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Author's talk to be first of four Civil War Roundtable events

By Josette Keelor

Local author Jonathan Noyales will speak Friday night at the Warren Heritage Society for the first of four planned Lower Shenandoah Valley Civil War Roundtable events, said Patrick Farris, the society's executive director.

The roundtable, which Farris said was popular during its run from the early 1990s until 2002, will begin again this year.

"Civil War roundtables exist all over the United States," he said. They're especially common in the South.

The objective is to offer anyone the opportunity to explore topics on the Civil War, he said. The Shenandoah Valley program ended because the organizer was deployed to Iraq, Farris said.

Farris decided to reinstitute the program because there has never been an event "so transformative, so cathartic as the Civil War."

It altered the country in significant ways, creating states like Nevada and West Virginia that might not have formed otherwise, he said. It also inspired a host of new amendments to the Constitution and set the stage for race relations in the United States for the next 100 years, he said.

"The [Civil War] remains to this day the single most significant event in United States history after the American Revolution," Farris said.

He said roundtables have formed from the interest of like-minded people who want to understand the complex aspects of the war. They evoke an image of communal discussion.

Noyales, an American history professor at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown, will talk about his book "Stonewall Jackson's 1862 Valley Campaign: War Comes to the Hometown" at 7 p.m. The event will be free and will conclude with a book signing. Listeners are invited to bring their own book for him to sign or purchase one at the roundtable for $19.95 plus tax.

Other roundtable events planned for the year will be a visit by Ed Bearss at 1 p.m. May 11 at the Warren Heritage Society's Ivy Lodge, a talk by Farris about the Battle of Wapping Heights at 7 p.m. Aug. 30, and a talk by author Joseph Whitehorn about his book "The Battle of Cedar Creek" at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

Farris said Bearss, a noted Civil War historian and battlefield guide, will speak as part of the Kingsport, Tenn., roundtable -- "So we can have a joint program."

For more information, call the Warren Heritage Society at 540-636-1446 or email whsexecutivedirector@comcast.net.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com>


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