Council on America's Military Past

41st Annual Military History Conference

Hampton, VA

May 9-13, 2007

Headquarters for the Council on America's Military Past's 41st Military History Conference was Hampton, Virginia's Clarion Hotel and focused on the military history of the Tidewater Virginia area. 



The registration desk opened at noon and while conference participants began gathering to register and greet old friends the Board of Directors met in the Tidewater Room to conduct the corporation's business and a  Department Head seminar was conducted at 4 pm.

Two hours later participants began gathering at the Tidewater Room for the orientation and opening reception and to review the books displayed for the auction that will take place on Wednesday.  Col. Jason T. Evans, USA, the Commanding Officer of Fort Monroe spoke of the history of the post and Col. Herbert M. Hart, USMC (Ret) presented a brief overview of activities planned for the conference.  Later many retired to the Hospitality Suite.


As usual Thursday morning began with papers at the hotel until 9:00 am then everyone boarded buses for the trip to Old Point Comfort where two early British forts were built and construction on Fort Monroe began in 1819.  With it's 1 1/8 mile wall and ditch Fort Monroe is the largest masonry fort built in the U.S. and one of the few southern fort not captured by the Confederates at the beginning of the Civil War.  The fort is currently listed as one of the most endangered historic sites by the Association for Preservation of Virginia Antiquities.

After touring the Casemate Museum that depicts the fort's history as well as the history of the Army's Coast Artillery conference participants gathered at the post flag pole for the formal opening ceremony.  Then we enjoyed a drive through tour of the post where we learned more about Fort Monroe's current mission and plans for developing the post as National Park when the base is closed in 2011.

Then we headed for the largest U.S. fighter base, Langley AFB, home of the 1st Fighter Wing and the Air Combat Command.  Lunch was as the Langley Officer's Club where Col. Wayne Pittman and Dr. H. O. Malone spoke about the early days at Langley Field followed by a drive-through tour of the WWI and Cold War sites on the post. 

Then we visited the Jamestown archeological site where preparations were underway for the 400th anniversary celebration of the Jamestown landing and after viewing the archeological site and museum we were off to the Yorktown Victory Monument where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in 1781.  After viewing the exhibits at the Visitor Center we enjoyed a driving tour of the battlefield park where ruminants of both the Revolution and Civil War earthworks still remain.

Back at the hotel, everyone began gathering at 7:00 pm for social hour reception and dinner with the Society of Military History which was followed by a talk on the "Everyday life of Revolutionary War Soldier" by Charles Neimeyer, Director of Marine Corps History.  Some ventured to the Hospitality Suite.

FRIDAY MAY 11, 2007

Of course Friday morning began with papers at the hotel then we boarded buses for Cape Henry, the site of the first landing of the Jamestown pilgrims and current site of Fort Story, the 1914 Coast Artillery Post that guarded the approach to the Chesapeake Bay.   LtCol Fielding Tyler, USA (Ret) presented the story of the first landing and history of the fort.

Next we traveled to Norfolk Naval Station where we enjoyed lunch at the Vista Point Officer's Club where Harrison Tyler presented a talk on ....  After a driving tour to view 1907 historic buildings  and pier we headed for Old Fort Norfolk where we enjoyed a leisure tour.

Next we visited the Hampton Roads Naval Museum to board the battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64).  Unfortunately, a sudden thunderstorm cut our time aboard the historic ship but left additional time to tour the museum.  Then we returned to the hotel where Dale Floyd served as auctioneer for the Yount-Windsor Book Auction.  Books for the auction are donated and funds are used to help students defray the cost of attending the conference.


After papers at the hotel we boarded buses to Hampton where we boarded the Miss Hampton for a harbor tour, passing Fort Monroe and landing at the Rip Raps, site of the 1818 Fort Calhoun that was later named Fort Wool.  ...presented an in-depth history of the site as and description of the battle between the USS Monitor and CSS Merrimack that took in the harbor.  Then we visited the USS Monitor Center then enjoyed lunch before traveling to the U. S. Army Transportation Center at Fort Eustis.  LtCol. Mark Magnussen presented a talk on his experiences and Commander of the the Nuclear Power Ship Sturgis.  then we visited the Transportation Museum where displays of military transportation from horse drawn vehicles to modern battlefield vehicles were displayed.

Back at the hotel everyone dressed for the formal banquet and Dennis Mroczkowski's talk, "Fort Monroe, Its Past, Its Future" followed by the closing ceremony.  Then many proceeded to the Hospitality Suite.


The Sunday fieldtrips are offer participants the opportunity to visit sites that are too far to be included in the conference.  However, the smaller group size allows usually allows more time at the sites and chance to network with others during the longer bus trips and like others, this year's journey can be called a challenge trip.

We began by boarding the busses at 8:00, too early for anyone to be rising on Sunday and headed toward the Petersburg area.  The first stop was Pamplin Park and the Museum of the Civil War Soldier.  Unlike other military museum this one is dedicated to the common soldiers and telling the story of how they lived.  Then we proceeded to the Petersburg Battlefield to learn about that Civil War site.  Then we proceeded to Fort Lee to tour the Army's Women's Museum and the Quartermaster Museum that is next door.  The final stop was the earthwork Civil War Fort Pocahontas.



Council on America's Military Past-USA, Inc.

Post Office Box 4209

Charlottesville, VA 22905