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


September 24


The September meeting will be live-streamed and NOT a gathering at the GAR Hall or on the Battlefield.

This meeting will be streamed live at the below address:

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.

Ewell's Corps in the Gettysburg Campaign

Robert Wynstra, Book Award Winner

The topic for this evening will be the speaker’s book, At the Forefront of Lee’s Invasion: Retribution, Plunder, and Clashing Cultures on Richard Ewell’s Road to Gettysburg. After clearing Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley of Federal troops, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s bold invasion into the North reached the Maryland shore of the Potomac River on June 15, 1863. A week later, the Confederate infantry crossed into lower Pennsylvania, where they had their first sustained interactions with the civilian population in a solidly pro-Union state. Most of the initial encounters with the people in the lush Cumberland Valley and the neighboring parts of the state involved the men from the Army of Northern Virginia’s famed Second Corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, who led the way as Lee’s veteran soldiers advanced north toward their eventual showdown with the Union army at the crossroads town of Gettysburg.

The move to the North lasted for nearly a month. Civilian property losses in the North amounted to several million dollars. The interactions along the way further laid bare the enormous cultural gulf that separated the two sides in the war. As Wynstra explains, Ewell and his top commanders constantly struggled to control the desire among the troops to seek retribution for what they perceived as Federal outrages in the South and to stop the plundering, working to maintain strict discipline in the army and uphold Southern honor.

Despite the yearly flood of books on Gettysburg, the Confederate advance has been largely ignored. Most books devote only a few pages or a single short chapter to that aspect of the campaign. In this new study, Wynstra draws on an array of primary sources, including rare soldiers’ letters and eyewitness accounts published in local newspapers, manuscripts and diaries in small historical societies, and a trove of postwar damage claims from the invasion to fill in this vital gap in the historiography of the campaign.

ROBERT J. WYNSTRA is the author of At the Forefront of Lee’s Invasion: Retribution, Plunder, and Clashing Cultures on Richard Ewell’s Road to Gettysburg, which was recently awarded the Gettysburg Round Table’s Distinguished Book Award. He is the first author to win this award twice.

He is a retired senior writer for the News and Public Affairs Office in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. Wynstra holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in history and a Master’s degree in journalism, all from the University of Illinois. His previous book, The Rashness of That Hour: Politics, Gettysburg, and the Downfall of Confederate Brigadier General Alfred Iverson, earned three major national awards: the James I. Robertson Literary Prize, the Bachelder Coddington Award, and the Gettysburg Round Table’s Distinguished Book Award.

Our meetings are the Fourth Thursday of each month.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

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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 (5/22), Roger Heller (5/22), Michele Hessler, Abbie Hoffman, Peter Miele (5/21) , Bill Myers (5/21)
Board Member Ex Officio:
Larry Plymire, Past President: Lynn Heller (5/21)

Next Board Meeting:

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

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.


Please vote for our new Board Members, Treasurer and Recording Secretary.

We apologize that the first newsletter had an incorrect link to the electronic ballot. A second page was emailed with the correct link.

If you are having any difficulty connecting to the ballot to vote, please email linda_joswick@yahoo.com. You will be emailed the link so that you will be able to vote electronically.

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.

Dear Members and Friends of the Civil War Round Table of Gettysburg,

It occurs to me this will be the first that members without e-mail have heard from us since March. It’s not that we’ve forgotten you; with the print shops closed, we haven’t been able to run off paper copies to send in the mail. Those with whom we communicate electronically have actually heard more from the Round Table than was the pre-Covid norm, as we’ve tried to keep the group consistently apprised of our attempts to navigate this strange passage. If you do have e-mail, but haven’t been receiving the regular updates, it probably means we have no record of your e-address, a situation easily corrected. Just shoot me a message, brdgettysburg@gmail.com, and I’ll direct it to our communications team.

As many of you know, my previous life was spent in the ministry. A passage of scripture seems relevant, Jeremiah 8:20, “the summer has ended, and we are not saved”—at least not from Covid-19. I had very much hoped to return to in-person gatherings this fall. As the GAR Hall would hardly facilitate even minimal social distancing, we’d contacted Gettysburg Presbyterian, figuring we could spread out there. The Presbyterians said they would be happy to have us, but then came the state directive limiting gatherings to no more than 25 people, so we gave up on that option, as well. Bottom line: we’ll be meeting online again in September and October. Frankly, things aren’t looking good for gathering at the Dobbin House in December, but we continue to hold out hope.

This is not to say the online meetings have been a disappointment. Far from it. Each of our scheduled presenters—Mary Turk-Meena, James Broomall, Richard Goedkoop, Jared Frederick and Charlie Fennell—has been entirely supportive and cooperative. Richard, Jared and Charlie were to have led us on the battlefield; and adapting to online presentation surely required a lot of extra preparation on their part. I’m writing this on the morning after Charlie Fennell’s program on the fighting at Culp’s Hill. (This will be remembered, Charlie saying he was unaware of any successful head amputations.) We had viewers turning in from Los Angeles, New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, multiple locations in Virginia, and even picked up a new member from Georgia!

Add this: we’ve archived each of these online presentations, easily accessed via our website (cwrtgettysburg.org) or Facebook page. A big shout-out to Pete Miele, who is producing the monthly meetings; and to the communications team of Linda Joswick, Dave Joswick, and Lynn Heller, going over and above to keep the web and Facebook sites updated in the current uncertainty. The Round Table Board has upped the frequency of our meetings, facilitated on Zoom by Michele Hessler.

Elsewhere, you’ll find notice of our online/mail-in election of officers. According to our by-laws, this should have happened at our April meeting. Plan B was to elect when we next gathered in person, but who knows when that will be? As this seems the best we can do, I hope you will understand and participate. We have not let Covid-19 halt our mission of historical preservation. This spring, we received an appeal from Civil War Trails for new sponsors and, in addition to a donation, have taken responsibility for the Wayside Marker in Littlestown. I’ve been down there a couple of times since; our membership roster includes a number of Littlestown residents, and if any of you would want to volunteer to help with this, let me know.

Treasurer Dave Diner reports our finances are about where they should be for this time of year. I was a little surprised that our insurance bill went up substantially, particularly as we’ve not been meeting in person, but, of course, the bill’s been paid. We are, of course, hopeful most of our membership will reup for the coming year. Surely, at some point, we’ll get back to something approaching normal. In the meantime, please know we want you to stay safe and healthy, and that the Board is doing all we can to keep the Round Table turning.



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


January 28
Peter Miele
WW Keen’s Civil War


February 25
Gene Schmiel
eneral Jacob Cox & The Battle of Franklin


March 25
Book Award Winner


April 22
Mike McDonnell
Canadians in the CW


May 27
Sue Boardman
Snyder County Boys


June 24 (29)
Larry Korczyz
Chapman Biddle's Brigade


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


Aug 26 (31)
Stuart Dempsey
11th Corps topic (specific topic not chosen yet)


September 23
Zachery Fry
Politics in the AOP


October 28
Bradley Gottfried
Point Lookout Prison


November 18
Scott Rosenau
Lincoln and the Founders of the Nation


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



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Civil War Trust Organization


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Reenactment photos courtesy of the Gettysburg Times
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