(Richmond, Va.) – On Saturday, June 9, 2012, William S. Connery received the prestigious Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal for outstanding contributions in furthering the study and preservation of Confederate history through extensive research, writing and public speaking.
The medal is designed with a red enamel Maltese Cross in the center, bearing the United Daughters of the Confederacy monogram, surrounded by a circular band of white enamel. Etched above the cross is Jefferson Davis’ famous clarion command at Buena Vista, “Stand fast.” The medal is encircled with a hero’s wreath of laurel leaves in gold.
Mr. Connery was honored as the writer of Civil War Northern Virginia 1861, part of the Sesquicentennial series of books published by The History Press. The book examines the first year of the Civil War, when Northern Virginia (which includes Alexandria City, Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun Counties) was the front line between the growing Union and Confederate armies. According to one reviewer:
“Highlighted are people and events related to those areas, such as Robert E. Lee’s decision to cast his fate with his native state after it seceded, the death of the first Union officer Elmer Ellsworth in Alexandria, and the effect of the war on George Washington’s former estate Mount Vernon in Fairfax County.
Mr. Connery describes some of the ‘firsts’ that occurred in the war, such as the first wounded Confederate soldier, first balloon reconnaissance, first troop engagement and first Confederate officer killed. All of these occurred near Fairfax Court House, the birthplace of the Confederate battle flag as well as the meeting place for President Jefferson Davis’ for the military conduct of the war.
With this book, Connery has helped us to remember.”