The legacy of James I. “Bud” Robertson Jr. lives eternally in the hearts and minds of those he educated. It’s cemented in the walls of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, and it breathes in the stories he told and passed on for generations to come.
“What would Civil War Weekend be without Bud?” asked Paul Quigley, the James I. Robertson Jr. Associate Professor in the Department of History. “This event brings people together to share extraordinary stories in a way only he could envision.”
This year, the annual Civil War Weekend at Virginia Tech will honor the remarkable life and work of the acclaimed Civil War historian and the Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Virginia Tech, who passed away in 2019.
The event returns March 25–27 to the Inn at Virginia Tech for the first time since 2019. Registration is available until March 4. An optional extension for a two-night field trip to Harpers Ferry and Antietam from March 27 to 29 is also being offerred. The field trip registration deadline is Feb. 25.
Robertson, who became founding director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies in 1999, created Civil War Weekend, with the first event held 31 years ago. Quigley and fellow organizers had planned to dedicate the 2020 Civil War Weekend to Robertson but postponed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and need for physical distancing. Quigley said he’s thrilled to hold Civil War Weekend in person this year following last year’s virtual programs.
Throughout the weekend, Robertson’s former students, close friends, and longstanding professional collaborators will share memories and lessons learned from the beloved scholar. “Whether you knew Bud personally, took in his lectures, or only encountered him through his books, we invite you to join us in Blacksburg as we celebrate his extraordinary contributions to Virginia Tech and the world,” said Quigley, who serves as director of Civil War Weekend.
In addition to Quigley, speakers include:
- William C. “Jack” Davis, historian, award-winning author and editor of more than 50 books in Civil War and Southern history, and retired executive director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies;
- Ron Maxwell, one of the nation’s most noted independent film writers and directors, who wrote and directed the films “Gettysburg,” “Gods & Generals,” and “Copperhead”;
- Ginette Aley, author, historian, and editor specializing in the 19th century United States, especially women and the Civil War era;
- Brian Steel Wills, author, director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era, and a professor of history at Kennesaw State University;
- Kent Masterson Brown, a lawyer and historian who created the national magazine “The Civil War” and has produced award-winning books and documentaries;
- John M. Coski, author and historian, retired from the American Civil War Museum;
- Richard McMurry, a Civil War historian, an author of several books, and co-editor of a volume of Civil War essays in honor of Bell Irvin Wiley;
- Kenneth W. Noe, author, historian, Virginia Tech alumnus, and the Draughon Professor Emeritus of History at Auburn University;
- Ellen Vance, third-generation Virginia Tech alumna and recently retired human resources executive who believes in the power of understanding history to inform the future.
- Jonathan Noyalas, author, historian, Virginia Tech alumnus, professor, and director of Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute.
Presentations will offer a fresh perspective on Civil War history, diving headfirst into the stories and accounts of the soldiers, battles, and nationwide sentiment. Speakers will also reflect on Robertson’s storied career as a renowned teacher, spellbinding lecturer, and gracious friend.
“The knowledge shared at Civil War Weekend often extends beyond what historians can fit in books and research papers,” said Quigley. “The beauty of the experience is its ability to share the history of the Civil War in an accessible way to a variety of audiences.”
Quigley has worked with Leland Shelton, program manager for continuing and professional education, along with Virginia Tech history students to organize this year’s Civil War Weekend and prepare exhibits.
For more information about the Civil War Weekend 2022 schedule, registration, and lodging, visit the Virginia Tech Civil War Weekend site.