September 2020 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

September 8, 2020


The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its ninth year will kick off Tuesday September 8, 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 September 8, 2020 at 7pm. Not a member. please reach out to us at to learn how to become a member.

Please keep in mind with the Covid-19 pandemic still affecting us, this schedule is subject to change at a moments notice. Check with us for notifications and updates. It is our intention to resume regular meetings at the Maryland Veterans Museum as soon as we can.

Guest Speaker:  John Grady

Tonight we take a look at at one of the ways in which to build a Navy. It can be built, i.e, constructed on the ways, but that it a bit costly and might hamper the development of a newly formed nation. Existent vessels can be converted, but this can be a bit time consuming. One other possibility is to commandeer it and while not without its risks, it is cheaper and faster. John Grady is going to share with us the story of Matthew Fontaine Maury and his pivotal role in the earliest Confederate plot to seize a Union warship patrolling the Potomac, the Pawnee and shell Washington — before the Battle of First Manassas. We will learn how this plot unfolded and meet some of the Southern Marylander’s who played a lead role in a scheme that just missed succeeding.

John Grady, a managing editor of Navy Times for more than eight years and retired communications director of the Association of the United States Army after 17 years, is the author of  Matthew Fontaine Maury: Father of Oceanography. It was nominated for the Library of Virginia’s 2016 non-fiction award. He also has contributed to Sea History, Naval History, the New York Times “Disunion” series, Civil War Monitor and was a blogger for the Navy’s Sesquicentennial of the Civil War site.

He continues writing on national security and defense. His later work has appeared on, BreakingDefense, Government Executive,,, among others. 

Grady has spoken at conferences of the North American Society for Oceanic History, and as part of the Banner Lecture Series of the Virginia Historical Society and the Great Lives series at Mary Washington University.  He also has spoken  at the Navy Museum, Navy Memorial, Museum of  the Confederacy, Mariners Museum, the Maritime Museum of Annapolis and the Fredericksburg Area Cultural Center and to a number of organizations interested in naval and Civil War history.

Grady holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in communications from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)

Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at or at 443-975-9142. We look forward to seeing you!