December 2013 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

December 10, 2013

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Business and Industry, Chaney Enterprise Conference Room BI-113, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata.

Guest Speaker: Dr. James I. Robertson

The Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable will host a presentation by Civil War author Dr. James I. Robertson, Alumni Distinguished drjamesirobertsonProfessor Emeritus from Virginia Tech and author of over 20 books, whose works includeStonewall Jackson, The Man, The Myth, and The Legend”, “Civil War!”, “America Becomes One Nation”, “General A.P. Hill”, and “Soldiers Blue and Gray”.

Prior to the meeting beginning at 7:00 PM, there will be a book signing beginning at 6:15 PM.

Dr. Robertson will lecture on one of his recent books: “The Untold Stories of the Civil War, Exploring the Human Side of the War” published by the National Geographic Society.

The event is co-sponsored by the Annapolis Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association.

Dr. James I.”Bud” Robertson is one of the most distinguished names in Civil War history. The Danville, VA native is a nationally acclaimed teacher and lecturer and has written or edited two dozen books on the Civil War era. His award-winning biography of Stonewall Jackson was hailed as “a book every student of the war should read and every chronicle should emulate.”  The massive biography won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”.   Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.

Early in his career, Robertson was appointed executive of the US Civil War Centennial Commission by President Kennedy.  He is an Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus DrRobertson12102013 flyerat Virginia Tech where he taught for 40 years.  His Civil War Era courses at Virginia Tech, attracted 300 students per semester, and were the largest of its kind in the nation.

The recipient of every major award given in the Civil War field, and a lecturer of national acclaim, Dr. Robertson is probably more in demand as a speaker before Civil War groups than anyone else in the field.

For information, contact the roundtable’s president, Brad Gottfried, at or 301-934-7625.

November Southern MD Civil War Roundtable Meeting

November 13, 2012

The November meeting of the Southern MD Civil War Round Table gives members the opportunity to learn of the role of Annapolis, MD in the Civil War, as Rebecca Morris, author of the book “A Low, Dirty Place – The Parole Camps of Annapolis, MD 1862-1865“, will be our speaker.

In 1862, Annapolis became the main depot on the East Coast for Union prisoners; released on parole by the Confederacy.  These parole camps, as well as the army regiments stationed around the city, changed Annapolis from a sleepy market town to an over crowded city full of thieves, murderers and prostitutes.

Ms. Morris’ book describes those days and those men who came to Annapolis to march off to war, many of who returned, broken in mind and body from the southern prisons, whose last, best hope of freedom was Camp Parole in Annapolis, MD.

Rebecca Morris, a resident of Annapolis, has a life long interest in local history, particularly that of the Civil War era.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the Anne Arundel County Historical Society (AACHS) for the past 5 years and is currently the Treasurer of that organization.

In addition to her recent book, she has written a number of articles for “History Notes“, the AACHS quarterly publication and is a member of and contributor to several historical associations, including the Annapolis History Consortium, The Chesapeake Civil War Round Table, the Surratt Society and the Lincoln Forum. Ms. Morris is a frequent speaker at local civic and historical society meetings and is a 1971 graduate of the University of Maryland.

The November meeting will be held Tuesday,  November 13, 2012 at 7:00PM in room BI (Business & Industry Building) 113. All are welcome to attend the lecture, but membership is the Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is encouraged.  For more information please contact Dr. Brad Gottfried at 3201-934-7625 or at




Inaugural Meeting of Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable is proud to announce its inaugural meeting to be held at the College of Southern Maryland on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Business and Industry Building of the La Plata Campus, Room 103/104.  Meetings will be held the second Tuesday of the month during September through May.  Annual membership will be $30; a small fee will be charged for attendance by non-members.

Guest Speaker: Kevin Knapp

The Roundtable is also proud to announce that Kevin Knapp will be the guest speaker for its inaugural meeting.  Mr. Knapp is a retired Army Officer, professional balloon pilot serving on the Balloon Federation of America Board, and Civil War Balloon Corps enthusiast. He has owned and operated the modern “ARMY” Balloon since 1993 and shares oral and living history as Thaddeus S. C Lowe, Chief Aeronaut, of the Army of the Potomac’s Balloon Corps. In 2006 Kevin was the co-pilot for the winning team of the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race flying from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Citra, Florida – 1,478 miles in 60 hours and 45 minutes.

Kevin Knapp’s portrayal of Thaddeus Lowe has been featured at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, by the US National Park Service Civil War Defense of Washington, Fort Ward, and Gaines Mill Battlefield, as well as the cities of Fairfax, Falls Church, Gloucester, Manassas, and Yorktown Virginia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Committees. He was also a contributor to the History Channel’s “Man, Moment, and Machine’s” segment on Civil War Ballooning called “Lincoln’s Flying Spy Machine.”

Balloons During the Civil War

Balloons were used for surveillance and reconnaissance during the Civil War by the Union Army from 1861 through 1863 and by Confederate Army in 1862. The North made over 3,000 ascensions with seven balloons and the South made less than 10 ascensions with two. Years after the war the famous Confederate Artillery Officer and observer in the Confederate’s second balloon, E.P. Alexander wrote. “I never understood why the enemy abandoned the use of military balloons … Even if the observers never saw anything; they would have been worth all they cost for the annoyance and delays they caused us in trying to keep our movement out of sight.”

In this presentation you will learn about the first air to ground telegraph; the first field hydrogen generators; the first air directed artillery fire; the first aircraft carrier; the first time two opposing forces had aircraft in the air at the same time; and the beginning of U.S. Military Aviation.

Additional Information

The program is open to the public. For additional information contact Southern Maryland Roundtable President Dr. Brad Gottfried at or 301-934-7625.

The roundtable will host monthly meetings, the second Tuesday of every month from September through May, and will feature a guest speaker, usually an author or historian, who will present an aspect of the Civil War, followed by group discussion. Attendees with an interest in the Civil War will be asked to join the Roundtable for an annual fee of $30 to defray the cost of speakers, newsletters and field trips.