When 1 Is Greater Than 620,000

By David A. Carrino
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2024, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Charger in January 2024.


Everyone who labored through grade school arithmetic is familiar with the mathematical signs for greater than (>) and less than (<). Students are required to do many simple arithmetic problems just to drill into them what each of those signs means. If students were presented with the equation “1 _ 620,000” and asked to fill in the blank with the correct mathematical sign, they would have to give “<” as the answer in order to be given credit for responding correctly. But in one circumstance, the equation “1 > 620,000” is correct, and that circumstance is hauntingly described in a poem and in a story based on the Civil War.

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A Civil War Odyssey in Brecksville, Ohio: The Search for William Stacy

By John Syroney
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2024, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Charger in February 2024.


It has often been said that stories are the fabric of humanity as they have the capacity to transport us to different places. I cannot think of a more unique story than the one of William Stacy. Having been a resident of Brecksville, Ohio for 25 years, I know the long and rich history that Brecksville has with the Civil War. I would often walk through the Brecksville Cemetery and see the graves of numerous Civil War soldiers. Memorial Day in Brecksville has a long history of honoring those old soldiers and remembering the sacrifices of those who gave the “last full measure” to their country.

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No Caps, No Guns: The Struggle for Confederate Copper

By Brian D. Kowell
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2023, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Charger in October 2023.


In the dark, the Yankee colonel heard the popping sounds from along his picket line and ordered his troopers to their support. As dawn broke, he was surprised by the booming of rebel cannon followed by a Confederate charge to test his lines. As the Confederates withdrew, the colonel inspected his lines, noticing a large copper rolling mill that anchored his right flank. As the colonel clenched his pipe, he needed to make some decisions before the Confederates tried again.

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General Henry J. Hunt, Union Chief of Artillery

By Daniel J. Ursu, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2023-2024, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the May 2024 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


For most of the Civil War the Union had an artillery advantage over the South for numerous reasons. Paramount among those many reasons, and especially for the Union Army of the Potomac, was the Chief of Artillery, General Henry J. Hunt. He made a big difference in organizational philosophy for the entirety of the North’s artillery arm, but most decisively in his battlefield exploits for the Army of the Potomac, especially at the Battles of Malvern Hill, Antietam, and Gettysburg and also the siege of Petersburg. None other than the incomparable Mr. Ed Bearss, Historian Emeritus, U.S. National Park Service, in his book Fields of Honor called General Henry J. Hunt “one of the Civil War’s premier artillerists.”

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Top Four Elite Brigades of the American Civil War

By Daniel J. Ursu, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2023-2024, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the February 2024 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


During the Roundtable’s 2023 field trip to Manassas, the participants heard a lot about General Thomas Jackson’s “Stonewall Brigade.” Accordingly, it occurred to me to do a history brief about my top four most elite brigades of the Civil War. I will highlight my top two Confederate and top two Union brigades starting with the “Stonewall Brigade.” I’m sure that many of our members have a similar list in mind for comparison.

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The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable at the 2024 National History Day

By Steve Pettyjohn
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2024, All Rights Reserved


On March 2, 2024, the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable participated in the 50th annual National History Day Region 3 competition by sponsoring special awards for projects that dealt with a Civil War-era topic. The theme for projects in 2024 was “Turning Points in History.” This was certainly an apt theme for projects regarding the Civil War.

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The Great Debate of 2024

Was George Gordon Meade aggressive enough in chasing Robert E. Lee’s army after the Battle of Gettysburg?

The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2024, All Rights Reserved


The January 2024 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable featured the annual Dick Crews Memorial Debate. The topic for debate was the question: “Was George Gordon Meade aggressive enough in chasing Robert E. Lee’s army after the Battle of Gettysburg?” Meade was criticized, including by President Abraham Lincoln, for not being sufficiently aggressive in pursuing Lee’s defeated Army of Northern Virginia after the Battle of Gettysburg. The 2024 Dick Crews Memorial Debate examined this question. Four debaters presented arguments in support of their stance on this question. Two debaters argued in favor of Meade, and two debaters argued against him. Below are the texts of those four arguments, along with moderator William Vodrey’s opening remarks.

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The Great Debate of 2024: Opening Remarks

Was George Gordon Meade aggressive enough in chasing Robert E. Lee’s army after the Battle of Gettysburg?

By William F.B. Vodrey – debate moderator
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2024, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: The subject of the annual Dick Crews Memorial Debate at the January 2024 Roundtable meeting was: “Was George Gordon Meade aggressive enough in chasing Robert E. Lee’s army after the Battle of Gettysburg?” Four members made presentations on the topic; the article below was the opening remarks made by the moderator of the debate.


We’re here tonight for the annual Dick Crews Memorial Debate, named after Dick Crews, my longtime predecessor as moderator. Dick once told me that the debate got its start as a Roundtable tradition because of the difficulty of finding speakers who were willing to travel to Cleveland in January. In moderating again tonight for, God help me, my 20th year, I stand on the shoulders of giants, including Dick.

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Evaluating George Gordon Meade’s Leadership in the Aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg – Caution, Hesitancy, and Timidity

Was George Gordon Meade aggressive enough in chasing Robert E. Lee’s army after the Battle of Gettysburg? No

By Gary W. Taylor
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2024, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: The subject of the annual Dick Crews Memorial Debate at the January 2024 Roundtable meeting was: “Was George Gordon Meade aggressive enough in chasing Robert E. Lee’s army after the Battle of Gettysburg?” Four members made presentations on the topic; the article below was one of those four presentations.


Meade’s cautious pursuit of Lee instantly and energetically following the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863 was one of the greatest errors and misfortunes of the Civil War. Let’s consider some facts following Meade’s successful defense of Cemetery Ridge on July 3rd:

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Evaluating George Gordon Meade’s Leadership in the Aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg – Skill, Vigor, and Wisdom

Was George Gordon Meade aggressive enough in chasing Robert E. Lee’s army after the Battle of Gettysburg? Yes

By William J. Toler
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2024, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: The subject of the annual Dick Crews Memorial Debate at the January 2024 Roundtable meeting was: “Was George Gordon Meade aggressive enough in chasing Robert E. Lee’s army after the Battle of Gettysburg?” Four members made presentations on the topic; the article below was one of those four presentations. The argument on this web page was written by Bill Toler, who was one of the debaters. Because of illness, Bill was not able to present his argument at the debate. Lily Korte substituted for Bill, and the information that Bill compiled and organized was used by Lily to present Bill’s argument at the debate. The essay on this web page was written by Bill from that information and presents Bill’s argument as he would have done had he been able to participate in the debate himself.


The question before us this evening is: “Was Meade aggressive enough in chasing Lee after Gettysburg?” How we define “aggressive enough” will certainly matter, and the consideration of “aggressive enough for whom” has mattered since July 1863.

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