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!

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!