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Founded November 20, 1956



2015-16 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



Search only CCWRT.com


Executive Committee

Chris Fortunato


Jean Rhodes

Vice President

Hans Kuenzi


Dan Ursu


Dave Carrino


Howard Besser


Patrick Bray


C. Ellen Connally


Jim Heflich


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, September 9, 2015 @ 6:30 p.m.

Major General John Alexander McClernand: Politician in Uniform
Dr. Richard Kiper

John A. McClernand was a leading Democratic congressman from Illinois who in 1861 became a brigadier general in the Union army. Although a "political general," he proved himself on the battlefield until he ran afoul of Ulysses S. Grant and was relieved of his command of the Thirteenth Corps in 1863 during the Vicksburg campaign. Richard Kiper presents a balanced and sympathetic assessment of this highly controversial individual who served his country as soldier and statesman and sheds new light on the Union command system, providing insight into the politics of war as well as the personalities and relationships among the army's senior officers.

Our speaker: Richard L. Kiper is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel (West Point, 1967) who earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Kansas. He is the author of Major General John Alexander McClernand: Politician in Uniform (The Kent State University Press, 1999), Spare Not the Brave: The Special Activities Group in Korea, the coauthor of U.S. Army Special Operations In Afghanistan, and the editor of Dear Catharine, Dear Taylor: The Civil War Letters of a Union Soldier and his Wife. Dr. Kiper has taught at West Point, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and Kansas City Kansas Community College and has served as an analyst at the U.S. Army Irregular Warfare Center in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.


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.

CCWRT Annual Field Trip:
September 24 - September 27, 2015

For our annual field trip this year we return to Gettysburg, the "high water mark of the Confederacy" and the most popular Civil War destination for both the casual and serious student of history. As Dan Zeiser says, our field trips are the best thing we do.  If you've not gone before, you must make time and join us!  Gettysburg is a short five hours away; logistically, it will never be easier.  For a sense of what these trips are like, read the summary of our 2008 trip to Gettysburg here.


Thursday, September 24, 2015:

  • This will be a traveling day. Mapquest shows travel from Cleveland to Gettysburg takes approximately 6 hours. So, a leisurely drive can get us all there in the late afternoon.
  • Group meets for dinner and an agreed upon evening event.

Friday, September 25, 2015:

  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • Proceed to Battlefield at 9AM. We spend the whole day at the Battlefield with a licensed guide. The cost of the guide will be split evenly.
  • Lunch: we will either go out of the park or have box lunches.
  • Afternoon: Back at the battlefield with our guide.
  • Evening: Dinner at Lincoln Diner. Cozy. Homey. Family place. It would be fun to have meals in common.

Saturday, September 26, 2015:

  • Breakfast at the Wyndham
  • Morning: 9 AM sharp. Back to the Battlefield with our guide.
  • Lunch either by boxes or to town.
  • Afternoon: Return to the Battlefield.
  • Evening: Decamp to the Camptown Inn in Camptown, PA for a nice closing dinner. Awards to be presented.

Sunday, September 27, 2015:

  • Morning: Check out of hotel. Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Travel to the Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg.
  • Admission is $7.
  • Leave for Cleveland.


Gettysburg Wyndham
95 Presidential Circle
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Phone: 717-339-0020

Blast from the Past

Articles from the Charger Archives

The Gettysburg Field Trip
September 2008
By Paul Burkholder

Note: The CCWRT has traveled to Gettysburg multiple times, most recently in 2008.  The article below reported on that trip and we're dredging it out of the archives today in the hopes of convincing you to join us on this year's trip!

From Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, the 28th, twenty-five of our members, led by president Jon Thompson, participated in the Roundtable's annual fieldtrip, this year to the hallowed ground of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  The club's return to Gettysburg was driven in part by the ongoing work being done by the Park Service to restore the battlefield to its 1863 state, in part by the opening of the new Visitor Center there and in part by the unveiling of the freshly restored (and moved) Cyclorama.  Without cutting to the chase too quickly, let me report with some relief that those responsible for these changes have produced admirable results on all counts.  (Save, perhaps, for the funding of these many projects, but more on that later.)

Honoring the 8th Ohio

Upon our arrival in Gettysburg on Thursday afternoon, we assembled at our hotel and caravanned over to the 8th Ohio Monument on Steinwehr Avenue for a wreath laying ceremony there.  Jon distributed cards to all present listing details of individual Ohioans who served - and died - in the 8th at Gettysburg and then spoke for a few minutes on the unit's actions helping to repulse Pickett's Charge on July 3rd.  The ceremony ended with William Vodrey reading from Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's address to a reunion of Gettysburg veterans in October, 1889:

"In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field to ponder and dream; and lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls."

This reading, followed by a brief moment of silence, provided an appropriately somber and moving beginning to our visit.


History Briefs

A small glimpse into the Civil War era

The First and Second Battles of Selma
By David A. Carrino
Roundtable Historian

Nathan Bedford Forrest
James Wilson

On May 13, 1865 the last battle of the Civil War came to an end, or so most people say. The Civil War's battles are considered by most people to have taken place between April 12, 1861 and May 13, 1865, because this time period encompasses what are generally accepted to be the Civil War's first battle and its last battle. But not every 'Civil War battle' took place between April 12, 1861, the date of the battle of Fort Sumter, and May 12-13, 1865, the date of the battle of Palmito Ranch, which is considered to be the last battle of the Civil War. In other history briefs of the 2014-2015 Cleveland Civil War Roundtable session, I wrote about two 'Civil War battles' that occurred outside of the generally accepted Civil War time frame. One of these battles was the firing on the Star of the West in Charleston harbor on January 9, 1861, which some consider the Civil War's first battle. The other was the battle of Buena Vista on February 22-23, 1847 in the Mexican-American War, which, in a nod toward attention-grabbing unconventionality, I called the decisive battle of the Civil War.

Another 'Civil War battle' that occurred outside of the generally accepted Civil War time frame had its 50th anniversary near the end of the Civil War's sesquicentennial. This battle happened in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965, when civil rights protesters attempted to march to Montgomery, but were stopped by Alabama state troopers and local police, who beat the protesters. In the context of the Civil War, this battle can be designated the second battle of Selma. The first battle of Selma took place during the time period that is generally associated with the Civil War, namely April 2, 1865, or almost 100 years before the second battle of Selma. One noteworthy aspect of the first battle of Selma is the commanders of the two armies that fought there. The leader of the Union forces was James H. Wilson, and the commander of the Confederate forces was none other than Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest needs no introduction, but Wilson is not so well known, although he holds a very notable Civil War distinction that he earned shortly after the first battle of Selma.


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.


The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable