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


May 24, 2018


The Civil War History
of the West Point Class of 1862

Brian R. McEnany

During the tense months leading up to the American Civil War, the cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point continued their education even as the nation threatened to dissolve around them. Cadets from both the north and south struggled to understand John Brown’s Raid, the secession of eleven states from the Union, and the attack on Fort Sumter. By graduation day, half the Class of 1862 had resigned; only twenty-eight remained and their class motto—“Joined in a Common Cause”—was about to be severely tested.

Brian R. McEnany will present a fascinating story about West Point and the tumultuous months after Lincoln’s election when cadets struggled to understand John Brown’s Raid, the secession of eleven states from the Union, and the attack on Fort Sumter. Should they resign to defend their families and states or bear allegiance to the Union they had sworn to uphold? The decisions they reached ultimately caused half the Class of 1862 to resign – and one of those that left fired the first round at Fort Sumter! He will also present vivid accounts of several Union and Confederate ex-classmates, providing new perspectives on the struggles of junior officers in both armies.

Brian R. McEnany, a graduate of West Point, is a historical writer and lecturer, focusing on West Point and the Class of 1862 during the Civil War. Military history has always intrigued him but it was not until he retired that he put his skills as an analyst of military operations to good use in writing his book, For Brotherhood and Duty, published in 2015.

He is a member of the Bull Run Civil War Roundtable, and frequently leads tours to various battlefields and sites in Northern Virginia. He has given presentations about West Point during the Civil War to various Civil War Round Tables, and many other agencies. He has authored articles on John Brown’s Raid and West Point during the Civil War in notable magazines.

Brian and his wife, Lillian, live in Vienna, Virginia.

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

You can now use your credit card or PayPal to securely pay for your Membership Dues. Please see the Membership page for the link.


Join or Renew Your Membership



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.


Heads up for the July and August
In-the-Field programs

Please take note of our Roundtable’s upcoming programs over the summer. Make your plans now to attend:

July 26: Benjamin Neely – The Battle for the Seminary. Meet in front of the Seminary Ridge Museum, park in their lot. RAIN DATE: August 2.

August 23: Paul Shevchuk – Camp Colt. We will meet in the old visitor center parking lot across from the National Cemetery parking lot. RAIN DATE: Thursday August 30.

All programs begin at 6 PM. Details will be in the July/August

News from 'round the TABLE

  • Thanks to all of you who have switched your newsletter delivery from regular mail to email.
  • In the spirit of us all getting to know each other better, Lynn would like to receive a short biography—three sentences!—from each person, so that she can briefly introduce one member, who is in attendance, at each meeting. She will read them in the order received, so if you would like to participate, please email Lynn: lynnheller7577@gmail.com, or hand her your bio at a meeting. Include whatever you would like the group to know about you. Thank you!
  • Anyone willing to help set up and clean up the Refreshment Table for the May meeting, please contact Lynn by email or call 717-398- 2072.
  • A great deal of thanks to Ron Rock, who has served the Roundtable for many years…as a board member, chair of the Nominating Committee, and chair of the Cal Doucette Achievement Award Committee. He has stepped down from these leadership roles, having done done an outstanding job in all these capacities. We truly appreciate his care and devotion to the roundtable, and will continue to enjoy seeing him at our monthly meetings.


Hello, Friends!!

Oh to be in Gettysburg, now that Spring is here! Aren’t you glad it’s not still snowing?

If you haven’t looked at our Web Page lately, I recommend that you check it out: cwrtgettysburg.org. Linda Joswick has done an amazing job of compiling an incredible amount of information for all us Civil War enthusiasts to utilize and enjoy.

On the site you can find:

  • A list of all the upcoming speakers and their topics.
  • Membership information, and the ability to pay for dues with your credit card or Pay Pal.
  • Phone numbers of all Officers and Board members.
  • Links to many roundtables around the country.
  • Many, many Civil War sites of interest.
  • All of the most recent causes to which your Preservation donations have contributed.
  • Archived newsletters as far back as 2008.

    If you have suggestions about items you would like to see added to our web page, please contact Lynn at lynnheller7577@gmail.com, or Linda Joswick at linda_joswick@yahoo.com.

    May 24 will be our last indoor meeting until our meeting on Sept. 27.

    Our outdoor summer programs were so popular last year, and this year is gearing up to be just as well received. The tour leaders, dates, & rain dates can be found...you guessed it...on the Web Page!

    Looking forward to seeing you all at the May meeting with speaker, Scott Mingus, Sr.

    Cheers, - Lynn


    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




    News Briefs

    facebookLike us on Facebook at Civil War Round Table of Gettysburg

    Civil War Trust Organization


    Did you buy a Raffle Ticket at the meeting? If so, see where your money went.



    Home | Meetings | Links | Join/Renew | Preservation | Contacts| Newsletters

    Reenactment photos courtesy of the Gettysburg Times
    Book Chat Newsletter