CWRTDC'S NEXT MEETING:
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Reservations required by 5:00 pm, Wednesday, March 8th
About the Topic: Mr. Perry will be speaking about J. E. B. Stuart and his brothers, William Alexander Stuart, who ran the saltworks in Saltville, Virginia during the war, and John Dabney Stuart, who was a surgeon in the 54th VA Infantry. He will also discuss men who fought in the war such as Johnathan Hanby Carter, David French Boyd and others who are relatively obscure, but were close to Stuart before and during the war.
About the Speaker: A Patrick County High School and Virginia Tech graduate, Historian Thomas D. Perry studied under renowned Civil War Historian, James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., and now speaks throughout the region and country about J. E. B. Stuart and the regional history in Virginia surrounding his home county of Patrick. Mr. Perry is the author and publisher of over forty books, including Ascent to Glory, The Genealogy of J. E. B. Stuart; The Dear Old Hills of Patrick: J. E. B. Stuart and Patrick County; J. E. B. Stuart’s Birthplace: A Guide For Educators and Visitor; J. E. B. Stuart’s Birthplace: The History Of The Laurel Hill Farm; Images of Patrick County Virginia; Images of Henry County, Virginia; and Notes From The Free State Of Patrick.
Mr. Perry also wrote the eight interpretive signs about Laurel Hill’s history along with the Virginia Civil War Trails sign and the new Virginia Historical Highway Marker in 2002. He spent many years researching and traveling all over the nation to find Stuart materials. He continues his work to preserve Stuart’s Birthplace, producing the Laurel Hill Teacher’s Guide for educators and the Laurel Hill Reference Guide for groups.
Mr. Perry founded the J. E. B. Stuart Birthplace in 1990. The non-profit organization has preserved 75 acres of the Stuart property including the house site where J. E. B. Stuart was born on February 6, 1833. Mr. Perry also used his book Images of America Henry County Virginia to raise over $25,000 for the Bassett Historical Center, “The Best Little Library in Virginia,” and as editor of the Henry County Heritage Book raised another $30,000. Perry was responsible for over $200,000 of the $800,000 raised to expand the regional history library.
In 2004, Mr. Perry began The Free State Of Patrick Internet History Group, which has become the largest historical organization in the area, with over 500 members. He also produces a monthly email newsletter about regional history entitled Notes From The Free State of Patrick that comes from his website www.freestateofpatrick.com. Mr. Perry also can be seen on Virginia Public Television’s Forgotten Battlefields: The Civil War in Southwest Virginia, with his mentor Bud Robertson.
Mr. Perry’s collection of papers relating to Stuart and Patrick County history is in the Special Collections Department of the Carol M. Newman Library at Virginia Tech under the auspices of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies.
Mr. Perry is the recipient of the John E. Divine Award from the Civil War Education Association, the Hester Jackson Award from the Surry County Civil War Round Table, and the Best Article Award from the Society of North Carolina Historians for his article on Stoneman’s Raid in 2008. In 2010, he received acknowledgement from the Bassett Public Library Association for his work to expand the Bassett Historical Center and was named Henry County Virginia Man of the Year by www.myhenrycounty.com. Mr. Perry also recently received the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award from the Patrick Henry Daughters of the American Revolution.