See You in Class - Triumph and Tragedy . . . the Civil War

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See You in Class

Triumph and Tragedy . . . the Civil War in 1863

By Brig. Gen. John W. Mountcastle (USA, Ret.)
February 14 and 28, 2013   |   Time: 5:30–7 pm

These two lectures will focus first upon the great Confederate triumph at the battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863 and then on Gen. Robert E. Lee's Pennsylvania campaign, which concluded with a stunning defeat at Gettysburg in early July that was tragic for thousands of Virginians and their loved ones.

Although these two major battles can provide the general context for our discussions, they are by no means the sole subjects. We want to understand better the impacts of the Civil War at its mid-point upon Virginia families, their communities, and the quality of their daily life. We will strive to understand better the influence of religion on soldiers and their loved ones, the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation on slavery, and the determination of women to play ever larger parts in the great drama that was life in the Old Dominion during wartime.

We will proceed in a generally chronological manner. The first class session will focus upon the first six months of 1863, to include the tremendous impact of the loss of Lt. Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson as Robert E. Lee prepared to carry the war north of the Potomac River.

Our second lesson will review the major aspects of the battle of Gettysburg and Lee's return to Virginia. We will also consider the steps taken by the Confederate high command to balance the demands of the eastern and western theaters of war. Before concluding our study of the year 1863, we must discuss the military, economic, and social conditions faced by Virginians at the end of a year that saw both triumph and tragedy in great measure.

For more information, call 804.342.9676 or email

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