Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table Spring Field Trip – CANCELLED

Due to continued concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus and with an eye on the safety and well being of all of our members, The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table has decided to CANCEL our Spring Field trip to Richmond.

Refunds for trip fees will begin to go out in the next 2-3 weeks. Please feel free to contact with any questions or concerns at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org or at 443-975-9142.

April 2020 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

April 14, 2020

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 7:00pm at our NEW meeting location, The Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664.

Guest Speaker:  John Grady

Tonight we take a look at at one of the ways in which to build a Navy. It can be built, i.e, constructed on the ways, but that it a bit costly and might hamper the development of a newly formed nation. Existent vessels can be converted, but this can be a bit time consuming. One other possibility is to commandeer it and while not without its risks, it is cheaper and faster. John Grady is going to share with us the story of Matthew Fontaine Maury and his pivotal role in the earliest Confederate plot to seize a Union warship patrolling the Potomac, the Pawnee and shell Washington — before the Battle of First Manassas. We will learn how this plot unfolded and meet some of the Southern Marylander’s who played a lead role in a scheme that just missed succeeding.

John Grady, a managing editor of Navy Times for more than eight years and retired communications director of the Association of the United States Army after 17 years, is the author of  Matthew Fontaine Maury: Father of Oceanography. It was nominated for the Library of Virginia’s 2016 non-fiction award. He also has contributed to Sea History, Naval History, the New York Times “Disunion” series, Civil War Monitor and was a blogger for the Navy’s Sesquicentennial of the Civil War site.

He continues writing on national security and defense. His later work has appeared on USNI.org, BreakingDefense, Government Executive, govexec.com, nextgov.com, among others. 

Grady has spoken at conferences of the North American Society for Oceanic History, and as part of the Banner Lecture Series of the Virginia Historical Society and the Great Lives series at Mary Washington University.  He also has spoken  at the Navy Museum, Navy Memorial, Museum of  the Confederacy, Mariners Museum, the Maritime Museum of Annapolis and the Fredericksburg Area Cultural Center and to a number of organizations interested in naval and Civil War history.

Grady holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in communications from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)

Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org or at 443-975-9142. We look forward to seeing you!

March 2020 Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table Meeting

March 10, 2020

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 7:00pm at our NEW meeting location, The Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664.

Guest Speaker:  Susan Youhn

            “The Lives of the General’s Wives” 

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This lecture will chronicle the lives of Mary Lee (Robert E. Lee), Julia Grant (Ulysses Grant), Marianna Jackson (Stonewall Jackson) and Myra Hancock (Winfield Hancock) with emphasis on how they came to be military wives.

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It will explore the women’s lives to see how each came to view their role as an Army wife and how that role affected their lives before and after the war.  How did they cope with the long separations, hardships of duty stations and the Army politics?

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And it will show you that while most women of the era only had to put up with Army life for 4 years, for these women it was a lifetime.

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Please come and join us as we learn about women behind the men that played such a prominent role in the the Unites State Civil War. Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org or at 443-975-9142. We look forward to seeing you!

February 2020 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

February 11, 2020

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 7:00pm at our NEW meeting location, The Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664.

Guest Speaker:  Bob Crickenberger

As we observe Black History Month, join us tonight for a presentation by one of our own members, Bob Crickenberger. He will bring to life the service of various United States Colored Troops that were stationed at Point Lookout during the Civil War their interaction with the prisoners of war as well as the other guard units.

Retired as a Production Coordinator for the Prince George’s County Department of Printing, Bob has taken an active role in the preservation of our Southern Maryland Civil War history. A volunteer at Point Lookout State Park since 1978, Bob is also the founder and chairman of The Friends of Point Lookout, which has been in existence since 1985. As well as being a member of the Round table, Bob is also a member of the Sons of Union Veterans Sgt. james Harris Camp #38.

Please come out and join us as we learn about a special group of soldiers and the service the rendered to our country, while serving in our backyard! Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org or at 443-975-9142. We look forward to seeing you!

2020 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Spring Field Trip

DATE: Saturday April 18, 2020

Join us on our annual spring 2020 field trip to Richmond, Virginia. After Virginia seceded from the Union, the capital of the newly formed Confederacy was moved from Montgomery, Alabama to the city of Richmond. Chief among the reason for the move were Richmond’s strategic importance and its hundreds of factories, whose output nearly equaled that of the rest of the Confederacy. Our visit will include a tour of one of those factories; the Tredegar Iron Works, along with tours of the White House of the Confederacy and The American Civil War Museum.

THE TOUR:

The White House of the Confederacy: Serving as the Executive Mansion of the Confederacy from 1861 to 1865, this location was the official quarters during the Civil War of the only President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis.

The American Civil War Museum: Newly opened,this is becoming the preeminent center for the exploration of the American Civil War and its legacies from multiple perspectives, both union and Confederate, enslaved and freed African Americans, soldiers and civilians.

Tredegar Iron Works: This facility produced iron plating for the first Confederate ironclad warship, the CSS Virginia. It also produced 1,100 artillery pieces during the war, about half of the Confederate’s total domestic production.

THE COST:

The bus trip, lunch and fees is $50 for Round Table members and $60 for non-members during early bird registration by March 10, 2020 (Date of our March meeting). Thereafter, the cost is $55 for members and $65 for non-members.

THE ITINERARY:

  • Depart Maryland Veterans Museum, Newburg, MD: 8AM
  • Arrive at the White House of the Confederacy: 10AM(ish)
  • Lunch: 12PMm(ish)
  • Depart Richmond: 3PM
  • Arrive back in Newburg, MD: 5PM

For additional information or to sign up, please visit our website, https://somdcwrt.org or contact Round Table President Ben Sunderland by phone at 443-975-9142 or email at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org.

January 2020 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

January 14, 2020

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will be held Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 7:00pm at our NEW meeting location, The Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664.

Guest Speaker:  Bob Bowser

Referred to by modern historians as “the least well known of the conspirators,” the story of Edman “Ned” Spangler has been neglected in the historical record. Often overshadowed by the larger personalities in the great conspiracy against Lincoln, Spangler makes short cameo appearances in narratives of the assassination story, usually being portrayed as the willing drunk lackey of John Wilkes Booth. “A Good Natured Drudge: the Untold Story of Edman ‘Ned’ Spangler” sets out to correct these misconceptions by analyzing the often ignored story of his life. The talk follows Ned’s tale from his humble beginnings in York, Pennsylvania through his days in Baltimore, Washington, and Dry Tortugas, Florida. It culminates with his untimely death in Bryantown, Maryland. Along the way, we will explore the ongoing controversies over Ned’s arrest and conviction, as well as his attitude toward serving time in prison. Additionally, we will examine the intricate details and friendships that made up the life of this complex, yet neglected, character in American history and attempt to answer the question “Who was Ned Spangler?”

Bob Bowser is a high school history teacher at Henry E. Lackey High School, located in Charles County Maryland. For the last 11 years, Bob has been a tour guide at the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House Museum. Additionally, Bob has done a first-person portrayal of Dr. Mudd for the last four years. Bob holds a BS in Education and a MA in History.

We welcome all to come out and hear about this player in the Lincoln assassination. Attendance is free, but membership is encouraged. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org or at 443-975-9142. We look forward to seeing you!

December 2019 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

December 10, 2019

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 7:00pm at our NEW meeting location, The Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664.

Guest Speaker:  Bert Stevenson

Tonight we welcome Round Table member Bert Stevenson as he presents the reasons why soldiers were removed from combat units before Appomattox. Also, what happened when soldiers were “mustered out” after Appomattox. Examples will be given of what happened to some famous Civil War veterans and some less famous veterans.

G. Bert Stevenson was born and raised in Shavertown; PA. He graduated from Marshall University, Huntington WV as a physicist and mathematician. Mr. Stevenson worked for the federal government for over 40 years; in the Army and as civilian doing research and development (bomb disposal, counter terrorism; counter narcotics). He has resided in Southern Maryland since 1974.

Mr. Stevenson is a member Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table, the Wyoming Valley Civil War Roundtable, and the Sons of Union Veterans. Because a large number of his relatives served in the Civil War, he has specific interest in several units: 5th NY Cav; 9th PA Cav (aka 92nd PA Vol.); 8th PA Vol Inf Rgmt (3 months); 112th NY Vol. Inf. Rgmt; 143rd PA Vol Inf Rgmt; 53rd PA Vol Reserves; 3rd Rgmt. PA Heavy Artillery (aka 152nd PA Vol.) and 22nd WI Vol Inf Rgmt.

November 2019 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

November 12, 2019

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will occur on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 7:00pm at our NEW meeting location, The Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664.

Guest Speaker:  Harold Knudsen

 Book: General James Longstreet the Confederacy’s Most Modern General

 Presentation title: Modern War Methods of General James Longstreet

 Synopsis of Presentation Material: The Civil War is replete with aspects and firsts that illustrate this war was the first ‘modern war.’ Initially, the war was fought extensively with Napoleonic tactics, but a few professional Army officers worked to improve the tactics, operations, and strategies which made the Civil War the precursor of the 20th Century World Wars. Like Grant and Sherman, the well-known modern Union generals, it was General James Longstreet that made some of the most profound modern contributions to the art of war.

Unlike Grant and Sherman, however, Longstreet’s legacy became the victim of the post war movement in the South known as the Lost Cause; he was punished for becoming a supporter of certain Reconstruction bills, the 13th and 14th Amendments, and accepting postings with the Republican Grant Administration. His military record was attacked by Lost Cause proponents who viewed his politics as scandalous and traitorous.

Ignoring the politics, and looking at Longstreet’s body of work by comparing it to modern military doctrine reveals several large scale innovations. His defensive tactics showed a clear evolution during Antietam, culminating at Fredericksburg with World War I lethality. His offensive tactics at Chickamauga were similar, if not the forerunner to World War II tactical level German armored tactics. Other areas show progressive applications with artillery, staff work, force projection, and operational level thinking.

LTC Harold Knudsen will present these modern innovations by touching on the evolution of war by tying comparatives from the Napoleonic era, to WWII, and beyond back to the Civil War, which shows that several of the battles Longstreet evolved his thinking, and how his innovations appeared in future wars. General Longstreet was not the sole agent of all modern change away from Napoleonic method during the war, but his contributions were very significant, done on a large scale, and do show Longstreet was a modern thinker unparalleled in the Confederate Army.

LTC Harold Knudsen is an Illinois native. His career spans twenty five years of active duty Army service, and includes seven resident career artillery, command and staff Army schools and colleges. He has many years of tactical experience in the integration of fire support into maneuver plans and fire control computation for cannon units. He spent nine years in Germany training tactics offensive armored warfare, as well as peace-keeping and counter-insurgency training. A combat veteran of Desert Storm, he performed extensive artillery fire planning and execution in support of the US breakthrough of the Iraqi line and penetration into Iraq. Later, he has also served in the Iraq Campaign at Multi National Corps Iraq in Baghdad. His years of staff work at the Corps, Army, and Pentagon levels give him a strong understanding of army operations from the lowest to highest levels. His book: General James Longstreet the Confederacy’s Most Modern General, draws heavily from 20th Century Army doctrine, field training, staff planning, command, and combat experience.

October 2019 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

October 8, 2019

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will occur on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 7:00pm at our NEW meeting location, The Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664.

Guest Speaker:  Janet Croon

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table invites you join us as Janet Croon shares with us her award winning book, “The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of Leroy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865.

LeRoy Gresham was born in 1847 to an affluent and prominent slaveholding family in Macon, Georgia. As a young child he suffered a horrific leg and back injury that left him an invalid. Educated, inquisitive, perceptive, and exceptionally witty, the 12-year-old began keeping a journal in 1860—just before secession and Civil War tore the country and his world apart. He continued to write even as his health deteriorated until both the war and his life ended in 1865. His unique view of a waning age is published here for the first time in The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865. Edited and annotated with meticulous care by Janet Croon, The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865 captures the spirit and the character of a young privileged white teenager witnessing the demise of his world even as his own body is slowly failing him. Just as Anne Frank has come down to us as the adolescent voice of World War II, LeRoy Gresham will now be remembered as a young voice of the Civil War South.

Janet E. Croon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Modern European History, and Russian Language and Area Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1983), and a Master’s Degree in International Studies from the University of Dayton (1985). She has been teaching International Baccalaureate History for nearly two decades and developed a deep interest in the Civil War by living in northern Virginia. This is her first book, which as awarded the 2018 Douglas Southall Freeman Award for best book on Southern History.

Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. Please contact us with any questions at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org or at 443-975-9142.

September 2019 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

September 10, 2019

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its eighth year will begin on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 7:00pm at our NEW meeting location, The Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664.

Guest Speaker:  Robert Orrison and Kevin R. Pawlak

Kevin Pawlak
Rob Orrison

You saw it correctly! The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table kicks off its eighth year tonight as Kevin Pawlak and Rob Orrison will discuss their newest book “To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign, 1862“.

Their book traces the routes of the Union and Confederate armies during the Maryland Campaign and the ultimate bloody confrontation on the nearby banks of Antietam Creek. To this day, that clash on September 17, 1862, remains the bloodiest single day in American history. The book also includes several day trip tours and a guide many out-of-the-way sites related to the Maryland Campaign.

Kevin Pawlak is a Historic Site Manager for the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division and works as a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam National Battlefield.  Kevin also sits on the Board of Directors of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. He is the author of Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital published by The History Press in 2015 and ‘The Heaviest Blow Yet Given the Confederacy’: The Emancipation Proclamation Changes the Civil War in Turning Points of the Civil War, part of Emerging Civil War’s Engaging the Civil War Series with Southern Illinois University Press.

Born and raised in Loudoun County, Virginia, Rob Orrison received his Bachelor’s Degree in Historic Preservation at Longwood College and received his Master’s Degree in Public History from George Mason University. Currently Rob serves as the Division Manager for the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division.  Outside of work Rob serves on the Board of Directors of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, Board of Directors of Virginia Civil War Trails; and serves as the Vice President of the Virginia Association of Museums. His published works include: A Want of Vigilance: The Bristoe Station Campaign; The Last Road North: A Guide to the Gettysburg Campaign 1863; In A Single Blow: The Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Beginning of the American Revolution, April 19, 1775; To Hazard All: Guide to the 1862 Maryland Campaign. 

Please come out and join us as we remember the coming anniversary of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. As always, attendance is free, but membership is recommended. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org or at 443-975-9142. We look forward to seeing you!