Upcoming Events in 2016
RHS Members’ Tour, Saturday, January 30, 1:00-4:30 p.m.,
RHS Program (Free) : Wednesday, February 17 , “Legacy of the Civil War”, Location: Lexington Presbyterian, Church Sanctuary Time 7:00 p.m.
Dr. Ronald Heinemann, Squires Professor Emeritus of History at Hampden-Sydney College, will launch the Society’s 77th year with a timely, purposeful overview on “The Legacy of the Civil War.” As sesquicentennial anniversaries give way to the reckonings that follow, he will begin by examining the war’s costs and consequences before turning to some of the choices through which the postwar leadership of Robert E. Lee and others offered new models to rebuild our own local community and shape national legacies. While drawing on a wide range of reference, Dr. Heinemann’s remarks share a thoughtful dialogue, indeed a title, with Robert Penn Warren’s classic book, “The Legacy of the Civil War,” a concise, celebrated touchstone well worth a look before our program. In broadest terms, Heinemann notes that we must attend to the importance of historical memory, as well as the course of events themselves, to understand the war’s stakes and its later meanings. And for all the continued impact of the Civil War on contemporary culture, he challenges us to open our minds and not overlook its worthwhile lessons that extend beyond the war itself and into the concerns of our own era.
Dr. Heinemann earned his B.A. and Ph.D. at Dartmouth and UVA, and served four years in the U.S. Navy. Joining the faculty at HSC in 1968 (where he’s continued teaching a class on the Civil War since his retirement in 2004), his courses have canvassed Southern History, African-American History, and 20th-Century America, along with seminars ranging from Civil Rights to Hollywood and History.
Dr. Heinemann has published numerous books and articles on 20th-Century Virginia, including a study of the Depression and the New Deal, and a biography of Harry Byrd, Sr. In 2007, he also co-authored a popular history of Virginia, “Old Dominion, New Commonwealth.” His comments on the newly revised school textbooks on Virginia history, and reflections on the causes and legacy of the Civil War, have been featured in popular outlets such as CSPAN and “The Richmond Times-Dispatch.”
In 1997, Dr. Heinemann presented an RHS program at Waddell School, published in Vol. 12 of the “RHS Proceedings” as “Two Senators from Virginia: Harry Byrd and Willis Robertson, a Political Partnership.” We hope you’ll welcome him back to Rockbridge and encourage you to bring a friend who might enjoy the program and perhaps later join our Society.