Civil War enthusiasts and history buffs from 20 states will gather in Richmond June 19-26 to hear Civil War historians and visit Civil War sites and museums in the commonwealth as part of the 26th annual Campaigning the Lee seminar. Virginia Tech's Virginia Center for Civil War Studies sponsors the annual event.

Participants long ago dubbed themselves "Bud's Brigade" in honor of James I. "Bud" Robertson Jr., executive director of the Civil War center and, with William C. "Jack" Davis, program director of the center, organizes and leads the seminar. The brigade will listen to lectures and visit Civil War sites -- among them Cold Harbor, Seven Pines, and Petersburg -- and visit the Pamplin Historical Park & National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Petersburg.

Robertson has scheduled what he calls "an outstanding group of speakers," including Civil War historians and authors Mike Andrus, Charles Bryan, Chris Calkins, Jim Cochrane, Charlie Cooke, John Coski, Davis, Mike Gorman, A. Wilson Greene, Greg Kimball, Ed Longacre, Bev Lowry, Tom Lowry, Mike Musick, John Quarstein, Bill Rasmussen, Ed Sanders, Dick Skidmore, Dick Sommers, and Budge Weidman. Robertson also will deliver several lectures.

Their lectures will range from "No Other Course without Dishonor: The Life of Robert E. Lee" to "Black Civil War Soldiers -- Almost Invisible" and from "Sex in the Civil War -- The War between the Sheets" to "Confederate Heroines: The Beginning of the Women's Movement in the South."

Robertson said that both lecturers and participants are attracted to the event by "a love of the Civil War and a love of this seminar."

A high percentage of the participants have attended Campaigning with Lee in previous years. During past seminars, the group created an endowment in Robertson's name and established several scholarships at the university.

Campaigning with Lee has space for a few more participants. Interested people should contact Donna Raines, seminar registrar, at (540) 231-5241 or

In addition to Campaigning with Lee, the Virginia Tech's Virginia Center for Civil War Studies holds Civil War Weekend in March, which also attracts participants from around the country; a Civil War Medical Symposium, which draws physicians principally from the central Atlantic states and provides them with officially sanctioned continuing medical education credits; and an annual Civil War Preservation Trust Teachers' Institute, which is offered free to teachers of Civil War history throughout the country and will next be held in July.