Programs & Speaking Opportunties

Delight, entertain, and educate your audience with a program from attorney, writer, and speaker, Fred D. Taylor.

Historical topics include:

  • Wildcats, Tigers, and Goobers, oh my!” – A history of professional and semi-pro baseball in the “Peanut City” of Suffolk, Virginia from the 1890s to 1951.
  • “The Last Battles at Appomattox” – An historical account of North Carolina’s claim of being “Last at Appomattox,” with an in-depth look at the final hours of the Army of Northern Virginia, April 8-9, 1865.
  • “Tar Heel Faces” – A survey of images of North Carolina Confederates, and the photographers who made them.
  • “The Confederacy’s Lifeline:  Supplying A Nation through the Blockade” – An analysis of early “King Cotton” diplomacy and the Anaconda Plan in 1861 to the origins and successes of the South’s importation system with England.  This program includes a review of period material culture with a focus on the arms, clothing, and equipment imported into the Confederacy.
  • “Suffolk Under Siege, 1863” – Were you ever curious where Lt. General James Longstreet and thousands of his troops were during the battle of Chancellorsville in May of 1863?  This program discusses the often-forgotten “Suffolk Campaign,” its purpose, results, and aftermath.
  • “A Walk Through Cedar Hill Cemetery” – An entertaining story of unique figures from the Suffolk and Nansemond County, Virginia, area during the War Between the States. This program includes fascinating personal stories about secession, the Confederate “secret service,” Unionists during the War, and Brazil’s Confederados.
  • “Supplying the Old North State” – Follow the story of Scotsman turned Tar Heel, John White of Warrenton, who was appointed by Governor Zebulon Vance as Commissioner to Europe on behalf of the state of North Carolina in 1862.  Through White’s efforts, among others, North Carolina would purchase interest in several steam ships to run the blockade, and import countless arms, equipment, and clothing into the Confederacy to supply North Carolina troops, and much of the Army of Northern Virginia, from 1863 through the end of the War.
  • “The Life of Richard Byrd Kennon” – A native of Norfolk, Kennon was the descendant of a distinguished Virginia family. Kennon spent the majority of his childhood in and around Richmond, Virginia, and prior to the War Between the States, married the daughter of future Confederate Brigadier General Philip St. George Cocke.  During the war, Kennon served with distinction on the staffs of such noted Generals as J.E.B. Stuart, Thomas Rosser, James Dearing, and others. Following the war, Kennon lived with his family in Brunswick County, where his home today operates as the “Kennon House” restaurant in Gasburg.
  • “The History of Coleman’s Company, Virginia Heavy Artillery” – Also known as “Neblett’s Artillery” or the “Brunswick Rebel Artillery,” this unit formed in the Brunswick County area of Virginia in 1861, and served with distinction at Craney Island until the fall of Norfolk, and for the remainder of the War at Drewry’s Bluff, defending the Confederate Capital along the James River.
  • “Point Lookout Prisoner of War Camp, Maryland” – A program that details the history of Point Lookout prison, with a special look at the legal and political aspects of the United States’ prisoner and exchange policies.
  • “The Roanoke Minute Men” – Tracking the history of Company A, 14th North Carolina State Troops (formerly, the 4th North Carolina Volunteers), this program provides an historical look at one of the Tar Heel state’s greatest fighting units, composed primarily of men from the town of Littleton, Halifax County, and Warren County, North Carolina.  Organized as a militia company in December 1860, and enlisted into service in the spring of 1861, the “Roanoke Minute Men” saw action from the early days of the War on the Virginia peninsula all the way to the last shots fired at Appomattox.
  • “The Confederacy’s Eyes & Ears in Southeast Virginia” – More formally known as Major James F. Milligan’s Independent Signal Corps, the ISC served as a quasi-signal and secret service for the Confederacy along the Appomattox and James Rivers for much of the War, specializing in communications and military intelligence.  This was especially vital in those areas in the “no man’s land” between Union and Confederate forces, and their activities of espionage and romance would have made 007 himself proud!
  • “A Message of Love and a Life Cut Short – Brigadier General Junius Daniel” –  A native of Halifax County, North Carolina, Junius Daniel graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1851 and served as a Lieutenant in the 3rd United States Infantry for seven years.  Upon North Carolina’s secession in May of 1861, Daniel tendered his services to the Old North State, and was commissioned as Colonel of the 4th North Carolina Volunteers (later, the 14th North Carolina State Troops). Subsequently, he also served as Colonel of the 45th North Carolina State Troops until his appointment as Brigadier General in September of 1862.  Daniel served with distinction until a mortal wound received in combat in the “Mule Shoe” in the battle of Spotsylvania Court House took his life on May 13, 1864.
  • “From Nansemond County to Brazil:  The Life of Hamlin Lassiter Norfleet.” – A story that begins in present-day Suffolk and takes us through Norfleet‘s years as a Cadet at the Virginia Military Institute, distinguished service during four years of the War Between the States, and into South America as a Confederado!
  • “The Dying Soldier.”  – Born in Frederick County, Virginia, Daniel Harvey Christie was a man of immense talents.  Musician, Singer, Businessman, Teacher, and ultimately, a Soldier and Husband.  Commissioned an officer with the 23rd North Carolina Troops, Christie rose to the rank of Colonel by 1862, served as a brevet Brigadier General, but ultimately died due to wounds received during the bloody first day of action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
  • The War Comes to South Quay.”  – Originally a lecture given for the anniversary of South Quay Baptist Church in 2017, this program highlights the importance of the early town and port of South Quay, and the lives of the residents from 1860-1865 in the no-man’s-land between Union and Confederate forces.
  • “Never Give Up:  The Life of William Rice Jones of Brunswick County, Virginia.” – This program was originally presented to a meeting of the Brunswick County (Virginia) Historical Society in 2009, and tells the story of Captain William Rice Jones.  From his early days growing up on his family plantation, at the Brunswick Mineral Springs, through his acceptance at West Point, service as a Confederate officer under Major General John Bankhead Magruder in Texas, and his post-war years as a “Cowboy” and Superintendent of the famed Callaghan Ranch in Encinal, Texas.
  • “Forty-Niner to Confederate General: The Story of Archibald Campbell Godwin” – Born in Virginia, this renaissance man struck west to California in 1849 to find gold, and became a successful miner, rancher, explorer, and political leader. His heart remained in Dixie, however, and with the creation of the Confederate States in 1861, Godwin tendered his services to President Jefferson Davis.  Godwin served with distinction in a number of positions, ultimately rising to the rank of Brigadier General, until his death at the age of thirty-two during the third battle of Winchester in 1864.
  • “The Man Who Knew No Fear” – This story profiles the life of Thomas Mann Thompson, Jr., of Southport, North Carolina, one of the Confederacy’s most successful blockade runner pilots, making over 30 runs through the blockade while escaping capture. Famed Confederate Captain Michael P. Usina called Thompson “an officer who knew no fear.”

Fred’s availability for programs is often limited due to his court schedule and booking is best done well in advance, although sometimes last-minute openings are available.

Rates are based on event type, audience size, travel distance, and other relevant factors.

Please e-mail Fred at for more information.

One thought on “Programs & Speaking Opportunties

  1. Dear Fred:

    I am the President of the Norfolk County Historical Society of Chesapeake. Larry Floyd is a Board member and gave me your website. We need a guest speaker for the month of February 2022 and was wondering if you could do a program on Daguerreotypes. The date is usually the 3rd Sunday at the Central library, Chesapeake, VA., Great Bridge.

    Would you be interested in doing us a program. Also, what iis your fee. Thank you,

    Robert Hitchings, Archivist/Historian
    President NCHS

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