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!

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.

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.

November 2017 Southern MD Civil War Round Table

November 14, 2017

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 14, 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:  David Dixon

David Dixon

Few remember Edward Everett’s oration that preceded Lincoln’s masterpiece, but hardly anyone is aware of Kentucky native Charles Anderson’s oration, which concluded the day’s events. The speech was never published and the lost manuscript only recently uncovered at a ranch in Wyoming.  Join us as David Dixon introduces us to this unknown treasure.

Review: “The Lost Gettysburg Address”

In his book, Mr Dixon argues that the three featured speeches need to be viewed as a rhetorical
ensemble to better understand the political context of the Gettysburg dedication.

The back story to this is the saga of Charles Anderson himself, a slaveholder who sacrificed nearly everything to help Lincoln save the Union. An escapee from a Confederate prison in Texas, he became Lincoln’s emissary to Great Britain; then nearly died commanding a Union regiment at Stones River. He helped defeat notorious Copperhead Clement Vallandigham and eventually became governor of Ohio. These are just some of his amazing adventures during the war.

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table invites all to attend this lecture about one of the lesser known events that occurred on one of the most important and significant days in American history! Attendance is free for all, but membership is recommended.  For information, contact the Round Table’s president, Ben Sunderland at bsunderland@socwrt.org or 443-975-9142.