2023-2024 Program Schedule

We are pleased to present the 2023-2024 Cleveland Civil War Roundtable program schedule. The theme for the 2023-2024 series is “Union leaders and Ohio in the Civil War.” This year’s program contains an interesting mix of published authors and scholars as well as some members of our Roundtable. This year’s speakers 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 2023-2024 meetings will be held in person.

September 13, 2023

“An Evening with President Lincoln (Lincoln Speaks at Ford’s Theatre)”
Speaker: Mel Maurer as President Abraham Lincoln

It is February of 1865, and Mary Lincoln, in her efforts to raise money for soldiers and their families, has committed her husband, Abraham Lincoln, to speak at a fundraiser before an audience in Washington, D.C. at Ford’s Theatre. The President speaks about his life, beliefs, policies, and the war as it nears its end. His words will provide insights into that era, seasoned with his characteristic sense of humor.

Mel Maurer, who has extensive experience portraying Abraham Lincoln, is a past president of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and a member of the Lincoln Forum and the American Battlefield Trust.

September 21-24, 2023

Annual Field Trip – Manassas, Virginia: First and Second Battles of Bull Run

The 2023 field trip is to Manassas, Virginia where we will study the Battles of First and Second Manassas (Bull Run), Kettle Run, and, as a bonus, Bristoe Station. Dates include travel time.

More information about the 2023 field trip is available on the Roundtable’s website as a downloadable PDF.

October 9-11, 2023

“Three Nights with General Grant”
Speaker: Dr. Curt Fields as Ulysses S. Grant

In cooperation with our sister roundtables in the Cleveland area, Dr. Fields will make three different presentations as General Grant.

October 9, 2023: “Getting in the War through Fort Donelson” at the Quincy Gillmore CWRT
October 10, 2023: “One More Big Fight – Shiloh” at the Northeast Ohio CWRT
October 11, 2023: “Vicksburg” at the Cleveland CWRT

Quincy Gilmore CWRT meets at Lorain County Community College iLoft building. Presentation at 7:00 p.m., no charge.
Northeast Ohio CWRT meets at Pine Ridge Country Club, 30601 Ridge Road (Ohio Route 84), Wickliffe, OH. Reservation required. For more information, see the Northeast Ohio CWRT website.

Dr. Curt Fields is the preeminent U.S. Grant living historian. Dr. Fields has portrayed General and President Grant in 22 states as he travels the nation presenting his portrayal of General and President Ulysses S. Grant. As a Living Historian, Dr. Fields portrayed General Grant at the 150th and 160th observations of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Vicksburg, he was the Grant for the 150th observation of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House, VA, and he is scheduled to be the Grant for the 160th observation of Appomattox.

Dr. Fields portrays General Grant in the Visitor Center film that is shown at Appomattox Court House National Historic Park. He was featured as General Grant, and as a Grant authority, in the Discovery Channel three-part documentary series “How Booze Built America” (with Mike Rowe). Dr. Fields portrays General Grant, giving his life story, on the Civil War Trust website, and he was selected as the official Grant for the U.S. Grant Boyhood Home Association in Georgetown, OH, and for the opening and dedication of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University. He portrayed General Grant at West Point (at the request of the U.S. Military Academy) in January of 2019 to kick off their ‘semester of Grant celebration prior to erecting a statue of Grant on the plain, and he portrays President Grant in the film shown at Grant’s Tomb in New York City.

Dr. Fields was the recipient of the 2015 Grady McWhiney Award of Merit for significant contributions to the scholarship and preservation of Civil War History. He was honored to have been elected to lifetime Membership in the American Civil War Round Table – Queensland, Australia, and is an occasional contributor to their newsletter, The Bugle. He is also a frequent contributor to Civil War News. He served as a Memphis, TN, Police Officer, was an MPD hostage negotiator, and received the Life-Saving medal from the city of Memphis for actions in the line of duty.

November 8, 2023

“Sherman – Man or Monster”
Speaker: Derek Maxfield

This presentation is based on Derek’s book Man of Fire: William Tecumseh Sherman in the Civil War (Savas Beatie, 2022) and tells the story of a man who found himself in war – and that, in turn, secured him a place in history. Condemned for his barbarousness or hailed for his heroics, the life of this peculiar general is nonetheless compelling – and thoroughly American.

Derek Maxfield is an associate professor of history at Genesee Community College in Batavia, New York and the author of the book Hellmira: The Union’s Most Infamous Civil War Prison Camp – Elmira, NY in addition to the book Man of Fire: William Tecumseh Sherman in the Civil War. Maxfield has written for Emerging Civil War since 2015. In 2019, he was honored with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2013, he was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

December 13, 2023

“Salmon P. Chase: The Ambitious Ohioan”
Speaker: Judge William F.B. Vodrey

Salmon Portland Chase, known for his courtroom advocacy for escaped slaves before the war, agreed to serve as Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury after falling short of securing the Republican presidential nomination in 1860. He played a key role in funding the U.S. war effort but clashed repeatedly with Lincoln, who finally accepted his fourth offer – or was it a threat? – to resign. Even after being appointed to the Supreme Court, Chase never gave up his White House ambitions.

William Vodrey is a past president of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and a member of the American Battlefield Trust and the Blue and Gray Education Society. William has given numerous presentations to the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and to other Civil War roundtables.

January 10, 2024

The Annual Dick Crews Memorial Debate
Topic: “Was Meade aggressive enough in chasing Lee after Gettysburg?”

George Gordon Meade was criticized, including by President Abraham Lincoln, for not being sufficiently aggressive in pursuing Robert E. Lee’s defeated Army of Northern Virginia after the Battle of Gettysburg. The 2024 Dick Crews Memorial Debate will examine this question.

As in past debates, William Vodrey will serve as moderator.

February 14, 2024

“The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment after the Battle of Fort Wagner”
Speaker: Dr. Michael Dory

The heroic actions of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Fort Wagner became well-known thanks to the movie Glory. But this regiment’s service continued after that battle, and the regiment made important contributions to the Union’s war effort during that time. This presentation will examine those contributions.

Michael Dory is a retired college professor and long-time contributor of articles and presentations to the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.

March 13, 2024

“Ohio at Antietam”
Speaker: Dan Welch

Among the thousands who fought in the pivotal Battle of Antietam were scores of Ohioans. Sending eleven regiments and two batteries to the fight, the Buckeye State lost hundreds during the Maryland Campaign’s first engagement, South Mountain, and hundreds more “gave their last full measure of devotion” at the Cornfield, the Bloody Lane, and Burnside’s Bridge. This is the presentation that Dan gave us in 2021. He will now return to drill down further to discuss Hugh Ewing from Lancaster, Ohio, who led a brigade of Ohioans at Antietam. Ewing had a pretty interesting life, particularly since his brother-in-law was William T. Sherman.

Dan Welch is a contributing member at Emerging Civil War, the editor of Gettysburg Magazine, and a co-author of Ohio at Antietam: The Buckeye State’s Sacrifice on America’s Bloodiest Day.

April 10, 2024

“Hardships & Dangers Will Bind Men as Brothers: The Ohio National Guard in 1864”
Speaker: Jon-Erik Gilot

This presentation will focus on the Ohio National Guard battalions that were called up for one hundred days service in the summer of 1864. The regiments were to be used for duty behind the lines – guarding bridges, railroads, blockhouses, forts, and prisons, thereby freeing up veteran regiments for front-line duty. Instead, many of these raw troops were themselves thrown into battle in both the Eastern and Western Theaters. The presentation follows two National Guard regiments raised in neighboring counties and compares their vastly different experiences during their terms of service, and how history has remembered (or forgotten) the wartime contributions of the Ohio National Guard.

Jon-Erik Gilot is an archivist and records manager in Wheeling, West Virginia and a co-author of John Brown’s Raid: Harpers Ferry and the Coming of the Civil War, October 16-18, 1859.

May 8, 2024

“Cleveland and the Civil War”
Speaker: Dennis Keating

Cleveland and Cuyahoga County sent over 9,000 troops to war. More than 1,700 never returned. Born just outside Cleveland, James Garfield emerged from the war to become President of the United States. Most vitally, the economic prosperity of the war years began the transformation of this small but thriving village into a future manufacturing powerhouse.

Dennis Keating is an emeritus professor of Cleveland State University, a past president of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable, and the author of Cleveland and the Civil War.

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 / 6:30 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.