Welcome to the Civil War Roundtable of Gettysburg. "The most important Roundtable, in the most important small town, at the most important battlefield, in the most important country in the world."
—Joe Mieczkowski, past president


September 22, 2016


One Virginia Family

Keith Kehlbeck

Ever since iconic historian Bell I. Wiley broke Civil War literary ground with his The Life of Johnny Reb (published in 1943), the voices of individual soldiers—and by extension, their families and contemporaries—have played an important role in telling the story about America’s transformative conflict. The story of the Towles brothers of the 4th Virginia Cavalry—told primarily in their own words—is in that same tradition. More recently, Drew Gilpin Faust, in her acclaimed book, “This Republic of Suffering,” charted the impact death and dying had on our nation during and after the war. Keith’s critically acclaimed book, Gone to God, is a microcosm of that study, examining how one family dealt with loss and remembrance. Built on unpublished, original source materials, Gone to God: A Civil War Family’s Ultimate Sacrifice tells in intimate detail of loss on a personal level, something with which we all can empathize. Because of this, the story of the Towles brothers resonates today, more than 150 years after their deaths.

Keith will also be discussing an expanded treatment of Old Capital Prison, “the Bastille of the North,” which features in Gone to God. As an intake for Confederate prisoners of war—and as a holding place for spies and “enemies of the state”—Old Capitol served a unique role as the Guantanamo of the Civil War. Keith’s upcoming book on Old Capitol will tell the history of the prison and the stories of its wartime residents.

KehlbeckKEITH KEHLBECK is a writer, historian, and marketing consultant with clients in the hospitality, nonprofit, and publishing sectors. He currently serves as a Director at Southwest Michigan First, a regional economic development firm. His clients have included the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Select Registry, Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA), Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub, Inns Magazine, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He has served on various boards, including the regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, the local Chamber of Commerce, and the Marshall Historical Society (serving as its Chair). From the time his family took a cross-country bus trip to visit Gettysburg on vacation when he was 10 years old, he has been fascinated by the War Between the States, its personalities, participants, and details. His wife Ali and their daughter Emma share his interest, if not quite his level of passion for the topic. They live in Marshall, Michigan—“the City of Hospitality”—but have a second home in the Northern Neck of Virginia.

Our meetings are the Fourth Thursday of each month.

From September to May, we meet at the GAR Building, 53 East Middle Street. Light refreshments and conversation starting at 7 pm, the program starting at 7:30. Our summer meetings are for members only and are in the field starting at 6:00 p.m. Please note the meeting location of each meeting.

You can now use your credit card or PayPal to securely pay for your Membership Dues. Please see the Membership page for the link.


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Lynn Heller ........................................President

Kendra Debaney....................................Vice President

Eleanor Cingire.....................................Recording Secretary

Linda Seamon.........................................Membership Secretary

David Diner.............................................Treasurer

Linda Joswick .........................................Webmaster

Dave Joswick...........................................Newsletter Editor









Hilda Koontz, Larry Korczyk, Dale Molina, Larry Plymire, Ron Rock, Roger Heller, Kendra Debany (past President)

Next Board Meeting:

Board Meetings are open to all members. Meetings begin at 6:30 pm at Perkins Restaurant in Gettysburg. If you would like to eat before the meeting, please arrive by 6:00 pm. Board meetings are the second Thursday of January, March, May, July, September, and November.



Plaque Committee:
Reviews and places plaques on buildings that existed during the Battle in Adams County. For information or an application, contact Deb Novotny.

Book Award Committee:
Review books for the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable Book Award.

Field Trip Committee:
Plan future trips for the members of the Civil War Roundtable.

If you are interested in more information, or joining, one the committees, please contact any Officer or Board Member.


Ed Hamilton To Be Presented Cal Doucette Achievement Award At September Meeting

At the April Roundtable meeting it was announced that Ed Hamilton is this year’s winner of the Cal Doucette Achievement Award.

Among the criteria considered in determining the award winner are: a candidate’s activities which enhance the visitor experience at Gettysburg National Military Park and activities which contribute to the Park’s preservation and maintenance. Ed’s volunteer work certainly make him a worthy recipient.

Since 1997 Ed has been a member of the Park Watch Patrol, an organization which acts as the eyes and ears of the Protection Rangers. Ed has observed and reported incidents of vandalism, assisted at numerous events, worked on special details, and helped with training new Park Watch volunteers. On one occasion he observed an act of vandalism and reported it to the Rangers who responded quickly to apprehend the offenders. Ed has discovered marijuana use in the Park and has spotted people hiding from the Rangers after hours.

In 2009 Ed moved to the south end of the Park and decided to walk the Park roads for exercise. He was dismayed by the amount of litter found along the roads and in the fields, so he decided to take action and become the Park’s “trash man.” He established five different routes each six miles long, and in 2011 he decided to keep a detailed record of his activities just for fun. That year he walked 961 miles picking up 165 full bags of litter, 1,140 soda and beer cans and 325 bottles. Ed estimates that over the years of this service he walked in excess of 2,500 miles, picked up 4,500 bottles and cans as well as 500 bags of trash. In his walks Ed has found drug paraphernalia, including needles and cocaine.

Between patrolling for Park Watch and walking on his trash routes, Ed has over 5,000 volunteer hours in the Park, but he says that the most rewarding part of his job is helping people. Ed has found folks lost in the Park after dark, helped find lost pets, recovered lost property, and helped in many other ways. When folks are the beneficiaries of many of these activities they have the opportunity of thanking Ed directly; however, the great majority of the hundreds of thousands of folks who drive through the Park and see the hallowed fields free of trash and litter do so without realizing their enjoyment is due to Ed’s hard work, and for this we are happy to present him with the Cal Doucette Achievement Award. Please join us at our September 22 meeting when we present Ed with his award.

Notice to membership: proposed change in by-laws

The Board of Directors would like to remove the responsibility of “Program Chair” from the job description of the Vice President. The Vice President will continue to perform all the duties of the President in his/her absence. A separate Program Committee Chair will be nominated by the President, whose responsibility will be to arrange speakers for the monthly meetings January through December.

As per the requirements of our By-Laws, this notice will be communicated to the membership by the President at the two consecutive meetings (Sept. and Oct.) prior to the vote in November, and will appear again in the November/December newsletter.


Hello Friends!

Dear Members!

Once again, spectacular Autumn in Gettysburg is just around the corner, when Mother Nature blazes through the battlefield bringing her vibrant shades of golds, reds, and oranges across the fields, hills, and valleys.

And also, once again, we are headed back into our iconic GAR Hall for an amazing line up of programs, world class speakers, book raffles, special events, and the opportunity to reconnect with friends and to welcome new members.

This year we are going to try something new, and offer any members who would like, table space to sell their Civil War related items – your authored books, art work, photographs, or whatever you have created with a Civil War theme.

Your guidelines are:

• You must be a member of our roundtable to participate.

• Your set up time is 6:45 – 7:00 PM; Sale time 7:00 –7:30 PM inside the Hall.

• You must be present at your table during this time.

• Type of payment for items you are selling will be your choice.

• 10% of all sales will be donated to our Preservation Fund.

We will feature ONE member’s sales at each meeting.

To reserve the month of your choice, please enter your name, contact information and type of items on the sign up sheet as it comes around, or call the President (currently Lynn 717-398-2072) up until the day before the meeting date you are choosing

. We have a lot of talent_ed folks in our membership! Let’s see what you have! And we all love to shop! Best to you all,

- Lynn


October 27
James Pangburn
Meade's Pursuit After Gettysburg


November 17
Tracey McIntire & Audrey Scanlan-Teller
Women in the Civil War


December 1
Holiday Banquet
Garry Adelman

Civil War Photography




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