We are pleased to present the 2017-2018 Cleveland Civil War Roundtable program schedule.
This year's schedule provides an interesting mix of published
authors, scholars and Roundtable members presenting on a wide
variety of Civil War topics. Please join us for what promises to be
an exciting and stimulating year.
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 around 9.
Our meetings are held at Judson
Manor (the former Wade Park Manor residential hotel), 1890 E
107th St, Cleveland, OH, at the corner of East 107th Street and
Chester, just off University Circle.
Map to Judson Manor
History of Wade Park Manor
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 by sending an email to:
September 13, 2017
Edward H. Bonekemper III
Myth of the Lost Cause – False
Remembrance of the Civil War
call for the removal of Confederate memorials has been heard. Why were these
icons erected? Since the end of the struggle, the former Confederate states
have continued to mythologize the South’s defeat to the North, depicting the
Civil War as unnecessary, or as a fight over states’ Constitutional rights, or
as a David v. Goliath struggle in which the North waged “total war” over an
underdog South. Ed Bonekemper deconstructs this multi-faceted myth, revealing
the truth about the war that nearly tore the nation apart.
Our speaker: Edward H. Bonekemper III is a military historian, author
and lecturer. Between 2010 and 2016, he was book review editor at Civil War
News. A national figure, Bonekemper has lectured over ten times at the
Smithsonian about the Civil War, and has appeared on C-SPAN on multiple
occasions to discuss Grant and Lee's Civil War generalship.
September 21 - September 24, 2017
CCWRT Annual Field Trip
Fort Monroe, the Mariners' Museum and the 1862 Peninsula Campaign
The 1862 Peninsula Campaign tour of
the Cleveland Civil War Round Table will take place on September
21-24, 2017. John Quarstein, who serves as Director of the USS
Monitor Center, will serve as our guide. Our visit will, in
fact, begin in a meeting room at the Hampton Inn and Suites on
September 21 at 7:30 p.m., when John will provide us with an
overview of our planned events.
On Friday, September 22, our first
stop will be Fort Monroe, the largest stone fort ever built in the
US, which sits at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, where we will
receive a two hour guided tour. From there, we will tour the
site of the Battle of Big Bethel, which occurred on June 10, 1861,
less than two months after the surrender of Ft. Sumter and is
considered to be the first land battle of the Civil War. We
will then proceed to The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, where we
will have lunch and receive a tour of the Monitor Center, where a
full size replica and the actual turret of the Monitor is on
display. We will then visit the overlook of the site of the epic
battle of the ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimack. Our
tour for the day will conclude at Young's Mill before we return to
On Saturday, September 23, we will
visit Warwick Court House, the site of the Battle of Lee's Mill and
the site of the Battle of Dam No. 1. After lunch at Newport
News Park, we will then tour Lee Hall Mansion, Gloucester Point,
Redoubt Park and the site of the Battle of Williamsburg before
returning to our hotel to prepare for a festive dinner.
Throughout our travels on September
22-23, transportation will be provided by a bus chartered
exclusively for our tour. Please mark your calendars and make your
plans now join us for this interesting field trip. There is no
better experience than touring the sites where history happened with
the camaraderie of your fellow Roundtable members! For a sense
of what these trips are like,
read this summary of our 2008 trip to Gettysburg.
John V. Quarstein is an award-winning
historian, preservationist, and author. He is director of the USS
Monitor Center at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia,
and has served as an adjunct professor at the College of William &
Mary. He is author of fifteen books, including
Fort Monroe: The
Key to the South and The Monitor Boys, winner of the Henry Adams
Prize for Excellence in Historical Literature. He is also a
recipient of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's
You are encouraged to make hotel
reservations for the weekend (3 nights) at the Hampton Inn & Suites
in Newport News, where a block of rooms has been reserved for our
group at reduced rates. Rooms with a single King bed are $89
per night, and rooms with two Queen beds are $94 per night. To
receive the benefit of these rates, please mention that you are a
member of the CCWRT when making your reservation.
Hampton Inn & Suites – Newport
12251 Jefferson Ave.
Newport News, Virginia 23602
Telephone (757) 249-0001 to reserve your room at CCWRT discount
$150.00 per person which includes guide fees, park entrance fees,
tour bus and box lunches. Travel to Newport News, Virginia, hotel and other meals are extra. Reserve
your spot by 9/1/17.
Thursday, September 21
Meet at the Hampton Inn & Suites
in Newport News, VA.
Our tour leader, John Quarstein, will give an overview of the
Dinner on your own near our hotel
Friday, September 22
Depart Hampton Inn & Suites by
||Tour of Fort
||Battle of Big
||Boxed lunch from
Smoke BBQ at the Mariners’ Museum
||Guided tours of
the Monitor Center, Ironclad Revolution Gallery and BCC
||Return to our
hotel by bus
||Group dinner near
Saturday, September 23
Depart Hampton Inn & Suites by
||Tour of Warwick
||Battle of Dam No.
from the Boxwood Inn at the Newport News City Park
||Tour of Lee Hall
||Redoubt Park and
the Battle of Williamsburg
||Return to hotel
dinner near our hotel
Sunday, September 24
Eric J. Wittenberg
Protecting the Flank at Gettysburg – The Clash of Horse and Steel
on East Cavalry Field
July 3, 1863, a large-scale cavalry fight was waged on Cress Ridge
four miles east of Gettysburg. There, on what is commonly referred
to as East Cavalry Field, Union horsemen under Brig. Gen. David M.
Gregg tangled with the vaunted Confederates riding with Maj. Gen.
Jeb Stuart. Stuart had arrived at Gettysburg on the afternoon of
July 2, and felt that if he could defeat Gregg’s troopers guarding
the Union rear, he could dash thousands of his own men behind enemy
lines and wreak havoc. A lengthy mounted battle ensued, highlighted
by the charge of Brig. Gen. George A. Custer, leading the 1st
Michigan Cavalry, which blunted the attack by Wade Hampton's
brigade, blocking Stuart from achieving his objectives. This combat
featured artillery duels, dismounted fighting, hand-to-hand
engagements, and the most magnificent mounted charge and
countercharge of the entire Civil War.
Eric J. Wittenberg is a historian, author, lecturer, tour guide and
battlefield preservationist. He is occupied as a practicing attorney
in Columbus, Ohio. His published works have focused especially on
the Civil War cavalryman and the cavalry battles of the Civil War,
with emphasis on the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps. In 2015,
his book The Devil's to Pay: John Buford at Gettysburg won the
Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable's 2015 Book Award.
Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Civil War
an effort to bring about resolution to the Civil War, creative
research was undertaken by individuals, many of whom were civilians,
to aid both Confederate and Union forces against their adversaries.
Much of this research involved chemical and biological agents. With
one exception however, these weapons of mass destruction were never
produced as President Lincoln and President Davis both disapproved
of unconventional warfare. This presentation will discuss and
illustrate the chemical and biological poisons considered by both
militaries during the War Between the States.
Our speaker: Mark Laubacher is an RN and paramedic working
as a Certified Specialist in Poison Information since 1992 at the
Central Ohio Poison Center located at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
in Columbus, Ohio. Having delivered over 400 presentations, he
routinely presents at the state and national levels on various
topics of toxicological emergencies.
December 13, 2017
Kathleen Logothetis Thompson
Morality or War Experience? –
Treatment of Mental Trauma in the Union Army
the middle of the Civil War, the Union army had policies in place to
treat mental trauma in soldiers at the Government Hospital for the
Insane, a result of the asylum movement in the antebellum period.
Once there, soldiers recuperated under a system of “moral
treatment”. Although the Civil War armies understood the existence
of war trauma, this cultural/medical analysis explains why the
medical field believed it to be the result of moral or physical
weakness and did not acknowledge the impact of war service on the
mental state of soldiers.
Our speaker: Kathleen Logothetis Thompson earned her
Masters in History from West Virginia University in May 2012. She is
currently pursuing her Ph.D. degree at WVU with research on mental
trauma in the Civil War. In addition, Thompson served as a seasonal
interpreter at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military
Park between 2010 and 2014, and is the co-editor of
a Civil War blog.
January 10, 2018
The Dick Crews Annual Debate:
What was the Most Influential
of the Civil War?
Moderator: William F. B. Vodrey
have described the American Civil War as the first modern war,
as a kind of demarcation point between war fought with weapons and
tactics little changed since the time of Caesar and the global,
mechanized wars of the 20th century. If that's so, the difference
maker was certainly the rapid advance of weapons technology of the
mid-nineteenth century - particularly when matched with the slow
change in tactics in response to those technological advances.
So, what was the most
influential weapon of the Civil War, what weapon had the greatest
impact? That is the question our intrepid debaters will be
addressing this year. Our debaters and their topics are:
John Harkness - rifled musket
Lisa Kempfer - 12-pound Napoleon cannon
Mark Porter - USS Monitor
Kirk Stewart - repeating magazine rifle
Bob Boyda - grapeshot
Join us for what will certainly be an
entertaining and educational evening.
February 14, 2018
Your Affectionate Son – Found Letters
from a Civil War Soldier
In 2004, educator Milann Daughtery
came across a box of yellowed letters in the bottom drawer of an old
dresser, all written by James Cleaver, her great-great-uncle
150-years earlier. The letters contained a fascinating
first-hand account of the Civil War as seen through the eyes of a
young soldier. Over the course of three years, she painstakingly
transcribed each of the letters, and undertook the research to
elaborate on much of what James described. Written in the elegant
style typical of the mid-nineteenth century, James’ letters give us
fresh insight into the daily life of a soldier in the Civil War and
the politics of the day.
Our speaker: Milann Daugherty grew up in Western
Pennsylvania and graduated from Westminster College with a
bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She taught for sixteen
years at the New Castle Christian Academy. It was here that her
interest in American history was ignited, setting the stage for her
discovery of the letters of James Cleaver.
March 14, 2018
Robert “Bert” Dunkerly
To the Bitter End – The Surrenders of
of us know the details of Appomattox and perhaps even the Bennett
Place in North Carolina. But what about the other surrenders? Bert
Dunkerly will lead as we delve into the lesser-known surrenders of
the Confederacy in Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, and discuss how the
war ended, setting up the early stages of the Reconstruction.
Robert M. Dunkerly is an historian, award-winning author and speaker
who is actively involved in historic preservation and research. He
holds a Masters in Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State
University. He has worked at nine historic sites, written eleven
books, and penned more than twenty published articles. Dunkerly is
currently a Park Ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park.
Prepare for Sherman’s Coming – The
Battle of Wise’s Forks
has relegated the Battle of Wise's (Wyse) Forks, March 7-11, 1865 to
little more than an insignificant skirmish during the final days of
the Civil War. Indeed, most histories mention it not at all. Mr.
Smith erases this misconception and elevates this battle and its
related operations to the historical status it deserves. One of the
largest battles in the history of North Carolina, it was the
Confederates’ first major attempt to beat back General Sherman’s
forces in the Tar Heel State. This presentation is the result of
years of careful research in a wide variety of archival sources, and
relies upon official reports, diaries, newspapers, and letter
collections, all tied to a keen understanding of the terrain.
Maj. (Ret) Mark A. Smith, who holds a Masters in Military Studies,
is a U.S. Army veteran with 21 years of service. He served in a
variety of commander positions, and was an Army ROTC Instruction at
Virginia Tech. Smith is the co-author (with Wade Sokolosky) of
No Such Army since the Days of
Julius Caesar: Sherman's Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to
David T. Dixon
The Lost Gettysburg Address
dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg on
November 19, 1863 was highlighted by Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg
Address. Following the formal events at the cemetery, Lincoln
attended a political rally sponsored by the State of Ohio that
featured a speech by lieutenant governor–elect Charles Anderson.
Newspapers mentioned the program, and a few published a quote or two
from Anderson, but apart from that the speech had been lost to time.
In 2002 the original speech was found among family papers in
Wyoming. In this presentation, Dixon reconstructs the man and his
speech and explains its profound significance in the context of the
Our speaker: David T. Dixon earned his Masters in
History from the University of Massachusetts in 2003. He has
published numerous articles in scholarly journals and magazines.
Most focus on black history and on Union sympathizers in the Civil
War South. His short biography of U.S. and Confederate congressman
Augustus R. Wright appeared in The Georgia Historical Quarterly in
2010. Dixon also hosts the B-List History website celebrating
obscure characters and their amazing stories.