Anyone who has studied the Civil War for any length of time has an opinion about when the fortunes of war shifted, and the fate of the Southern Confederacy was indelibly sealed.

Some argue that the battle of Antietam and the subsequent issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation was the beginning of the end. Others who favor the “Great Man” theory of history suggest that Chancellorsville and the loss of Jackson tipped the scales inexorably in favor of the Union.

Gettysburg apologists point to the Copse of Trees and the “Highwater Mark” monument there, arguing that Southern hopes and dreams never recovered after July 3rd, 1863.

No, say the Western Theater proponents; the Confederacy’s downward slide began a day later than that, on the fourth of July to be exact, when Pemberton surrendered to Grant at Vicksburg and the Mississippi once again flowed “unvexed to the sea”.

Come join us on April 10 as renowned historian Bud Robertson enters the fray to share his thoughts on when the turning point of the Civil War occurred. This is one you’re not going to want to miss!


One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. James I “Bud” Robertson served as Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission in the 1960s and worked with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson in commemorating the war’s 100th anniversary. He then taught 44 years at Virginia Tech, where his upper division course on the Civil War era attracted 300 or more students per semester and made it the largest class of its kind in the nation. At his retirement in 2011, the University named him Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History.

Dr. Robertson holds a Ph.D. degree from Emory University and honorary doctorates from Randolph-Macon College and Shenandoah University.

He was a charter member (by Senate appointment) of Virginia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and was actively engaged in the state’s sesquicentennial observances.

The Danville, Virginia native is the author or editor of more than 25 books including biographies of Gens. Robert E. Lee and A. P. Hill, several works on the common soldiers, and three studies written for young readers. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the basis for the characterization of Jackson in the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals,” a film for which he served as chief historical consultant.

More recently, Dr. Robertson’s popular book, The Untold Civil War was published by the National Geographic Society in 2011 followed by The Diary of a Southern Refugee in 2013. After the Civil War: The Heroes, Villains, Soldiers, and Civilians Who Changed America is his latest book. Published by the National Geographic Society, it was released in 2015. His newly completed book on Robert E. Lee will be released later this year.

The recipient of every major award given in Civil War history, and a lecturer of national acclaim, Dr. Robertson is probably more in demand as a speaker than anyone else in the field of Civil War studies.