2022-2023 Program Schedule

We are pleased to present the 2022-2023 Cleveland Civil War Roundtable program schedule. This year’s schedule provides an interesting mix of published authors and scholars who will discuss a variety of topics related to the Civil War.


Location of the Meetings:

Holiday Inn, 6001 Rockside Road, Independence, Ohio 44131
We anticipate that all of the 2022-2023 meetings will be held in person.

September 14, 2022

“‘If This Valley Is Lost…’ The Shenandoah Valley Campaigns”
Speaker: Phillip S. Greenwalt

Phillip S. Greenwalt is currently the Chief of Interpretation and Education for Catoctin Mountain Park. He is a 14-year veteran of the National Park Service, having worked at National Park units such as Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Morristown National Historical Park, and Everglades National Park among other parks. He is a full-time contributor to Emerging Civil War and co-founder of Emerging Revolutionary War, along with being the author or co-author of five books on the American Revolution and the Civil War. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheeling Jesuit University and earned a graduate degree in American history from George Mason University.

September 22-25, 2022

Annual Field Trip – Winchester, Virginia: Sheridan’s 1864 Valley Campaign

The 2022 Roundtable field trip is to the Shenandoah Valley, following the 1864 campaign in the area around Winchester, Virginia. The dates for the field trip are September 23 and 24 (Friday and Saturday), with the preceding Thursday (September 22) and following Sunday (September 25) to be used as travel days to and from the site of the trip. The plan is to focus on the Third Battle of Winchester and the Battle of Fisher’s Hill on the first day and the Battles of Tom’s Brook and Cedar Creek on the second day.

October 12, 2022

“A Night at the Museum”

Note time and location change!
Address: Western Reserve Historical Society – 10825 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106
The October meeting will be a return of the popular “Night at the Museum” format, where attendees will have a hands-on opportunity to see and examine Civil War-related artifacts at the Western Reserve Historical Society. Exhibition opens at 5:00 p.m.

November 9, 2022

“Choctaw Confederates”
Speaker: Fay A. Yarbrough

Dr. Fay Yarbrough received her doctorate in American history from Emory University and her undergraduate degree from Rice University. She is a professor of history at Rice University and also serves as the associate dean of the School of Humanities. She previously taught at the University of Kentucky and the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Yarbrough is the author of Choctaw Confederates: The American Civil War in Indian Country and of Race and the Cherokee Nation: Sovereignty in the Nineteenth Century. She is co-editor with Sandra Slater of Gender and Sexuality in Indigenous North America, 1400-1850. She has also published articles in the Journal of Southern History and the Journal of Social History.

December 14, 2022

“Rutherford Hayes in the Civil War – The First James Bond”
Speaker: Eric Ebinger

Eric Ebinger wrote the consolidated biography 100 Days in the Life of Rutherford Hayes in 2016. Boyhood conversations with his great-grandmother sparked a passion for studying presidents, and Eric has dedicated the past 35 years to pursuit of understanding the presidents, both the extraordinary and the not. His research has taken him to over 200 presidential sites on two continents, four countries, and across the United States. His energy and humor carry his writing as well as his programs. In his ‘spare’ time, he is an environmental health and safety coordinator for a company in Mansfield, Ohio with over 20 years of experience in human resources, communication, and marketing. He lives near New London, Ohio with his wife and with his boxer dog, Dulles.

January 11, 2023

“The Magnificent Seven: Pook’s Turtles in the Civil War”
Speaker: Brian D. Kowell

Brian Kowell was born and raised in Cuyahoga County and graduated from Baldwin Wallace University. Brian worked for 38 years as a salesman/trainer for 3M Pharmaceuticals and Graceway Pharmaceuticals. He has been a member of the United States Professional Tennis Association for 50 years, teaching tennis in Ohio, Hawaii, Texas, Illinois, Florida, and Canada. Brian played in the USTA Senior National tournament for the past four years and currently teaches at Towpath Tennis Club in Akron, Ohio. Brian joined the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable in 1975 and over the years served as president and newsletter editor and also led a number of field trips for the group. Brian has done several presentations and emceed the quiz nights at the Roundtable. He had an article published in America’s Civil War magazine and contributes articles for The Charger. Brian lives in Hinckley, Ohio with his lovely wife, Carole, and they have five children and eight grandchildren.

February 8, 2023

The Annual Dick Crews Debate
Topic: “Who was the best political general of the Civil War?”

According to available information, fewer than half of all the generals in the Union army during the Civil War were graduates of West Point. Because of a shortage of men to serve as generals, a number of men who lacked military training were given the rank of general. These generals are referred to as political generals, because they often received their rank due to political connections. Quite a few of these political generals, not surprisingly, proved to be inadequate – or worse. However, some of the political generals were effective and did well for the army in which they served. The meeting will feature the Roundtable’s Dick Crews Debate. The topic is “Who was the best political general of the Civil War?”

March 8, 2023

“The Top Hits of the Civil War and their Stories”
Speaker: Christian McWhirter with Hannah & Ben Holbrook, musicians

Music was central to the way many Americans experienced the Civil War. Soldiers on the march, families gathered around pianos, and enslaved people seeking their freedom all used music to better understand the war and share their own ideas about its meaning. Join us for an evening of live music and hear how the Civil War’s most popular songs reflected and shaped America’s greatest national crisis.

Dr. Christian McWhirter is the Lincoln Historian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the author of Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War. He previously served as editor of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association and as an assistant editor for The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project. His writings on Lincoln, popular music, and the Civil War have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, and Washington Post. His most recent publication is a Civil War Monitor article on what Lincoln’s taste in music tells us about his worldview.

April 12, 2023

“‘My Own Movement and On My Own Responsibility’: The Saga of Lafayette McLaws’ Commentary on Longstreet at Gettysburg”
Speaker: Cory Pfarr

Because Lafayette McLaws and James Longstreet had a rather contentious wartime relationship – culminating in a court-martial trial against McLaws in March 1864 – one would think that McLaws would have been a shoe-in to unite with those in the postwar years who joined voices to severely criticize Longstreet’s Gettysburg performance; however, he never did. Why, and what did he actually say about Longstreet’s performance in the postwar years? This presentation will argue that Lafayette McLaws is probably the most objective firsthand participant in the battle when it comes to evaluating Longstreet’s performance.

Cory M. Pfarr works for the Department of Defense. He is the author of the award-winning Longstreet at Gettysburg: A Critical Reassessment and the forthcoming Righting the Longstreet Record at Gettysburg: Six Matters of Controversy and Confusion. He is an associate editor for North & South Magazine, has written articles for North & South Magazine and Gettysburg Magazine, and appeared on the Pennsylvania Cable Network and C-SPAN American History TV. He lives in Fallston, Maryland with his wife and four kids.

May 10, 2023

“When Women Do Military Duty: The Civil War and Woman Suffrage”
Speaker: Nicole Etcheson

Nicole Etcheson is Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History at Ball State University. She is the author of three books: A Generation at War: The Civil War Era in a Northern Community (which won the 2012 Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians for the most original book on the coming of the Civil War, the Civil War era, or Reconstruction, excepting works of purely military history), Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era (2004), and The Emerging Midwest: Upland Southerners and the Political Culture of the Old Northwest, 1787-1861 (1996). Nicole is the recipient of the 2018 Frederick Jackson Turner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Midwestern History from the Midwestern History Association. She is currently working on a project about suffrage in the post-Civil War era.

Click on any of the book links on this page 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.

Meeting Times and Location

Second Wednesday of the month from September through May at 7:00 p.m.

Holiday Inn Independence, 6001 Rockside Road, Independence, Ohio 44131

6:00 p.m. – Drinks & Socializing / 7:00 p.m. – Dinner

7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – Meeting & Presentation

Dinner is $35 per person. Reservations should be made no later than seven days before the meeting.

Reservations should be made via email to ccwrtreserve@gmail.com

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Annual dues – $60

The annual dues are used to support our speakers program and other initiatives (such as the technology needed for our internet sites) and to help support preservation efforts.