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!

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.