"From Engineer Lieutenant to Corps Commander" by Dr. Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr.

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"From Engineer Lieutenant to Corps Commander: The Civil War Career of Godfrey Weitzel" On February 8, 2010, the history community of the United States lost a very learned scholar in the untimely death of Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr, Ph.D. Presented is Dr. Bergeron's perspectives lecture from 18 January 2006. Born in Bavaria, Godfrey Weitzel moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, with his family while a young boy. He graduated from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point and became a lieutenant of engineers. During the American Civil War, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and later major general. Weitzel commanded the Twenty-Fifth Army Corps (an all black unit) during the closing months of the war, and his men occupied the former Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, on April 3, 1865. Weitzel's somewhat meteoric rise in rank and responsibility was somewhat unusual because he had been an engineer officer rather than having served in a combat unit. He was a protege of the notorious General Benjamin F. Butler, but that relationship seems not to have had an adverse impact on his Civil War career. Art Bergeron will explore the background, education, and experiences of this fascinating and complex officer and assess his generalship. Length: 61 Minutes Lecture Date: January 18, 2006

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