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


October 24


The War Outside My Window:
The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860 -1865

Jan Croon

Invalid teenager LeRoy Wiley Gresham left a seven-volume diary spanning the years of secession and the Civil War (1860-1865). He was just 12 when he began and he died at 17, just weeks after the war ended. His remarkable account spans the gamut of life events that were of interest to a precocious and well-educated Southern teenager—including military, political, religious, social, and literary matters of the day. This alone ranks it as an important contribution to our understanding of life and times in the Old South. But it is much more than that. Chronic disease and suffering stalk the young writer, who is never told he is dying until just before his death.

His diary is also the only known account of the Civil War from the perspective of a young make non-combatant. These five years of detailed entries make LeRoy’s diary an exceedingly rare (and perhaps unique) social history from the nineteenth century. LeRoy’s diary offers an inside look at a fateful journey that robbed an energetic and likeable young man of his youth and life.

JANET E. CROON holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Modern European History, and Russian Language and Area Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1983), and a Master’s Degree in International Studies from the University of Dayton (1985). She has been teaching International Baccalaureate History for nearly two decades and developed a deep interest in the Civil War by living in northern Virginia. This is her first book.

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...

After a last minute thunderstorm caused postponement of our August 22 East Cavalry Field tour, we tried again on the 29th and were rewarded with a beautiful evening, Chris Army leading us in the footsteps of George Custer, JEB Stuart and a Confederate called Claw Hammer. I thought this was particularly interesting: I knew that earlier in the war the Cavaliers had run circles around their Federal counterparts. As Chris explained, the southern men had brought their own horses and the rapport between rider and mount was a big advantage against troops on army-issued transport. But by Brandy Station, a lot of those horses from home were dead, the rebels mounted on substitutes, the odds shifted accordingly.

I spent a goodly amount of time with George Custer and Chris Army this summer. In August, Chris and Jim Hessler, both Licensed Battlefield Guides, co-hosted a symposium, George Armstrong Custer and the Indian Wars. Having a long-time personal interest in the subject matter, I was delighted by the quality of the presentations. If Jim and Chris offer a follow-up next year, I would highly recommend it.

The aforementioned Hessler, himself a member of the Roundtable, led us through the Peach Orchard in June. In addition to his book, Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard: Longstreet, Sickles, and the Bloody Fight for Commanding Ground, you might also check out his Battle of Gettysburg podcasts. After two episodes on the Peach Orchard action, the latest posting is WTH Was Lee Thinking?

Back to Custer: I crossed his path again at Blue Ridge Summit, trying to understand the Battle of Monterey Pass. I was fortunate to find Joe Mieczkowski at the Visitor Center’s docent desk. Joe’s book After Gettysburg: Lee Retreats, Meade Pursues is enormously helpful in appreciating events of the Confederate withdrawal through this rugged region; Custer, of course, playing a major role in the stormy clash on the night of July 4.

Speaking of companion books. Those who attended our June gathering at the Cannon Shop may want to check out Roundtable member Brad Gottfried’s The Artillery of Gettysburg, available on Amazon.

We’re back inside the G.A.R. Hall this month. On Thursday evening, September 26, we’ll hear from Michael K. Shaffer, who teaches history at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. His talk is titled In Memory of Self and Comrades, the story of Thomas Wallace Colley’s service with the 1st Virginia Cavalry. Over the course of the war, the 1st Virginia was involved in 200+ actions, including the July 3 Cavalry charge on the ground toured last night.

On October 24, Janet Croon will be with us, sharing her well-reviewed book, The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865. According to William C. Davis, Croon’s study “is really a window looking into the thoughts and perceptions of a doomed teenager watching the Confederacy die even as he was dying himself.” The evening will include presentation of the Cal Doucette Achievement Award.

As we go into our fall programming, this would be a good time to tell someone about the Roundtable. I first learned of the group through Dale Molina, who I’d met at church. I’m glad she told me, and there’s probably a Civil War enthusiast out there who would be glad you told them.

See you on September 26, 7:00, at the GAR.



November 21
The Story of a Confederate Coat
Richard Lewis


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



Jan 23
The Spangler Farm
Ron Kirkwood


Feb 27
The Richmond Bread Riots
Dr. Ashley Luskey


March 26
Civil War Prison Camps
Bradley Gottfried


April 23
The Committee On the Conduct of the War
Mary Turk Meena


May 28
Manliness and Community in Confederate Camps
Dr. James Broomall


June 25 : July 2
Culp’s Hill Memorials
Richard Goedkoop


July 23: July 30
The Uses of the Battlefield in the 30’s and 40’s
Jared Frederick


August 27: Sept 3
The Other Side of East Cemetery Hill
Charles Fennell


September 24
Book Award Winner


October 22
Staff Officers and Their Impact on the Battle of Gettysburg
Douglas Douds


November 12
A Soldier and His Lady, Letters
Gene Barr


December 3
Holiday Banquet
Wayne Motts, subject TBD


News Briefs

October 13
Man Proposes, God Disposes: Calvinism In The Time Of Civil War.
Sermon by Bruce Davis at The Gettysburg Presbyterian Church. For more information see our Stuff To Do page.

October 22 • 6 pm
Presentation by Richard Bell:

Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped Into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home
at Joseph Theater, Breidenbaugh Hall 201, Gettysburg College.

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Civil War Trust Organization


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Reenactment photos courtesy of the Gettysburg Times
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