Book A Speaker

Bring our Museum’s stories to you

The American Civil War Museum offers a menu of programs available for organizations to book or schedule. Explore the topic categories below, or contact us if you have a special request.

Unless otherwise noted, the programs listed below are lectures designed for adults and vary in length. All are designed to occur at your location or at the Museum. Programs are subject to availability, and most can be adapted to fit the needs of your group. Booking and pricing information is below.

Great For: Educational Institutions, Corporate Groups, Senior Groups, Families & Friends, Girl Scout/Boy Scout Troops, Tourist Groups, History Clubs and Enthusiasts, Community Organizers

Cost: $75 per program + mileage

For more information, or to book a program:
Contact Kelly Hancock, 804.649.1861, ext. 121

Additional Reservation Information

Programs are subject to staff availability.
In cases where the speaker has to travel over two hours for an evening program, overnight lodging will be required.
Payment is due on the day of the program. In cases where significant travel is involved, payment will be required two weeks in advance.
Cancellations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Cancellations less than 24 hours in advance of a scheduled booking are still responsible for paying for their originally booked program.

Explore the stories of battles and the individuals who fought in them. How did the leadership styles of officers impact their decisions? How did technology or the navy influence the course of the war? What kind of horrors did prisoners of war endure?

The Art of Surviving: Belle Isle and Beyond

Using Belle Isle as a starting point, delve into the horror of life in Civil War prison camps, both North and South, and discover the many ways prisoners sought to maintain sanity in the midst of squalor, disease, and malnutrition.  Numerous pieces of the Museum’s POW art collection are displayed through PowerPoint.

Diabolical Designs: The Story of Dahlgren’s Raid

From the papers found upon the body of Ulric Dahlgren to the disappearance of his corpse, the story of Dahlgren’s thwarted raid bears witness to the fact that truth is stranger than fiction.  This tale of bizarre happenings is told through the use of PowerPoint.

Medical Practices of the Civil War

Through PowerPoint and the reproduction of 19th-century medical equipment, this program will examine medical practices of the Civil War, highlighting the causes of disease, the organization of the hospital system, the treatment of wounded soldiers, and the contributions of medical personnel.

Explore the stories of the individuals who weren’t on the frontlines. How were their struggles different from those on the battlefield? What was their experience like from the sidelines?

From Belles to Battleaxes: Women of Civil War Richmond

Discover the women of Civil War Richmond, from daring spies and devoted nurses, to star-crossed lovers and captivating socialites. Learn about Rose O’Neal Greenhow, Elizabeth Van Lew, Mary Chesnut, Hetty Cary, Buck Preston and more.

Carte-de-visite showing a considerably younger Harriet than normally seen in the known images of her, just coming off her work during the Civil War

Harriet Tubman and the Quest for Freedom

She was called “General Tubman” and the “Moses” of her people, yet there is much we do not know about this heroic “conductor” of the Underground Railroad who risked all to rescue others. Join us for an intimate look at the woman who may one day be the face of the $20 bill.

Liberty & Loyalty: Portraits of the Confederate White House Staff

The White House of the Confederacy’s household staff was a diverse group of African Americans, both enslaved and free, Irish immigrants, and a German florist. Using information obtained from letters, memoirs, and newspaper articles, this presentation investigates the lives of the Davis servants, including the mysterious Mary Elizabeth Bowser.

One Bright Moment:  The Wedding of Hetty Cary and John Pegram

Hailed as the social event of the season, the January 19, 1865, wedding of one of the most beautiful belles in the South to a dashing brigadier general was one bright moment amid the gloom of 1865.  However, ill omens preceded the wedding and tragedy would follow soon on its heels.

Socialite, Secessionist, Spy

One of Washington D.C.’s most charming and influential socialites, Rose O’Neale Greenhow used her connections to gain information on U.S. Army troop movements before the battle of Manassas.  Explore the story of this determined woman whose own family was divided by war.

Photograph shows portrait of Susie King Taylor, who served more than three years as nurse with the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War, although officially enrolled as a laundress. She also taught children and adults to read while serving with the regiment.

Susie King Taylor’s Civil War

Taylor was the only African-American woman to publish a memoir about her wartime experiences with the army. A former slave, educated in secret, Taylor served as a teacher, laundress, and nurse with the 33rd United States Colored Troops.

Discover how Richmond became the Confederate capital and how it changed as a result of the war. Uncover the secrets of Belle Isle, Tredegar and Brown’s Island. Meet the free and enslaved staff of the Confederate White House. Join in the social whirl of the new capital.

Bread or blood

Learn how price controls, rising inflation, and wartime shortages led to the Richmond Bread Riot in the spring of 1863.  Meet the women involved in orchestrating the riot and explore the controversy over who ended it.

Civil War Richmond

Discover why Richmond was chosen as the Confederate capital and how it changed as a result of it to become a city of hospitals and military prisons besieged by dangers from within and without.

Nightingales of Richmond

During the American Civil War, woman defied social convention and volunteered by the thousands to serve as nurses in both the North and the South.  This talk explores the experiences of two of those women— Phoebe Yates Pember, chief matron of Hospital # 2 at Chimborazo, and Sally Tompkins, matron of Robertson Hospital.

Enter the world of the first families during the American Civil War. How did past experiences shape Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis to become war presidents? What type of conversation would Mary Todd Lincoln and Varina Davis have if they had ever met?

Lincoln and Davis

Explore the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, examining the road they traveled from their births in Kentucky to their time in the White House.

First ladies of the civil war

Explore the lives of Varina Davis and Mary Todd Lincoln, examining them not only as First Ladies but also as wives, mothers, and widows. Discover the triumphs and tragedies of these two remarkable women.

White House of the Confederacy

The house built at the corner of 12th and Clay Streets in Richmond, Virginia, has a rich history as a private residence, Executive Mansion, military headquarters, school, and museum. Discover the transformations that have occurred since 1818 up to the present.

Explore some of the more complex issues of the Civil War Era. What impact did African-American leaders have on the Abolition Movement? Why did the South decide to secede? Where did the country succeed in reuniting after four years of war, and where did it fail?

Voices of abolition

Explore the contributions of African Americans to the abolition movement, including individuals such as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman.

Confederate Christians’ Proslavery Manifesto

When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, White clergy in the Confederate States responded with a violent rebuke and a passionate defense of slavery as the cause of the Confederacy. Their 1863 Address to the Christians of the World reveals how these faith leaders understood slavery, and gives us an opportunity to explore what is meant by “Proslavery Christianity.” 

Explore the legacies and controversies that reveal an unforgotten past. How did Americans deal with the untold devastation of the American Civil War? Why is the “Confederate flag” such a contentious symbol? How does the war still resonate with us today?

Death and Mourning in the 19th Century

Find out how Americans sought to hold on to the ideal of the “good death” in the midst of a conflict that took the lives of over 600,000 soldiers.  Discover how funeral and mourning practices changed as a result of the war.

“Did Robert e. lee really kneel next to a black man?”

A story about Robert E. Lee kneeling in church next to a Black man “when no one else would” appeared in 1905. Over the 20th Century the story has been given different meaning by southern writers crowing about the defeat of Reconstruction, by Black historians calling for racial cooperation, by White religious leaders to satisfy political promises, by integration advocates to goad White moderates in the Civil Rights movement, and ironically, by folks today who do not want history to change. What does all this tell us about the historical power of stories, of Robert E. Lee, and of struggles for racial equality using Civil War memory? And did Lee actually kneel?

Add an educational component to your holiday event with one of our themed programs. Ever wonder what Christmas was like in the 19th Century? Did Civil War soldiers send Valentines to their sweethearts? How did Memorial Day begin?

Victorian Christmas Tradition

Christmas today is far removed from what it was in the mid-19th century, yet it was during that period that many of our current-day traditions developed. Discover the origin of some of the most beloved elements of Christmas and hear accounts of Civil War Christmases.

Hearts at war

Discover the history of Valentine’s Day, the start of Valentine’s Day traditions in America, and how the War affected those traditions in the South. The program includes images of original valentines in the Museum’s collections and excerpts from letters between soldiers and their loved ones.