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2014-15 Program Schedule

The Charger Archives | 05/15

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Featured Articles

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

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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Executive Committee

Patrick Bray


Chris Fortunato

Vice President

Jean Rhodes


Hans Kuenzi


Dave Carrino


Howard Besser


C. Ellen Connally


Jim Heflich


Mike Wells


Paul Burkholder


Dennis Keating
Mike Wells

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, May 13, 2015 @ 6:30 p.m.

Fighting for Freedom: The Story of United States Colored Troops
Presented by Anthony Gibbs

Almost 200,000 black soldiers fought for the Union during the Civil War. Their story is a unique chapter in the American conflict. These men were freedom fighters who fought for emancipation and for full citizenship rights. Mr. Gibbs discusses events significant to these men that led up to the Civil War, and what made these men different from the other thousands who fought and died in the War Between the States.

Our speaker: Anthony Gibbs has traveled throughout Ohio as a teaching artist and living history performer. Anthony portrays John Parker, an Underground Railroad conductor from Ripley, OH; Milton Holland, a soldier of Medal of Honor recipient of the 5th U.S.C.T.; and other key figures in African American History. For almost ten years Mr. Gibbs has presented historical workshops and performances on the United States Colored Troops and their participation in the Civil War. A graduate of The Ohio State University, he is founder and Creative Director of Black Historic Impressions, an organization dedicated to the remembrance, appreciation, and exhibition of African American contributions throughout history.


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.

History Briefs

A small glimpse into the Civil War era

A Doubly Exemplary Singular
Civil War Accomplishment

By David A. Carrino
Roundtable Historian

To paraphrase Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of baseball." There are many aspects of baseball that make it such a captivating sport, not the least of which is the time of year when it is played. Baseball rises from its hibernation in the spring, when the earth is emerging from another of its recurrent seasons of lifelessness. Baseball flows through the hot days and warm nights of summer as a leisurely accompaniment to the sunshine and easy living. Baseball's climax comes as autumn is putting a close on another season of beaches, amusement parks, and cookouts, and the crowning of baseball's champion serves as a reminder that the next cycle of hard, drab days is near.

Nathan Kimball

Another aspect of baseball that intrigues its fans is the sport's many great players, and baseball, more so than other sports, possesses a larger and more intricate range of measures to assess a player's sustained performance. With the myriad statistics that are tracked, there are many metrics that can be used to evaluate a player's career. But sometimes momentary greatness comes to a player, such as a perfect game or no-hitter, and this exceptional accomplishment earns the player a place in baseball history. One unique feat of momentary greatness occurred in the 1934 All-Star Game, when Carl Hubbell, a pitcher for the New York Giants, struck out in succession not just five Hall of Fame players, but five of the best hitters in the history of Major League Baseball: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin. How this relates to the Civil War is that there was a Union officer who could claim something comparable in that he was the only Union officer who had the twofold remarkable achievement of defeating both Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. That person is Nathan Kimball.

Nathan Kimball was born on November 22, 1822 in Fredericksburg, Indiana. He did not receive a military education, but attended what became DePauw University and became a teacher. He later learned medicine and established a private practice near the town where he was born. When war broke out with Mexico, Kimball volunteered, raised an infantry company, and was elected its captain. At the battle of Buena Vista, he rallied his company to hold its position even after the rest of the regiment fled. After the Mexican-American War, Kimball returned to Indiana and continued to practice medicine.


From the Charger

Newsletter of the Cleveland CWRT

A Report On: American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague, Civil War "Belle of the North" By John Oller
By Jean Rhodes

Katherine Jane Chase, the daughter of Ohio politician, Salmon P. Chase was the envy of the Washington social set during the war years and beyond.

Kate Chase

By the time Kate was born on August 13, 1840, her father had already lost one wife and child. He was to lose two more children and Kate’s mother before the end of 1845. Chase’s third also died but not before giving Kate a sister, Nettie. He would never marry again.

Being widowed and heavily involved in Ohio politics, Chase would groom Kate to become his hostess and social secretary, sending her to Miss Haines School in New York City to prepare her for society. While there, she was exposed to the finer things in life to which she became accustomed. Her father’s expectations for her led him to become, it would seem, overcritical, filling his letters with advice and correcting her grammar whenever possible. Salmon Chase strove to be first and wanted the same for his daughter. The author projects little warmth between father and daughter, although she idolized him. The author describes their relationship as symbiotic: as time went on, she would help him politically and he would never marry, with the expectation that Salmon Chase would become President and Kate would be his First Lady.

Kate returned to Columbus in 1855 as her father was running for Governor of Ohio. With his election, she became his First Lady and secretary. At age 16 she was already turning heads and was known as the “Belle of Columbus”. Salmon Chase campaigned for, and lost, the Republican presidential nomination in 1860, after which he became Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary. While disappointed at the loss, Kate learned valuable political lessons, among them the need to be proactive and the importance of strategy.


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 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!"

John Wilkes Booth

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.


The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable