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

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June 24 (Rain Date June 29)

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

The June meeting will be on the battlefield and live-streamed
and NOT a gathering at the GAR Hall.

This meeting will be streamed live at the below address:
https://www.facebook.com/CivilWarRoundTableOfGettysburg/live/

You do not need to be a member of FaceBook to view this meeting.

For further instructions on how to sign into the meeting, please view this PDF.


Colonel Chapman Biddle's Brigade at Gettysburg

Larry Korczyz

"...all felt a decisive battle was about to take place."

The battle walk, which will meet at the gravel parking lot on Country Club Lane (part of the old country club property), We will cover the battle action of Colonel Chapman Biddle's First Corp brigade on July 1, 1863. This unheralded and often overlooked fighting unit will suffer horrific losses on July 1 attempting to defend an indefensible position on McPherson's Ridge. We will discuss the incredible bravery of the commanding officers and the men in the rank and file. Our trek will cover approx. 1/4 mile of walking on Reynolds Avenue visiting each regimental monument of the brigade and a short history of the monuments. So walk in the footsteps of bravery, courage, and sacrifice.

Larry Korczyk has been a licensed battlefield guide at Gettysburg National Military Park for 9-years. He passed the park service exam and became a guide in March 2013. Prior to this, he worked for 30-years in the logistics industry as a manager at two large distribution centers in New Jersey. However, always having a love of history, he read extensively on the American Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg, joined a Civil War Round Table in NJ, became an active reenactor with the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry for 22-years, and dreamed of becoming a licensed battlefield guide. In 2012 he moved to Gettysburg, studied for the exam, and realized a 22-year pursuit. Today, Larry is a published author with his book Top Ten at Gettysburg and is working on a second book titled Valor at Gettysburg. He is a frequent speaker before Civil War groups and actively guides throughout the year.


Our meetings are the Fourth Thursday of each month.

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OFFICERS

Bruce Davis ..............................................President

Peter Miele ............................................Vice President

Eleanor Cingire Bilz...........................Recording Secretary

Linda Seamon...............................Membership Secretary

David Diner...................................................Treasurer

Roger Heller .......................................Program Director

Linda Joswick .............................................Webmaster

Lynn Heller.................................Facebook Administrator

402.686.6969

petemiele@gmail.com

717.420.2183

717.359.7339

717.420.5730

717.398.2072

717.253.5477

717.398.2072

BOARD MEMBERS

Fred Hawthorne (5/22), Lynn Heller (5/24), Roger Heller (5/22), Michele Hessler (5/23), Abbie Hoffman (5/23), Leon Reed 5/24)
Board Member Ex Officio:
Therese Orr

Next Board Meeting:

Board Meetings are are virtual meetings until it is safe to meet again. Minutes will be posted.

Board Meeting Minutes

 

COMMITTEES

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.

EVENT INFORMATION

 

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.

GETTYSBURG AT CHICKAMAUGA

On Thursday evening, April 22, award-winning educator Carolyn Ivanoff graced the Civil War Round Table of Gettysburg with an illustrated lecture: “Clara Barton and the Missing Soldiers Officers.” Bright and early the next morning, my wife and I set off on a celebratory post-covid vaccination road trip and by dinner time were in Chattanooga, Tennessee, itself rich in Civil War history. At the end of August 1862, Chattanooga was the launch point of what one historian has characterized as “the most extensive, and, had it been successful, far-reaching campaign ever attempted by any Confederate commander.” The plan was indeed audacious. General Braxton Bragg had designs on marching north through Tennessee, liberating Kentucky, then moving across the Ohio River to Cincinnati and points beyond, even the Great Lakes, sowing panic among the Unionists. As a clergy type, I’ve been particularly interested in his charge to the troops, “Let us but deserve success and an offended Deity will certainly assure it.” Perhaps the army was not deserving--though I’m more inclined to think “Deity” was offended by human bondage. At any rate, Bragg made it only as far as Perryville, Kentucky, some seventy miles short of Louisville. Engaged by the Federals on October 8, the Secessionists took a hit, but inflicted more casualties than were received. To the chagrin of his top lieutenants, Bragg put the army into reverse gear, commencing a long recession that would include battles at Murfreesboro and Tullahoma in Tennessee, each sending the rebels further south. By late summer 1863, Bragg army was back in Chattanooga, and with Federals still coming, retreated yet again, across the state line to Chickamauga Creek in North Georgia.

Hardly anything had gone right for the Confederates this summer. Given the disasters at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, Jeff Davis needed a win in the worst way and decided to reinforce Bragg for a new offensive. James Longstreet and John Bell Hood were detached from Lee’s army, taking veterans recently engaged at Gettysburg to Georgia, . The Lincoln administration countered by dispatching troops from the Army of the Potomac. At Gettysburg, Oliver Otis Howard and XI Corps had occupied Cemetery Hill; Henry Slocum and the 12th were on Culp’s Hill; now both were loaded onto trains bound for Chattanooga.

Longstreet’s men had the more torturous journey. The Confederate states weren’t into uniform track gauges and connections, and the reinforcers endured a roundabout journey of almost three weeks, over sixteen separate rail lines, to move 775 miles. They were no sooner off the last train than thrust into battle. Stop #4 on the Chickamauga auto tour marks the gap exploited by John Bell to cleave the Federal line right from left. Hood, who had lost the use of an arm when struck by a shell at Gettysburg, took a ball to his right leg, resulting in amputation to within four inches of the hip. If you wonder sometimes how Civil War students can have respect for the Southern soldier, consider that General Hood, down to one leg and one usable arm, would be back with the army for the 1864 fighting season.

The most evocative place on the Chickamauga battlefield is Snodgrass Hill, where George Thomas became “The Rock of Chickamauga. When Hood’s attack sent the Federal high command fleeing back to Chattanooga, Thomas, a Virginian who remained loyal to the Union, stuck to his guns. A wonderful set of monuments mark where the “Rock” bent his line to meet Longstreet’s assault from the south, even as his troops continued to fend off attacks along their east-facing front. Thomas held on until nightfall, then got his men over Missionary Ridge to the relative safety of Chattanooga. While it’s somewhat off the tour route, the visitor can locate General Bragg’s headquarters, where General Longstreet was among those reporting a great victory and urging prompt pursuit of the disorganized enemy. Bragg, whose most recent biography is titled The Most Hated Man In The Confederacy, had exited the field about mid-day, certain he’d been defeated. His refusal to believe the battle was won would give the bluecoats opportunity to regroup in Chattanooga.

By the time O.O. Howard got off the train in east Alabama, Bragg had Chattanooga surrounded. With gray troops roosted on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, the Confederate commander was content to starve the isolated Federals into surrender. The tourist can follow Howard’s march through Lookout Valley, under Longstreet’s guns on the mountain, to open a supply line to Chattanooga. John Geary, who has a statue on Culp’s Hill, would take his division of 12th Corps up Lookout Mountain, securing that highest of high ground for the Nationals. Both corps would be engaged in the climactic assault on Missionary Ridge. Ulysses S. Grant was in command now, with an A-Team including William Tecumseh Sherman. Plan was for Howard to join Sherman in attacking Bragg’s right, while the 12th advanced with Joe Hooker on the opposite flank. George Thomas and his B-Team were to hold their position at a rise called Orchard Knob (itself an interesting stop) in front of Missionary Ridge. No one, least of all Grant and Bragg, expected the “Rock” to mount a frontal attack, but, as told by O.O. Howard, “It was reserved by Providence to Thomas and his army…to storm heights more difficult than those of Gettysburg.”

Goodness. I was going to continue this travelogue along other stops in our Southern battlefields tour, but DK Thomas is likely already wondering how this will fit, so I’ll close by saying the Round Table will next meet on our regularly scheduled 4th Thursday of the month, May 27, 7:00, when our good friend and Licensed Battlefield Guide Sue Boardman will tell us about the “Snyder County Boys,” who fought with the 147th Pennsylvania in Gettysburg and went on to climb Lookout Mountain. Join us online via the link on our webpage: cwrtgettysburg.com, where you can also check out our summer programming. While our battlefield walks are “members only,” it’s both easy and affordable to become a member!

 
Bruce Davis
President
brdgettysburg@gmail.com

SPEAKERS

July 22 (29)
Terese Orr
Frances Irsch and the 45th NY

cannon

Aug 26 (31)
Stuart Dempsey
16th Michigan on Little Round Top

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September 23
Zachery Fry
Politics in the Army of the Potomac

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October 28
Bradley Gottfried
Point Lookout Prison

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November 18
Scott Rosenau
Lincoln and the Founders of the Nation

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December 2nd (Holiday Banquet)
Kevin Pawlak
Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation

 


 

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