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.



Southern MD Civil War Round Table Spring Field Trip

The Booth Escape Tour
Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table
Saturday, May 2, 2015
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

This year is the sesquicentennial President Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination. Therefore, it is fitting that the third annual Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table tour be the “Booth Escape Tour.”

We will board the bus at CSM’s La Plata Campus and head up to Ford’s Theater, where we will visit the museum and the Peterson House across the street where Lincoln died.

Then we will re-board the bus to see some relevant sites around D.C., including the home of Sec. of State William Seward. Next we will drive down to the Surratt Tavern, where we will be given a tour of the facility and then onto the Mudd House. Along the way, you will dine on a box lunch (included in the price of the tour).

Our next stop takes us over to the Samuel Cox House (Rich Hill) and the pine thicket in Bel Alton. After driving by Pope’s Creek, where Booth pushed off from Maryland, we will head south and drive by Cleydael, the home of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Stewart and then by the Peyton House in Port Royal, and finally to the location of the Garrett Farm, where Booth was killed.

The cost of the tour includes a Keller bus, guided tour, admission to several historic structures, and box lunch. The cost is $60 for members of the Round Table (and their guests). Those paying by or at the March 10 Round Table meeting will only pay $55. The cost for nonmembers is $70.

March 2014 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

March 11, 2014

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Business and Industry, Chaney Enterprise Conference Center Room BI-113, at 8730 Mitchell Road in LaPlata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Tom Jarvis

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round table is please to welcome back current member, Dr. Tom Jarvis. Dr. Jarvis spoke to the group last March on “The Causes of the Civil War” and is back this year to talk to us in “Why the North Won and the South Lost The Civil War“.

Dr. Thomas JarvisThe usual reason given as to why the North won the Civil War  was because of its vast superiority in regard to industrial power, population and financial wealth. Yet despite these overwhelming advantages, the war lasted four long bloody years. The Confederacy survived these years with many victories over Union armies and frequently appeared to be close to wining its independence. The issue of why the North won and the South eventually lost is more complicated than just one side having economic and population advantages over the other. Tonight, Dr. Jarvis will examine the various factors that contributed to the war’s final outcome.

Tom Jarvis taught history as a Professional Instructor as American University in Washington, D.C. and is a member of the adjunct faculty at the College of Southern Maryland. He has developed two specialty courses offered at the college; “The History of American Warfare” and “The United States and Twentieth Century World Affairs”.  Tom has a Bachelor of Arts in history form Stony Brook University, a master’s degree from the School of International Service, American University, and a Ph.D. in United States History from American University.  He served three years in the U.S. Army, working in the intelligence field with the Army Security Agency. He retired from the Central Intelligence Agency as a Senior Executive.

We look forward to welcoming Tom Jarvis back to the podium for this presentation and to seeing you for an enlightening evening of discussion.