Image courtesy of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Meeting Notes: January 27, 2021

ARRT-Richmond 1/27/21 Meeting Notes

Pre-Guest Speaker Notes:

ARRT-R’s next meeting is scheduled for 3/17/21 at 6:30 p.m. This is a Zoom meeting!  Sign-in details will be provided in the March newsletter. Thanks again to Peggy Watson for allowing us to utilize the Osher network.

ARRT-R’s featured speaker on 3/17/21 will be Gary Ecelbarger. Mr. Ecelbarger will be speaking on “George Washington During the First Month of the Philadelphia Campaign: Old Challenges and New Discoveries, August 24 – September 23, 1777”.

Mr. Ecelbarger is the author of seven books on the Civil War and Lincoln. He is an experienced tour guide of Revolutionary War and Civil War sites and is authoring a campaign biography of Washington during the struggle for Philadelphia. He’s also an ARRT-Richmond member and a long-time friend.

Jack Kelly will be our May 19 speaker, presenting virtually on his new book “Valcour: The 1776 Campaign That Saved the Cause of Liberty”.


Guest Speaker – Ed Lengel – “New Thoughts on Valley Forge”

Dr. Lengel was a historian in residence at Colonial Williamsburg and previously served as Chief Historian of the White House Historical Association. Before that, Lengel was Editor-in-Chief of the Papers of George Washington and Professor at the University of Virginia. He is currently chief historian at the new Museum of the Medal of Honor.

Dr. Lengel is the author most recently of Never in Finer Company: The Men of the Great War’s Lost Battalion (2018). He is also author of Thunder and Flames: Americans in the Crucible of Combat, 1917-1918 (2015), To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918 (2008), and This Glorious Struggle: George Washington’s Revolutionary War Letters (2007). His book General George Washington: A Military Life was a finalist for the 2006 George Washington Book Prize.

Ed offered up multiple questions to provoke viewer discussion:

Should the Army have gone to York, PA or Lancaster, PA instead of Valley Forge?

How bad was Valley Forge? Did George Washington manufacture a crisis?

Did the army operate for economic reasons?

Did Baron von Steuben make a difference?

Did Valley Forge change the army’s relationship with Washington?

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Next Meeting: May 19, 2021

Our next meeting will be held via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. on May 19, 2021. Jack Kelly will speak on Valcour: The 1776 Campaign That Saved the Cause of LibertyInformation regarding the meeting (log-ins, etc.) will be in the early-May newsletter.

During the summer of 1776, a British incursion from Canada loomed. In response, citizen soldiers of the newly independent nation mounted a heroic defense. Patriots constructed a small fleet of gunboats on Lake Champlain in northern New York and confronted the Royal Navy in a desperate three-day battle near Valcour Island. Their effort surprised the arrogant British and forced the enemy to call off their invasion.

Jack Kelly's Valcour is a story of people. The northern campaign of 1776 was led by the underrated general Philip Schuyler (Hamilton's father-in-law), the ambitious former British officer Horatio Gates, and the notorious Benedict Arnold. An experienced sea captain, Arnold devised a brilliant strategy that confounded his slow-witted opponents.

America’s independence hung in the balance during 1776. Patriots endured one defeat after another. But two events turned the tide: Washington’s bold attack on Trenton and the equally audacious fight at Valcour Island. Together, they stunned the enemy and helped preserve the cause of liberty. (From