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Civil War Roundtable

Lee's Options Near the End of the War

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National Park Service Chief Historian Emeritus Ed Bearss will discuss what Confederate general Robert E. Lee considered as his options during the last months of the Civil War. Lee was headquartered on the western outskirts of Petersburg at Edge Hill, aware of defeats in Mobile, Atlanta, Savannah, Franklin and Nashville, and we know which military actions Lee chose. But we do not know what options he may have considered.

This partnership event with the NC Civil War Roundtable begins at with light refreshments at 6 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm and features a silent auction of a framed Robert E. Lee print by Mort Kuntsler. A donation of $15 per person is requested. Reservations are also requested and may be made by contacting Dick Whitaker at or 336-293-2980. Funds support the preservation of NC Civil War battlefields. 


Bearss grew up in Montana as the son of a WWI Marine officer. At 18, he joined the Marines following Pearl Harbor and was severely wounded at New Britain Island in 1944. During his two-year hospital recovery, he read avidly on Civil War topics and after his discharge, earned degrees before joining Vicksburg Battlefield Park as a historian. He rose through the ranks to become the Chief Historian of the National Park Service, and was honored after his retirement with the title of Emeritus.

Bearss, called the Father of American Battlefield Preservation, History’s Pied Piper, and Tour Leader without Peer, has been to North Carolina for speaking tours for a number of years. He has made many visits to the Historical Museum, but this talk will be the first in a Fireside Chat format, when he will be joined by Eugene Adcock of the NC Civil War Roundtable. 

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