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


August 24, 2017


Monthly Meeting Notes

May 25, 2017

  • The March meeting of the Gettysburg Roundtable was called to order by Vice President Kendra Debany for Lynn Heller at 7:30. Approximately 55 members and guests were in attendance.
  • Cell phones off or on mute.
  • The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
  • Thanks to Jason Fritz, who provided refreshments.
  • Refreshment sign-up sheet was passed out.
  • Welcome to new members, and guests from Vermont and Hanover.
  • Envelope for Preservation donations was passed. It was mentioned that we made a contribution of $500.00 to the Save Historical Antietam Foundation during our field trip last week. Thanks to all who participated in our field trip to Antietam.
  • Kendra introduced Al Ferranto regarding “Show and Tell”. Al will coordinate this. This will begin in September.
  • Hilda conducted the Book Raffle. Five books were raffled.

Committee Reports:

  • Treasurer: Kendra gave Treasurer’s report in David Diner’s absence:
    Total Assets: 13,260.64
  • Recording Secretary: Eleanor Bilz: Minutes of last meeting are on the website.
  • Membership Committee: Linda Seamon: We added a couple of new members.
  • Program Committee: Roger Heller handed out a sheet with the summer program. Rain dates will be the following weeks, respectively. He also mentioned that the meeting time, starting in September, will be a half hour earlier; the refreshments will be out at 6:30 and the meetings will start at 7:00 p.m.
  • Plaque Committee: Kendra reported that they are meeting on Sunday to see a home on Chapel Road in Cumberland Township.
  • Book Committee: Larry Plymire, members are reading the books.
  • Nominating Committee: Ron Rock, nothing to report.

The business portion of the meeting ended at 7:50 p.m.

Kendra introduced Dr. Brian Jordan. His talk was on trials and tribulations soldiers faced as they returned to civilian life. It is based on his book Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War. After the talk and a Q&A session, Kendra presented Dr. Jordan with a framed certificate of appreciation and an honorarium.

Meeting ended at 8:30.
Respectfully submitted,
Eleanor Bilz, Recording Secretary

April 27, 2017

  • The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M. by President Lynn Heller
  • Lynn announced that our scheduled speaker Carol Reardon was unable to attend our meeting tonight. She had been in the hospital for severe knee pain caused by an arthritic condition and dehydration. but was hoping to present her lecture on Antietam while sitting. However, having only been discharged that morning, she did not feel up to delivering her talk. She sent her best regards to our roundtable & encourages everyone to stay hydrated! Lynn then remarked how fortunate we were to have Gettysburg Ranger John Hoptak as our speaker. John is an expert on the Battle of Antietam having been a ranger there for 8 years.
  • The Pledge of Allegiance was recited
  • Thanks to Deb Novotny for the refreshments
  • Thanks to Linda Seamon and Jean Kempa for setting them up!
  • Welcome new members and guests: New members: Jeanne and Tom Thierolf; Guest: Ken Farmer.

Lynn asked if anyone had anything to share:

  • Cyril Ackerman announced that at the Monterey Pass Visitor’s Center on March 25, 2017, an event was held honoring Medal of Honor recipients. It included a talk by John Miller.
  • Hilda Koontz shared that she recently presented a program on Women Spies in the Civil War
  • Roger Heller shared that he recently gave a talk about Conscientious Objectors in Adams County in York, PA

We have been announcing at our meetings a proposed change in the by laws for the President’s term of office. The vote is to be held at the April meeting.

  • The motion up for amendment: “The President’s term of service will be for two years, and renewal on a year to year basis, for no more than four years.”
  • Motion to second: Roger Heller
  • All in favor by voice vote: unanimous aye Opposed: none
  • Lynn stated: The By Laws stand amended.
  • Lynn thanked everyone who signed up for various committees, and for those who changed their method of receiving the newsletter from ‘snail mail’ to email.
  • The Preservation envelope was passed and returned to David Diner, Treasurer
  • Lynn announced that we will be making a $500.00 contribution to Save Historical Antietam Foundation
  • Lynn asked 3 Trivia Questions. Two members answer correctly and were each awarded a book raffle ticket.
  • The book raffle was conducted by Hilda and Spencer. Proceeds were given to the Treasure

Committee Reports:

  • Treasurer: David Diner:
    Investment Fund: $2,500.00
    Operational Fund: $7,573.68
    Preservation Fund: $3,186.96
    Total cash and bank accounts: $13,260.64

  • Membership Secretary: Linda Seamon: If any members do not receive a newsletter, your membership may have elapsed, and needs to be renewed. Call or email Linda.

  • Audit Committee: Lynn received the annual audit from Linda Seamon. Lynn read the report to the members: “On behalf of the GCWR Audit Committee: Hilda Koontz, Linda Joswick, and Linda Seamon, we submit the following: Receipts, Bank Accounts, and Statements are all in order. The budget that was passed last year seems to be on target so we do not recommend any changes at present. Mr. Diner has done an excellent job of record keeping. On behalf of the roundtable we thank him for his attention to details and all the work he has performed. March, 2017.”

  • Recording Secretary: Lynn for Eleanor Cingire Bilz: The minutes of our monthly meetings and Board Meetings are now posted on our Web Page, gettysburgcwrt.org, beginning with the March, 2017 minutes.

  • Book Committee: Larry Plymire: The members of this committee are busy reading and reviewing CW books published in 2016. The announcement of the 2017 winner will be made at our Holiday Banquet Thursday, December 7.

  • Program Committee: Roger Heller: The speaker for May will be Brian Jordan, and the summer “on the field” programs - for members only - will be Sue Boardman, Caitlin Brown, and John Hoptak. The May 20 bus trip to Antietam is ‘sold out”, but there is a waiting list of 10 people.
  • Nominating Committee: Lynn for Ron Rock: Candidates for the annual April elections are:

Vice President: Kendra Debany
President: Lynn Heller
Membership Secretary: Linda Seamon
Board Members: Dale Molina, Fred Hawthorne

Lynn asked if there were any nominations from the floor: There were none.

Lynn asked for a motion to close the nominations: Roger so moved; Hilda second. All in favor; unanimous aye.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the slate. The new slate of Officers and Board Members is carried, with thanks.

  • The Cal Doucette Achievement Award: Lynn for Ron Rock: A recipient has been chosen by the committee. Lynn announced that Barbara Finfrock is the well deserved winner, and since present at tonight’s meeting, received a hearty round of applause. The award will be announced in the July newsletter and presented to Barbara at the September meeting.

  • Plaque Committee: Deb Novotny: 2 new applications are being reviewed. 10 new plaques will be purchased

Lynn Introduced John Hoptak as tonight’s speaker. John is a full time Ranger at Gettysburg, an historian, and author. He gave a lively, informative, entertaining, and captivating talk about the Battle of Antietam, followed by a Q & A.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 PM, by President Heller. Respectfully submitted by Lynn Heller, for Eleanor Cingire Bilz.

March 23, 2017
  • The March meeting of the Gettysburg Roundtable was called to order by President Lynn Heller at 7:30. Approximately 65 members and guests were in attendance.
  • The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
  • Thanks to Barbara Burkman, who provided refreshments.
  • Thanks to members who stepped up to form Refreshment Committee: Linda Seamon, Jean Kempa and Mollie Back. Refreshment sign-up sheet was passed.
  • Welcome to new members and guests.
  • Shared information: Nunsense Musical still has seats available, Park Seminar still has availability and Lynn shared an article in the Gettysburg Times regarding the Heritage Hall at the Gettysburg Presbyterian Church as it featured three members of the Roundtable, Chuck Teague, Dale Molina, and Eleanor Bilz.
  • Envelope for Preservation donations was passed. It was mentioned that Norm Danis donated $25.00 from the sale of his rifle to the Preservation Fund. Flyers and other items for sale in lobby on counter. We will be making a contribution of $500.00 to the Save Historical Antietam Foundation during our field trip in May.
  • Opportunities for members to serve the roundtable:
    • Someone or persons to help Roger on the Program Committee. Suggest speakers and greet speakers at the meeting.
    • Someone or persons to form an AV committee - set up the projector and lap top at the beginning of each meeting.
    • Someone or persons to help with the Holiday Banquet Door Prize Table. Collect items & set up displays at the banquet.
  • Lynn introduced Al Ferranto to talk about “Show and Tell”. Al will coordinate this. If you have anything of interest such as a relic, photo or family history, you may speak on it for no more than 10 minutes. If nothing is brought forth for a particular meeting, Al will bring in some of his items to display. Every meeting will have a Show and Tell segment. This will begin in September.
  • Hilda and Spence conducted the Book Raffle. Four books were raffled.
  • Lynn’s Trivia Question regarding who is the brother-in-law of General Roger B. Taney, was answered correctly by Larry Sherfy. The answer is Francis Scott Key


Lynn asked if anyone had an old (used) laptop which they would be willing to donate to the Roundtable for use by our guest speakers.

Committee Reports:

    • Treasurer: Lynn gave Treasurer’s report in David Diner’s absence:

      Investment Fund: 2,500.00
      Operational Fund: 8,750.80
      Preservation Fund: 2,951.96
      Total Assets: 14,202.76

    • Recording Secretary: Minutes of last meeting are in the kitchen.
    • Membership Committee: Linda Seamon: There are 17 people from the 2016 membership who have not yet renewed their 2017 membership.
    • Program Committee: Roger Heller announced that Carol Reardon will be speaker for April 27 meeting. She is the guide for our May 20 field trip to Antietam. All seats are filled for this trip and if there is enough interest, another trip might be set up in the Fall.
    • Plaque Committee: Nothing to report.
    • Book Committee: Larry Plymire Nothing new to report.
    • Nominating Committee: Ron Rock In April, the membership will vote on the motion to change the by-laws to allow the President to serve a two-year term, renewable on a year-to-year basis for up to four years. If this passes, Lynn has agreed to continue to serve as our President, since no other names were put forth by the membership. Kendra is candidate for Vice President, Linda is candidate for Membership Secretary, and Dale Molina and Fred Hawthorn are candidates for Board Members.

The business portion of the meeting ended at 7:50 p.m.

Lynn then introduced our evening’s speaker, Tom Ryan. Tom is our 2015 Book Award Recipient for his multiple award winning book: Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign. His presentation tonight is based on this book, and he will be telling the story of how intelligent operations influenced the actions or non- actions of Gen. Lee and Gen. Meade. Tom is an historian lecturer, and author, and a veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Department of Defense. Following a few questions, Lynn presented Mr. Ryan with a framed certificate of appreciation and an honorarium.

Respectfully submitted,

Eleanor Bilz, Recording Secretary


October 26
Raised from Obscurity:
The Calvary Battles of Aldie, Middleburg
and Upperville on the Road to Gettysburg

Kevin Pawlak


November 16
The Other Gettysburg Address
David Dixon


December 7
Members Holiday Party
Dobbin House




Gettysburg CWRT New Meeting Time in September

Beginning with our September meeting…a new starting time: Doors open at 6:30 PM for refreshments; meeting
begins at 7 PM.

Finfrock is Doucette Achievement Award winner

Barbara Finfrock’s 24 years of tireless labor have had a significant impact on making the Gettysburg National Military Park what it is today. For all her accomplishments, the Gettysburg Civil War Round Table would like to thank her by selecting Barbara as this year’s Cal Doucette Achievement Award winner.

The Cal Doucette Achievement Award, was created in memory of a CWRT Board member who felt that recognition should be given to honor people who do something special for the Park and for the study of Civil War history. Barbara has been doing something special for years, and although we will be presenting her with a plaque at our September 28 meeting, in reality (with apologies to General Sickles), the whole Battlefield is Barbara’s monument. Please try to attend. Read more...


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