This coming Tuesday I will be presenting a talk to the Charlottesville Civil War Roundtable. The talk is scheduled for 7:30pm at the JAG School on the campus of the University of Virginia. Directions can be found here and the meetings are free and open to the public. I am going to talk about the broad outlines of my Crater project and concentrate on William Mahone and the evolution of memory surrounding U.S.C.T.’s. Over the past few days I’ve scanned a number of interesting documents and images that will be used throughout the talk. One of them is a photograph of Private Louis Martin who served in the 29th Illinois (U.S.C.T.) and who lost both an arm and a leg at the Crater.
This is going to be a fairly open ended presentation as I hope to engage the audience from the beginning. I’ve attended way too many talks where the speaker simply reads a paper or reads notes from a screen. The idea behind the Roundtable format is to engage in a discussion with your audience.
Not too long ago I bid farewell to Roundtables, but with my manuscript under review I thought it might be time to drum up a little enthusiasm for the project. I think it can be argued that I was a bit unfair in that earlier post. The burden is on me to make the narrow subject of Civil War memory relevant to an audience that is perhaps not predisposed to this type of discussion. And I guess it is possible not to get too worked up about the inevitable question about black Confederates. I am also scheduled to speak about the Crater on July 10 at the Richmond Civil War Roundtable. And on March 12 I will be speaking about Confederate military executions at the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Roundtable in Fredericksburg. Between these three talks there is a good chance that I may meet some readers of this blog.