March 2021 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

March 9 , 2021

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its February meeting will take place virtually on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 7:00pm from your computer. Due to continuing concerns over the COVID 19 virus and in the interest of member health and safety, we are moving our meeting on line for the immediate future. Members should be checking their email for directions on how to connect to the meeting on March 9, 2021 at 7pm. Not a member! Please reach out to us at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org to learn how to become a member.

Guest Speaker:  Matt Borders

We welcome back Matt Borders, who spoke to us in November about his book “Faces of Union Soldiers at Antietam”, as he shares images and stories of some of the 30 Union soldiers highlighted in his latest book, “Faces of Union Soldiers at South Mountain & Harpers Ferry”.

Written and published with his fellow National Park Service certified guide Joseph Stahl, this work looks into 30 individual soldiers that fought in the opening battles of the Maryland Campaign, South Mountain and Harpers Ferry on September 14 & 15, 1862. These images are previously unpublished and are of the men in the ranks, not the generals that commanded them. Matt will discuss a sampling of these soldiers, who they were, what they did on these fields, and what can be gleaned from their images.

A long time student of American History and the Civil War, Matthew Borders holds a BA in US History and an MS in Historic Preservation. He has worked as a National Park Service ranger at Antietam National Battlefield, as well as a historian and battlefield surveyor for the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. He is also a Certified Battlefield Guide at Antietam and Harper’s Ferry.  Currently Matthew is a Park Ranger at Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick, MD.   In 2019, Matthew was honored to be the recipient of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation’s prestigious Dr. Joseph Harsh Award for his research topic, The Loudoun Valley Campaign of 1862: McClellan’s Final Advance.

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 2021 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

February 9 , 2021

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its February meeting will take place virtually on Tuesday February 9, 2021 at 7:00pm from your computer. Due to continuing concerns over the COVID 19 virus and in the interest of member health and safety, we are moving our meeting on line for the immediate future. Members should be checking their email for directions on how to connect to the meeting on February 9, 2021 at 7pm. Not a member! Please reach out to us at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org to learn how to become a member.

Guest Speaker:  Ron Kirkwood

Ron Kirkwood is the author of “Too Much for Human Endurance: The George Spangler Farm Hospitals and the Battle of Gettysburg.” The book was published by Savas Beatie in hardcover in June 2019 and went into its second printing in October 2019. It came out in paperback in January 2021 and an audio version will be released in February.

Kirkwood argues in “Too Much for Human Endurance” that the George Spangler farm was the most important farm in the Battle of Gettysburg, revealing factors that have long been overlooked. The book also presents newly found information about Confederate Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead’s time at the XI Corps hospital at Spangler, the Granite Schoolhouse hospital, the Spanglers, the Artillery Reserve and stories of the suffering and heroism of the surgeons, nurses, wounded and mortally wounded at the two hospitals on the Spanglers’ land. 

Kirkwood is retired after a 40-year career as an editor and writer in newspapers and magazines including USA TODAY, the Baltimore Sun, the Harrisburg Patriot-News and the York (PA) Daily Record. He edited national magazines for USA TODAY Sports and was National Football League editor for USA TODAY Sports Weekly. He managed the copy desk in Harrisburg when the newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012. Kirkwood is a Michigan native and graduate of Central Michigan University, where he has returned as guest speaker to journalism classes as part of the school’s Hearst Visiting Professionals series. 

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!

January 2021 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

January 12, 2021

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its January meeting will take place virtually on Tuesday January 12, 2021 at 7:00pm from your computer. Due to continuing concerns over the COVID 19 virus and in the interest of member health and safety, we are moving our meeting on line for the immediate future. Members should be checking their email for directions on how to connect to the meeting on January 12, 2021 at 7pm. Not a member! Please reach out to us at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org to learn how to become a member.

Guest Speaker:  Gene Schmiel

Tonight we welcome back author Gene Schmiel. who spoke to us in December 2018 about Union General Jacob Cox. In this evening’s presentation, Mr. Schmiel will introduce us to fifty notable women from the Civil War from his book “Civil War Women: Underestimated and Indispensable”. Harriet Tubman. Clara Barton. Sojourner Truth. Harriet Beecher Stowe. These and many other women, including the less well-known like Kady Brownlow, Elizabeth Van Lew, Susie King Taylor, and Sister Anthony O’Connell, were important actors who had a significant influence on the United States during the Civil War. They campaigned for abolition, they nursed the wounded soldiers, and some of them even fought on battlefields. At the time they were underestimated because of the social norms of the era. But over time they came to be seen as indispensable in many fields, not only nursing, but also, strangely enough, espionage. Their actions were critical in changing the mindset of the nation as to the worth and role of women, as well as the formerly-enslaved, and it would never be the same. There are obviously more than 50 such women, but this talk will re-introduce you to many who in the author’s view were particularly important and influential.  

Gene Schmiel is a student of the Civil War whose book, Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era, was published in 2014 by Ohio University Press.  The book, a History Book Club selection, was deemed “best biography of the year” by Civil War Books and Authors. Subsequently, Gene has spoken to many Civil War Round Tables, including that of Southern Maryland.

Gene holds a Ph. D. degree from The Ohio State University and was an assistant professor of History at St. Francis University (PA)  before becoming  a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State.

Early in 2020 Gene began work on a series of books entitled, CIVIL WAR PERSONALITIES, 50 AT A TIME, and one of them, “Civil War Women: Underestimated and Indispensable,”  will be the subject of his talk  Each book highlights 50 people via short essays highlighting their impact on the Civil War era.  Using period photographs and other information from the era, such as political cartoons, the books bring to life these interesting personalities.  Each essay also includes a reading list for further information.  The books are:

Civil War Trailblazers and Troublemakers

Civil War Rogues, Rascals, and Rapscallions

Civil War Political Generals in Blue and Grey

Civil War Women: Underestimated and Indispensable

Civil War Unsung Heroes and Other Key People “Behind the Scenes.”


The books are available via :https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK or you can email Gene at geneofva@gmail.com to arrange for purchase of an autographed copy.

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 2020 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

December 8, 2020

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its October meeting will take place virtually on Tuesday December 8, 2020 at 7:00pm from your computer. Due to continuing concerns over the COVID 19 virus and in the interest of member health and safety, we are moving our meeting on line for the immediate future. Members should be checking their email for directions on how to connect to the meeting on December 8, 2020 at 7pm. Not a member! Please reach out to us at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org to learn how to become a member.

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Bradley Gottfried

Tonight we welcome back our founder, first past president and dear friend, Dr. Bradley Gottfried.

Brad will present an overview of his new book, The Maps of the Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign.

The mounted arm of each army played a major role during the Gettysburg Campaign. Alfred Pleasonton’s army was tasked with determining whether Lee’s army was slipping out of its defensive line south of the Rappahannock River and moving north. Worried about an enemy cavalry raid, Army of the Potomac commander, Joseph Hooker, ordered Pleasonton to preemptively strike Jeb Stuart’s cavalry at Brandy Station in what became the largest cavalry fight of the war. Hooker subsequently needed to determine what Lee was doing in the Shenandoah Valley, so he sent Pleasonton cavalry to force their way through the gaps. Stuart’s men stood in the way, resulting in a series of fights just east of the mountains.

After blunting these attempts, Stuart requested and received permission to conduct another raid into Union territory. The quest yielded little and deprived Lee of the eyes and ears he needed as he guided his Army of Northern Virginia northward toward Gettysburg. The two cavalry forces fought at Westminster, Hanover, and Hunterstown. Stuart also took on Union militia at Carlisle. 

While Stuart was roaming the countryside, Union infantry was in hot pursuit. Some Pleasonton’s units also screened the Union army as it moved north. After Stuart ascertained Lee’s location, he was forced to fight a pitched cavalry battle northeast of Gettysburg on July 3. That same day, Union cavalry unsuccessfully attacked Lee’s right flank, and the 6th U. S. Cavalry was thrashed at Fairfield.

The two cavalry forces battled after Gettysburg: first over the long Confederate wagon trains and then in  support of each army.

The presentation will be illustrated using a series of maps that are part of The Maps of the Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign.

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!

November 2020 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

November 10, 2020

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its October meeting will take place virtually on Tuesday November 10, 2020 at 7:00pm from your computer. Due to continuing concerns over the COVID 19 virus and in the interest of member health and safety, we are moving our meeting on line for the immediate future. Members should be checking their email for directions on how to connect to the meeting on November 10, 2020 at 7pm. Not a member! Please reach out to us at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org to learn how to become a member.

Guest Speaker:  Matt Borders

“Faces of Union Soldiers at Antietam”

Join us this evening as Matt Borders shares with us images and stories of some of the 36 Union soldiers highlighted in his latest work, “Faces of Union Soldiers at Antietam“. Written and published with his fellow National Park Service guide (and friend of the Round Table, Joseph Stahl), this work looks into 36 individual soldiers that fought at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, America’s Bloodiest Day. These images are previously unpublished and are of the men in the ranks, not the generals that commanded them. Matt will discuss a sampling of these soldiers, who they were, what they did on the field, and what we can glean from their images.

A long time student of American History and the Civil War, Matthew Borders holds a BA in US History and an MS in Historic Preservation. He has worked as a National Park Service ranger at Antietam National Battlefield, as well as a historian and battlefield surveyor for the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. He is also a Certified Battlefield Guide at Antietam and Harper’s Ferry.  Currently Matthew is a Park Ranger at Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick, MD.   In 2019, Matthew was honored to be the recipient of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation’s prestigious Dr. Joseph Harsh Award for his research topic, The Loudoun Valley Campaign of 1862: McClellan’s Final Advance.

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!

October 2020 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

October 13, 2020

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its October meeting will take place virtually on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 7:00pm from your computer. Due to continuing concerns over the COVID 19 virus and in the interest of member health and safety, we are moving our meeting on line for the immediate future. Members should be checking their email for directions on how to connect to the meeting on October 13, 2020 at 7pm. Not a member! Please reach out to us at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org to learn how to become a member.

Guest Speaker:  Cory Pfarr

“Longstreet at Gettysburg: The Allure and Endurance of the ‘Lee Intended’ Arguments”

Join us this evening as Cory Pfarr presents a unique analysis of Confederate General James Longstreet’s Gettysburg performance by way of exploring: 1) Some of Robert E. Lee’s actual intentions for his “Old Warhorse” at Gettysburg; 2) Some things Lee clearly intended for but because of events and circumstances did not happen; and, 3) False intentions, attributed to Lee in many Gettysburg studies since the battle, but ultimately unsupported by the primary source record. 

Cory M. Pfarr works for the Department of Defense and is an American History author whose main interests span America’s Revolutionary to Civil War years. He is the author of Longstreet at Gettysburg: A Critical Reassessment (McFarland Publishers, 2019) and “John Quincy Adams’s Republicanism: ‘A Thousand Obstacles Apparently Stand Before Us'” (Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014). He is an associate editor for North & South Magazine, a member of the Society for History in the Federal Government, has written articles for North & South Magazine and Gettysburg Magazine, and appeared on the Pennsylvania Cable Network and C-SPAN American History TV. He lives in Fallston, Maryland with his wife and three kids.

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!

September 2020 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

September 8, 2020

WE ARE GOING VIRTUAL!!!

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its ninth year will kick off Tuesday September 8, 2020 at 7:00pm from your computer. Due to continuing concerns over the COVID 19 virus and in the interest of member health and safety, we are moving our meeting on line for the immediate future. Members should be checking their email for directions on how to connect to the meeting on September 8, 2020 at 7pm. Not a member. please reach out to us at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org to learn how to become a member.

Please keep in mind with the Covid-19 pandemic still affecting us, this schedule is subject to change at a moments notice. Check with us for notifications and updates. It is our intention to resume regular meetings at the Maryland Veterans Museum as soon as we can.

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!

May 2020 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting – CANCELLED

May 12, 2020

Due to State of Maryland and CDC guidlelines as regards the COVID 19 virus, The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table has CANCELLED its meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 7:00pm at our NEW meeting location, The Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664.

We hope to resume a regular schedule this September. We will be releasing our 2020-21 schedule very soon and look forward to seeing you all again at that time. In the meantime, please stay safe and stay healthy!

Guest Speaker:  Edna Troiano

A we conclude our slate of speakers for our eighth year, we welcome Ms. Edna Troiano, who will bring us the story of a local, Mr. Josiah Henson, who inspired a story that most of us are familiar with.

Josiah Henson, born into slavery in La Plata, Maryland, was auctioned off as a child to pay his slaveholder’s debt. Because of his intelligence and skill, he became an overseer on the plantations in Maryland and Kentucky where he was enslaved. Learning that he was going to be sold to the South, he escaped with his wife and four young children. Once safe in Canada, he established a school and a settlement for fugitives, repeatedly returned to the United States to rescue other enslaved people on the Underground Railroad, became a sought-after preacher and lecturer, and was an inspiration for the heroic character of Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Edna M. Troiano, who holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature, is professor emerita of the College of Southern Maryland, where she chaired the Department of Languages and Literature from 1986 to 2006. She coauthored two college rhetoric texts (Write to Know and The Contemporary Writer) and co-edited an anthology of Christmas literature (The Roads from Bethlehem). Her articles, book reviews, and essays have been published widely in academic journals and popular magazines. She lives in Maryland with her husband Pete, her son Leo, and her brilliant and beautiful golden retriever Penelope.

Please come out and join us as we learn about this local personage, the life he led and the inspiration he became. 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!

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.

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!