12 July 2007

New Assignment

I am quite honored to have recently been asked to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Civil War Chaplains Research Center and Museum Foundation at Liberty University. Though I've been familiar with this new effort since it was announced in October of 2005, and though I've twice spoken at Liberty's annual spring Civil War seminar, I never thought I'd be asked to be involved at this level. The subject matter and focus of the museum is one that has fascinated me since I started studying the war seriously in the early 1980's; shortly after I became a Christian. The museum's focus is also a vitally important one in understanding our Nation's bloodiest conflict and one that needs broader awareness. It is my humble opinion that one cannot truly understand what motivated soldiers North and South unless this aspect of the war is considered. I am truly excited about this opportunity and looking forward to doing all I can to advance the museum's Mission:

"The mission of the National Civil War Chaplains Research Center and Museum is to educate the public about the role of chaplains and religious organizations in the Civil War; to promote the continuing study of the many methods of dissemination of religious doctrine and moral teachings during the War; to preserve religious artifacts; and to present interpretive programs that show the influence of religion on the lives of political and military personnel."

A number of distinguished historians, public servants, and businessmen are currently serving on the separate Board of Advisors including:

  • The Honorable Virgil Goode, Representative of the 5th District of VA to the US House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Kathy Byron, Delegate from the 22nd VA House District
  • Rod Gragg, Nationally Renowned Civil War Author
  • Terry Jamerson, Publisher, The Lynchburg News and Advance
  • Dr. Ervin, Jordan, UVA Records Manager & Research Archivist, The University of Virginia
  • Dr. D. James Kennedy, Pastor, Coral Ridge Ministries, Florida
  • Dr. James I. Robertson, Alumni Distinguished Professor of History, Virginia Tech
  • Marc Schewel, CEO Schewel’s Furniture
  • Dr. David Valuska, Professor of History Emeritus, Kutztown State University.
  • Dr. Steven E. Woodworth, Professor of History, Texas Christian UniversityAl Stone,
  • Al Stone, Nationally Noted Robert E. Lee Re-enactor
  • Rev. Lloyd Sprinkle, Sprinkle Publications, Inc.
  • Don Troiani, Nationally Renowned Civil War Artist

The foundation will soon begin a major fundraising effort and I am sure many of my future posts will involve the important work of the Museum. Those who would be interested in donating relevant items or contributing financially may contact:

The National Civil War Chaplains Research
Center and Museum Foundation
PO Box 11182
Lynchburg, VA 24506

(The image is by artist Dale Gallon and depicts Chaplain Beverly Tucker Lacy praying with Stonewall Jackson after discussing the role of the Chaplaincy in Jackson's 2nd Corps. I have a signed & numbered framed edition which hangs over the mantle in my parlor. It is one of my favorite paintings.)


Anonymous said...

The July 2-9 issue of US News & World Report has a special "Secrets Of The Civil War" feature in which author Pryor states authoritatively that Lee's soul-trying angst over leaving the Old Army to serve Virginia resulted from the division it would cause within his family. To quote: "Lee's explanation was, 'I could not raise my hand against my home and my family.' The irony is that many of his friends and family members sided with the North, including his sister, whom he never saw again. Her son and two of his closest cousins fought for the North. So either way, Lee would fight against members of his family, and that's why it was an impossible decision."
Hmmm... so it was Lee's family ties that selfishly interfered with his resignation decision; no mention of devotion to duty. I reckon that concept would only have confused most readers anyway.
Very belated congratulations to Rick for his medal bestowed upon him by the UDC; most deserving and appropriate. More timely congratulations for his appointment to the Board of Trustees at the National Civil War Chaplains Research Center and Museum Foundation; he will be a valuable addition!

Douglas N. Hill
Florida native, Blessed to live in Virginia

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Doug. I'm going to withhold my final opinion on Pryor's book until I finish reading it. I started it this weekend and hope to get through much of it this week. I will say that the early part of the book indicates that Pryor is taking the rather worn-out, clich├ęd modern view of Lee. So far, nothing new.