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The Charger Archives | 02/15

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Featured Articles

The Confederate Battle Flag, Personal License Plates, and Litigation
By Dennis Keating

"Beyond the Battlefield": An Ohio History Connection Symposium
By William F.B. Vodrey

The April 1861 Madness
By Patrick Bray

Shelby Foote was Wrong!
By Dick Crews

A Rebuttal to “Shelby Foote Was Wrong”
By Greg Biggs

The Battle of Cedar Creek
By Dennis Keating

The U. S. Navy and the Naval Battles of Charleston, 1863
By Syd Overall

Jacob Dolson Cox
By Dennis Keating

Base Ball on Johnson's Island
By William F.B. Vodrey

The Case for Union
By John C. Fazio

A Review of Jennifer Chiaverini's
The Spymistress

By Dennis Keating

Ohio’s Civil War Generals:
Some Lesser Known

By Dennis Keating

The (Secret) Life and Letters of General George Gordon Meade
By George G. Meade

Lincoln and Grant:
The Westerners Who Won the Civil War

By Edward W. Bonekemper, III

My Thoughts Be Bloody
Prologue: The Players

By Nora Titone

Cleveland's Civil War Roundtable
Takes an Excursion into Fiction

By Karen R. Long

Gold, Greed, and a Vacuum of Law
By Carol Buchanan

’The Rebels are Upon Us’ The 1864 Confederate Invasion of Maryland, The Battle of Monocacy, and Jubal Early’s Move on Washington, D.C.
By Marc Leepson

The Great Battle of Gettysburg
By Max R. Terman

Assessing African American Attitudes Toward the Civil War (pdf)
A National Park Service Report prepared
by Hermina Glass-Avery

In the Shadow of the Civil War:
Passmore Williamson and the Rescue of Jane Johnson

By Nat Brandt with Yanna Kroyt Brandt

Scenes from The Fighting McCooks
By Barbara and Charles Whalen

Making a Covenant with Death:
Slavery and the Constitutional Convention

By Dr. Paul Finkelman

Blood, Tears and Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War
By Dr. James Bissland

Why Grant Won and Lee Lost
By Edward H. Bonekemper, III

Jefferson Davis's Imprisonment
at Fortress Monroe

By Clint Johnson

The Madness of Mary Lincoln
By Jason Emerson



History Under Siege
The Annual Report of the Civil War Preservation Trust



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Dennis Keating
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Charger Newsletter 

Membership in the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable is open to anyone who shares the belief that the American Civil War is the defining event in U.S. history.






Join Us for Our Next Program...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 @ 6:30 p.m.

John Wilkes Booth and His Conspirators
Presented by John C. Fazio

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln is usually told as a tale of a lone deranged actor who struck from a twisted lust for revenge. This is not only too simple an explanation, but completely wrong. John Wilkes Booth was neither mad nor alone in his act of murder. He received the help of many, not the least of whom was Dr. Samuel Alexander Mudd, the Charles County physician who has been portrayed as the innocent victim of a vengeful government. Booth was also aided by the Confederate leadership in Richmond. As he made his plans to strike at Lincoln, Booth was in contact with key members of the Confederate underground, and after the assassination these same forces used all of their resources to attempt his escape.  (From the publisher of Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.)

Our speaker: John C. Fazio has lived for half a century in the Greater Cleveland area and is currently a resident of Akron. He is married, with five children, all of whom have left the nest. His wife, Mary, is retired, after a career in public relations. John retired from his law practice in 2008 after 43 years.

John is a student of history with an emphasis on European and American history and with an even greater emphasis on the most defining event in American history, namely the Civil War, or as it is sometimes called, the War Between the States, and even the War of Northern Aggression. (It's official title is the War of the Rebellion.) He has been a member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable for about 15 years and was its Vice-President in 2005-2006 and President in 2006-2007. He frequently lectures on the war and has written numerous articles on the subject.  His book on the Lincoln assassination, Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln, is scheduled to be published in April.


Meeting Time: Meetings begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30, and the program at 7:30.  Meetings typically end by 9.

Meeting Location: Our meetings are held at Judson Manor (the former Wade Park Manor residential hotel), located at the corner of East 107th Street and Chester in downtown Cleveland, just off University Circle.  Map to Judson Manor History of Wade Park Manor

Reservations: You must make a dinner reservation for any meeting you plan to attend no later than the day prior to that meeting (so we can give a headcount to the caterer).  Make your reservation one of three ways:

  • Send an email to .
  • Click any of the 'Make a Dinner Reservation" links on this page.
  • Call 440-449-9311 and leave a message on the voice mail.

Blast from the Past

Articles from the Charger Archives

Confederate Complicity In the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
By John C. Fazio

I. Rogue Operations - The Case of Jonathan Pollard

From May, 1984, until his arrest in November, 1985, Jonathan Pollard, a 31-year old head of the Middle Eastern desk at the U.S. Navy’s Suitland, Maryland, Intelligence Complex, spied for Israel. The classified documents that he gave Israel access to would fill a space 10 ft. by 6 ft. by 6 ft. (360 cu.ft.). It was said that he did it for money and jewelry, but we may be certain that he did it for political reasons as well. His treachery is said to have caused one of the worst security disasters in United States history.  In 1987 he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. All efforts to have him paroled or pardoned have failed.

Jonathan Pollard’s Naval Intelligence ID photo

What is significant is that from the date of his arrest until 1998, Israel insisted that his activities were a rogue operation. In 1998, then Prime Minister Netanyahu admitted that it wasn’t so, that in fact Pollard was, at all relevant times, an Israeli intelligence agent and that Israeli intelligence had recruited him and handled him, i.e. supervised his activities, until he was caught.

Does anyone suppose that United States intelligence services, or any intelligence service in the world, for that matter, bought the “rogue operation” explanation? Of course not. Why not? Because all intelligence services know that the business of intelligence is incredibly complex and sophisticated, that it is imperative that agents follow orders at all times, especially when major policies of a government can be and likely will be affected by their actions, and that “rogue operations” are all but unknown in the intelligence world.

So let it be with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The notion that it was a rogue operation by a disgruntled actor and a little band of cut-throats, mental retards and cowards is ridiculous on its face, and the evidence that it was not this is very strong to overwhelming.


Booth In the Confederate Secret Service
By John C. Fazio
John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth was an agent of the Confederate Secret Service. It is not known, and may never be known, when or exactly under what circumstances he was recruited and accepted his role as such, but that he was an agent and was in regular contact with other agents, who had ties to the Confederate leadership, or who had ties to other agents who had such ties, has been firmly established. Asia Booth described her brother as "a spy, a blockade-runner, a rebel!"

Because he is not known to have been an agent before 1864 and is known to have been such in 1864 and 1865, it appears that he was recruited and trained in 1864, quite likely when he was in New Orleans for three weeks that year from the middle of March through early April. While there, he boarded at the home of George Miller, a Confederate sympathizer known to have had ties to high-ranking figures in the Confederate government. Booth and Miller are known to have corresponded for some time after Booth left the city. Another sympathizer he met there, and in whose company he was often seen, was Hiram Martin, a blockade runner. Either Miller or Martin could have been the recruiter. The only certainty is that by the end of that summer, Booth was in regular contact with Confederate agents and was familiar with their cipher system.

Booth told Asia that he was involved in the “underground” and that the work demanded travel. The unexplained trips, the strange visitors at all hours, the callused hands “from nights of rowing,” to Asia it suddenly all made sense. She wrote that:

He often slept in his clothes on the couch downstairs, having on his long riding boots. Strange men called at late hours, some whose voices I knew, but who would not answer to their names; and others who were perfectly strange to me. They never came farther than the inner sill, and spoke in whispers.


History Briefs

A small glimpse into the Civil War era

The Other Thirteenth Amendment(s)
By David A. Carrino
Roundtable Historian

The acclaimed movie Lincoln focuses on passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. But before this Thirteenth Amendment was even conceived, there was another proposed Thirteenth Amendment that was far different in its intended objective than Lincoln's Thirteenth Amendment. This Thirteenth Amendment was passed by Congress on March 2, 1861, two days before Abraham Lincoln's first inauguration. In contrast to Lincoln's Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, this other Thirteenth Amendment protected slavery by denying to Congress the power to pass either laws or a Constitutional amendment to interfere with or abolish slavery. Moreover, Abraham Lincoln publicly expressed support for this Thirteenth Amendment.

Thomas Corwin

In response to the secession crisis, which increased in severity after Lincoln's election in November 1860, outgoing President James Buchanan asked Congress in December 1860 to pass an amendment that would safeguard slavery. This was an attempt by Buchanan to appease the southern states into remaining in the Union, and the House of Representatives organized a committee to draft such an amendment. The head of this committee was Ohio Congressman Thomas Corwin, and the proposed amendment that resulted bears his name as the Corwin Amendment, although Corwin did not draft the amendment. The Corwin Amendment was only one of numerous Congressional resolutions that were proposed to mollify the South and put an end to threats of secession, but of all these resolutions, the Corwin Amendment came closest to being enacted. At the time, there were twelve amendments to the Constitution, which would have made the Corwin Amendment the thirteenth upon its ratification.


From the Charger

Newsletter of the Cleveland CWRT

A Monument to Service:
The Cuyahoga County Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument
By Tim Daley and Richard T. Prasse

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument commemorates in stone, bronze and glass the service of those enlisted and appointed from Cuyahoga County during the Civil War. Their names are captured in marble inside the Monument’s Memorial Tablet Room, etched alongside those with whom they served during the national struggle. The story of the Monument’s creation was also a struggle. The idea to erect a monument was first proposed by William Gleason in October 1879 to the Soldiers and Sailors Society in Cleveland. Gleason with two others were charged to test the idea the following week at a reunion of Union Veterans. The project was approved with a committee appointed to seek funding support from the State of Ohio. Their advocacy resulted in eight different legislative acts by 1894 in support of the construction of the Monument.

Levi Scofield

With funding provided for, a Union Army Veteran, Levi Scofield, was selected to develop the plan. Scofield had served in the war as an officer in the 103rd O.V.I., fighting in the Western Theatre. Returning to Cleveland after the war, he became an architect, responsible for the design of large public works such as the Ohio State Penitentiary, the Ridges Institution in Athens, Ohio and the Mansfield Reformatory (made famous more recently as the prison in the movie, The Shawshank Redemption). For this project, Scofield worked for expenses, never charging a fee for his services. However, local objections slowed down the plan. Returning to the Ohio General Assembly, the committee was replaced in 1888 by an appointed Monument Commission which today remains the body responsible for the use and control of the Monument and the southeast quadrant of Public Square in Cleveland. The battle for approval and construction wound its way to the Ohio Supreme Court which approved the General Assembly’s power to delegate the authority to the Monument Commission. A later attack in Federal Court also resulted in victory for the veterans and the Monument. The more complete story on the Monument’s construction and labor pains has been told by Bill Stark in the Ohio Historical Society’s Timeline in February 2003 under “Legal Maneuvers.” Reprints are available at the Monument.


The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable