Sunday, August 14, 2022

Double feature highlights first Civil War Round Table

Tuesday, September 5th marks the return of monthly Brunswick Civil War Round Table meetings. Attendees are in for a rare treat. Leading off the meeting will be the return of John Bennett and his Masonboro Parlor Band playing Civil War-era songs. This will be followed by the main event — the return of Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson, Jr., one of the most distinguished names in Civil War history. The topic of his presentation is, “Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend.” Everyone is welcome. Registration and refreshments will begin early at 5:00PM due to the length of the program.

Back by popular demand, John and his band’s program will include an audience sign-along and a few dances that were popular during the Civil War period. Over the years this local band, led by retired award-winning UNCW professor, continues to please audiences devoting their time and musical talents at various Civil War-related clubs and organizations around the country with a selection of period music, some of which will surely be familiar to everyone.

The highlight of the program will feature Bud Robertson, author of over 20 books that include such award-winning studies as Civil War! America Becomes One Nation, General A.P. Hill and Soldiers Blue and Gray. His massive biography of General “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals.” The title of that book, “Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend” will be the focus of his presentation. He describes his book as not a biography of a great general; it is the life story of an extraordinary man who became a great general.

Bud will discuss Jackson’s upbringing in western Virginia, his struggles and grit at West Point, his career in the antebellum army, and his happiness and despair in Lexington. As a result, his portrayal of Jackson as a lonely but determined orphan appropriately diminishes the image of the lemon-sucking reclusive general. Rather Jackson is conveyed as a loving husband and father deadens the hyperbole of the eccentric hypochondriac. In essence, it’s the Stonewall Jackson persona rarely discussed in Civil War circles.

Bud was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary. Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300+ students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation. He is the recipient of every major award given in the Civil War field, and a lecturer of national acclaim. He is probably more in demand as a speaker before Civil War groups than anyone else in the field.

As a reminder, early registration and refreshments will begin at 5:00PM at Hatch Auditorium on Caswell Beach. The guest admission fee is $10, and can be applied toward the $25 annual membership dues. The Round Table continues to grow with each monthly meeting, and currently has over 1,150 members, making it the largest Civil War Round Table in the country. Meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of each month except during June through August.

For more information about the Round Table or the upcoming meeting, contact president Mike Powell at (910) 278-3545, or email to mikepowell260@gmail.com. The organization’s website is Brunswickcivilwarroundtable.com. You are also invited to visit their Facebook page for interesting Round Table developments and announcements.

Submitted by Chuck Roedema

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