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 27, 2018


Civil War Medical and Surgical Techniques

Peter D'Onofrio

The Civil War was the first modern war and resulted in the highest number of U.S. casualties per capita of any of our wars as between 750,00 and 850,000 men perished (approximately 8 million in today’s population), including roughly 50,000 civilians; 25% of those involved died. These casualties exceeded the total of killed in the American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Spanish-American War, WW I, WW II, the Korean Conflict, and over half of those killed in Viet Nam combined and affected, either directly or indirectly, nearly every family in the North and South

While the impact on the U.S. population was obvious, what is not appreciated, even now, is the rapid advances made by American medicine that were stimulated by this conflict. This presentation will inform the audience of the background, procedures, and personnel that lead to the advancements, many of which are the basis of techniques and procedures that are used today, and their impact on the subsequent development of American Medicine.

Dr. Peter D’Onofrio is the President and Chief Executive Officer of THE SOCIETY OF CIVIL WAR SURGEONS, INC., a non-profit, tax-exempt, international educational organization whose purpose is to educate the general public, as well as fellow re-enactors, as to the life, times, and role of the Civil War medical professional.

Dr. D’Onofrio is currently engaged in authoring a compilation of medically related books, pamphlets, articles, etc. dealing with Civil War era medicine from roughly 1845 to the present day. Dr. D’Onofrio received his doctoral degree in American History in the Summer of 1998. He is a Guest Lecturer in the Department of History of The Ohio State University.

Recently, Dr. D’Onofrio was instrumental in working with the Gettysburg Battlefield Park in setting up the first ever medical living history weekend (2004) to be held on park property. This effort has resulted in an invitation to repeat this weekend, ever since, on an annual basis.

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 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 Lynn at 717-398-2072.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

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

Kendra Debaney.....................................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










Fred Hawthorne, Roger Heller, Hilda Koontz, Dale Molina, Bill Myers, Larry Plymire

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.


Here is your RT membership renewal reminder for 2019

Enclosed with your newsletter is a membership form for the upcoming calendar year 2019. This is the form that should accompany your renewal dues. Please get rid of any old forms you may have as this is the only one acceptable. Note, it reflects the current and correct cost for renewal membership: $30 for individuals and $45 for a family, as well as prorated amounts for new members joining later during the calendar year. You can also find the form at our Membership page.

Camp Letterman site update

Glen Hayes from the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association has been working for almost two years in an impressive effort to save 17 acres from development at the site, which is owned by S&A Homes.

He has initiated a letter writing campaign, resulting in a voluminous amount of letters to S&A Homes, written by historical societies, roundtables (Lynn Heller has written twice on behalf of our roundtable), historians, including James McPherson, Harold Holzer, and Gary Gallagher, and preservation societies. Petitions have also been sent. The overwhelming public support from 37 states, Canada, England, and Italy, shows that Camp Letterman is an important part of the Battle of Gettysburg to many people. Resolution is expected in September.
For more information and an indepth interview with Glen Hayes go to www.historynet.com. In the search window type interview glen hayes and hit enter.

Hello, Friends!!

All seasons are special in Gettysburg, but autumn on the battlefield is hard to beat!

As we return to the GAR Hall for our indoor programs, there are already some golden and crimson colors creeping into the ridges and fields, Soon the hallowed ground will be aglow with full blown autumn splendor.

I know that many of you were able to enjoy the wonderful summer “in the field” programs…one of the many benefits of being a roundtable member. In June we were led by Ranger Jarrad Fuoss through the southern end of town, as he related the experiences of the citizens and soldiers as the sharpshooting continued throughout the three days of the battle. Ben Neely, CEO of the Adams County Historical Society, led our July tour around the grounds and fields of the Seminary, where the drama of the “Battle for the Seminary” played out on July 1, 1863. As we stood and walked in the area of Camp Colt in August, Paul Shevchuk, retired park ranger, discussed the history of the Camp and the importance of Eisenhower’s experience as Commander of the Tank Corps to his future military career. Thanks to Roger Heller for putting together three outstanding programs, and thanks to all who attended.

It’s not too early to begin thinking of our Holiday Banquet on December 6 at The Dobbin House. More details in the November newsletter. Speaker Carol Reardon will not fail to disappoint! Do you have items you would like to donate as a Door Prize? Would you like to help? In the meantime, we have a great lineup of Fall speakers, so, I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the Historic GAR Hall. Doors open at 6:30 PM; meeting starts at 7.

- Lynn


October 25
96th PA Volunteers
David Ward


November 15
General Jacob Cox and the Battle of Franklin
Gene Schmiel


December 6
Members Holiday Party
Dr. Carol Reardon




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