March 2021 should have marked the 30th anniversary of Virginia Tech's Civil War Weekend. Sadly, the COVID pandemic has foiled our plans. Like so much else in our lives we must once again sacrifice an in-person Civil War Weekend. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however, and I'm already looking forward to being with you all again in March 2022.
In the meantime, we're making the best of a difficult situation. Instead of meeting in Blacksburg for a weekend, we'll meet via zoom on consecutive Thursday evenings in March. I know we'll all miss the comforts of the Inn at Virginia Tech, the delicious food, and above all the pleasure of each other's company and conversation. But what will be available--in full force--is the opportunity to learn from and engage in discussion with a remarkable group of experts in Civil War era history.
The silver lining? Thanks to the generosity of our donors, and the lower overheads, this year's event will be free to all attendees.
The sheer scale of the Civil War is astonishing. Around three million men served—a far cry from the pre-war army of 16,000, and a significant chunk of the total U.S. population of 31 million. A war of this magnitude demanded unprecedented resources; hence this year's theme, "Resources for War."
Nine speakers will explore what Americans required to wage war. At the most basic level, a conflict on this scale demanded a steady supply of men, weapons, and ammunition. Soldiers also required food, clothing, and transportation, including horses and mules in the millions. But those basic physical requirements were only the start. For soldiers and civilians alike, war was a wrenching emotional trial. We'll learn how men and women coped; how they shared information; how they used photographs and letters to stay connected with loved ones; and how they fought over how the war should be remembered.
This year will not be the same. I'll really miss spending time with Civil War Weekenders old and new—not to mention the Inn's delectable bread pudding! Nonetheless, I'm glad we can at least meet virtually this year, and can't wait to reconvene in person in 2022.
Until then, all my best wishes for your health and happiness.
James I. Robertson, Jr. Associate Professor of Civil War Studies
Director, Virginia Center for Civil War Studies
For More Information Contact:
Program Manager, Continuing and Professional Education