Raleigh Civil War Round Table -- "The same rain falls on both friend and foe."

Raleigh Civil War Round Table

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"The same rain falls on both friend and foe."



Upcoming meeting of the Raleigh CWRT:

August 12, 2019 Event Features Philip Gerard, M.F.A., speaking on the topic of his book The Last Battleground - The Civil War Comes to North Carolina.

Our upcoming meeting will be on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in Daniels Auditorium at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh and will feature Philip Gerard, M.F.A. in Creative Writing, speaking on the topic of his new book The Last Battleground - The Civil War Comes to North Carolina.   This will be preceded at 6:30 p.m. by a social "half-hour".

Philip Gerard was born in 1955 and grew up in Newark, Delaware.  He attended St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware.   At the University of Delaware, he studied with fiction writer Thomas Molyneux, poet Gibbons Ruark, and nonfiction writer and editor Kevin Kerrane and earned a B.A. in English and Anthropology, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.   After college he lived in Burlington, Vermont, tending bar and writing freelance articles, before returning to newspaper work in Delaware and then going west to study fiction writing at the Arizona writers workshop with Robert Houston, Vance Bourjaily, Richard Shelton, and others.

He earned his M.F.A. in Creative Writing in 1981 and almost immediately joined the faculty at Arizona State University as a Visiting Assistant Professor and later as Writer in Residence.   He remained at ASU until 1986, then taught for a brief time at Lake Forest College in Illinois before migrating to coastal North Carolina, where he had spent many happy summers during his teenage years roaming the Outer Banks of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.

He teaches in the BFA and MFA Programs of the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.   He has won the Faculty Scholarship Award, the College of Arts & Science Teaching Award, the Chancellor's Medal for Excellence in Teaching, the Graduate Mentor Award, the Board of Trustees Teaching Award, and a Distinguished Teaching Professorship.   The Philip Gerard Fellowship, endowed by benefactor Charles F. Green III to honor Gerard's work in establishing and directing the MFA program, is awarded annually to an MFA student on the basis of literary merit.

Philip was also awarded the T. Harry Gatton Award in 2015.   This award, presented annually since 2008 by the Raleigh Civil War Round Table, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the understanding of and appreciation for the American Civil War.

He has authored or co-authored 17 books including two historical novels set in North Carolina, Hatteras Light and Cape Fear Rising, as well as a recent work featuring Paul Revere and several non-fiction works.   His most recent work is The Last Battleground—The Civil War Comes to North Carolina, which was published March 1, 2019 and is the subject of his August 12th presentation.

Philip has written a series of articles describing life and events during the Civil War in North Carolina that have been published monthly in Our State magazine.   Philip’s tales of Tarheels during the Civil War may be read at https://www.ourstate.com/civil-war-philip-gerard/.

In keeping with his conviction that writers should give something back to their profession, he has served on the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Writers Network and from 1995 until 1998 on the Board of Directors of the Associated Writing Programs, for two of those years as President.   He has been appointed to a second three-year term on the North Carolina Arts Council.   He is the 2012 recipient of the Sam Talmadge Ragan Award for Contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina.

Philip is co-editor with his wife, Jill Gerard, of Chautauqua, the literary journal of the Chautauqua Institution, and serves on the faculty of Goucher College's summer residency MFA program in Creative Nonfiction.

Gerard, an avid musician, incorporates bluegrass, folk, country, and original compositions into his readings, playing six and twelve-string guitar, dobro, banjo, and pedal steel guitar.   He and Jill live in Wilmington, NC on Whiskey Creek near the Intracoastal Waterway.

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Donated Civil War-Related Books on Sale Now to Fund Future Projects

A collection of 456 Civil War-related books from the library of Jim Brenner, our late long-time member and former vice president, was recently generously donated to the Raleigh CWRT by his widow, Nancy Brenner, and is up for sale. The proceeds will seed a new pool for funding future educational and preservation activities related to North Carolina and the Civil War.

Dr. Ted Kunstling is currently in possession of the collection and has inventoried it. A complete listing of the books for sale can be accessed from this front page of the Raleigh CWRT’s website via the link Civil War Book Collection, either here or at the bottom of the left-column navigation menu.

Prices will be $5 per hardcover book and $2 per paperback book. Buy three books and get a fourth free regardless of type. Contact Ted at trkunstling@aol.com or (919) 787-5282 to place your order.

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Member-Produced Civil War Documentary Film Available

Andrew Ballard, editor emeritus of The Knapsack, has produced a documentary film on behalf of the Raleigh Civil War Round Table covering the end of the Civil War in North Carolina.   It is available for donations to the RCWRT and the proceeds are being used for educational and preservation activities related to North Carolina and the Civil War.

The film features historians and authors speaking on the major events of 1865 including:

  • Ed Bearss (Overview/Monroe's Crossroads)
  • Chris Fonvielle (Fort Fisher/Fort Anderson/Wilmington)
  • David Waller (Wyse Fork)
  • Andrew Duppstadt (CSS Neuse)
  • Wade Sokolosky (Averasboro)
  • Mark Bradley (Bentonville)
  • Chris Hartley (Stoneman's Raid)
  • Ernest Dollar (Raleigh/Morrisville)
  • Bob Farrell (Logan)
  • John Guss (Bennett Place)

The experts were all filmed at the applicable historical sites and re-enactment footage from the sesquicentennial events at Fort Fisher, Fort Anderson, and Bentonville is included.

Music by the Liberty Hall Drum & Fife Corps and the 26th North Carolina Field Music/Carolina Fifes and Drums, artwork by Stephen McCall, Martin Pate, and Darrell Combs, and maps by Mark A. Moore and Hal Jesperson are also in the documentary.

DVD's will be available at our monthly meetings for donations of $10 or more.   Checks should be made out to the Raleigh CWRT.

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An Opinion by Dr. Chris Fonvielle on the "Silent Sam" Controversy

In the wake of the mid-2018 toppling of the "Silent Sam" statue at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Chris Fonvielle, Jr., History Professor emeritus, UNC, Wilmington, has written an opinion in StarNews Online that can be accessed by clicking on the following link:   Historic Context Vital for Confederate Monuments.

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