September 2017 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

September 12, 2017

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Business and Industry, Chaney Enterprises Conference Center, Room BI-113, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  Bonnie Mangan


Rescheduled from March due to inclement weather, the Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table begins its sixth (6th) season by welcoming Ms. Bonnie Mangan as she educates us about Clara Barton’s Efforts to Identify Civil War Missing Soldiers!

Clara Barton is often identified as a Civil War nurse and the founder of the American Red Cross. But between the end of the Civil War and her introduction the Red Cross while traveling in Switzerland, she sought to find out what happened to the thousands of unknown Union dead.

Barton considered the naming of the dead an obligation of the nation that sent so many to an unaccounted death far from home. Just as she saw a need to have medical care and supplies at hand on the field during the battle, she recognized that “an accounting of the dead is an accounting to the bereaved,” as Drew Gilpin Faust explains in This Republic of Suffering. Barton understood both of these needs before the government did.

Barton began her work just prior to the Quartermaster Office’s Reburial Program.

In April 1866 Congress passed a Joint Resolution that authorized and required the Secretary of War “to take immediate measures to preserve from desecration the graves of soldiers of the United States who fell in battle or died of disease in hospitals; to secure suitable burial places in which they may be properly interred; and to have the graves enclosed so that the resting places of the honored dead may be kept sacred forever.” Barton sought to name the individual dead, something finally done with the National Cemetery Act of 1872.

Using Barton’s writings, this talk will concentrate on the work of the Missing Soldiers Office. During this period, Barton went on the lecture circuit speaking about her wartime experiences to fund the Missing Soldiers Office. Barton also testified before the Congressional Joint Committee on Reconstruction reporting on conditions in Georgia, which she viewed first hand when she accompanied the expedition to set up the Andersonville National Cemetery.

Though Barton’s work on behalf of the missing was undertaken independently of the government’s (as Clara often preferred) they were part of the overall national program to honor those who gave the last full measure. And Barton certainly should be considered a pioneer in this endeavor.


Clara Barton - from a public domain image


Bonnie Mangan grew up in Chicago and attended the University of Illinois.  She earned Masters degrees in Middle East Studies and Library Science. After working aboard she was hired by the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. She recently retired after 36 years of faithful federal service.

Bonnie became interested in mid 19th century history reading about the Alcotts and the Transcendentalists. After hearing Eileen Conklin speak on Women at Gettysburg, 1863, she signed up to attend the first Conference on Women and the Civil War, the precursor to the Society for Women and the Civil War (SWCW). To learn about the Civil War she followed the Vermont Brigade. Bonnie credits her late friend, Dorie Silber of Walden, VT, and Wilbur Fisk  (2nd VT) with nurturing this interest.

Since 2011 Bonnie has been a National Park Service volunteer at Arlington House where she is considered the resident Yankee. She is a docent at the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office. She also serves on the board of SWCW.

Bonnie lives in Arlington, VA with her cats Fuller (named for Margaret Fuller) and Alcott (named for all the Alcotts).

Please come out and help us get our sixth season off to a great start.  Attendance is free, but membership is recommended.  For more information, please call 862-268-5576 or email at

Southern MD Civil War Round Table 5th Annual Field Trip

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table regrets to announce that this year’s field trip to the South Mountain battlefields has been postponed.  Refunds to those that have already paid in advance are being issued this week, by our treasurer, Ron Sweeney.  We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued support!

Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table

South Mountain Battlefields Tour

Saturday, May 6, 2017

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Tour:  Join us for the fifth annual Spring Tour of the Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table.  This tour will begin in La Plata (CSM Campus), where participants will board a chartered bus for the trip to the South Mountain battlefields (Fox’s Gap, Turner’s Gap, and Crampton’s Gap).

Fought on September 14, 1862 (prior to the Battle of Antietam), one Confederate division and part of a second, numbering perhaps 10,000 men held off as many as 40,000 Union troops desperately trying to force their way across the South Mountain gaps to relieve the siege of Harper’s Ferry.

Come join this bus and walking tour of the three battles that set the tone for the rest of the Maryland Campaign.  This tour will be of interest to the die-hard enthusiast and the novice alike.

The Guide:  Brad Gottfried, CSM President and author of eleven Civil War books, including the Maps of Antietam, which chronicles the epic “David and Goliath” Fight will lead the tour.  All participants will receive detailed maps to better explain the actions.

Cost: The cost of the trip (bus and lunch) is $55 for members and $65 for nonmembers.  Save money through early bird registration (March 8, 2017)– $50 for members and $60 for nonmembers.  For additional information, or to register, contact Brad Gottfried at 301- 934- 7625 or

May 2017 Southern MD Civil War Round Table

May 9, 2017

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 9, 2014 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Business and Industry, Chaney Enterprises Conference Center, Room BI-113, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  TJ Youhn


The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is please to welcome one of its own, as Mr. TJ Youhn will discuss:

“Their Commands, But Tugboats – Their Prizes, But Canoes,” The Potomac River Squadron in Action, 1861-1865.

April 1861 found President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln in charge of a rapidly disintegrating nation, attempting to govern from a Capitol city separated from hostile territory by only a few hundred yards of the Potomac River.  The US Army immediately began building fortifications around the Capitol, until by 1865, Washington, DC could honestly lay claim to being the most heavily fortified city in the world.  But what of the Capitol City’s water front?  What was to be done about those few hundred yards of the Potomac River.  While the Army built fortresses, the US Navy began the organization of the Potomac River Squadron and initially charged it with the protection of the water approaches to Washington DC.

From the first days of the war until the final surrender of the Confederacy, the US Navy continually improved the Potomac River Squadron, transforming it from a rag tag collection of improvised barges and schooners into one of the most powerful and efficient “Brown Water” forces ever to fight beneath the Stars and Stripes.

While a full description and analysis of all operations of the Potomac River Squadron would require volumes, TJ will present and discuss a short collection of incidents and actions fought by the units of the Squadron in the local Southern Maryland area.  Mr. Youhn’s object for this presentation will be, to pique the interest of the audience to discover more information on this little known aspect of the American Civil War.

... on the Confederate Batteries at Aquia Creek by the Potomac Flotilla

TJ Youhn is a retired Naval Flight Officer, Flight Test Engineer, and Operational Test Director.  After retiring from the Navy with a little under 23 years in the Fleet, a little over 7,000 hours in the air and a lifetime full of stories, Mr. Youhn returned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, and remained in the Flight Test field with positions as a Civilian Flight Test Engineer and Test Manager, spending 10 of the last 12 years as the Program Manager for Test and Evaluation on the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Programs.

Mr. Youhn became interested in Civil War History as a hobbyist, reenactor, living historian and member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Point Lookout at Point Lookout State Park, Maryland.  While casually researching the history of Point Lookout, Mr. Youhn stumbled upon repeated references in US Army records to the US Navy’s Potomac River Flotilla and Potomac River Squadron.  As a retired Naval Officer his interest was piqued and he has begun the task of slowly researching and bringing to light the fascinating story of this little known and under recognized Naval unit in the American Civil War.

Attendance is free for all, but membership is recommended.  For information, contact the Round Table’s president, Brad Gottfried, at or 301-934-7625


Spring Field Trip Sign Up

Due to our March meeting being postponed, the early sign up period for our Spring Field Trip to South Mountain has been extended.  The final day to sign up and take advantage of early sign up rates will be April 11, 2017.

Thank you!

Southern MD Civil War Round Table Film Series

April 11, 2017

Come out and join us for the conclusion of our second season of Civil War film screenings,  from 4:15pm – 6:45pm, prior to the regularly scheduled Round table meeting tonight.  Movies will be shown at the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Business and Industry, Chaney Enterprises Conference Center, Room BI-113, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.  Admission is free!

Tonight’s Feature:  “Ride with the Devil“

RIDE WITH THE DEVIL (1999) | Movies | Pinterest

A little-known band of Civil War fighters known as Bushwhackers use guerrilla warfare to destroy Yankee targets. Jake Roedel and Jack Bull Chiles are friends in Missouri when the Civil War starts. Women and Blacks have few rights. When Jack Bull’s dad is killed by Union soldiers, the young men join the Bushwhackers, irregulars loyal to the South. The two friends join the Southern Bushwhackers, led by William Quantrill, as they combat the Northern Jayhawkers. The movie stars Tobey McGuire, Skeet Ulrich, and Jewel (the singer).

Park Day 2017 at Point Lookout State Park

Contact: Bob Crickenberger – (301) 872-5688

Meg Martin (Civil War Trust) 202.367.1861 x7231



(Point Lookout State Park, Scotland, Md.) – On Saturday, April 1, 2017, history buffs, community leaders and preservationists will team up with the Civil War Trust at more than 130 sites in 30 states to answer the call to service on Park Day. Celebrating over 20 successful years, Park Day has attracted volunteers of all ages and abilities bound by their dedication to serving their communities at historic sites nationwide.

In Point Lookout State Park, the Friends of Point Lookout, Inc., will host a Park Day event beginning at 9:00 a.m. Needs range from historic site cleanup to some minor repair. Refreshments will be provided free of charge thanks to The Friends of Point Lookout, Inc. A local historian may also be available to describe the park’s significance. For more information about Park Day at Point Lookout State Park, please contact: Bob Crickenberger by phone at (301) 872-5688 or by e-mail at

WHAT:      Park Day volunteer event at Point Lookout State Park

WHEN:     April 1, 2017, beginning at 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:   Meet at Point Lookout State Park. 11175 Point Lookout Rd. Scotland, Md. 20687

The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America’s hallowed battlegrounds.  Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.  To date, the Trust has preserved close to 45,000 acres of battlefield land in 23 states.  Learn more at

For a complete list of participating Park Day Sites, visit Volunteers can participate in Park Day online using #ParkDay2017.

April 2017 Southern MD Civil War Round Table

April 11, 2017

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Business and Industry, Chaney Enterprises Conference Center, Room BI-113, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh

The Civil War represented a momentous change in the character of war. It combined the projection of military might across a continent on a scale never before seen with an unprecedented mass mobilization of peoples. Yet despite the revolutionizing aspects of the Civil War, its leaders faced the same uncertainties and vagaries of chance that have vexed combatants since the days of Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War. A Savage War sheds critical new light on this defining chapter in military history.

In a masterful narrative that propels readers from the first shots fired at Fort Sumter to the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s army at Appomattox, Williamson Murray and Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh bring every aspect of the battlefield vividly to life. They show how this new way of waging war was made possible by the powerful historical forces unleashed by the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, yet how the war was far from being simply a story of the triumph of superior machines. Despite the Union’s material superiority, a Union victory remained in doubt for most of the war. Murray and Hsieh paint indelible portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and other major figures whose leadership, judgment, and personal character played such decisive roles in the fate of a nation. They also examine how the Army of the Potomac, the Army of Northern Virginia, and the other major armies developed entirely different cultures that influenced the war’s outcome.

A military history of breathtaking sweep and scope, A Savage War reveals how the Civil War ushered in the age of modern warfare.

Williamson Murray is professor emeritus of history at Ohio State University. His many books include The Iran-Iraq War. Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh is associate professor of history at the United States Naval Academy. He is the author of West Pointers and the Civil War. They both live in Fairfax, Virginia.


“[An] outstanding account of the American Civil War. . . . This expertly written narrative will draw in anyone with an interest in the Civil War at any knowledge level.”Library Journal, starred review

“A genuinely fresh, persuasive perspective on the Civil War. . . . [A Savage War] will make even readers with a strong knowledge of the war think about how it was fought and why it ended as it did. A winner for Civil War history buffs.”Kirkus, starred review

“[A] very important new history of the American Civil War by two important historians.”–Newt Gingrich

“[A] new and interesting military history of the American Civil War.”–Francis P. Sempa, New York Journal of Books

“The best, clearest, and most instructive military history of the Civil War I have ever read. . . . [A Savage War] hit a home run.”–Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution


“If you think that there is nothing new to write about the Civil War, this book will prove you wrong.”–H. R. McMaster, author of Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam

“More than just another narrative of the Civil War, this thoughtful and often provocative book is an engaging analysis of the leadership, personalities, and strategies of both sides during America’s great nineteenth-century trauma.”–Craig L. Symonds, author of Lincoln and His Admirals

A Savage War is not just a riveting military narrative of the American Civil War written by two military historians with singular pragmatic experience, but a rare and much needed strategic assessment of the aims and methods of the Union and the Confederacy–highlighted with incisive, blunt–and persuasive– appraisals of all the major generals and supreme commanders.”–Victor Davis Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture and The Savior Generals