The Overland 150th Opens: Presidents, Generals, and Descendants. Years of Anguish #5

Join us on Saturday, April 5, for our speakers’ forum, Presidents, Generals, and Descendants, from 1-5 p.m. at new Salem Church (on Route 3 next to Old Salem Church). This is the opening event of the observance of the Battles of Wilderness and Spotsylvania and the Overland Campaign generally. For more on the 150th schedule, click here.

This is the fifth in our very popular series, Years of Anguish. Many of you might recall that it was the first of these programs that memorably produced Bill Freehling cursing and waving Henry Wise’s pistol in the pulpit of the Fredericksburg Baptist Church.  (Click here for the video–the gun wielding is at 36:00.)

Freehling and the gun

We suspect our upcoming slate of speakers will come unarmed (though Brooks Simpson might bring a hockey stick), but no doubt Bill Cooper and Dr. Simpson will do or say some memorable things. Dr.  Cooper, from LSU, will speak on Davis and Lee. Dr. Simpson, from Arizona State University, will speak on Grant and Lincoln.

The concluding session of the day will feature Bertram Hayes-Davis, the great-great grandson of President Jefferson Davis, Bud Hall, the descendant of Mississippi soldiers, and Avery Lentz, a student from Gettysburg college who is descended from both Union and Confederate soldiers, including Isaac Avery of North Carolina. In this session we will explore how America’s close personal connection with the Civil War affects our perception of the Civil War, and how the legacy of the war affects descendants.

If you have questions for the speakers during either the descendants’s session or the concluding discussion forum, we will have cards available for you to submit them.

Eastern National will be selling books throughout the day, and at 5 we will have a book signing.

A note on getting to new Salem Church: there is no left turn from westbound Route 3 directly into new Salem Church.  Though the modern church stands next to Old Salem Church, do NOT follow the signs to Old Salem Church. Instead, traveling west on Route 3, you will need to pass the church on your left and go through the light at Salem Church Road.  Then do a U-turn at the next crossover and return back through the light on eastbound Route 3. The parking area for new Salem Church will be highly visible to your right.  

We hope to see you all on Saturday.