Wednesday, December 5, 2018

American Civil War Monuments 
116th Pennsylvania Monument 
Sickles Avenue at the Loop 
Gettysburg National Military Park 

Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore

 To many visitors, the monument of the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry is the most poignant on the battlefield. The idea for the monument came from Major St. Clair Mulholland from a scene he witnessed during the fighting of July 2n of a young soldier, shot through the head, lying with a faint smile on his upturned face. Major Mulholland never forgot this scene which later was used as the inspiration for the 116th’s monument. Most of the monuments on the battlefield show themes of bravery, courage and loyalty. This one, however, shows the real cost of war. The 116th was one of five regiments which made up the highly acclaimed Irish Brigade, part of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock’s II Corps. By July 1,1863, the regiment had been consolidated into only 4 companies with a battle strength of 66. It suffered 37 casualties in the fighting of July 2, a casualty rate of 56%.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Announcing Our 533rd Meeting 
Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Trials and Tribulations of the Corpse of Abraham Lincoln
Presented by Clay Stucky 

The long and descriptive title of my talk is The Trials and Tribulations of the Corpse of Abraham Lincoln: How Nefarious Tomb Robbers and Incompetent Tomb Builders did not Allow him to Rest in Peace. In the talk I describe the bizarre history of Lincoln's body and the attempt to kidnap it, the about fifteen times it has been moved since its burial in Springfield, and the five times the coffin has been opened since the open casket funeral at Springfield. I explain the complete dismantling and rebuilding of the tomb at Springfield that has occurred TWICE! 

Photo courtesy of LCWRT Member Holly Jenkins-Evans

We are pleased to have Round Table member Clay Stuckey present our program at the December meeting. Clay is a graduate of Indiana University where he did his undergraduate work in history. He graduated from Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1975. He is now retired and lives in Bedford, Indiana. Clay has a life-long avocation of reading and writing about history. His articles have appeared in the Lincoln Herald, the Indiana Magazine of History, Indiana Folklore and Oral History, and the Hoosier Line as well as other publications. The Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis has over fifteen of Clay’s manuscripts he has written on regional history.                         

Friday, November 23, 2018

American Civil War Battlefields
Wilder Tower 
Chickamauga National Battlefield Park

Photo courtesy of LCWRT Member John Davis, 
taken  during the LCWRT 2018 Spring Field Trip 

This 85-foot tower near site of Widow Glenn's house marks the site where Colonel John Wilder's Lightning Brigade of mounted infantry with their repeating Spencer rifles and support from the 18th LiN Light Battery, made a strong defense against Longstreet's attack on Sept 20, 1863.After repelling CSA forces under Arthur Manigault, Wilder prepared to join Union forces under George Thomas on Snodgrass Hill. Instead, he was ordered by Charles Dana, Assistant Secretary of War to guard the withdrawal to Chattanooga. 

Wilder's Brigade was comprised of: 
17th Indiana, Maj. William T. Jones 
72d Indiana, Col. Abram O. Miller 
92d Illinois, Smith D. Atkins 
98th Illinois, Col. John J. Funkhouser & Lieut. Col. Edward Kitchell 
123d Illinois, Col. James Monroe 
18th Light Battery Indiana (1st Brigade), Capt. Eli Lilly 

Started in 1892, and financed for by private funds, including monies from Wilder's men, the monument was up to 60 feet high when construction was halted by bank failures due to the Panic of 1893. Construction recommenced in 1897 and went on until 1904, when the interior staircase was finished. The finished height is 85 feet. Via the interior spiral staircase, the viewing platform at the top provides a panoramic view of the battlefield. 

 On June 8, 1963, the Wilder Monument was the first monument on Chickamauga battlefield to be rededicated. It has been completely renovated.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Our Civil War Ancestors
Part 10 of a Series

William J. McFerran, 92nd NY Infantry 

Many thanks to Margaret Wilds, who kindly shared her great-grandfather's photograph and biographical information. 

Born in Edwards, NY on April 5, 1842, McFerran was the first of nine children. His parents were both born in Northern Ireland. McFerran was was mustered into the Union Army  in October of 1861 and over time rose to serve as Sergeant of Co. I, 92nd New York Infantry. He served 3 years, 2 months and 28 days, and was discharged in Jan 1865.  After the war, he was married in 1869 to Martha Rath of Kemptville, Ontario with whom he had four daughters. He later worked as served as postmaster of Edwards, NY. William J. McFerran died Nov. 21, 1911 in Mexico, NY and is buried there. 

His unit, the 92nd Regiment, New York Infantry  was organized at Potsdam, N. Y., and mustered in January 1, 1862 and left the state for Washington, D. C., March 5, 1862.

Major engagements the 92nd participated in: 

The Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-15, 1862. 
The Battle of Williamsburg May 5. 
The Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks May 31-June 1. 
New Market Road June 8. 
White Oak Swamp June 30. 
Malvern Hill July 1.
Foster's Expedition to Goldsboro, N. C., December 11-20.  Duty at and near New Berne till          April 1864.  
Butler's operations on south side of the James River and against Petersburg and Richmond        May 4-28, 1864. 
Occupation of City Point and Bermuda Hundred May 5. 
The Battle of Drury's Bluff May 14-16. 
Bermuda Hundred May 16-27. 
The Battles about Cold Harbor June 1-12. 
Before Petersburg June 15-18. Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond June 16        to December 1, 1864. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30 (Reserve). Duty in the trenches      before Petersburg and on the Bermuda front till September 26. 
The Battle of Chaffin's Farm, New Market Heights, September 28-30. 
Battle of Fair Oaks October 27-28. 
Duty in trenches before Richmond north of the James River till December. 
Consolidated with 96th Regiment New York Infantry December 1, 1864. 
Old members mustered out January 7, 1865.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

American Civil War Battlefields
Perryville, KY
Fall Field Trip to Perryville
October 28, 2018              

Text and Photos courtesy of LCWRT Member John Davis

On Sunday, October 28, twenty-four members and guests of the Louisville Civil War Round Table gathered at the visitor’s center and museum in Perryville to learn about the battle that occurred there on October 8, 1862. The weather was cool and cloudy as we began the tour under the guidance of Perryville historian Chuck Lott. We walked from the visitor’s center to the place where Confederate brigades from Cheatham’s division deployed in line of battle around 2:30 PM searching for the Union left flank which consisted mostly of men from Alexander McCook’s 1st Corp. From there, we would walk the battlefield following the action in the order it occurred that October afternoon.

Thanks to the efforts of preservationists and especially the Civil War Trust (now the American Battlefield Trust) the park encompasses 1100 acres with 150 more coming. You cannot appreciate this battle and how it unfolded unless you come and walk these rolling hills over which the fighting occurred. The steep hills separated by narrow hollows made for difficult maneuvering for the armies. 

Confederate Monument, Perryville 

When the wind picked up and began gusting and howling just as it did on the day of battle, we could understand how Don Carlos Buell did not hear the battle that was underway just over two miles from his headquarters. As a result of this ‘acoustic shadow’, nearly two thirds of the Federal army were never engaged allowing the much smaller Confederate force to drive the Union left flank in before darkness brought a halt to the fight. We followed in the footsteps of the Confederate assault on the Union far left flank up and down one hill after another and through a now famous cornfield where a Wisconsin regiment made a stand before falling back. We passed the sites of where Union Generals William Terrill and James Jackson fell mortally wounded. 

We halted at noon and returned to the visitor’s center for a very good boxed lunch provided by the Great American Deli of Danville. In the windy afternoon, we followed the  Confederate attacks that took place on the Union center and right flanks by divisions under the leadership of Patton Anderson and Simon Buckner that were finally halted at dark. After walking nearly four miles of hills and valleys, we retreated to the visitor’s center tired but filled with a renewed appreciation of this important battle and the land over which it was fought.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Announcing Our 532nd Meeting
Sunday, November 18

George Gordon Meade and the Gettysburg Campaign 
 Presented by Kent Masterson Brown

Kent was born in Lexington, Kentucky on February 5, 1949. He is a 1971 graduate – and in 2014 named a distinguished graduate - of Centre College and received his juris doctor degree in 1974 from Washington and Lee University School of Law. Kent has practiced law for forty-four years with offices in Lexington and Washington, DC. Kent has published six books, all on the Civil War, including Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery CommanderRetreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign, and One of Morgan’s Men: The Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry; they have been selections of the History Book Club and Military Book Club. All of them have received rave reviews and numerous national awards. He is currently writing George Gordon Meade and the Gettysburg Campaign, which will go to press in early 2019. 

Kent has also written, hosted and produced, through Witnessing History, nine award-winning documentary films for public and cable television, including I Remember The Old Home Very Well: The Lincolns in Kentucky and Daniel Boone and the Opening of the American West. All Kent’s films have been widely broadcast throughout the United States, Canada, and overseas. All have won Telly Awards; one was nominated for an Emmy Award. Kent and the Witnessing History Education Foundation, Inc. are producing a new film, “In the Declaration all men are created equal: Abraham Lincoln in Illinois, 1830 to 1860", to be released in February 2019.

 A nationally-known speaker and Civil War battlefield guide, Kent was the first chairman of the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission and the first chairman of the Perryville (Kentucky) Battlefield Commission, a seat he held for eleven years overseeing the expansion of the Perryville Battlefield. He served on the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and is now a member of the Kentucky Film Commission. He has also been a director of the Gettysburg Foundation.

Kent is now the President and Content Developer for the Witnessing History Education Foundation, Inc. Kent lives in Lexington with his wife, Genevieve, and their three children, Annie Louise, Philip and Thomas.

Monday, October 29, 2018

American Civil War Battlefields
Ben Hardin Helm Monument 
Chickamauga National Battlefield 
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA 

Photo courtesy of LCWRT Member John Davis, text courtesy of 
LCWRT Member Holly Jenkins-Evans

This pyramid marker rests at the site where Brig. General Ben Hardin Helm (CSA) was mortally wounded at about 10 AM, September 20, 1863. Helm was commanding a brigade in Breckenridge's Division. 

From "The assault began on the Confederate right, with Confederate troops under the command of former Vice President John C. Breckenridge and Irish-born Patrick Cleburne attacking the Union left along present day Battleline Road and the Kelly Field area. Killed in this fight was President Abraham Lincoln's brother-in-law, Confederate General Benjamin Helm." 

Helm was a carried from the field by two of his staff officers, Lt. William Wallace Herr and and Lt. John B. Pirtle and died the next day, Sept 21, 1863. The Lincolns went into private mourning, and his widow Emilie Todd Helm was given safe passage to join them at the White House in Dec. 1863.  In 1866 Lt. Herr married another Todd sister, Kitty. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

American Civil War Battlefields
Treat Island, 
Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine 

 Gun enplacements and edge of magazine 2018 

Photos and text courtesy of Ann Jenkins and  LCWRT Member Holly Jenkins-Evans 

Built in October 1863, this small artillery fort was situated near Lubec, Maine on Treat Island in the Western Passage of Passamaquoddy Bay, across from Campobello Island on the US/Canadian border. This fort, manned by Maine infantry and artillery, was generally known as Fort Sullivan and was intended to protect the area and the port of Eastport, Maine from Confederate cruisers thought to be in the area. Placed at the southeastern end of the small island, it consisted of an earthwork battery, a magazine, a storehouse and barracks for 50 men. 

 Fort Sullivan's claim to fame was that on August 11, 1864, while conducting artillery practice, gunners fired 3 shots at a bluff called Friar's Head on Campobello Island. One of these overshot the bluff and landed in a Mr. Taylor's yard on Canadian soil. Consequently, there was an extensive exchange of correspondence between the local military officers on both sides of the border, and through the corresponding State Department ranks, up to and including Secretary of State Seward. The US officer in command at that time was Capt. Thomas P. Hutchison, Co. C, Unattached Inf., Maine Vols. 

 Treat Island is now the protected property of Maine Coast Heritage Trust and open to the public for recreation. The 73 acre island is also the burial site of Revolutionary War hero Col. John Allan, who served as military commander of the Eastern Area, or District of Maine, under Gen. George Washington. 

 For more information on Treat Island :

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Announcing the Louisville Civil War Round Table  
2019 Winter Fund Raising Event at Midlane Farm

It’s easy to miss the Midlane Farm House as you drive down Hikes Lane in southeastern Louisville. Surrounded by the suburbia of the Hikes Point neighborhood, you could be forgiven for blowing right by the solid brown-brick house. But if you knew what to look for, it would be impossible to miss — a comparatively large two-story structure on two acres of land. The home is not all that imposing, but it looks classic and tasteful, and literally from a different era. The home’s current owner and caretaker is Charles “Chas” Stephens. He is a bit of a raconteur, especially at ease talking about his home, which has been in his family since it was built in 1820 (some histories say 1824) by Stephens’ direct ancestor, George Hikes Jr. Today, thanks to Stephens’ patient and continual care, the house looks both of its time and invitingly livable, highlighted by a cozy Victorian back porch, flowering magnolia trees, and rooms filled with period antiques, either inherited (such as a chest that came with the family from Pennsylvania that dates to the mid-1700s) or purchased by Stephens. But to him this isn’t a museum; it’s simply home, as it has been to his family since James Monroe was president. The family’s history in Louisville dates back to 1790 — “I don’t think anybody has been on their land as long as we have, maybe in the state of Kentucky,” says Stephens — before Kentucky was even a state. 
It begins with George Hikes Sr., a Revolutionary War colonel who, according to The Encyclopedia of Louisville, purchased the land from another Revolutionary War officer, William Meriwether, in either 1790 or 1791. (Stephens says the land — somewhere between 1,500 and 4,000 acres — was a grant from the newly formed United States.) To walk through the home is to see the results of the never-ending piddling — his term — of both Stephens and his wife, Kim Laramore-Stephens. Antique touches abound. There is a parlor, complete with matching 19th-century sitting chairs; a couch from 1790; an antique bureau left by a lodger; paintings of long-deceased relatives, including Eliza Hikes, Chas’ great-great aunt; a collection of old stoneware jugs. In general, everything in the house looks from a period not our own, except for the modern stainless-steel refrigerator. A statue of an American eagle, a wooden carving created during the time between the American Revolution and the creation of the Constitution in 1787, has been in the house since it was constructed. The dining-room table would not be out of place on Masterpiece Theater, and the 77-key Boardman & Gray piano dates from at least 1860. 
During the Civil War, Union soldiers camped alongside nearby Beargrass Creek, and his great-grandfather gave them potatoes and hams out of the smokehouse. “And in return, he asked them not to bother the people in the house, or the people on the farm, who were slaves.” The soldiers did as asked, even as they kept an armed guard around the home to protect it from guerilla action from Southern sympathizers. They stayed for two to three days and then marched on to the Battle of Perryville. (Taken from the Louisville Magazine Article by David Serchuk)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Announcing Our 531st Meeting
Date: Friday, October 12

The Barons of the Civil War 
presented by Jeffry Wert

We welcome back Historian-Author Jeffry Wert to the October meeting. Jeffry received his Master of Arts degree in history for the Pennsylvania State University in 1976. He has written extensively for periodicals and has had serial columns on Turning Points in the Civil War and The Progress of the War appear in Civil War Times Illustrated. He is the author of ten books beginning in 1987 with the publication of From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign of 1864 and including biographies on George Custer, James Longstreet, and Jeb Stuart. His book A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee’s Triumph, 1862-1863 won the prestigious Richard B. Harwell award in 2012. His book, Gettysburg Day Three was nominated for a 2012 Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on the History Channel and C-Span commenting on Civil War subjects. 
 Jeffry is a dedicated preservationist having served as an honorary member of the Board of Directors of the Civil War Trust and receiving the Carrington Williams Preservation Award in 2015 from the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation. Jeffry won the William Woods Hassler Award in 2002 for contributions to the field of Civil War Studies. His most recent book is The Barons of the Civil War and will be available in November. 
Jeffry and his wife Gloria live in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania. Jeffry recently retired from teaching history at Penns Valley Area High school. 

The Barons of the Civil War 

Jeffry Wert’s presentation will discuss the contributions of 19 Northern businessmen and industrialists to the Union war effort. Numbers of them are renowned individuals whose companies are still in operation today: Deere, McCormick, Borden, Squibb, Weyerhaeuser, and others such as Carnegie, Spencer, Parrott, Cooke, Vanderbilt, and Studebaker.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

American Civil War Monuments
Andrews Raiders 
Chattanooga National Cemetery 
Chattanooga, TN 
Photos courtesy of LCWRT Member John Davis, 
and text courtesy of LCWRT Member, Holly Jenkins-Evans

Monument Inscription: Ohio's Tribute to the Andrews Raiders 1862 Erected 1890 
Tombstone: James J. Andrews Civilian June 7 1862

Because I can't say it better my self, I bring you this from the National Park Service website @   

"The Andrews’ Raiders Monument, dedicated by the State of Ohio in 1890, honors Union spy James J. Andrews of Ohio, and 24 of his men who snuck deep into Confederate territory on a mission to cut rail and communication lines. On April 12, 1862, the men boarded “The General,” a wood-burning locomotive, at Marietta, Georgia, while the passengers and conductor enjoyed breakfast. The raiders took off in the engine, heading north, cutting telegraph lines and tearing up the rail tracks along their way. The train’s conductor and others gave chase, commandeering two other trains as they encountered broken tracks. When the raiders reached Ringgold, Georgia, 80 miles northwest of Marietta, they jumped from the train, scattering in the forest. Andrews was captured and eventually hanged in Atlanta. He and eight others from the mission are buried in Section H of the Chattanooga National Cemetery. Four of Andrews' Raiders buried here received the Medal of Honor, although Andrews, as a civilian, was ineligible. The monument to these daring raiders is also located in Section H of the cemetery and consists of a granite pedestal topped with a bronze replica of "The General." 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

American Civil War Monuments
79th PA Vol. Infantry 
Battle Line Rd 
Chickamauga National Battlefield Park
1894, George H. Mitchell, Architect 

 Photos courtesy of LCWRT Member John Davis, 
and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Holly Jenkins-Evans

At 18' high, this monument has a two level base and a pedestal with inscribed panels. The bronze sculpture is of two infantrymen carrying a flag. 

The 79th PA was organized in Lancaster, Pa. and therefore also known as the Lancaster Rifles. They mustered in on September 19, 1861 under Col. Henry A. Hambright and re-enlisted as Veteran Volunteers at Chattanooga, TN in 1864. 

Their many actions as part of the 14th Corps and later the Ar
my of the Cumberland included Perryville, Stones River, the Tullahoma Campaign, Hoovers Gap, Chickamauga September, Siege and Battle of Chattanooga. After their re-enlistment, they participated in the Atlanta Campaign from Rocky Faced Ridge through to the Siege of Atlanta. Then Utoy Creek, Jonesboro and the March to the Sea. Then the Campaign of the Carolinas and the Battle of Bentonville, the Surrender of Johnston and his army. And finally on to the March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., for the Grand Review of the Armies May 24. They mustered out in July, 1865. 

During the war, the regiment lost a total of 268 men during service; 4 officers and 118 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, while 1 officer and 145 enlisted men died of disease. Of the 390 men engaged at the Battle of Chickamauga, 137 were killed, wounded or missing. 

79th Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry 
2nd. Brigade, (Starkweather) 1st. Division, (Baird) 14th. Corps, (Thomas) 
Colonel Henry A. Hambright, Commanding 

On rear: 
This Regiment Held This Position From Early Sunday Morning September 20th, 
Until Evening When Ordered to Retire 

Monday, September 17, 2018

American Civil War Monuments 
Camden, Maine 
Soldiers Monument 

 Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member, Holly Jenkins-Evans

 Located in Harbor Park, Camden, Maine, this granite monument was dedicated May 30, 1899. The base was by Thomas J. Lyons of Vinalhaven, Maine and the statue by the Hallowell Granite Co. Both were purchased for $1400 by the Camden Soldiers Monument Association. The monument has an enlisted soldier in frock style coat on a high pedestal, with the following inscription: 

"Erected in 1899 by the Camden Solders Monument Association in honor 
of the brave men of Camden who gave their lives in defense of their country 
during the Great Rebellion 1861 – 65." 

 On two sides of the base are listed the 22 Honored Dead from the 24th ME, 4 ME, 6th ME Battery, 17th US, 30th US , 19th ME, 26th ME, 15th ME and the US Navy. The Maine regiments were organized in several locations: Augusta, Rockland, Bath, and Bangor. On the third are those 14 veterans who died since 1865.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

American Civil War Monuments 
Castine, Maine 
Soldiers and Sailors Monument 

Located in the town common of Castine, Maine, this monument was dedicated May 30, 1887 and paid for by the town of Castine and provided by the Hallowell Granite Company.

It has a classic infantry soldier, with the following inscription: 

 In Memory of the Soldiers and Sailors from Castine, 
 Who offered their lives in the War for the Preservation of the Union 1861-1865 

 With a Great Sum Obtained We This Freedom 

 Photos and text courtesy of LCWRT Member, Holly Jenkins-Evans

Saturday, September 1, 2018

American Civil War Monuments
Sturbridge, Massachusetts 
Soldier's Monument 
Built 1871 
rededicated 2002 

Erected by the Town This very simple monument stands in the Commons of Sturbridge, Mass. The sentiment is simple; it's a Soldier's Monument. No lists of battles or lofty sentiments, just the names of soldiers from the area, members of different regiments, now carved on the sides. And it was erected not by a generous donor, or the state, and no name gets credit, but simply by the town to honor their own. 

Honor Roll: 
 A.M. Bullard, J. B. Blodget, J. Brigham 
J.B. Cooper, J. A. Johnson, G. C McMaster 
I.G. Plimpton, R. Sharruck, C. M. Whittemore 

P. Gavin, W. J. Allen, C. H. Brown 
W. Carter, T. O'Hare, H. Smith 
W.J. Stone, D. Wilson, N. Wright 

A.F. Child, W. H. Clarke, W. S. Fuller 
W.D. Marsh, J. F. Moore, A. L. Russell
H.H. Ransom, N. L. Stone, A. Walker

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A Perfect Hell of Blood: The Battle of the Crater

Announcing Our 530th Meeting
DATE: Friday, September 7                       

A Perfect Hell of Blood: The Battle of the Crater
Presented by A. Wilson Greene
We welcome back our friend Will Greene to the September meeting. Will recently completed a 44-year career in public history as a park historian, battlefield preservationist, and museum director.  Greene holds degrees in history from Florida State University and Louisiana State University, where he did his graduate work under the legendary T. Harry Williams.  He worked for the National Park Service for sixteen years, was the first executive director of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (now the Civil War Trust) and is the founding executive director of Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier.   
He is the author of six books and more than 20 published articles on Civil War history, Greene's latest publication is A Campaign of Giants: The Petersburg Campaign from the Crossing of the James to the Battle of the Crater.  

Greene lives in Walden, Tennessee with his wife, Maggie, and his cat, Ozzie Guillen.  Will was our guide in and 2013 and will be our guide on next spring’s field trip to cover Jackson’s 1862 Shenandoah campaign.

“A Perfect Hell of Blood: The Battle of the Crater

The Petersburg Campaign lasted 292 days, but the one Petersburg event that stands out for most students of the Civil War is the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864.  The basic facts about this infamous engagement that Ulysses S. Grant called "the saddest affair I have witnessed in the war" are well known.  A Pennsylvania regiment, full of former coal miners, dug a mine shaft in which they packed 8,000 pounds of black powder under a prominent Confederate fort.  The explosion blasted a huge hole in the ground, but the Union attackers, instead of going around the crater, stopped and sought shelter.  Confederate counterattacks regained the lost ground in some of the war's most brutal close-quarters combat.  Will Greene discovered in the course of his research new information, some of which runs counter to the standard Crater narrative.  His illustrated talk, "A Perfect Hell of Blood," will reveal some of those findings and in the process remind listeners how war can transform men into remorseless killers.

Monday, August 27, 2018

As Summer Ends, a New Season Arrives for LCWRT

The LCWRT will open its 57th year this September with our guest speaker, Will Green on the Battle of the Crater.  This year will will host both new and repeat guest speakers, including Jeffrey Wert, Bud Robertson, Clay Stuckey, Brian Steele Wills, Michael Murphy , Stephen Davis and Chris Mackowski.

And as for our 2019 Spring Field Trip? 

We will be heading to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where we will study the famous 1862 Valley Campaign of Stonewall Jackson.  The dates for the trip are April 24-28, 2019 and our guide will be Will Greene.  Will is one of the best guides we have ever had and we are looking forward to having him interpret Stonewall Jackson’s epic valley campaign of 1862. We will be headquartered in Harrisonburg from which we will traverse up and down the Valley visiting all the major sites of the campaign.  It has been 25 years since the Round Table took a field trip to study this important operation.

And from the Summer Issue of the LCWRT Adjutant's Call: 

"Seventh Annual Bourbon and BBQ a Big Success!
On the beautiful afternoon of Saturday of June 23rd, some sixty-five members and guests gathered at the lovely home of Art Boerner on the Ohio in southern Indiana for a wonderful afternoon of fun, food, and fellowship! We want to thank everyone who attended and donated time and money to this event. Our theme for this year was Irish Whiskey and how it contrasted with Bourbon.  Once again Bourbon historian Mike Veach served as master of ceremonies and conducted the auction. Chris Zaborowski a veteran of the beverage alcohol business and current owner of Westport Whiskey & Wine in Louisville led the tasting of three Irish whiskeys and three bourbons. I think Kentucky bourbon was the clear favorite! This was followed by a BBQ feast with fantastic ribs prepared by Art Boerner and scrumptious pulled pork slow cooked and smoked by Marc Oca with all the side dishes and desserts one could hope for including peach and blackberry cobbler prepared by Cindy Winslow.  Everyone had a great time and no one left hungry!"

2018 LCWRT Bourbon & Barbecue on the River

Monday, April 9, 2018

Gordon’s Flank Attack: Lost Opportunity in the Wilderness

Announcing Our 528th Meeting
Date: Saturday, April 14

Gordon’s Flank Attack: Lost Opportunity in the Wilderness

         Presented by Greg Mertz

We welcome back Greg Mertz, who serves as the supervisory historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.  He has been our guide on several of our field trips to eastern battlefields and has spoken at our meetings before as well.  Greg Mertz was born and raised near St. Louis, Missouri.  His interest in the Civil War began and grew out of annual hiking and camping trips the scout troop made to the Shiloh, Tennessee battlefield every spring.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.  His 37 year career with the National Park Service began with four years at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site followed by 33 years at Fredericksburg.  He has written four feature articles for Blue and Gray Magazine on the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House and has an upcoming book in the Emerging Civil War Series titled Attack at Daylight and Whip Them: The Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862.

       Gordon’s Flank Attack: Lost Opportunity in the Wilderness

The final attack during the May 5-6, 1864 Battle of the Wilderness, was not simply a small portion of the first showdown between Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.  For Confederate General John B. Gordon, of whom the attack is named, the dusk attack was a lost opportunity – and one of several such chances blown by the Confederates that he observed during the course of the war.   Gordon felt that the situation in the Wilderness was similar to a missed opportunity he had experienced at Gettysburg, as well as a pair of other prime chances the Confederates had during subsequent battles later in 1864.  In addition to observing similarities among the several lost opportunities, Gordon also noticed parallels in the decision-making process for the attacks that failed to accomplish all that Gordon felt the Confederates could have achieved.  Some combination of Generals Gordon, Richard S. Ewell and Jubal A. Early were involved in the discussions regarding lost opportunities, and Gordon blamed these superiors for failing to make attacks that did not reach their potential.  We will examine how Gordon’s Flank Attack in the Wilderness tells us about more than just a sliver of the battle, but illuminates our understanding of the inner workings of a key portion of the Army of Northern Virginia.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

American Civil War Monuments
Abraham Lincoln
Richmond, Knoxville and Vicksburg

Only 3 statues of Abraham Lincoln are to be found in the 11 states which made up the Confederacy.

 Photos and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore

This statue of Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad is located at the Tredegar Iron Works, National Historic Landmark in Richmond, Virginia.  Tredegar was the largest provider of armaments for the Confederacy during the Civil War.  Protests against the monument took place during its dedication April 4, 2003.

This statue of Lincoln stands at the entrance to Lincoln Memorial University which is located in Harrogate, Tennessee.  The school is located 80 miles north of Knoxville in the Cumberland Gap area.  The university was chartered by the State of Tennessee on February 12, 1897.

The third statue is located at the Vicksburg National Military Park and was covered on this blog on 2/15/2018: 
"The Kentucky Memorial was dedicated October 20, 2001, and features bronze statues of United States President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate President Jefferson Davis who were both native Kentuckians.  The memorial symbolizes the division within Kentucky during the Civil War as well as the reunification of the state and country afterward. " 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Announcing Our 527th Meeting
Date: Saturday, March 10, 2018

C.S.A. Gen. Ben Hardin Helm and Emilie Todd Helm
Presented by Stuart W. Sanders

Stuart W. Sanders will speak about the remarkable lives of Confederate General Benjamin Hardin Helm and his wife, Emilie Todd Helm. After General Helm was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga, Emilie—the sister of Mary Todd Lincoln—visited the White House where she grieved the loss of her husband with the Union commander-in-chief. Sanders will discuss these two Kentuckians and the controversy of Emilie—a rebel widow—visiting Washington, DC.  Sanders is the author of the e-book, Lincoln’s Confederate Little Sister: Emilie Todd Helm. He has also written an essay about General Helm that just appeared in volume four of Confederate Generals in the Western Theater, published by the University of Tennessee Press.

Stuart W. Sanders is the former executive director of the Perryville Battlefield Preservation Association. As director, he worked for nearly 10 years to preserve and interpret Kentucky’s largest Civil War battleground before coming to the Kentucky Historical Society. He oversees community field services and as History Advocate, Stuart brings his experiences as a preservationist, interpreter, outreach specialist, author and speaker to his current duties, communicating the relevance, value and significance of Kentucky’s history. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and completed Developing History Leaders @SHA.  

Stuart W. Sanders is the author of three books, including Perryville Under Fire: The Aftermath of Kentucky’s Largest Civil War Battle, The Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky, and Maney’s Confederate Brigade at the Battle of Perryville. He has also contributed essays to the books Kentuckians in Gray: Confederate Generals and Field Officers of the Bluegrass State, multiple volumes of Confederate Generals in the Western Theater, and multiple volumes of the forthcoming Confederate Generals in the Trans Mississippi. He has written essays and articles for publications, including Civil War Times Illustrated, America’s Civil War, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Hallowed Ground, Blue and Gray, Kentucky Humanities, Kentucky Ancestors, The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Encyclopedia Virginia, and more.

Monday, February 19, 2018

American Civil War Monuments
Kentucky Memorialization at Vicksburg
Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg, Mississippi

 Photos and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore

The Kentucky Memorial was dedicated October 20, 2001, and features bronze statues of United States President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate President Jefferson Davis who were both native Kentuckians.  The memorial symbolizes the division within Kentucky during the Civil War as well as the reunification of the state and country afterward.  After Kentucky erected this state monument, the Sons of Confederate Veterans of Kentucky decided they needed to erect a monument to only the Confederate forces from the state who served at Vicksburg.  It was dedicated May 8, 2010.


The Lincoln/Davis Statue was done by Gary Casteel who also did the Longstreet equestrian statue at Gettysburg, which may be seen on the October 25, 2016 blog.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Announcing Our 526th Meeting
DATE: Saturday, February 10
PROGRAM: 8:00 P.M.

The Battle and Legacy of Missionary Ridge
Presented by Christopher L. Kolakowski

We welcome back former member and LCWRT President Chris Kolakowski to our February meeting.  Chris was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va. He received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany.  

Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, and the U.S. Army. He has written and spoken on various aspects of military history from 1775 to the present. He has published two books with the History Press: The Civil War at Perryville: Battling For the Bluegrass and The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaign: This Army Does Not Retreat. In September 2016, the U.S. Army published his volume on the 1862 Virginia Campaigns as part of its sesquicentennial series on the Civil War. He is a contributor to the Emerging Civil War Blog, and his study of the 1941-42 Philippine Campaign titled Last Stand on Bataan was released by McFarland in late February 2016. He is currently working on a book about the 1944 India-Burma Campaigns scheduled for release in 2020.
Chris came to Norfolk having served as Director of the General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership in Fort Knox, KY from 2009 to 2013. He became the MacArthur Memorial Director on September 16, 2013 where he currently serves.

The Battle and Legacy of Missionary Ridge

The capture of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863 was a turning point in the Civil War, and capped a series of battles that left the Union in undisputed control of the key city of Chattanooga. The actions of an 18-year-old lieutenant in the 24th Wisconsin, Arthur MacArthur, at this battle would reverberate far beyond southeastern Tennessee. In some ways, the foundation of the MacArthur military dynasty occurred on the slopes of Missionary Ridge. Other echoes of the battle can be heard even today. The talk will discuss the battle, its impact on the Civil War, and its enduring legacies.