Free Book Talks



BOOK TALKS are held on Sundays
at 1:30 p.m.

Please check back as we add our book talks for 2017 and beyond!

September 17
1:30 p.m.; Free
Join us for a free book talk with Joseph D'Arezzo on his book "Virginia in the Civil War" at 1:30 p.m.

No other even in American history has so indelibly shaped the country than the American Civil War.  Virginia provided the setting for countless clashes and battles.  The American Civil War was one of the first armed conflicts to be heavily documented through photographs.  In recent years, the Library of Congress has compiled many of these images, helping to make this journey through history possible.
 September 17
October 1
1:30 p.m.; Free
Join us for a free book talk with James Gindlesperger on his book "Fire on the Water: The USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama" at 1:30 p.m.
Under Captain Raphael Semmes, the CSS Alabama had been raiding Union merchant ships for nearly two years. The Alabama accounted for almost one of every four Union merchant ships lost during the entire Civil War, with more than 60 ships destroyed. The USS Kearsarge, captained first by Charles Pickering and later by John Winslow, chased the Alabama around the world. Winslow vowed to end the trail of destruction caused by the Alabama. The two finally met in an epic battle off the coast of France on June 19, 1864. Fire on the Water examines the voyages of the Alabama and the Kearsarge toward their destiny. Using the words of the participants, James Gindlesperger offers a rare look into life at sea during the American Civil War. This tale of raw adventure and extraordinary courage will be prized by historians, genealogists, and those who enjoy a good story. Many controversies in after-the-battle studies are also examined.
 October 1
October 8
1:30 p.m.; Free
Join us for a free book talk with Doug Crenshaw on his book "Richmond Shall Not Be Given Up" at 1:30 p.m.

About the Book:
For seven days, Lee planned ambitious attacks and launched them, one after another, hoping not just to drive Federals from the gates of Richmond but to obliterate them entirely.  In "Richmond Shall Not Be Given Up", historian Doug Crenshaw follows a battle so desperate that, ever-after, soldiers would remember that week simply as The Seven Days.  McClellan reeled.  The tide of war turned.  The Army of Northern Virginia was born.

About the Author:
Doug Crenshaw is a volunteer historic interpreter for the Richmond National Battlefield Park.  A member of the Richmond Civil War Roundtable, he is a speaker, presenter, tour leader, and the author of books on Glendale and Fort Harrison.  Doug is a descendant of the Sydnor family, which lived at Beaver Damn Creek during that battle, and the Binford family, which live behind the Malvern Hill battlefield.
 October 8
October 22
1:30 p.m.; Free
Join us for a free book talk with Larry Aaron on his book "The Wreck of the Old 97" at 1:30 p.m.
About the Book: With Fast Mail train No. 97 an hour behind schedule, locomotive engineer Steve Broady, according to legend, swore to "put her in Spencer on time" or "put her in Hell." Through eyewitness reports and court testimonies, historian Larry Aaron expertly pieces together the events of September 27, 1903, at Danville, Virginia, when the Old 97 plummeted off a forty-five-foot trestle into the ravine below. With more twists and turns than the railroad tracks on which the Old 97 ran, this book chronicles the story of one of the most famous train wrecks in American history, as well as the controversy surrounding "The Wreck of the Old 97," that most famous ballad, which secured the Old 97 a place within the annals of American folklore.
 October 22
November 5
1:30 p.m.; Free
Join us for a free book talk with Patrick O'Neill on his book "To Annoy or Destroy the Enemy" at 1:30 p.m. 

Two hundred years have passed since the Potomac Squadron fought their way past the White House batteries, eclipsed by the burning of Washington and the bombarding of Fort McHenry.  This book will reveal what history has forgotten; about America's first response to the attack on the nation's capital and the events that truly led to the penning of the Star Spangles Banner in what British naval historian William James wrote in 1837: Of the many expeditions up the bays and rivers of the United States during the late war, none equaled in brilliancy of execution that of the Potomac to Alexandria.
 November 5
November 12
1:30 p.m.; Free
Join us for a free book talk with Rick Richter on his book "Three Cheers fro the Chesapeake" at 1:30 p.m.

Illustrated with previously unpublished photos, letters, documents, and diary entries, the untoldstory of the Chesapeake Artillery comes to light. Comprised chiefly of men who lived near the shores of its namesake bay, the Chesapeake Artillery was the last Confederate battery organized from the state of Maryland. It was also by far the smallest, with barely more than half the average enrollment of other Maryland batteries in the Confederate army. Despite its size, the unit was frequently cited for its bravery and efficiency, including by Stonewall Jackson. This is the history of the unit, from its formation through all its battles with the Army of Northern Virginia until the surrender at Appomattox, where only 13 men remained. A unique statistical analysis of census and military records data highlights its characteristics. Included is a complete roster of all the men who served in the unit.
 November 12