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Round Table to learn about Robert E. Lee

The December meeting of the Hoosier Blue and Gray Civil War Round Table will be Thursday in the basement of the Huddleston Farmhouse red barn on U.S. 40 at Mount Auburn.

Beginning at 7 p.m., the meeting will feature a program delivered by Steve Ritchie, who earned degrees in both U.S. history and government from Ball State and is an accomplished Civil War historian and speaker.

Ritchie’s program is entitled “Robert E. Lee: West Point Cadet.” The narrative of Robert E. Lee as a West Point cadet begins and ends well beyond his arrival and departure from that institution. Influenced by family position and service to the history of his beloved State of Virginia, and following the example of his father and his friends and mentor “the Great Washington,” Lee chose a military career above all others that were available. Ritchie will not only examine Lee’s performance at “the academy” on the banks of the Hudson River (during which time he never received a demerit) but also his pre- and post-West Point life, using research of both current and legendary scholars.

During the decades following the end of the Civil War and Lee’s death, in Lexington, Virginia, on Oct. 12,1870, from a cerebral hemorrhage or heart attack, succeeding generations of history scholars have bestowed upon him the honor of being “The Icon of The Confederacy” and the title of being “A Great Christian Southern Gentleman.” Lee’s adult life, as portrayed by Ritchie, is succinctly captured by the saying Lee coined and conscientiously lived every day: “Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things, you cannot do more, you should never wish to do less.”

Round Table members invite all area students of the Civil War to attend the meeting for Ritchie’s educational and entertaining program. Prior to the meeting, members and visitors are invited to gather at 5:30 p.m. at the No.9 Grill restaurant on Main Street in downtown Cambridge City for the group’s customary pre-meeting Dutch-treat dinner.