Dover, Ohio - The next meeting of the Tuscarawas Valley Civil War Roundtable will focus on two battles considered by some to represent the turning point of the War Between the States. 

The group will welcome historian John C. Fazio on Thursday, Feb. 14th, beginning at 7 pm for a presentation titled "The Turning Point: The Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania."

Fazio argues that The Wilderness and Spotsylvania, 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.  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. Grant promised Lincoln there would be no retreat, and meant it.  

Fazio, of Fairlawn, has a B.A. and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.  He is a member and past president of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and 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 speaking on the war and other subjects before roundtables and other groups.  He has written and published numerous articles on the war and other subjects including "Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln."

Meetings of the Tuscarawas Valley Civil War Roundtable open to the public and held in the community room of Dover Public Library. Each month, the group enlists a different speaker to provide an engaging and informative look at a particular aspect of the Civil War. For more information, contact the Dover Public Library at 330-343-6123.


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