DOVER — The Tuscarawas Valley Civil War Roundtable will meet Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Dover Public Library. John C. Fazio of Cleveland will present, "The Turning Point: The Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania."
In this presentation, Fazio argues that the Wilderness and Spotsylvania battles, despite the fact that the first of them was a Confederate victory, constitute the true turning point of the Civil War because they forever extinguished the possibility that the Confederacy could win the war. That possibility was already remote by virtue of major Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, in July, 1863, but neither of those battles sealed the Confederacy’s fate, as demonstrated by the later Confederate victory at Chickamauga (September, 1863). The fate was sealed when General Grant turned south at the Brock Road-Plank Road intersection, toward Spotsylvania Court House, after his defeat in The Wilderness, rather than northward to re-cross the Rapidan, lick his wounds and regroup, as the long train of mediocrities before him had done. Grant promised Lincoln there would be no retreat, and meant it. "I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer", he wired Henry Halleck. And he did.
John C. Fazio has a B.A. and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He now lives in Fairlawn (an Akron suburb) with his wife, Mary, who is retired after a career in public relations. Between them, they have seven children, all of whom have left the nest. John joined Mary in retirement in 2015 after practicing law for 50 years. John is a student of history, with an emphasis on European and American history and with an even greater emphasis on the most defining event in American history, the Civil War. He is a member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and has been its president. He is also a member of the Lincoln Forum, the Surratt Society, the Cleveland Grays and the Western Reserve Historical Society. He teaches Civil War history at Chautauqua Institution, frequently speaks on the war and other subjects before Roundtables and other groups and has written and published numerous articles on the war and other subjects. In addition, he has written Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln, after five years of research and writing. The book was released in January, 2016.
"Ever since Appomattox, historians, military tacticians and amateur scholars have been fascinated by the Civil War," says Jim Gill, Civil War Round Table co-organizer. "We want the public to know they are welcome to our programs. Each month, a different speaker will provide an engaging and informative look at a particular aspect of the Civil War."
The Dover Public Library is located at 525 N. Walnut Street, directly across the street from Dover High School. For more information about this free community event, contact the Dover Public Library at 330-343-6123.