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


Meeting date: October 26


Illinois Regiments at Gettysburg

Dennis Doyle

During the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), there were three Illinois Regiments that served in the Army of Potomac. Those regiments were the 8th and 12th Illinois Cavalry and the 82nd Infantry Regiment and a total of 1,027 men served during the Battle of Gettysburg.  The three Illinois regiments also suffered nine men killed during the battle, thirty four men were wounded and ninety six men were either missing or captured during the battle.

The total strength of the Army of Potomac was an estimated at 90,000 men and although Illinois contributed a small number to the Army of Potomac, they served with distinction and devotion during the three day battle.

On orders from General John Buford, the Cavalry Corps 1st Division commander, the 8th Illinois Regiment was the first Federal soldiers to arrive at Gettysburg on the afternoon of June 30,1863, as General Buford had great respect for 8th Illinois Cavalry Regiment as an effective, well lead and experienced combat unit. 

The 8th Illinois Regiment comprised of 470 men and most were from either Chicago, Illinois or the Western suburbs of Chicago and the Regiment was founded by U.S. Representative John Farnsworth, a friend of President Lincoln and important political ally in Illinois and Congress.  The Regiment was led by Major John Beveridge of Chicago, who would later go on to become Illinois Governor in 1873.

The 12th Illinois Cavalry Regiment also served with the 8th Illinois, as the 12th only had five companies at Gettysburg for a total of 233 men present during the Battle of Gettysburg.  They were led by a Colonel George Chapman, a talented cavalry officer respected by General Buford.

Both the 8th and 12th Illinois would serve well on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, as Lt. Marcellus Jones would fire the first shot of the battle on the morning of July 01.  The two regiments would later retreat through Gettysburg and protected the Army of Potomac’s left flank on Cemetery Hill on the evening of July 01 and the morning of July 02.

Also present was the 82nd Illinois Regiment, which was comprised of mostly German born soldiers and many were recruited from Chicago.  Under the overall command of Major General Oliver Howard, the 82nd Illinois Regiment would serve in the 11th Corp.

On the afternoon of July 01, General Howard had placed the 82nd Illinois and many of the 11th Corps, 3rd Division just north of Gettysburg to defend the town from the attacking Ewell Corp from the Army of Northern Virginia. 

The 82nd Illinois would suffer many loses in this area north of Gettysburg, as they were caught in a cross fire and outnumbered, and in the later afternoon of July 01, General Howard gave the order to retreat and regroup on East Cemetery Hill.

During the second and third days of the Battle of Gettysburg, the 82nd Illinois would defend this area and see some heavy fighting on Culps Hill.

Dennis Doyle has an MA in Early American History from American University, an MA in Sociology from DePaul University, and a BA from Colorado State University

Dennis is the current History and Sociology Professor at Joliet Jr. College in Joliet, Illinois. He is the current Vice President of Chicago Civil War Round Table and future 2024-2025 President.

Dennis is currently conducting research and writing a scholarly article for Gettysburg Magazine on the 11th New York Light Artillery at Gettysburg (my GG-Grandfather served in the 11th NYLA for three years and was at Gettysburg for the battle-his name was Private Charles T. Bennett).

Recent Civil War Presentations include Kenosha Civil War Museum, Milwaukee CWRT, Indianapolis CWRT, Northern Colorado CWRT and the Chicago CWRT.

He is a long time college and high school football referee and was the Head Referee for the Dublin, Ireland “Football Kickoff Classic” August, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland.

Our meetings are the Fourth Thursday of each month.

We meet at ACHS Battlefield Overlook Events Center, 625 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg, PA. The doors open at 6:30 pm. Meeting starts at 7:00 pm.

The meeting will also be live-streamed. Please see below for information.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

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Bruce Davis, President  402.686.6969

Michele Hessler, Vice President

Veronica Brestensky, Recording Secretary 412.719.3577

Linda Seamon, Membership Secretary 717.359.7339

David Diner, Treasurer 717.420.5730

Roger Heller, Program Director 717.398.2072

Linda Joswick, Webmaster 717.253.5477

Lynn Heller, Facebook Administrator 717.398.2072


(2024) Abbie Hoffman, Lynn Heller; (2025) Rip Engle, Roger Heller; (2026) Ted Hirt, Jaimee Umstattd
Board Member Ex Officio:
Therese Orr

Next Board Meeting:

Board Meetings are the second Thursday of January, March, May, July, September and November. We meet at 6 pm at Perkins Restaurant & Bakery at 859 York Street, Gettysburg. Minutes will be posted on the website.

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.


Reynolds Woods Witness Tree Pen Set Sold Out

The Witness Tree Pen Sets have been sold out. Thank you to all that bought a pen set for supporting the CWRT of Gettysburg.


Introducing the first issue of our new Newsletter!

Read the complete issue here.

You can view videos of past meetings on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/CivilWarRoundTableOfGettysburg/live/

You do not need to be a member of FaceBook to view the videos.

This is a very exciting time for the Gettysburg Civil War Round of Table as we move our meetings to the brand new Event Center at the Adams County Historical Society on Biglerville Road. Our Round Table was founded in 1957 by leaders of the ACHS and seems to have operated as the Civil War arm of the organization. I see our moving to the marvelous new facility as a reunion of sort. The space is perfect for our functional needs, including ample free parking, and a scenic view of the battlefield overlooking the monuments on Howard Avenue east to Barlow’s Knoll. While the location will be different, most everything else will stay the same. The meetings from September through May will be on the fourth Thursday evening of the month, starting at 7:00. For those unable to be with us in person, we’ll be livestreaming on our website, cwrtgettysburg.org, then archiving the programs for “on demand” viewing. In the summer months, we’ll be on the battlefield, still on the 4th Thursdays, the tours of June, July and August starting at 6:00. When I was first elected president of the board, I was cautioned not to recruit new members as we were already at maximum seating capacity in the historic Grand Army of the Republic Hall on East Middle Street. That won’t be an issue at the new meeting site and we’re very much hoping to receive a strong wave of new enlistments. You’ll find membership information elsewhere on this page. Thanks for checking us out!

Bruce Davis



November 16
Janet McCabe
The Story of Rufus Weaver


Wednesday, December 6
Holiday Banquet at The Dobbin House
Jill Titus
Gettysburg in 1963



January 25
Codie Eash
The Summer of 1869:
Gettysburg's First Blue-Gray Reunion


February 22
Bruce Davis
Defending General O. O. Howard


March 28
Allen Thompson
In the Shadow of the Round Tops


April 25
Stephen Evangelista
Brown's Rhode Island Battery


May 23
Lisa Samia
The Nameless & Faceless of the Civil War in Poetry


June 8 (Saturday 9:30 am to noon)
Fred Hawthorne
Places Every Guide Should Know: Hancock Avenue Edition


June 27 (Rain date June 28)
Jasan Hileman
Red Carroll's Brigade


July 25 (Rain date July29)
Larry Korcyzk
The Wheatfield — Part 2


August 22 (Rain date August 26)
Ralph Seigel
11th Corps Program TBA


September 26
Derek Maxfield
General William T. Sherman's Civil War


October 24
Jeff Harding
How Weather Effected the Civil War


November 21
John Heiser
The George Rose Farm of Gettysburg


December 5 - Holiday Banquet
Charles Fennell
Culp's Hill "Rediscovered"



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