Upcoming CCWRT Program
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

2023 Dick Crews Memorial Debate Posted on the Roundtable’s Website

The annual Dick Crews Memorial Debate took place at the February meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.February 2023 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable featured the annual Dick Crews Memorial Debate. The question for the debate, as chosen by Roundtable President Lily Korte, was “Who was the best political general of the Civil War?” William Vodrey again served as moderator of the debate, and four Roundtable members presented arguments in favor of the general that each debater picked as the best political general. Charles Patton argued for Edward Ferrero, Bob Pence argued for John A. Logan, Kent Fonner argued for John C. Breckinridge, and Paul Burkholder argued for Benjamin Butler. The arguments that were presented by the debaters have been posted on the Roundtable’s website along with William Vodrey’s opening remarks, and these can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Suggested Reading for the 2023 Field Trip to Manassas (Bull Run)

Roundtable vice president Bob Pence, who is organizing the Roundtable’s 2023 field trip to Manassas (Bull Run), has put together a list of suggested reading about the First and Second Battles of Manassas. Bob’s list can be found below by scrolling down this web page to the item that provides information about the field trip.

Upcoming presentations by Roundtable member Dennis Keating

Dennis Keating

Roundtable member and past president Dennis Keating will be giving the following presentations at nearby Civil War roundtables.

April 11, 2023: Northeast Ohio Civil War Roundtable on “Individuals from NE Ohio, including Cuyahoga County, who served in the Civil War” (Click here for more information.)

May 10, 2023: Cuyahoga Valley Civil War Roundtable on “The Irish in the Civil War” (Click here and here for more information.)

Meeting Summary: March 2023 – “The Top Hits of the Civil War and their Stories”

The March 2023 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable featured a truly outstanding multimedia presentation by Hannah and Ben Holbrook, who rescued the March meeting from a potential calamity. The original plan for the meeting was for Christian McWhirter to give an oral presentation about Civil War music and Hannah and Ben Holbrook to play some of the songs. However, Christian injured his back and was unable to come to the meeting. But Hannah and Ben saved the meeting by superbly handling both the oral presentations and the musical portions.

Hannah and Ben Holbrook

The first part of the meeting focused on the song “Brother Green (The Dying Soldier),” which is an incredibly haunting and plaintive song about a soldier who has been shot and communicates his dying words to his brother. In the lyrics, the dying soldier laments that he will never again see his wife and children, and he asks his brother to write a letter to his wife to tell her not to grieve over his death because he is going to heaven to see those of his family who preceded him in death and because he has died for his country. Hannah, who wrote a research paper about the song, related the song’s origin. She discussed, based on her exquisite research, that the song is about a family that lived in southern Illinois and that the family’s two brothers in the song’s lyrics fought for the Union. As Hannah noted, the song is something of a musical biography of the family.

Hannah also placed the lyrics of “Brother Green” in the context of 19th century American society by explaining that a soldier’s death in war did not comport with the kind of death that people envisioned for themselves. Hannah described how a death in combat, sudden and far from home, was not at all the kind of good death that people wished for, surrounded by loved ones and with all their affairs, both earthly and divine, in order. Hannah, who played a fiddle, and Ben, who sang and played a banjo, then performed “Brother Green,” and their performance was excellent.

Hannah further discussed how the Civil War, with all its horrors, was a musical war in that over 10,000 songs were published in the years 1861 to 1865. Ben, in response to a question about the music of the Civil War, then extemporaneously gave his thoughts about why Civil War songs are so engaging. Ben discussed how the melodies are quintessentially American and evoke feelings of nostalgia. Hannah and Ben then played a couple more songs and ended with a stirring rendition of “Battle Cry of Freedom,” for which they requested and received enthusiastic participation from the audience. This put a rousing cap on a thoroughly enjoyable meeting. The Roundtable is extremely grateful to Hannah and Ben for a uniquely memorable meeting.

March 2023 Charger Uploaded

The March 2023 issue of The Charger has been uploaded. It can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Latest History Brief (January 2023) Now Posted

Roundtable historian Dan Ursu’s January 2023 history brief has been posted. Dan’s latest history brief is President Lincoln on Emancipation Proclamation Day, January 1, 1863. The January history brief recounts Abraham Lincoln’s activities on the day that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Dan’s history brief can be accessed by clicking on this link.

2023 Roundtable Field Trip: Warning Order (i.e., Save the Date)

Roundtable vice president Bob Pence has put together a superb itinerary for the 2023 field trip. The dates for the field trip are Thursday, September 21, 2023 to Sunday, September 24, 2023. Anyone who is interested in the 2023 field trip should send an email to the Roundtable at clecwrt@gmail.com with your name, email address, and phone number so that you can receive updates about the trip.

The field trip will be to Manassas, Virginia to tour the battlefields of the First and Second Battles of Manassas (Bull Run). In addition to the battlefields of First and Second Manassas, other places that will be visited are the Manassas Visitor Center Museum, Liberia House (headquarters for General P.G.T. Beauregard), Mayfield Fort (a Confederate fortification that protected Manassas Junction from Union attack), and Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park. A block of rooms with a group rate has been reserved at the Holiday Inn and Suites about a mile from the Manassas Battlefield Visitor Center. As with past field trips, Thursday and Sunday will be travel days to and from the field trip location, and Friday and Saturday will be used to tour the battlefields and related sites. Detailed information and a complete itinerary, including information about making a hotel reservation, can be found by clicking on this link.

Again, anyone who is interested in the 2023 field trip should send an email to the Roundtable at clecwrt@gmail.com with your name, email address, and phone number so that you can receive updates about the trip. The Roundtable thanks Bob for organizing a great field trip for 2023.

Suggested Reading for the First and Second Battles of Manassas (Bull Run) Field Trip

Backus, Bill, and Robert Orrison. A Want of Vigilance: The Bristoe Station Campaign, October 9-19, 1863. Savas Beatie, 2015.

Elliot, Henry P. “First Manassas (or Bull Run): July 21, 1861.” Blue and Gray, vol. XXVII, # 5, 2011, pp. 6-28, 40-50.

Gottfried, Bradley M. The Maps of First Bull Run. Savas Beatie, 2021.

Hennessy, John J. The First Battle of Manassas: An End to Innocence, July 18-21, 1861, Revised Edition. Stackpole Books, 2015.

Hennessy, John J. Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas. University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.

Miller, J. Michael. “The Battles of Bristoe Station.” Blue and Gray, vol. XXVI, # 2, 2009, pp. 6-26, 40-50.

Roth, Dave, with Mike Miller. “The Battles at Bristoe Station: August 26-27, 1862 and October 14, 1863.” Blue and Gray, vol. XXVI, # 2, 2009, pp. 51-65.

Patchan, Scott. “Second Manassas: Thoroughfare Gap to Kearny’s Attack August 28-29, 1862.” Blue and Gray, vol. XXIX, # 2, 2012, pp. 6-26, 44-50.

Patchan, Scott. “Second Manassas: The Fighting on August 30, 1862.” Blue and Gray, vol. XXIX, # 3, 2012, pp. 6-26, 44-50.

Roth, Dave, with Scott Patchan. “The Second Battle of Manassas (or Bull Run): Action on 28-29, 1862.” Blue and Gray, vol. XXIX, # 2, 2012, pp. 51-65.

Roth, Dave, with Scott Patchan and Jamie Ryan. “The Second Battle of Manassas (or Bull Run): Porter’s and Longstreet’s Attacks.” Blue and Gray, vol. XXIX, # 3, 2012, pp. 51-65.

Roth, Dave, with Henry P. Elliott. “The First Battle of Manassas.” Blue and Gray, vol. XXVII, # 5, 2011, pp. 51-65.

Click on any of the book links in the suggested reading list to purchase from Amazon. Part of the proceeds from any book purchased from Amazon through the CCWRT website is returned to the CCWRT to support its education and preservation programs.

2022-2023 Program Schedule Posted

Roundtable president Lily Korte has put together a superb program for the 2022-2023 season. Lily’s program includes a meeting on October 12, 2022 at the Western Reserve Historical society, where those who attend the meeting will be able to examine Civil War artifacts. The complete program for the 2022-2023 meetings can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Membership Roster and Contact Information

We have worked very hard to improve our membership database and contact information this year, but we know we probably have more work to do. Please be sure to keep us advised of changes in contact information by sending us the information at clecwrt@gmail.com. We monitor that email account on a regular basis, so this would be a big help in making sure we can keep you informed of group activities. If you want to see what has been posted on our Facebook page or Twitter account, you do not have to become a member of the Roundtable. Everyone is welcome to view our Facebook page and Twitter account. These can also be accessed by googling “Cleveland Civil War Roundtable” and either “Facebook” or “Twitter” and clicking on the appropriate link in the search results.

YouTube Channel

YES! The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable has a YouTube channel! Some of our meetings were recorded, and videos of the recorded meetings can be viewed on our YouTube channel. You can simply Google Cleveland Civil War Roundtable YouTube and get to our “channel.” You can also use the following link:

Cleveland Civil War Roundtable Monthly Meetings

Meeting Time: Monthly meetings of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable are typically held on the second Wednesday of the month from September through May. Meetings ordinarily begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7:30 p.m. Meetings usually end by around 9:00 p.m. The September 2021 meeting was held in person, and barring any future pandemic-related restrictions, we anticipate that the remaining meetings during the 2021-2022 season will also be held in person.

Meeting Location: In-person meetings are held at the Holiday Inn Independence, 6001 Rockside Road, Independence, Ohio 44131.

Reservations: For in-person meetings, you must make a dinner reservation for any meeting you plan to attend no later than the Friday prior to that meeting (so we can give a head count to the caterer). Make your reservation by sending an email to: ccwrtreserve@gmail.com

2022-2023 Cleveland Civil War Roundtable Program