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


March 22, 2018


Hancock at Gettysburg

Paul Bretzger
CWRT Book Award Winner Author

Hancock’s actions at the battle of Gettysburg were far too many to describe in one meeting; so my presentation will discuss what Hancock did on the first day of the battle.

In the early afternoon of 1 July 1863, at Taneytown, Maryland, Hancock’s friend and army commander George Gordon Meade approached Hancock, in person, with news that there was substantial fighting outside the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, some twelve miles north of where they stood. Having heard that the commander of the field there, General John Reynolds, was either badly wounded or killed, leaving command of the field to General Oliver Otis Howard. General Meade ordered Hancock to ride to Gettysburg without his corps, where he was to take command of the field and report back to Meade whether Union troops present should withdraw, or if Meade should order the rest of the army forward to give battle at Gettysburg.

Upon reaching the field, Hancock had to deal with the thorough defeat and full retreat of the two Union army corps present, as well as handle an offended General Howard, who was insulted at being replaced by a junior in rank.

My presentation is largely the story of how these matters developed during that pivotal afternoon, and how Hancock handled them, setting the stage for the largest battle ever in the Western Hemisphere.

PAUL BRETZGER was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby Eatontown.

In 1987, Mr. Bretzger earned a B.A. in Historical Studies from Stockton University in Pomona, New Jersey. He also received, that year, the History Award for Outstanding Senior Thesis. He moved on to receive a Master of Architecture degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1992.

Mr. Bretzger thereafter lived and worked as an architect from the mid-1990s until 2016 in New York City. Meanwhile, he used his free time to study General Winfield Scott Hancock’s actions at the battle of Gettysburg and develop what became his book Observing Hancock at Gettysburg: The General’s Leadership through Eyewitness Accounts. He has written articles relating to Hancock at Gettysburg, published in Civil War News, HistoryNet, and Gettysburg Magazine.

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.

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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










Ellie Cingire Bilz, David Diner, Fred Hawthorne, Lynn Heller, Roger Heller, Hilda Koontz, Dale Molina, Larry Plymire, Ron Rock, Linda Seamon, Kendra Debany (past president)

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.


CWRT Field Trip - April 28, 2018

Scott Mingus Jr. will be our guide as we follow the route of Confederate General Jubal Early from Gettysburg to the Susquehanna River at Wrightsville and Columbia and then the return trip Early took back to Gettysburg.

Among the stops we will make are:

  • Abbottstown
  • Hanover Junction
  • Penn Park
  • Wrightsville
  • Columbia
  • Big Mount
We will spend considerable time discussing and learning about the Susquehanna River Bridge from Wrightsville to Columbia, the Great Fire, and it's impact on the Gettysburg Campaign.


Hello, Friends!!

Well, we’ve almost made it through the winter! March is always unpredictable, but we know that soon redbuds and green leaves are getting ready to burst forth, replacing the gray and brown of the winter battlefield. We all look forward to getting out on the field, feeling the air getting warmer and the sight of robins bopping around.

Everyone involved in the running of the roundtable deserves our special thanks for keeping it rolling along in the most efficient way. It takes a village! Today I would like to acknowledge a few members who consistently go above and beyond, contributing extra time and energy to assure a top notch organization.

Dave Joswick creates the most beautiful newsletter for us to enjoy. He is always flexible in adding in items at the last minute, and is so very creative in his layouts and information. Dave also is always willing to send out email blasts when necessary, and month after month produces the beautiful Certificate of Appreciation presented to our speakers.

Linda Joswick has developed a stunning web page, (www.gettysburgcwrt.org) full of information, upcoming events for the roundtable and civil war events in general, archived newsletters, meeting minutes, speakers list, and so much more. In a full time work week, she is able to carve out time to make sure everything we need to know about our roundtable is one click away.

Roger Heller has provided a masterful speakers roster, putting in a lot of his time emailing the speakers, making sure they have the information and equipment they need, and always searching for new ideas & speakers for our summer tours, & annual field trips and of course for our Holiday Banquet.

Dave Diner, our crackerjack treasurer, keeps our finances in apple pie order, and makes frequent trips to the bank and the post office to stay on top of every transaction that comes in or goes out. All the folks that work at the bank give him a “Hi Dave” wave, he is there so often.

So, when you see these folks at a meeting, please give them a hearty thank you!

And a hearty thank you to all you loyal members for supporting and contributing to the roundtable in so many ways.

- Lynn


April 26
Background for CWRT Field Trip
Civil War History of York County, PA

Scott MIngus


May 24
West Point Class of 1862
Brian McEnany


June 28
(Rain Date: July 12)
Confederate Sharpshooters in the Gettysburg Streets
Jarrad Fuoss


July 26
(Rain Date: August 2)
The Battle for the Seminary
Benjamin Neely


August 23
(Rain Date: August 30)
Camp Colt
Paul Shevchuk


September 27
Civil War Medical and Surgical Techniques
Peter D'Onofrio


October 25
96th PA Volunteers
David Ward


General Jacob Cox and the Battle of Franklin
Gene Schmiel


Members Holiday Party
Dr. Carol Reardon




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