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


July 25, 2019


The Battle of the Peach Orchard

James Hessler

LBG James Hessler will lead a battlefield tour on the attack and defense of Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard. The Peach Orchard is one of the most underrated positions on the battlefield. The orchard’s occupation by General Sickles dictated General Meade’s defense, while General Lee designated it as one of his July 2 objectives. The position’s artillery value also significantly influenced Lee’s decision to launch Pickett’s Charge on July 3.

LBG Britt Isenberg is also tentatively scheduled to appear, and Jim & Britt will discuss many of the stories that are included in their new book, Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard.

Park and meet on Sickles Avenue in front of the Excelsior Brigade monument at 6 PM. The tour will consist of light walking in the vicinity of the Peach Orchard. Walking will consist of roughly 0.75 miles. We may visit the Sherfy house if permission can be arranged.

James Hessler has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park since 2003.

Jim has written three books on the Gettysburg campaign. His first book Sickles at Gettysburg (2009) was awarded the R.E. Lee Civil War Round Table’s “Bachelder Coddington Award” and the Gettysburg Civil War Round Table’s “Distinguished Book Award” as the most outstanding work on the Gettysburg Campaign.

His second book Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg (2015) was co-authored with Wayne Motts and is the first battlefield guide ever published on the famous July 3 assault. Jim’s third book Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard is scheduled for release in June 2019.

Jim has been a guest on Travel Channel, NPR, PCN-TV, Breitbart News, Civil War Radio, and Gettysburg Daily. He was one of the primary content designers for the Civil War Trust’s mobile Gettysburg application. Jim has written articles for Gettysburg Magazine and other national publications. He is a frequent speaker at Civil War Round Tables and has taught courses for the Gettysburg Foundation and Harrisburg (PA) Area Community College. He also leads tours in Washington D.C. and Little Bighorn, Montana.

Our meetings are the Fourth Thursday of each month.

From September to May, we meet at the GAR Building, 53 East Middle Street. Socializing starting at 6:30 pm, the program starting at 7.

Whenever severe weather is predicted, program information can be found on the roundtable website and Facebook page after 3 PM. Or you can call Bruce at 1-402-686-6969 or email brdgettysburg@gmail.com.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

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Bruce Davis ..............................................President

Hilda Koontz............................................Vice President

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

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

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

Roger Heller .......................................Program Director

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

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

Lynn Heller.................................Facebook Administrator











Fred Hawthorne (5/20), Roger Heller (5/22), Joe Mieczkowski 5/22), Peter Miele (5/21) Dale Molina (5/20), Bill Myers (5/21)
Board Member Ex Officio:
Larry Plymire, Past President: Lynn Heller (5/21)

Next Board Meeting:

Board Meetings are open to all members. Meetings begin at 6:00 pm at Perkins Restaurant in Gettysburg. If you would like to eat before the meeting, please arrive by 5:30 pm. Board meetings are the second Thursday of January, March, May, July, September, and November.

Board Meeting Minutes



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.


Your Membership has Benefits!

  • The Seminary Ridge Museum: 20% off Membership; 50% off admission ticket (does not include Cupola Tour).
  • Gettysburg Heritage center Annual Pass discount
  • Farnsworth house 10% discount on food
  • Regimental Quartermaster 5% discount

Your card can be picked up at any monthly meeting, or contact Linda Seamon llseamon@aol.com.

Greetings to all...

My name is Bruce Davis and this is my first communication as the newly-elected President of the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable. If you’re saying “Bruce Who?” I completely understand, as I only joined the group last fall. Sitting in the back row of the GAR Hall, I heard Lynn Heller asking for nominations of people to serve as president. I was too new to even know of anyone to nominate, though it did occur to me the job sounded like fun. I read a written notice to the same effect, then heard Lynn reiterating that the group still needed someone to step up as president. As the Civil War generation was not averse to speaking Biblically, neither shall I be: Like Isaiah, hearing the voice of the Lord, “Whom shall I send?”; I said, with no small amount of trepidation, “Here I am, Lynn, use me!”—quick to add that if a more veteran member—which would include most anyone else—stepped up, I would quickly withdraw my name from consideration. Well, here I am!

I like to think this is service to which I am well-suited. I recently retired after 44 years of United Methodist ministry, most of that spent leading large membership multi-staff congregations. My wife Nancy is herself an ordained Methodist pastor. We had been in Omaha, Nebraska, for thirteen years and had no intention of enduring another winter on the plains. With children and grandchildren spread out from the Mountain West to the Bordeaux wine region of France, we had our pick of places to retire—and chose Gettysburg. I first experienced Gettysburg in childhood, traipsing battlefields with my father, and had been a frequent visitor since. While Nancy’s interest in the Civil War is limited, she was very attracted to the town itself, the physical beauty of the region, and proximity to the great cities of the east. We count ourselves very blessed to be here.

I suspect one of the reasons no one was stepping up for the Roundtable presidency was full-knowledge that Lynn Heller would be a tough act to follow. Frankly, I told Lynn I thought the Roundtable would be best served if she continued in the job, but she explained that she was up against term limits which had already been extended. Happily, she’ll continue to on the board; as I understand it, most all theserve present board members will continue, which is incredibly welcome. Lynn has kindly offered every encouragement, including coordination of the Christmas event. (Not being a party planner, myself, I am particularly glad of that.) I’ve told Lynn, I’ve told those Board members I’ve met, and I’ll tell you: Given my newness to the organization, I’ll be depending on a lot of input and suggestion. My preferred method of correspondence is e-mail, the address: brdgettysburg@gmail.com. I like putting names and faces together, and toward that end invite you to “Friend” me on Facebook. Please know that I will take stewardship of the Roundtable very seriously and that I look forward to serving with each of you.



August 22
East Cavalry Field
Chris Army


September 26
Thomas W. Colley's Civil War
Experience in the 1st VA Cav.

Dr. Michael Shaffer


October 24
The Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham
Jan Croon


November 21
The Story of a Confederate Coat
Richard Lewis


December 5
Members Holiday Party
The Park and It's History
Benjamin Dixon



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