Celebrating Lincoln's 200th birthday. If John Wilkes Booth didn't conduct his infamous act at Ford's Theater that night in April 1865, Lincoln would be blowing out a cake of 200 candles.
The Lincoln Forum was held at Richmond's famous Tredegar Ironworks. This is the factory that produced most of the South's weapons including rifles and canons during the Civil War. Richmond was the Capitol of the Confederacy in part because of Tredegar Ironworks. The factory was able to produce enough weaponry and munitions to prolong the war and cause Lincoln to fire so many generals before finding Grant to conclude the job, nearly five years after Manassas. The American Civil War Center is based within the ruins of this Iron factory on the banks of the famous James River in downtown Richmond. The factory continued to make iron-related products into the early 20th century.
Brickwork of the old factory still exists within the new museum built around it. If ever in Richmond and if you are a history buff, you can not overlook this museum on the banks of the James River in downtown Richmond.
Many history buffs know the name of James McPherson (author of Battle Cry of Freedom, Abraham Lincoln, Tried by War, among many, many other books) and Emory Thomas (author of Robert E. Lee, Confederate State of Richmond, among many others). Here they are preparing to sign books, not knowning they will soon be signing nine (McPherson) and three (Thomas) books of mine very soon.
A look out the window at the American Civil War Museum, which was built around the ruins of the South's largest iron factory of the Civil War, Tredegar. Historic Richmond bridges cross the James River. A CSX train currently crossing the bridge bringing West Virgina coal to Hampton Roads on the Chesapeake Bay to be shipped around the world, probably to China.
James McPherson and Emory Thomas hard at work signing the fruits of their labor.
The president of the University of Richmond, Edward Ayers. Go ahead put his name in Amazon, he is an historian in his own right. I have four books written by him signed. He was a professor of history at UVA before being appointed president of UofR.
Michael Burlingame talking to someone at the reception of the Lincoln Forum. Burlingame just wrote a two-volume book, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, which included 2,000 pages of biography. I told him I recognized his tie, which displays the Emancipation Proclammation in Lincoln's hand. He wore the same tie on BookTv (CSPAN2) while speaking about his book.
Perhaps my favorite pic of the night at the reception. Dr. James McPherson of Princeton speaking with Dr. Michael Burlingame of Connecticut College and respected Lincoln scholar.
Dr. Burlingame signing my two-volume book that he wrote of Lincoln and edited the book entitled, Abraham Lincoln The Observations of John G. Nicholay and John Hay.
The nine books I brought for James McPherson to sign. I am sure I am responsible for a hand-cramp he had to have received while signing my bookis.
All in all, it was a productive day. I received signatures from the authors of 15 of my Civil War history books, including McPherson, Thomas, Ayers, and William Cooper, author of Jefferson Davis.
My ancestors of the Civil War www.12thVA.com of the 12th Virginia Infantry
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Updated March 2009
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