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


April 23


Members and Friends of the Civil War Round Table of Gettysburg

From: Bruce Davis
March 15, 2020

Many of you will already know, from our Facebook posting, that the Gettysburg CWRT is cancelling this month. We’ll certainly hope to reschedule Brad Gottfried’s presentation. The April bus trip to Harrisburg is off, as well, with no immediate plans for rescheduling. Those who have already paid will have your money refunded or checks returned.

There is one item of business that needs tending to. Our Nominations Committee (Al Ferranto, Roger Heller and Dale Molina) was to have presented their slate of officers this month, with elections held in April. To keep on schedule, we want to post that slate here.

To begin with, both my own self and Vice-President Hilda Koontz are in the first year of two-year terms, so those offices are not up for election this time.

Per the bylaws, we need to elect both a recording secretary and a treasurer. Happily the respective incumbents, Ellie Bilz and Dave Diner, have agreed to continue, and are so nominated by the committee. Dave and Ellie are both huge assets to the Round Table and we are fortunate to have them in these important positions of leadership.

At-large Board Members/aka Directors, are elected for three-year terms, two persons elected each year. We also have a two-year unexpired term to fill. Current Board Member Fred Hawthorne has consented to stay on the Board, taking that two-year seat. Fred, a Licensed Battlefield Guide who served as CWRT Board President in 1990, has been my go-to source for understanding the history of the organization and I am delighted that he has agreed to continue.

For the two open seats, the Nominations Committee puts forward the names of Michele Hessler and Abbie Hoffman:

ABBIE HOFFMAN holds the title of Leadership Program Associate for the Gettysburg Foundation’s In The Footsteps of Leaders’ Program, responsibilities including “An Evening with the Painting”—that being the cyclorama, of course. When she’s not engaged with the Foundation work, you may find Abbie working as a docent at the Shriver House Museum, clad in eleven layers of period attire!

MICHELE HESSLER has lived here in Gettysburg with her husband and two children for almost twenty years. She has attended countless talks, walks and programs about the battle and the town in that time. She loves learning new things and always looks forward to the Gettysburg CWRT programming.

When we next meet, be it in April or whenever this virus is past, there will be opportunities to offer nominations from the floor.

For the very latest up-dates, check out our Facebook page and/or website, the latter address: cwrtgettysburg.org.

Our meetings are the Fourth Thursday of each month.

From September to May, we meet at the GAR Building, 53 East Middle Street. Socializing 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 Bruce at 1-402-686-6969.

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



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

Hilda Koontz............................................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

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











Fred Hawthorne (5/20), Roger Heller (5/22), Peter Miele (5/21) Dale Molina (5/20), Bill Myers (5/21)
Board Member Ex Officio:
Larry Plymire, Past President: Lynn Heller (5/21)

Next Board Meeting:

Board Meetings are open to all members. Our next meeting will be March 5, 2020. 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.


The Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable Spring 2020 Field Trip has been cancelled.

May 1-2 • ALBG 2020 Spring Seminar. Overlooked & Often Not Visited: Ridges, Farms & Other Battle Sites. More information and Registration form.

Greetings to all...

I did wonder, given a cold, blustery night and coronavirus concerns (Nurse Lynn advised us on prevention measures), what the turnout would be for our Thursday evening gathering at the GAR, and was pleased to see another full house. Those who came out were rewarded with a fascinating lecture from Dr. Ashley Whitehead Luskey of the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute. I had a vague knowledge of the April 1863 Richmond Bread Riots and was intrigued by her analysis of the event itself and the deeper societal implications. 2020 is certainly off to an outstanding programming start. Ron Kirkwood’s January presentation of material from his book, Too Much For Human Endurance: The George Spangler Farm Hospitals and the Battle of Gettysburg, motivated me to search through the brambles along Granite Schoolhouse Lane for the ruins of the eponymous structure that served as the “other” field hospital on the Spangler property. While the 11th Corps sanctuary at the Spangler homestead has been gloriously restored, it does seem a shame that there’s nothing to mark where the wounded of Caldwell’s Division were treated, and I continue to be in conversation with Ron about ideas to mark it.

In other news, Roger Heller announced plans for our Spring Field Trip: A Tour of Civil War Harrisburg and Carlisle, scheduled for April 25. I was pleased to see we’ll be visiting Peace Church in Camp Hill. I’d gotten lost trying to find the place last month. (Nancy and I moved here from flat country where the roads are set out in square grids, and I often find myself turned around in Pennsylvania.) I had assumed “Camp Hill” referenced a Civil War encampment. No. It would seem that Peace Church, which dates back to 1798, had gone through a less-than-peaceful membership fracture, the dissidents holding their services on a hill outdoors. Peace Church is but one of a half-dozen stops we’ll be making. Space is limited, so sign up asap.

I’m particularly looking forward to our monthly meeting in March. Years before moving to Gettysburg, I’d purchased a copy of Bradley Gottfried’s The Maps of Gettysburg, then ordered his Brigades of Gettysburg. Engaging with the Round Table, I was surprised and delighted to discover that the author was not only living in the area, but was a member of the Gettysburg Civil War Round Table. He’s been kind enough to share coffee and conversation with me, and can attest that the esteemed historian is an altogether gracious guy. Checking out his Amazon page, the “maps” series is up to seven volumes now, including Antietam, Fredericksburg and the Cavalry of Gettysburg. Other titles include The Artillery of Gettysburg, which was on my 2019 reading list. Brad’s upcoming lecture is titled, The Story of the Point Lookout Civil War Prisoner of War Camp—which will be of particular relevance to our group, as most of the rebels taken prisoner at Gettysburg were held at Point Lookout.

In April, Mary Turk-Meena will speak to The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. Retired from the practice of law, Mary was licensed as a Battlefield Guide in 2016. I’ve spent a good part of this winter working on a History of the Gettysburg Civil War Round Table. Piecing together month-by-month listing of programs and speakers, I’ve been impressed that so many of our presenters, dating back to 1957, have been Licensed Battlefield Guides.

The above-mentioned project was started in compliance with a request from the National Round Table Congress for organizational histories, and I am hoping to include some photos. While Lynn Heller has amassed a wonderful digital collection, those only go back a decade or so. If you have pre-digital photos you might scan and send my way (brdgettysburg@gmail.com), I would deeply appreciate it. For that matter, if you have glossies to share, I could scan them myself. The rich history of this organization is beyond anything I could have imagined when I took the presidency and I am determined to document it. You’ll surely be hearing more about this, including gaps in the time-line I hope to fill.

To repeat what Nurse Lynn told us: Wash your hands with sanitizer, cover any cough with the crook of your arm, and stay home if you’re feeling sick. The Civil War encampments were incubators for disease and we don’t want any such thing for you.



April 23
The Committee On the Conduct of the War
Mary Turk Meena


May 28
Manliness and Community in Confederate Camps
Dr. James Broomall


June 25 : July 2
Culp’s Hill Memorials
Richard Goedkoop


July 23: July 30
The Uses of the Battlefield in the 30’s and 40’s
Jared Frederick


August 27: Sept 3
The Other Side of East Cemetery Hill
Charles Fennell


September 24
Ewell's Corps in the Gettysburg Campaign
Robert Wynstra, Book Award Winner


October 22
Staff Officers and Their Impact on the Battle of Gettysburg
Douglas Douds


November 12
A Soldier and His Lady, Letters
Gene Barr


December 3
Holiday Banquet
Wayne Motts, subject TBD


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