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!

May 2019 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

May 14, 2019

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Learning Resource Center Room LR-102, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  William Connery

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table closes out its 7th season with a visit from yet another old friend. Those of you who enjoyed hearing William Connery speak to us in January 2017 about the Civil War in Northern Virginia, will be enraptured with his latest presentation, Rebel Raiders on the High Seas.

In the 1850s, Stephen R. Mallory was Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Naval Affairs. When his state of Florida left the Union in early 1861, he joined the Confederacy and was appointed Secretary of the Navy. Because no one else cared that much about naval policy, Mallory was able to shape naval doctrine. After viewing the disparity between the shipbuilding and other manufacturing facilities of the Confederacy and those of the Union, he set forth a fourfold naval plan:

  1. Send out commerce raiders to destroy the enemy’s mercantile marine.
  2. Build ironclad vessels in Southern shipyards for defensive purposes.
  3. Obtain by purchase or construction abroad armored ships capable of fighting on the seas.
  4. Employ new weapons and techniques of warfare.

 The talk focuses on Mallory’s three most successful commerce raiders: the CSS Florida, Alabama and Shenandoah.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Mr. Connery has a degree in History from the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal, from the Fairfax Chapter of the UDC, for his History Press book Civil War Northern Virginia 1861. His other book, Mosby’s Raids in Civil War Northern Virginia, deals with the Gray Ghost of the Confederacy, and his amazing life before, during, and after the War! He has power-point presentations on his books and other Civil War topics. He is a frequently requested speaker in the Washington DC metro region. Mr. Connery can be reached at william.connery@verizon.net.

Help us bring a successful conclusion to another great season by joining us for this look at the Confederate Navy.  Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. For more details, please call 443-975-9142 or email at www.bsunderland@somdcwrt.org.

April 2019 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

April 9, 2019

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF LOCATION FOR OUR APRIL MEETING!

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 7:00pm at the Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664 .

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Bradley Gottfried

He’s Back!  Join us this evening as for the first time in Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table history, we not only welcome back a speaker who has addressed the group before, but we welcome him back in the same season.  Tonight’s topic:  Fredericksburg!

Serving as a prelude to our annual Spring Field Trip, for which Dr. Gottfried will serve as out tour guide, tonight Brad will give us an overview of the sights we will see and the events that occurred surrounding this seminal battle.  All participants will receive handouts from Brad’s new book, “The Maps of the Fredericksburg Campaign.”  The discussion and tour will cover the fighting along Prospect Hill, the Slaughter Pen, the Rappahannock River crossing and subsequent engagement in the town, and of course, Marye’s Heights and its associated stone wall.

Dr. Brad Gottfried combines a long and distinguished career of outstanding leadership in higher education with an expertise of the Gettysburg Campaign. After receiving his Ph.D. from Miami University, Brad was a full-time, tenured professor at the college level for eleven years before entering higher education administration. He ultimately served as President/Chief Executive Officer of three colleges (University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, Sussex County Community College, and College of Southern Maryland) for almost 25 years. Gottfried has received a number of national and regional awards and recognitions for his leadership including: the NCMPR National Pacesetter of the Year and Leadership Maryland’s Gold Leadership Award,. Brad retired in 2017 and is devoting his life to the study of the Civil War and the traits of effective leaders.

As an historian, Brad has authored twelve books and four additional works are moving through the editorial process. Most of his recent works involved maps studies of Eastern Theater Campaigns and include volumes on First Bull Run, Maryland Campaign, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg Campaign, Bristoe Station/Mine Run, and the Wilderness.

This lecture will serve as our preview for our trip to Fredericksburg on April 20, 2019.  Please come out and prepare for what you see on our tour, or just come out and learn about a truly remarkable Civil battle.  Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. For more information, please call 443-975-9142 or email at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org

March 2019 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

March 12, 2019

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Learning Resource Center, Room LR-102, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  Tracey McIntire/Audrey Scanlan Teller

Tonight, we explore an unusual and courageous group of soldiers seldom discussed in the annals of Civil War history. Although women were forbidden by social custom and army regulations to enter military service in the Union and Confederate armies, a surprising number of women disguised themselves as young men and “went for a soldier.” Tracey McIntire and Audrey Scanlan-Teller will discuss and share documentation of some of the more fascinating women and what motivated them to fight alongside men.

Tracey McIntire earned her BA in English at Rivier College in Nashua, N.H. She is a Battlefield Ambassador at Antietam National Battlefield, a Historical Interpreter at South Mountain State Battlefield, and an active Civil War living historian, where she portrays a woman soldier in various guises. She is also a member of the Company of Military Historians, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic. Tracey has worked for the American Battlefield Trust, formerly the Civil War Trust, since November of 2009.

Audrey Scanlan-Teller earned her MA and PhD in art history at the University of Delaware. Since 2005, she has portrayed a Civil War enlisted soldier for historical interpretive demonstrations, a portrayal that compelled her to study the women soldiers of the Civil War. A published scholar and public speaker, Dr. Scanlan-Teller is an active interpretive volunteer at Antietam National Battlefield Park, a historical interpreter at South Mountain State Battlefield Park, and a small business owner.

Attendance is free, but membership is recommended.  For more information, please call 443-975-9142 or email at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org.

Southern MD Civil War Round Table Spring Field Trip

Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table

 Fredericksburg Battlefield Tour

Saturday, April 20, 2019

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Tour: Join us for the Southern Maryland Civil War Round table’s annual Spring 2019 Field Trip and Tour of the Fredericksburg National Battlefield. Remembered as one of the most one-sided battles of the war, with Union Casualties more than three times as heavy as those suffered by the Confederates, the Battle of Fredericksburg was fought in mid-December 1862, and s noteworthy for its intensity and winter fighting. The tour features visits to three locations:

  • Prospect Hill, where George Meade’s division almost knocked Stonewall Jackson’s Corps off the heights and came close to winning the battle. This phase of the your includes a walk along the Slaughter Pen, Pelham’s Corner and Prospect Hill.
  • Mayre’s Heights, including the stone wall, with a stop at the National Park Service Visitor’s Center and bookstore.
  • The Town of Fredericksburg, including the river crossing by the Union II Corps, and a variety of interesting sites.

The tour begins in LaPlata at the College of Southern Maryland campus, where we will board a chartered bus for the trip to the Fredericksburg Battlefield. The tour will be under the guidance of Dr. Brad Gottfried, former president of the Southern Maryland Civil War Round table and noted author of twelve books on the Civil War, including his latest, The Maps of Fredericksburg: An Atlas of the Fredericksburg Campaign.

The Cost of the trip (bus, lunch, maps and guide) is $55 for members and $65 for non-members. Save money through early bird registration (March 12, 2019): $50 for members and $60 for non-members.

For additional information, or to register, contact Ben Sunderland, SMCWRT President, Phone: 443-975-9142, or email: bsunderland@somdcwrt.org.

February 2019 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

February 12, 2019

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Learning Resource Center, Room LR-102, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  Mr. Gary Dyson

 

Having joined us last year to discuss with us his book, “The Ambush of the Isaac P. Smith, Family Ties and the Battle on the Stono, January 30, 1863″, Mr. Gary Dyson returns to the Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table, to present, “A Civil War Correspondent in New Orleans“.

 

“A Civil War Correspondent in New Orleans” explores the eyewitness account of Boston Journal War Correspondent Albert Gaius Hills from the day he left Boston Harbor in November 1861 through the New Orleans Campaign of 1862. Hills recorded his observations while with the Union fleet in the Gulf of Mexico and on Ship Island as well as his account of the bombardments of Forts Jackson and St. Philip and impression of captured New Orleans.  Hills’ life and his relationships with other correspondents are also part of the presentation.

Gary L. Dyson is a retired Environmental Specialist from the city of Gaithersburg, MD and a former Marine. He is a lifelong history enthusiast and has spent countless hours reading, researching and exploring battlefields – from the French and Indian War to World War II. Gary owns Dyson Genealogy and Historical Research and is the author of “Ambush of the Isaac P. Smith” and “A Civil War Correspondent in New Orleans, the Journals and Reports of Albert Gaius Hills of the Boston Journal.” He has a BS in Natural Resources Management from Oregon State University. Gary lives in Mount Airy, MD with his wife Emily and has two children away at college. He is also a board member for the Frederick County Civil War Round Table. We invite everyone to join us and Mr. Dyson, as we learn about how one member of the press covered the Civil War.

Attendance is free for all, but membership is recommended. For information, contact the Round Table’s president, Ben Sunderland, at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org or 443-975-9142.

January 2019 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

January 8, 2019

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Learning Resource Center Room LR-102, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Bradley Gottfried

The new year kicks off with the Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table welcoming back its first past president, Dr. Brad Gottfried, as he discusses a place near and dear to us; Point Lookout!

The Point Lookout Prisoner of War Camp was the largest Northern internment site for Confederate prisoners.  The population topped over 20,000 late in the war and over 50,000 prisoners spent time at the camp.  Located at the tip of St. Mary’s County, the War Department deemed the site to be an ideal mix of proximity to battlefields, isolation, ease of defense, and mild weather.

In this presentation, Brad and Linda Gottfried will describe the origins of the prison and the large hospital (Hammond Hospital) also housed nearby, life and death in the prison, and will touch on the politics surrounding these camps as the war became increasingly intense.

The Gottfrieds will have copies of their new Point Lookout Prisoner of War book for sale.

Dr. Brad Gottfried combines a long and distinguished career of outstanding leadership in higher education with an expertise of the Gettysburg Campaign. After receiving his Ph.D. from Miami University, Brad was a full-time, tenured professor at the college level for eleven years before entering higher education administration. He ultimately served as President/Chief Executive Officer of three colleges (University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, Sussex County Community College, and College of Southern Maryland) for almost 25 years. Gottfried has received a number of national and regional awards and recognitions for his leadership including: the NCMPR National Pacesetter of the Year and Leadership Maryland’s Gold Leadership Award,. Brad retired in 2017 and is devoting his life to the study of the Civil War and the traits of effective leaders.

 

As an historian, Brad has authored twelve books and four additional works are moving through the editorial process. Most of his recent works involved maps studies of Eastern Theater Campaigns and include volumes on First Bull Run, Maryland Campaign, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg Campaign, Bristoe Station/Mine Run, and the Wilderness

 

Please come out and catch up with our friend Brad Gottfried and learn a little more about a part of Southern Maryland’s Civil War history.  Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. For more information, please call 443-975-9142 or email at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org

December 2018 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

December 11, 2018

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Learning Resources Center, Room LR-102, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  Gene Schimel

Join us tonight as we welcome Mr. Gene Schimel, who will discuss Union General Jacob Cox and the Battle of Franklin, TN.

“Like so many men of his era, Jacob Cox never expected to be a military man, especially one who would play a key role for the Union at, among others, the Battles of Antietam and Franklin.  In his youth Cox was a ministerial student at Oberlin College, and his quiet, studious, introverted persona seemed to be ill-suited to the military life.  However, he rose to the occasion sufficiently well that General W.T. Sherman offered him a brigadier generalship in the regular army at the war’s end.  Instead Cox returned to civilian life, where he became a true Renaissance man, becoming Governor of Ohio, Secretary of the Interior, congressman, president of the Wabash Railroad, president of the University of Cincinnati, and Dean of the Cincinnati Law School.  He also wrote four histories of the war which are still today considered objective analyses of that conflict.

 

The Battle of Franklin, November 30, 1864, dealt a major body blow to the Confederate Army of Tennessee, which suffered its final defeat and resultant dissolution two weeks later at the Battle of Nashville, effectively ending the war in the West.  Confederate commander John Bell Hood launched the Civil War’s final major offensive charge that day with 20,000 men, fully 50% larger than Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg, attacking 13,000 Union men, most of whom were stationed behind hastily-constructed but formidable barriers.  Hood suffered an inevitable debacle at a time when most commanders had learned that fighting on the defensive was a far preferable tactic.

The Union defensive line at Franklin was commanded and created by General Jacob D. Cox.  He was given this role by the Union commander, John Schofield, who had learned during the Atlanta campaign earlier that year that Cox was a dependable and capable subordinate.  The defensive line was nearly-impregnable, but a mistake by one of Cox’s subordinates allowed the Confederates to penetrate a hundred yards into the center of the line.  At that critical time Cox, who had presciently created a potential second line of defense behind the first, displayed conspicuous leadership and saved the day.  As one of his men wrote later,  ‘General Cox remained mounted while the confusion was greatest, and during the break in the line, he was in the midst, displaying heroic bravery, with hopeful look and sword poised above. Gen. Cox’s quiet but superb magnetism impelled every man who caught his eye to redoubled effort in wresting victory from defeat.’

While Hood announced to his  men the next day that Franklin was a victory, the author of a superb Confederate memoir, Company Aytch, Private Sam Watkins, wrote later, “I shrink from the butchery…My flesh trembles, and creeps and crawls when I think of it today.  It was the finishing stroke to the independence of the Southern Confederacy.”

 

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 labeled “best biography of the year” by the Civil War Books and Authors web-site.  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.  He resides in Gainesville, Virginia with his wife Bonnie Kathryn.  Together they wrote a book, “Welcome Home: Who Are You; Tales of a Foreign Service Family,” which is featured on his amazon.com author’s page:  https://www.amazon.com/Gene-Schmiel/e/B00HV4SSWK?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060.

Come on out and join us before all of your holiday preparations and celebrations begin as Gene Schimel introduces us to this remarkable man and a battle in the Western Theater that would prove to be a very pivotal one. Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. For more information, please call 443-975-9142 or email at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org