Presents: "From Stone Wall to Stonewall: The Fredericksburg Campaign Revealed" with Frank O'Reilly, Historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
The Battle of Fredericksburg was a barometer for the world to gauge the progress of the Civil War at the end of 1862. It was easily simplified into absolutes in peoples’ minds: it was the easiest victory Confederate General Robert E. Lee ever had—the Union commander, Ambrose Burnside, was a well-meaning incompetent—and the terrible Stone Wall was impregnable against all odds. But the campaign and battle at Fredericksburg were far more complicated and intriguing than that! The very nature of war changed at Fredericksburg, introducing unprecedented elements of combat like establishing the first beachhead under fire in American history and the first truly urban combat in North America. It was a battle that a relatively unknown Pennsylvanian named George Gordon Meade came perilously close to winning in spite of the Union high command; and Stonewall Jackson almost lost. We will discuss all the subtleties and surprises that challenge historians and students even today.
About our speaker:
Frank A. O’Reilly graduated from Washington & Lee University in 1987 and joined the National Park Service. Aside from a brief tour at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Frank’s assignments were at Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park. He served as a historical consultant for the City of Fredericksburg. He has authored many articles and appeared in numerous documentaries. In addition he has presented military history topics to audiences around the world. Recently he presented in Oxford, United Kingdom on the bicentennial of Robert E. Lee’s Birth and the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. His published books include Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg (1993) and The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock (2003). The last mentioned work won the 2002 Capital District (Albany, NY) Book Award; the 2003 James I. Robinson, Jr. Book Award; the 2004 Daniel Laney Book Award; and the 2004 Richard Barksdale Harwell Book Award. Currently Frank’s is researching for a future title on the Seven Day’s Campaign and the Battle of Malvern Hill.
Special Member Only Meet & Greet - 9:30am-10:30am
Lecture - 10:30am-11:30am
Entrance to the lecture is included with your purchase of a Museum admission ticket.
NCWM Museum Members are free
RSVP by October 24.