudson – "Custer's First Stand"
  • February 27, 2018 – Ralph Peters - "Civil War Leadership and its challenges
  • March 27, 2018 - Peggy Vogstberger – “Patrick Cleburne”
  • April 24, 2018 - Eric Wittenberg - John Buford
  • May 22, 2018 - Dr. James I. Robertson - TBD

Special Events

  • September 20, 2017 - The MacArthur Memorial will host the second in this year’s fall film series. Titled HONOR AND SACRIFICE, it tells the story of Roy Matsumoto, a Japanese-American soldier in Merrill’s Marauders.  details
  • September and December 2017 - Prince William County 2017 History Bus Tours details
  • September, 2017 – May, 2018 - The Return of History Happy Hours at the American Civil War Museum. For details and other museum events click here.
  • Oct. 7, 2017 - Battle of Smithfield tour at Isle of Wight Museum details
  • October 31, 2017 - William C. Davis will be speaking at Christopher Newport University , at 3 PM in the Gaines Theater at the Freeman Center. The title of his talk is: “The General in Love: The Civil War Romance of Gabriel and Nannie Wharton”. The event is free and open to the public.


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