History Briefs 2007-2008

By Mel Maurer, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2007 & 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: From 2007 to 2011, Mel Maurer filled the position of Roundtable historian. During Mel’s tenure as historian, each Roundtable meeting opened with a ‘history brief’ presented by Mel, each ‘brief’ providing a small glimpse into a less-explored corner of the story of the Civil War. This page collects the history briefs from the 2007-2008 Roundtable season. Following Mel’s tenure as historian, his successors likewise presented history briefs at the beginning of each Roundtable meeting. The history briefs that were written by Mel’s successors are also on the Roundtable’s website, each of those history briefs on a separate web page.


September 2007

Lincoln secretary, John Hay, writes to Lincoln’s other secretary, John Nicolay.

“Executive Mansion
Washington, September 11, 1863

“Washington is as dull here as an obsolete almanac. The weather is not so bad as it was. The nights are growing cool. But there is no one here except us old stagers who can’t get away. We have some comfortable dinners and some quiet little orgies on wine and cheese in my room.

Continue reading “History Briefs 2007-2008”

History Briefs: 2010-2011

By Mel Maurer, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2011, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: From 2007 to 2011, Mel Maurer filled the position of Roundtable historian. During Mel’s tenure as historian, each Roundtable meeting opened with a ‘history brief’ presented by Mel, each ‘brief’ providing a small glimpse into a less-explored corner of the story of the Civil War. This page collects the history briefs from the 2010-2011 Roundtable season. Following Mel’s tenure as historian, his successors likewise presented history briefs at the beginning of each Roundtable meeting. The history briefs that were written by Mel’s successors are also on the Roundtable’s website, each of those history briefs on a separate web page.


April 2011

I have to admit that there was a time in my life, when I heard that slaves escaped the South by an Underground Railroad, I thought they all took the subway. (Not really.)

I believe that most people, when they hear the term, “Underground Railroad,” think of the great lady I wish to honor tonight: Araminta Ross. Well, that was her birth name. She later took her first name from her mother, Harriet, and her last name from her husband, John Tubman.

Continue reading “History Briefs: 2010-2011”

“The Prince of Rails”: Robert Todd Lincoln

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Robert Todd Lincoln – “Bob” to his family and friends – was dubbed the “Prince of Rails” during his “Railsplitter” father’s 1860 campaign for president, after a visit to this country by England’s Prince of Wales. Robert was a prince who would never ascend to the throne.

Continue reading ““The Prince of Rails”: Robert Todd Lincoln”

Jesse James – The Last Rebel of the Civil War?

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s Note: The article below is the text from Mel Maurer’s presentation to the Roundtable on May 14, 2008.


“Jesse James,” said Carl Sandburg, “is the only American who is classical, who is to this country what Robin Hood…is to England, whose exploits are so close to the mythical…”

Continue reading “Jesse James – The Last Rebel of the Civil War?”