Thursday evening, May 2nd 2013, the White House Association sponsored their long awaited Evening With Winston Groom, as a fundraiser for the First White House of the Confederacy, with an estimated attendance of 160 plus, enthusiastic supporters enjoying the reception and talk by the celebrated author of Forrest Gump.
Winston is handsome, personable and a delightful speaker. He enthralled his audience with episodes from his recent book, Shiloh, 1862. This bloody battle, early in the war, was a wake-up call with 12,000 casualties on either side, that it would not be over by Christmas. I guess you might say it was the end of the age of innocence about The War. With names like the "hornet's nest" and the "sunken road" we can only imagine the carnage.
The battle was full of ironies. The great and good Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston bled to death during the first day, when his artery was severed and he had sent his doctor away to see about wounded Union soldiers. Beauregard then failed to press their advantage. Napoleonic tactics were employed when modern weaponry was being used, resulting in man after man falling.
Mr. Groom answered questions to the delight of the audience. His next book is about 3 World War I aviators. I am sure that everyone who heard him discuss it will be eager to purchase it. The people from Capitol Book & News sold out of his books that they had brought, and Winston signed books until the evening was over.
A great time was had by all, and the First White House was the beneficiary of the generosity of the community and of supporters from as far away as Florida, Virginia and Texas. Thanks to all who responded with donations!