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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October 28

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

We are happy to announce that we will be meeting in person at

Gettysburg United Methodist Church
30 High Street

***Masks are highly encouraged, but are not mandatory.***
The doors open at 6:30 pm
Meeting starts at 7 pm

The meeting will be a live-streamed as well.

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.


Point Lookout Prison

Bradley Gottfried

The Point Lookout Prisoner of War Camp was established after the battle of Gettysburg and grew to become the largest prison for Confederate prisoners in the North. Nestled in the southern-most tip of Southern Maryland, across the Potomac River from the Virginia battlefields, the camp was surrounded by water on three sides and a narrow peninsula to the north, making it an ideal location. However, periodic flooding, cold and hot weather made it anything but, especially since it was the only camp in the North where the men resided in tents and not wooden barracks. Disease and shortages of food and fresh water plagued the men, causing thousands to die during the two years the camp was in operation. This presentation will describe the camp and the conditions existing there, prompting some to call it the “Andersonville of the North.”

Bradley M. Gottfried served as a college educator for over 40 years before he retired in 2017. After receiving his doctorate, he taught for eleven years and then entered the administrator ranks, rising to the position of president, serving for 17 years at two colleges. His interest in the Civil War began when he was a youngster in the Philadelphia area. He has written 15 books on the Civil War, including a number on Gettysburg and Map studies of various campaigns. Brad is an Antietam Certified Battlefield Guide and a Gettysburg Licensed Town Guide.

Linda I. Gottfried served as a graphic designer and development officer at several colleges and nonprofit organizations before retiring in 2015. She is now a full-time sculptor. Several of her pieces have won awards.

Brad and Linda’s most recent book is: Lincoln Comes to Gettysburg: The Creation of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (Emerging Civil War Series, 2021).

The Gottfrieds live in Fayetteville, PA and have four children and six grandchildren.

Brad’s Current Projects

  • The Brigades of Antietam (Brad is editor)—will be out in September, 2021.
  • Lee Invades the North: A Comparison of the Army of Northern Virginia’s Two Invasions of the North (will probably be published in early, 2022)
  • The Maps of Spotsylvania Through Cold Harbor (will probably be published toward the end of 2022)

Our meetings are the Fourth Thursday of each month.

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.

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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

The Holiday Banquet scheduled for the Dobbin House on Dec. 2nd has been cancelled due to the continuing pandemic.
We are pleased that the presentation will be done using a ZOOM link.
 

Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation

Presented by Kevin Pawlak


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.

My wife and I are both Midwest transplants, who spent most of our lives in Missouri. We were there last month, visiting family, and on the way back swung south to visit Civil War sites in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Columbus, Kentucky, situated on a bluff high above the Mississippi River, isn’t much of a town, but in 1861 was called the Gibraltar of the West. Fighting Bishop Leonidas Polk had 140 guns positioned up here to blast Union vessels trying to pass; 56 of these were ginormous Model 1829 cannon, each monster weighing just under four tons, throwing a 32-pound iron ball with a range of 1 ½ miles. As further deterrent, a mile long chain was stretched the width of the channel, each link weighing twenty pounds five ounces. On November 7, 1861, heretofore unheralded Ulysses S. Grant floated 3,000 Federals downstream from Cairo, Illinois. Taking Columbus was out of the question; Grant’s more modest goal was a Confederate garrison at Belmont, Missouri, on the opposite bank. The assault looked to be a big success until the Nationals started looting the enemy camp, giving Polk time to send reinforcements across the river. Grant himself narrowly escaped being made a prisoner of war. The Columbus-Belmont State Park, on Polk’s Kentucky bluff, is well worth visiting. The great anchor and a section of the chain are on display, as is a “32-pounder,” the tube towering above my head.

We were with Leonidas Polk again in Perryville, Kentucky, 70 miles southeast of Louisville. The Bishop of Louisiana had been at the right hand of Commanding General Braxton Bragg when the Confederates set out from Chattanooga, Tennessee, for an invasion of the North. The Secessionists moved in two wings. On October 8, 1862, Bragg was up at Frankfort, Kentucky, with half the army, leaving Polk and the other half to face the entire Army of the Cumberland. Fighting at a 3-1 numerical disadvantage, Leonidas made a stand worthy of his Thermopylae namesake. Truth be told, the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site was kind of a disappointment--though I did pick up a great t-shirt in the gift shop. Of more interest was St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Harrodsburg, ten miles north of the battlefield. Darkness having ended the five-hour battle at Perryville, Bishop General Polk took the survivors to Harrodsburg. According to a sign in front of St. Philip’s, he entered the church, had the bell tolled and prayed “Peace to the land and blessings on friend and foe alike.” (If you’re wondering about all this religious stuff, I’m retired clergy, having particular interest in the intersection of church and war.) With both wings of Bragg’s army concentrated at Harrodsburg, Polk and others in high command, assumed the army would resume the offensive. Braxton Bragg, however, seems to have lost his nerve. The invasion was called off, the army ordered back into Tennessee.

In late December 1862, Bragg’s army was at Murfreesboro, southeast of Nashville. The Federal Army of the Cumberland came marching down the Nashville Pike; Bragg brought the Army of Tennessee across Stones River to meet them. The Stones River National Battlefield will be of great interest to any student of the Civil War. Stop #2 on the auto tour is particularly evocative: The Slaughter Pen. (Yes, I know, Gettysburg has a Slaughter Pen, but slaughter was hardly exclusive to our three days.) On the morning of December 31, both Bragg and Union commander William Rosecrans planned to attack the other’s right. Bragg beat Rosecrans to the punch and might have overwhelmed the Unionists if not for Philip Sheridan’s stand in this cedar forest, floored with flat limestone ledges, some waist high, blood running between the crevices. Stop #5 is also of great interest. General William Hazen’s repulse of Bishop Polk’s Corps is marked by “the oldest American Civil War monument still standing in its original battlefield location.” The first permanent regimental monument at Gettysburg (the 2nd Massachusetts, just south of Spangler’s Springs) was dedicated in 1879. The men of Hazen’s brigade had their monument up in the summer of ’63! Unable to dislodge the Federals, Bragg again put his army into reverse gear. Why a modern-era army base would be named for Braxton Bragg, arguably the worst commander in either Blue or Gray, is beyond me.

Maybe the biggest buzz of the trip was following Pat Cleburne to Franklin, Tennessee. Born in Ireland, Cleburne had been a pre-war lawyer in Helena, Arkansas, his combat record so outstanding that Jefferson Davis dubbed him the “Stonewall of the West.” But the Confederate Irishman had come to bad odor for suggesting slaves be issued gray uniforms and muskets, with the promise of emancipation for those who volunteered. If Black men were permitted to fight, the entire theory of the Confederacy would go kaput. In November 1864, Cleburne was taking orders from John Bell Hood, who’d lost the use of an arm in Gettysburg and had a leg shot off at Chickamauga, currently commanding what had been Bragg’s army. Having recently lost Atlanta, Hood was taking what was left of the army north. Six miles south of Columbia, Tennessee, the march went past St. John’s Episcopal Church. Built twenty years earlier by Leonidas Polk on family land in Maury County, St. John’s was modeled after parish churches in rural England, set in a grove of trees, with a pretty cemetery out back. (I was surprised to find a door unlocked, so I could go inside, my visit cut short when alarms started going off.) St. John’s so impressed Cleburne that he was heard to say, “It is almost worth dying to rest in so sweet a spot.” 35 miles further north, Pat Cleburne would be one of six Confederate generals to fall in a Pickett’s Charge-like attack at Franklin, the place he fell marked beneath a magnolia tree. Patrick Ronayne Cleburne would in fact be buried in the St. John’s churchyard, later dug up to be reinterred in his adopted hometown of Helena. Hood would get as far as Nashville, but with his army wrecked at Franklin, was overwhelmed by the Federals, including United States Colored troops.

Other stops in this Civil Wargasim included Monument Circle in Indianapolis, the Harriett Beecher Stow House in Cincinnati, and Stonewall Jackson’s birthplace and childhood home in the West Virginia mountains. The adventure took us through some of the most covid-infested parts of the nation, and I’m pleased to report that both of our double-vaccinated selves returned without any ill-effects. After an absence of 19 months, I’ve been really looking forward to returning to the G.A.R. Hall in September, but I’d be lying if I said this covid spike isn’t kind of concerning. The Board will be meeting in early September to talk about it. Be looking for a mailing soon thereafter.

My heart goes out to school administrators, church leaders and other trying to plan for this fall. To stay current with Round Table programming, check out our website, cwrtgettysburg.org.

 
Bruce Davis
President
brdgettysburg@gmail.com

SPEAKERS

November 18
Scott Rosenau
Lincoln and the Founders of the Nation

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December 2
Kevin Pawlak
Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation

2022 CWRT Speaker’s List

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Jan 27
Douglas Douds
Staff Officers of the AOP – Part 2

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Feb 24
Scott Hartwig
an Antietam subject TBD

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March 24
Sue Boardman
The Snyder County Boys

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April 28
Mike McDonnell
Canadians in the Civil War

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May 14
Larry Korczyk
A tour of Day’s Hill ( Saturday morning -outdoors 9:30-noon)

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May 26
Cooper Wingert
The Underground RR in South Central PA

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June 23 (27)
Dr.Jennifer Murray
A Meade at Gettysburg outdoor tour TBD.

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July 28 (Aug 4)
James Hessler
Iverson’s Brigade at Gettysburg (outdoors)

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August 25 (29)
Therese Orr
Outdoor tour TBD

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Sept 22
Mary Turk-Meena
The Committee on the Conduct of the War.

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Oct 27
Tom Vossler & Jeffrey McCausland
Leadership on the Gettysburg Battlefield

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Nov 17
Dr. Brian Luskey
Men Is Cheap

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Dec 1 - Holiday Banquet
Kent Masterson Brown
Meade at Gettysburg


 

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Reenactment photos courtesy of the Gettysburg Times

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