Dr. James “Bud” Robertson delivered the keynote address to a capacity crowd in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium for the second Summer History Symposium on June 27.
Robertson’s address focused on Gens. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee, continuing the Summer History Symposium’s four-year focus on the American Civil War.
Highlighting the extreme differences in upbringing and temperament between the two generals with anecdotes from their biographies, Robertson offered up a compelling picture of how their unlikely collaboration nearly defeated the Union cause.
An author of 18 books and editor of more than a dozen others, Robertson is considered the preeminent scholar on Jackson. He also served as the chief historical consultant for the 2003 film, Gods and Generals, as well as collaborating and co-hosting Virginia in the Civil War: A Sesquicentennial Remembrance with 2012’s Summer History Symposium keynote speaker, Professor William C. Davis.
Robertson is the founding executive director for the Virginia Center forCivil War Studies at Virginia Tech. He was appointed by Pres. John F. Kennedy to serve as the executive director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission in 1961 and, more recently, as a charter member of the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
After Kennedy’s assassination, Robertson collaborated with the director of the Library of Congress to create a funeral service that mirrored that of Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s in 1865.