April 2019 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

April 9, 2019

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF LOCATION FOR OUR APRIL MEETING!

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 7:00pm at the Maryland Veterans Museum, 11000 Crain Highway North, Newburg, MD 20664 .

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Bradley Gottfried

He’s Back!  Join us this evening as for the first time in Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table history, we not only welcome back a speaker who has addressed the group before, but we welcome him back in the same season.  Tonight’s topic:  Fredericksburg!

Serving as a prelude to our annual Spring Field Trip, for which Dr. Gottfried will serve as out tour guide, tonight Brad will give us an overview of the sights we will see and the events that occurred surrounding this seminal battle.  All participants will receive handouts from Brad’s new book, “The Maps of the Fredericksburg Campaign.”  The discussion and tour will cover the fighting along Prospect Hill, the Slaughter Pen, the Rappahannock River crossing and subsequent engagement in the town, and of course, Marye’s Heights and its associated stone wall.

Dr. Brad Gottfried combines a long and distinguished career of outstanding leadership in higher education with an expertise of the Gettysburg Campaign. After receiving his Ph.D. from Miami University, Brad was a full-time, tenured professor at the college level for eleven years before entering higher education administration. He ultimately served as President/Chief Executive Officer of three colleges (University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, Sussex County Community College, and College of Southern Maryland) for almost 25 years. Gottfried has received a number of national and regional awards and recognitions for his leadership including: the NCMPR National Pacesetter of the Year and Leadership Maryland’s Gold Leadership Award,. Brad retired in 2017 and is devoting his life to the study of the Civil War and the traits of effective leaders.

As an historian, Brad has authored twelve books and four additional works are moving through the editorial process. Most of his recent works involved maps studies of Eastern Theater Campaigns and include volumes on First Bull Run, Maryland Campaign, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg Campaign, Bristoe Station/Mine Run, and the Wilderness.

This lecture will serve as our preview for our trip to Fredericksburg on April 20, 2019.  Please come out and prepare for what you see on our tour, or just come out and learn about a truly remarkable Civil battle.  Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. For more information, please call 443-975-9142 or email at bsunderland@somdcwrt.org

May 2016 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

May 10, 2016

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 10, 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:  Dr. Bradley Gottfried

mapsofgettysburgbradgottfried

As we eagerly anticipate our annual field trip; this year to the Antietam National Battlefield, Round Table President Brad Gottfried will get us ready for our great adventure on Saturday, May 14th.  Author of the book, “The Maps of Antietam“, join us as Dr. Gottfried provide his unique insight, analysis and perspective of the battle that marked Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the North.  Bruised and battered after a long spring and summer of battles on the Virginia peninsula and at Manassas, the Army of Northern Virginia, led by Gen. Robert E. Lee decides to seize momentum and move the theater of battle away from his native state and give the north a taste of the conflict.  An audacious gambit indeed, that if successful might bring a negotiated peace and Southern independence.  Meanwhile, The Army of the Potomac has just had its beloved leader, Gen. George B. McClellan, restored to overall command, in an attempt to boost troop morale and  blunt the advances of the Confederate Army.  The result of these two behemoth’s clashing in the Maryland countryside on September 17, 1862 was one of the bloodiest days in American History.

Battle of Antietam - The New York Times

Not able to go on the field trip!  That’s OK!  Come on out anyway and hear Brad as he lays out the important events that took place prior to, during and in the aftermath of a battle that  would ultimately make the Battle of Antietam arguably one of the most significant battles ever fought.  Dunker Church!  The Cornfield! The Sunken Road! Burnside Bridge!  Dr. Gottfried will cover them and whet our appetites for the sites we shall see on the field.

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table invites all to attend this lecture on a battle fought on our own soil! Attendance is free for all, but membership is recommended.  For information, contact the Round Table’s president, Brad Gottfried, at bgottfried@csmd.edu or 301-934-7625.

February 2016 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

February 9, 2016

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 9, 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:  Dr. Bradley Gottfried

mapsofgettysburgbradgottfried

Join us as we keep it “in the family” this evening!  Round Table President Dr. Brad Gottfried will address us, not only as our President, but also about his latest book, “The Battle of the Wilderness: Disaster in the Thickets“.

 

Because of the thick vegetation that enveloped the armies during the battle of the Wilderness, the May 5 & 6, 1864 fight has been considered one of the most misunderstood and confusing battles of the entire Civil War. Brad Gottfried has spent considerable time studying the battle and walking the battlefield in preparation for his new book, The Maps of the Wilderness. Using many of his full-color maps, Gottfried will explain why the battle occurred here, how it played out, and its persisting legacy. Copies of his new book may be available for sale.

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table invites all to attend this lecture on one of men who saw much of the Civil War from the right hand of the Confederacy’s leading general.  Attendance is free for all, but membership is recommended.  For information, contact the Round Table’s president, Brad Gottfried, at bgottfried@csmd.edu or 301-934-7625.

 

May 2015 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

May 12, 2015

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 12, 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:  Edward Bonekemper

Image of Edward H. Bonekemper

Ulysses S. Grant was the greatest general of the Civil War and the overrated Robert E. Lee was part of the Myth of the Lost Cause!  These are the conclusions of historian Edward Bonekemper, author of “Grant and Lee:  Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian”, a war-long comparison of the two most famous generals of the Civil War. Mr. Bonekemper will reveal how Lee’s hyper-aggression resulted in his army suffering approximately 209,000 casualties, while Grant’s army lost “only” about 154,000.  He will explore and explain how Grant won and Lee lost the Civil War.

by Edward Bonekemper, III

Mr. Bonekemper will show to us that Lee was far too aggressive a general for the Confederacy, which did not have the burden of winning the war and could not afford to squander its manpower.  He will demonstrate that Lee was a Virginian first, a Confederate second – priorities that led him to a bloody stalemate in the East and had disastrous impacts on Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Chattanooga and elsewhere. Mr. Bonekemper will show that throughout the war Lee either did not know or did not care what was occurring outside his theater and committed blunders that aided Grant and later William Tecumseh Sherman in the Middle and Western theaters of the war. The inter-theater relationships and interplay between Grant’s and Lee’s campaigns; even before they fought head-to-head in 1864 and 1865, will be described by Mr. Bonekemper.  He will detail Lee’s draining of the entire Confederacy to replace his intolerable losses, his resistance to sending needed reinforcements to other theaters and his role in facilitating Sherman’s critical capture of Atlanta.

In contrast to Lee, Mr. Bonekemper depicts Grant as doing exactly what a Union general was supposed to do:  aggressively taking the fight to the enemy, winning the Mississippi Valley and the East and saving the critical Union Army in the Middle Theater. Perseverance, deception, alacrity and appropriate aggressiveness were the hallmarks of Grant, the Civil War’s greatest general.

Edward Bonekemper is the author of four other Civil War books covering Grant, Lee, Lincoln and McClellan which include, “How Robert E. Lee Lost the Civil War”, Lincoln and Grant:  The Westerners Who Won the War”, and “McClellan and Failure: A Study of Civil War Fear, Incompetence and Worse”.  Copies of “Grant and Lee:  Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian” will be available for purchase and Mr. Bonekemper will be available to sign them after the discussion.

 

 

2014 Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table Spring Field Trip

Wilderness & Spotsylvania Battlefield Tour

Saturday April 26, 2014

9:00AM – 5:00PM

140th New York at the Wilderness

The Tour:

Join us for the 2nd annual Spring Tour presented by The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table.  This tour, led by National Park Service historian Phillip Greenwalt, will begin in La Plata (CSM Campus).  The cost of the trip (bus, lunch and guide) is $50 for members and $60 for non-members.  Save money through early bird registration period (through March 11, 2014) – $45 for members and $55 for non-members.

Participants will board a chartered bus for the trip to the Chancellorsville/Wilderness NPS Visitor’s Center. After a quick stop, the tour will start at the command post of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant on the the Wilderness Battlefield and follow through the bloody fighting at Saunders Field, down the park road to the Widow Tapp field and then back up the Orange Plank Road to where Confederate General James “Pete” Longstreet was severely wounded.

From here we will follow the Brock Road, just as the Union and Confederate soldiers would have done on May 7th toward Spotsylvania Court House.

After a delicious box lunch, we will tour the Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield, following the ebb and flow of the combat that erupted around this quiet and quaint Virginia town.  Sites include the “Bloody Angle”; the spot where Union Major General John Sedgwick was killed, and retracing part of the route Union Brigadier General Emory Upton utilized to strike the Confederate line, in a prelude to heavier fighting two days later.

During the program, accounts; some well known, others lesser known will be used to explain the horrors of the battlefield, the observations of the soldiers and officers and the overall picture of what war in Virginia in May 1864 was all about.

You will have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, stand in the spots where other generals; including John Sedgwick breathed their last and taken all together will tour a landscape that is considered one of the bloodiest in all of North America. Within 30 miles of Fredericksburg, VA (which encompasses both of the battlefields we will visit) over 100,000 men were killed or wounded.  That is approximately 1/7th of al the men killed or wounded in the entire Civil War!

Come join this bus and walking tour of the 2 battles that set the tone for the rest of the Overland Campaign plus was the final nails being hammered into the coffin of the Confederacy by the Northern war machine.

The Background:

On May 5, 1864, Major General George Meade, in command of the dependable Union Army of the Potomac, being overseen by newly minted Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, made contact with Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his vaunted Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the Wilderness, west of Fredericksburg, VA.

What ensued was two days of bitter fighting through the clearings, along road traces and even within the tangles and brushes of the second and third growth forests.

With casualties mounting and no progress being made, Grant stepped into a more active role and decided to move the Army of the Potomac around Lee’s right flank toward the strategic town of Spotsylvania Court House.  Lee and his army were able to get to Spotsylvania Court House first and dig in.  What would ensue was approximately two weeks of fighting, including some of the most savage on May 10 and 12, 1864.

These two battles set the tone for the rest of what history now knows as the Overland Campaign. From May 5th until the armies were ensconced around Petersburg in mid-June, the two antagonists would lock horns in a death struggle across central and Tidewater Virginia.

Historians now agree that the beginning of the end of the war in the Eastern theater, and the start of the collapse of the Confederacy as a whole, began at the Wilderness on May 5, 1864.  This is where our battlefield odyssey will commence.

The Guide:

Our trip leader will be Phillip Greenwalt; historian with the National Park Service at the George Washington Birthplace National Monument and the Thomas Stone National Historic Site.  Mr. Greenwalt began his NPS career as a historical interpreter intern at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He holds a bachelor degree in history from Wheeling Jesuit University and a graduate degree in American History from George Mason University.

Mr. Greenwalt’s first publication, co-authored with Dan Davis; “Bloody Autumn, The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864“, is part of the Emerging Civil War Series and was published by Savas Beattie LLC in  November 2013.  His second book, also co-authored with Dan Davis, entitled “Hurricane From the Heavens, The Battle of Cold Harbor” is due out in June 2014.  He is also a full time contributor to the blog Emerging Civil War (www.emergingcivilwar.com) and has spoken at lecture series and history round tables in numerous states.

Come join us for a fantastic day on April 26th!