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!

November 2016 Southern MD Civil War Round Table

November 8, 2016

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 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:  Mr. Don Thomas

Debuting as the new kid on the block, former President and founder of West County Corporation, Don Thomas has recently retired from the industry to turn his hobby and lifelong passion for history into a new career. An avid reader with an insatiable appetite for nonfiction Don has always sought reading material untainted by legend, myth or fabrication.

Realizing few authors dare to venture outside the sanitized limits prescribed to explain the American experience, he began his own study compiling buried documents once hidden or forgotten, but never lost.

In 2012, after years of accumulating a personal library swollen with uncovered new evidence Don decided to publish some of his research, but needed an author. Though he quickly found it was futile trying to persuade a scholar to write his story which abandoned the mainstream chronicles surrounding Lincoln’s murder conspiracy. Growing frustrated he reluctantly decided to write the book himself.

The Reason Lincoln Had to Die is but a small portion of his painstaking four-year research into the violent removal of a United States president from office. While his book mainly focuses on the treasonous self-serving motive to assassinate President Lincoln, his investigation and publications about Lincoln’s hidden assassins continues as an ongoing project. With two highly acclaimed essays including many published articles, Don also is a popular speaker addressing private and public organizations each year.

Only those who have not yet learned about Don Thomas believe the conspiracy to kill Lincoln still remains an unsolved mystery.

The Reason Lincoln Had to Die - How They Got Away with Murder

Southern MD Civil War Round Table Film Series

February 9, 2016

Come out and join us as our series of Civil War movies, shown free of charge, continues prior to the regularly scheduled Round table meeting tonight from 4:47pm – 6:49pm 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.

Tonight’s Feature:  The Conspirator

Amazon.com: The Conspirator: James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline ...

This 2010 film tells the story of Mary Surratt, the only female conspirator charged in Lincoln’s assassination and the first woman to be executed by the United States federal government.  It stars James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood, Jonathan Groff, Tom Wilkinson, Alexis Bledel, Kevin Kline, John Cullum, Toby Kebbell and James Badge Dale and was directed by Robert Redford.

In the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, the Vice-President and the Secretary of State.  The only woman charged, Mary Surratt, 42, owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks.  Against the back drop of post Civil War Washington, D.C., Frederick Aiken, a 28 year old Union war hero and a “green” lawyer, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal.  As the trial unfolds, Aiken realizes his client may be innocent and that she is being used a bait and hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her own son!

This movie was the first completed project of the American Film Company.  Their CEO, Joe Ricketts also founded the online brokerage firm Ameritrade and is a partial owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.  Mr. Ricketts has stated that his goal is to produce high quality and entertaining feature films which will attract adult audiences and be historically accurate.  His first effort has earned high praise for its historical accuracy.

After the movie be certain to stay for the regularly scheduled Round table meeting, featuring Dr. Bradley Gottfried discussing the Battle of the Wilderness.



April 2015 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

April 14, 2015

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 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:  Michael Kauffman

Local author, Michael W. Kauffman, author of “American Brutus: John ...

Michael Kauffman, author of the best seller “American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies” will speak to the Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable about the Booth conspiracy and how it was built largely around Southern Maryland politics. Booth was often described as a Southerner, but in fact, he was a Marylander — and so were almost all of the people who were drawn into his plot.  The people of Southern Maryland lived on the fault line of national politics, in a Border State, where politics had grown intensely personal through the war, and where the phrase “Brother vs. Brother” was literally true for many local families. Its geographical position — nearly surrounding the nation’s capital — gave it a strategic importance far beyond that of any other state that remained in the Union.

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In the fall of 1864, John Wilkes Booth set out to recruit a band of conspirators for his plot against the president. Booth knew little about the area, but he knew how the people here felt about Lincoln. He was a master of manipulation, and he took full advantage of the political climate to build his plot. When he looked for cohorts, a sympathetic ear, and a secure route of escape, he knew where he would find friendly territory. Southern Maryland was his only option.

MICHAEL W. KAUFFMAN is a political historian and graduate of the University of Virginia who has studied the Lincoln assassination for more than thirty years.

Taking a full-immersion approach to his research, he has rowed across the Potomac where Booth rowed, leaped to the stage in Ford’s Theatre, and for a time he even took up residence in Tudor Hall, the Booth family home in Maryland.

Kauffman has written for Civil War Times, the Washington Post, American Heritage, Blue and Gray, and the Lincoln Herald, among others. He has lectured throughout the United States, and has appeared in more than twenty television and radio documentaries, including programs on A& E, The Learning Channel, the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and the Discovery Channel.

His works include a modern edition of Samuel B. Arnold’s Memoirs of a Lincoln Conspirator, as well as American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies, which was named as one of the best non-fiction books of 2004.His latest book, “In the Footsteps of An Assassin” is a 161-page book which guides the reader with maps, rare photos and an accompanying CD through the sites Booth encountered on his flight from Washington to the Garrett Farm, the site of Booth’s death.