History Briefs: 2009-2010

By Mel Maurer, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2009-2010, 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 2009-2010 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 2009

September 1862: Union forces under General George McClellan hold back the invading forces of General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. Some words of those days:

General George McClellan, upon being handed the Battle plan of General Lee:

“Here is a paper with which, if I cannot whip Bobbie Lee, I will be willing to go home.”

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Ex Parte Milligan Anniversary

By Dennis Keating
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved

The year 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision in Ex Parte Milligan. In 2012, I wrote about “Lincoln’s Suspension of Habeas Corpus” for The Charger. In this archived article I recounted the issues and U.S. Supreme Court cases surrounding Lincoln’s controversial wartime policy.

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Where is Lincoln Memorial University? What Was One of Lincoln’s Biggest Tactical Errors of the Civil War? What’s the Connection Between The Two?

By Dick Crews
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Lincoln Memorial University must be in Illinois or Washington, D.C. or Kentucky, right? No, no, and no, Lincoln Memorial University is in one of the strongest of Confederate states, Tennessee.

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Lincoln and the Black Hawk War

By Dale Thomas
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article is an excerpt from a chapter of Dale Thomas’s book, Lincoln’s Old Friends of Menard County, Illinois. After his failure to win the Whig nomination for Congress in 1843, Lincoln wrote to a political associate: “It is truly gratifying to me to learn that while the people of Sangamon [County] have cast me off, my old friends of Menard [County] who have known me longest and best of any, still retain their confidence in me.”1


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Lincoln and Cleveland

By Dale Thomas
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2003, All Rights Reserved


Artemus Ward

In 1857, Charles Farrar Brown became the local editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and began to write articles about an itinerant showman named Artemus Ward. Later moving on to Vanity Fair in New York City, Brown’s humorous commentary of the news was admired and enjoyed by Lincoln. “With the fearful strain that is on me night and day,” he told his Cabinet, “if I did not laugh I should die…”

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Lincoln Visits Cleveland

By Dale Thomas
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Charger in the spring of 2002.


On the way to Washington, three days after his 53rd birthday, President-elect Abraham Lincoln stopped overnight in Cleveland for his only visit to the city. (Three days later in Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated President of the Confederacy.) To feel the immediacy of the times, the story is best told directly from the pages of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which was then an evening newspaper. These accounts are quoted over a two-day period beginning on Friday evening, February 15, 1861.

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James McPherson Speaks On Lincoln

By William F.B. Vodrey
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2000, 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: James M. McPherson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom, amongst other Civil War books, spoke at The Western Reserve Historical Society in April 2000. This report on McPherson’s talk by then Roundtable President William Vodrey was originally published in The Charger in the fall of that same year.


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Mr. Lincoln at 200

By William F.B. Vodrey
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This is adapted from an article that originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of The Charger.


In February we honor all those who have served as President of the United States. By coincidence, the birthdays of two of the republic’s great early leaders, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, both fall in February. Unfortunately, what were once distinct holidays are now one, the rather generic “Presidents’ Day.”

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