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2011 Civil War Sesquicentennial Program



2011 Civil War Sesquicentennial


Civil War Journalist Extraordinaire Frank Vizetelly’s



a British perspective on the War between the States

as seen through the eyes of the English artist and correspondent of

The Illustrated London News

a dramatic encounter written and performed




FRANK VIZETELLY was arguably the most interesting of the foreign newspaper men that covered the American Civil War. From first to last, he covered virtually every aspect of the conflict. At the war’s beginning he was based in Washington and was accredited to the Federal forces. He was a witness to the rout of the Union army at first Manassas. He saw action on the Mississippi and the first Federal attempts to invade the Atlantic coast of the South. His and other British journalists’ criticism of the North’s conduct of the war caused his access to the Federals’ theaters of operation to be severely curtailed, so Vizetelly slipped across the Potomac and followed the rest of the war from the Southern viewpoint. He became an enthusiastic convert to the cause of the Confederacy. He was present at the Siege of Charleston, Fredericksburg and at Chickamauga (where he earned an honorary captaincy in the Army of Tennessee from General Longstreet for acting as a staff galloper under fire). His bluff Bohemian bonhommie made him a special favorite of Jeb Stuart. Vizetelly ran the blockade to report to back London, but returned to witness the death throes of the Confederacy, in which he had the unique distinction of being the only journalist to accompany Jefferson Davis on his ill-fated flight. As an artist as well as a writer, Vizetelly was equally adept with pencil and brush as with pen.

This acclaimed program combines historical accuracy with wit and humor to create a painless history lesson that can be enjoyed even by those who have no passion for the subject. Vizetelly gives an interesting insight into the ambivalent British attitude to the Civil War. He touches on the Trent  Affair which nearly brought Britain into the conflict on the side of the South. Vizetelly, who was a noted amateur actor, brings to life Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Lord Palmerston as well as the American characters he encountered.

HOWARD BURNHAM is a British-born actor and writer. His literary and historical characterizations include Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Ian Fleming, Alfred Hitchcock, Lord Cornwallis, General Burgoyne, Thomas Sumter, Ban Tarleton and Tom Paine. These have played throughout England, been featured on the B.B.C., and over the past twelve years have been seen in the Carolinas, New England, Florida and California. Burnham currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina.

FEE: The 50 minute costumed dramatic monologue profusely illustrated with PowerPoint is offered in the range $300-500, depending on whether performance is a fund-raiser, admission is charged, or a second performance is required.

TESTIMONIALS: “This is to express our appreciation and gratitude for your outstanding presentations at the park. That they went well was very apparent - standing ovations are pretty rare around here.” - Kings Mountain National Park

“Burnham was great. Very witty and entertaining and definitely not boring. He’s very enjoyable even if you don’t know much about history.” - Richland County Public Library, Columbia SC

“One of the most remarkable solo performers I have ever seen, and I do not except actors of the stature of Emlyn Williams.” - The Yorkshire Post

“Another great show for the State Museum"- Dr, Fritz Hamer, History Director, SC State Museum