About Your Host

Richard G. Williams, Jr. is an award winning Southern writer, autodidact, tour guide, relic hunter, preservationist, researcher, and raconteur who specializes in Virginia history and the War Between the States. A former contributor to the Washington Times' Civil War column (now defunct), he has also written for Homeschooling Today Magazine, Confederate Veteran, North South Trader's Civil War, Western & Eastern Treasures Magazine (where he also serves as a Contributing Editor) and regularly contributes articles about the Civil War and Virginia history to various publications and websites. Williams has also spoken at Civil War Round Tables and conferences and seminars; including Liberty University's Annual Civil War Seminar. He also conducts tours of historic sites in Virginia. He co-produced the video series, Institute on the Constitution. The production won a national award from The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. He also co-produced a documentary about Stonewall Jackson titled, Still Standing - The Stonewall Jackson Story. That film premiered at West Virginia University's Jackson's Mill. His writing and historical research involving the Confederacy earned him the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal from the United Daughters of the Confederacy - the highest honor bestowed upon non-members. Williams was also nominated for, and accepted into, the Sons of Confederate Veterans' Bonnie Blue Society for his research and writing involving the history of the Confederacy. Williams is also the recipient of the Kappa Alpha Order's 2007 "Robert E. Lee Appreciation Award", which recognizes the recipient "for excellence in his interpretation of the life of Robert E. Lee to the American People."

Douglas Coat of Arms
Williams was born and grew up on battlefields where his great-great grandfathers fought and defended their homes against men in blue uniforms with guns. As a young boy & teenager, Williams spent much of his time on those same battlefields in Virginia's rural Shenandoah Valley - fishing, hunting, exploring, and running from men in blue uniforms with guns. He is a direct descendant of three Confederate soldiers and is a ninth generation great-grandson of America's first abolitionist, the Reverend Roger Williams - who also ran from the authorities. Williams traces his Scottish ancestry to Sir Jon De Duglas [Douglas], circa 1100. Among his ancestors can be counted moonshiners, preachers, pirates, politicians, and Scottish Knights. Williams is proud to be associated with four of those categories and is, of course, ashamed of the politicians. He is also proud of the fact he's been able to maintain his Southern & Shenandoah Valley accent, while so many others seem to try and sound like some college freshman from the Midwest or Northeast. He still drops his "g's" from most words ending in "ing" and is not ashamed to use the word "ain't" when appropriate or say "ain't got none" just because he feels like it - even though he knows it ain't good English.      

Williams grew up eatin' fried mudcats and squirrel gravy and has worked as a stonemason's apprentice, publisher, a freelance writer, film producer, and served 12 years as a Conservator of the Peace and *Magistrate for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Though largely self-educated, Williams is a trained paralegal, holds a
professional designation in the financial services industry, and has published articles in several business journals. His work has been quoted or mentioned in Harpers and the Christian Science Monitor and he has appeared on C-Span's Book TV and the Christian Broadcasting Network.      

Williams is actively involved in his community having coached youth basketball, founding a 4H Club, and serving as a Sunday school teacher for over 37 years. He and his wife were also early pioneers in the homeschooling movement in Virginia and homeschooled four of their six children. That tradition continues with his grandchildren.       

Concerned with preserving Virginia’s rich historic heritage, Williams has been a member of the Civil War Preservation Trust and the Museum of the Confederacy, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and is currently a member of the Waynesboro Heritage Foundation, and the Archeological Society of Virginia. He has also co-authored the text for two of Virginia's historical highway markers. (See here and here.) Williams currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Civil War Chaplains Museum in Lynchburg, Virginia, on the Board of Directors for the Waynesboro Heritage Foundation, and is a member of The Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights Foundation.

Williams is the author of five books: Christian Business Legends, The Maxims of Robert E. Lee for Young Gentlemen, Stonewall Jackson ~ The Black Man's Friend, Lexington, Virginia and the Civil War and his latest book, The Battle of Waynesboro. Williams still lives with his wife and family in Virginia’s hallowed and storied Shenandoah Valley. He uses this blog to share his passion for history and to celebrate and defend the "permanent things." When not working, researching, reading, writing, blogging, kayaking, canoeing or spending time with his lovely wife or any of his 12, 13, 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 grandchildren, he can usually be found traipsing through some remote hollow in the Blue Ridge Mountains or some mist-covered battlefield here in Virginia; enjoying the beauty of Creation and the company of his ancestors' spirits with a metal detector in his hands, a gleam in his eye, and a smile on his face.  

(First Image is of Old Virginia Blog host, Richard G. Williams,  Jr. and Professor James I. Robertson, Jr. Photo was taken in front of the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Window at the 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Virginia. Second image is of Colonel Keith Gibson of Virginia Military Institute, Mark Stubblefield & Ken Carpenter of Franklin Springs Family Media, & Richard Williams taken on the campus of VMI during the filming of "Still Standing - The Stonewall Jackson Story." Third image is of Richard Williams relic hunting on private property near a Civil War battlefield in the Shenandoah Valley.)

Online Articles & Assays:

Chaplains In The Civil War ~ published by The Essential Civil War Curriculum - a Sesquicentennial project of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech.

And Men Will Tell Their Children: The Stonewall Brigade
~ my second essay published  by 
The Essential Civil War Curriculum - a Sesquicentennial project of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech.   

The Rebel Yell: The Seething Blast of an Imaginary Hell~ my 3rd essay for the Essenetial Civil War Curriculum.

Hidden Persuasion
s ~ published by The Civil War Gazette which
is edited by Kraig McNutt, Director of The Center for the Study of the American Civil War. 

Manly Advice From Robert E. Leea guest post I wrote for the Art of Manliness . . . Becoming a successful man in America today, as always, includes giving due consideration to your father’s admonitions and wisdom.

Also, read some of my articles at . . . 

Black Cemetery Doubt Remains 

Jackson's "Colored" Sunday School Class

Jackson's Most Trusted Sidekick 

Stonewall Ministers To Save Souls  

America's First Christmas Tree  

Christian Faith Key To Banner  

A Soldier Devoted To Cause And To God 
Lee The Educator

Scholar Warriors Volunteer For The South

The motivation and symbolism behind Old Virginia Blog:

The map which serves as the background for the header is from an 1891 map published by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company and is titled "Battlefields of Virginia." According to the map, it is "compiled from official war records and maps." This imagery symbolizes a number of things I write about - Virginia, the Civil War, as well as my interest in archaeology, Civil War artifacts and their recovery and preservation. I've spent many wonderful hours and recovered artifacts from several of the battlefields (on private property) shown on that map.

The image on the left of the header is of a charging Confederate Cavalryman - slashing and charging his way through a battlefield against a numerically superior opponent. In regards to my writing and frequent criticism of certain academic historians and their perspectives, I found it quite an appropriate metaphor. Consider it my Quixotic symbol if you like. ;-) The image was scanned from an old document that belonged to my father.

The image on the right of the header is, of course, taken from an old Virginia flag - one which was actually captured by yankees during the WBTS. It shows Virtus . . .

      . . . the genius of the Commonwealth, dressed as an Amazon, resting on a spear in her right hand . . . her head erect and face upturned; her left foot on the form of Tyranny represented by the prostrate body of a man, with his head to her left, his fallen crown nearby, a broken chain in his left hand, and a scourge in his right. Above the group and within the border conforming therewith, shall be the word "Virginia", and, in the space below, on a curved line, shall be the motto, "Sic Semper Tyrannis." [Thus always to tyrants] Quoted from Wikipedia

This older version is what I consider the "pre-assault" version - the Amazon's breast is not exposed as it is on the flag after the Civil War was over and Virgina lay in ruins. The symbolism as it relates to this blog and America's modern struggles needs no explanation.

Then we have the background image. This was taken from a digitized version of George Mason's first draft of Virginia's Declaration of Rights:

    The Declaration of Rights drafted in 1776 by George Mason for the state constitution of Virginia influenced both Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. It clearly states that rights are "the basis and foundation of government." The Virginia Declaration of Rights also influenced the drafting of the Bill of Rights added to the U.S. Constitution as the first ten amendments.

Again, the symbolism as it relates to this blog and my interests needs no explanation.

[Old Virginia Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com]

Your host examining a Civil War relic in the field.
 *For a comprehensive history of the magistrate system in the Commonwealth of Virginia, visit this link and read pages 1-4.