Central Virginia Battlefields Trust
2024 Spring Seminar
The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust will host its inaugural Spring Seminar on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at the historic Wilderness Baptist Church’s fellowship hall from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The seminar is focused on the often ignored but historically important events in central and northern Virginia that occurred between the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863 and the Battle of the Wilderness a year later.
Speakers include noted historians and authors Mike Block, Dan Davis, John Hennessy, Kevin Pawlak and Ted Savas.
Interesting and rare Civil War relics will be on hand for viewing and discussion courtesy of CVBT Board member Paul Scott!
Select authors will have books for sale.
Lunch is included in the $40 registration fee.
Featured Speakers and Topics
"All Were Conspicuous: The Reserve Brigade at Brandy Station"
Early on the morning of June 9, 1863 Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton rode across Beverly's Ford on the Rappahannock and opened what became the largest cavalry battle ever fought in North America. Through the course of the day the Reserve Brigade, three U.S. Regular and one Pennsylvania cavalry regiment engaged the Confederates across the open fields and hills of Culpeper County. At St. James Church, Richard Cunningham's farm and along the Yew Hills, the brigade added a bloody chapter to its illustrious history.
"Only One Shout, Then a Terrible Silence." As the Army of the Potomac’s commander Gen. George Meade received continued pressure to inflict some damage on Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia into the fall of 1863, portions of the two great foes battled along the Orange & Alexandria Railroad on November 7, 1863, at Rappahannock Station and nearby Kelly’s Ford. The aggressive nature of Meade’s twin attacks, the timing of the assault, and the weather conspired to take Lee by surprise and cost him the bulk of three brigades in the course of a few hours. Although the battles of Rappahannock Station and Kelly’s Ford ultimately resulted in missed opportunities for both armies, these often-overlooked engagements helped set the stage for the later Mine Run and Overland Campaigns.
“A Campaign of Cat and Mouse: The Bristoe Station Campaign,
October 9-19, 1863”: The fall of 1863 is an often-overlooked period of the Civil War in Virginia. Sandwiched between the battles of Gettysburg and the Wilderness, it has mostly been glossed over and forgotten, largely because there was no major battle that occurred during the campaign. In October 1863, Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia underwent an offensive campaign to defeat George Meade and his Army of the Potomac. This campaign was more one of maneuver rather than battle, though it ended poorly for Lee's army, which failed to achieve its objectives. This campaign was the last time Lee himself oversaw an offensive campaign during the Civil War.
"Saving the Payne's Farm Battlefield, the Gem of the Mine Run Campaign." Traces the outline of the overall campaign, the fighting at Payne's Farm, and how the field was improperly located on maps until primary sources and a dedicated effort was made to find it, map it, and preserve it.
John Henessey's presentation is titled, "Ready to 'Make Richmond Howl': The Army of the Potomac on the Eve of the Overland Campaign." This talk will look at the army as it stood during and after the long winter encampment in Culpeper and nearly three years of war--how it had changed and the stakes that confronted it as it prepared to cross the Rapidan into the Wilderness, accompanied by Grant.
CVBT Spring Seminar Refund Policy
Before February 1 - 100% minus a $10 service fee
February 1-15 - 50%
After February 15 - No refunds
Detailed Seminar Schedule
Saturday - March 9th - 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Join us at the Wilderness Baptist Church, on the Chancellorsville battlefield for a full day of presentations.
Noted historians and authors will spend the day discussing some of the battles and events that took place in Virginia between Chancellorsville and the beginning of the Overland Campaign.
CVBT board member Paul Scott will also bring some of his personal civil war relic collection for attendees to view and talk about with him.
Box lunches will be provided and select authors will have books for sale.
* Presenter lineup is subject to change.
Our Seminar Historians
Dan Davis is a graduate of Longwood University with a B.A. in Public History. He has worked as a seasonal living history interpreter and ranger at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He is the author or co-author of numerous books and articles on the Civil War. Dan is the Senior Education Manager with the American Battlefield Trust.