Image courtesy of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown.

Monday, December 11, 2023

2024 Meeting Dates, Topics, and Speakers

Our schedule of meetings is set for 2024. Click on the Meetings tab above to see the dates, topics, and speakers. Our new 1st Vice President has lined-up a wonderful slate of speakers for us... thank you, Randy!

As a reminder, our January meeting will be ZOOM ONLY. Details will be in our January newsletter.

Meeting Notes: November 15, 2023

The November 15, 2023, meeting was held in the Westhampton Room, Heilman Dining Center, at the University of Richmond. Meeting attendance continues to grow towards pre-pandemic numbers.

Bill Welsch announced the retirement of Dr. Bruce Venter as 1st Vice President of Programs and thanked him for 15 years of truly significant, selfless, and important services to the Round Table. In recognition of his contributions, Bill presented Bruce a certificate of appreciation and an engraved Jefferson Cup. Bruce is an author, tour leader, and president of America's History, LLC, and conducts conferences for history enthusiasts (  Bill announced that Randy Flood, Host and Executive Producer of The Real American Revolution Multimedia Center & Consortium for Civic Education, has been selected by the Board to replace Bruce. Randy will assume the position on January 1, 2024.

The evening’s presenter was Bob Thompson, author of Revolutionary Roads, Searching for the War That Made America Independent...and All the Places It Could Have Gone Terribly Wrong, published by: Twelve Books (

Bob Thompson, a longtime feature writer for the Washington Post, is known for his pieces on the intersection of history and myth. His book Revolutionary Roads, Searching for the War That Made America Independent...and All the Places It Could Have Gone Terribly Wrong was the product of his curiosity about which Revolutionary War battles were turning points towards victory and the actions of some relatively unfamiliar individuals and groups. His presentation focused on not so much battles and strategies but how he researched the stories he wanted to tell when Patriot forces encountered British and Loyalist forces and the outcome was uncertain or could have gone terribly wrong for either side. He described his travel history of going to battlefields, walking the ground, and seeking out local experts, from Quebec to Savannah, learning their stories of historical events and separating out mythical spins.

He presented examples of moments that played key roles in shaping the course of the war and, ultimately, the outcome of the American Revolution. Thompson emphasized his walks seeking out battlefield guides and revolutionary war enthusiasts gathering facts to pass along and educate future readers of a planned book. Speaking briefly about the Battle of Brooklyn (also known as the Battle of Long Island) that allowed Washington a nighttime retreat and saving a significant portion of his army. Thompson made his way through the 2nd Battle of Trenton, then spoke about his research methodologies concerning the nearly (or not so) famous Americans involved in particular actions like the Philadelphia dock workers, Brandywine, Monmouth, Charleston, Savannah, King’s Mountain, Saratoga, Cornwallis’ decision at Wilmington, African Americans (both enslaved and free) performing military duties in the Continental Army, and how the French fleet sailed to the Caribbean and then northward into Chesapeake Bay cutting off the British escape route by sea and trapping the British at Yorktown. Each a combination of strategic decisions, tactical competence or incompetence, and sometimes pure happenstance contributed to preventing potential disasters and leading to eventual victory for the United Colonies’ forces.

Fred Sorrell