By , March 6, 2010

Our Guiding Principles

Education — studying and learning about the American Civil War
Fellowship — constituted as a private men and women’s organization
Quality — selective and limited membership
Motto:  “Quality, Education, and Fellowship in all our Endeavors!”

 Next Meeting:  Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

Subject:  General Emory Upton

Presenter:  John Colwell, member

General Emory Upton should be much better known than he is.  He devised radically new and effective tactics during the Civil War.  After the war he was sent to study the German army.  His report, including 54 pages of recommendations, had a great influence of the future direction of the army.  Subsequently, he served as Commandant at West Point.  But probably his greatest impact on the army came from the posthumous publication of his analysis and recommendations of the army.  It resulted in the most significant changes to the army of the nineteenth century.

This should be an enlightening presentation about a Civil War figure who should be better known than he is.

  • Canteen at 6:00 PM — Dinner at 6:45 PM  
  • Pine Ridge Country Club, 30601 Ridge Road (Ohio 84), Wickliffe, OH (1/2 mile west of Ohio 91)
  • Cost $25.00 for an excellent family-style dinner and speaker.  Cash bar.
  • Reservations are required.  Contact Mike Sears at 440-257-3956 or email mikeanddonnas@roadrunner.com.  

 Last Meeting:

Subject: Backstage at Ford’s Theater

Presenter: Thomas Bogar, Author

To quote author Thomas Bogar, “Most books about the Lincoln assassination follow Lincoln out the front door, Booth out the back door, or both.”  He became interested in the stories of the people who were in Ford’s Theater that night, particularly the actors and staff.  There was plenty of information about what those people were doing that night, because almost every member of the staff was interrogated and the interviews documented.  Interestingly, not every member of the staff (including some strong Confederate sympathizers) were never interrogated.

What happened to those people afterward varied greatly.  The fortunes of Laura Keene  who was, at that point, a very successful actress and manager, fell dramatically.  The brothers who owned Ford’s Theater (one of several they owned) were held for several months without ever being charged with a crime.  At least one of the brothers were not even in Washington the night of the assassination.  Other actors seemed unaffected by their connection to that night.

There are few books with a new perspective on such a well-researched event.  Mr. Bogar found one.  He is well acquainted with the topic and presented an interesting, informative, and enjoyable talk.  

2018 Schedule of Programs

  • January 9
    • Faces of the Civil War
    •  Jean Rhodes, Cleveland CWRT
  • February 13
    • No Money, No Beer, No Pennants
    • Scott Longert, Author & former member
  • March 13
    • Irish in the Civil War
    • Ted Karle, member
  • April 10
    • Backstage at Ford’s Theater
    • Speaker: Thomas Bogar, Author
  • May 8
    • General Emory Upton
    • John Colwell, Member
  • September 11
    • Civil War Art
    • Keith Rocco, Artist
  • October 9
    • Cleveland Churches
    • Tim Barrett, Historian
  • November 13
    • “Your Affectionate Son” : Found Letters from a Civil War Soldier
    • Milann Daugherty, Author
  • December 11
    • Christmas in Cleveland
    • Western Reserve Historical Society


2017 James A. Garfield National Historic Site Civil War Encampment

Once again this year, we were pleased to assist with Friday night’s kickoff to the JAG NHS Civil War encampment.  This year, the National Park Service brought in two Civil War authors to speak while we provided refreshments for the speakers and audience.  

Saturday and Sunday, during the actual encampment, the NEOCWRT tent became the site of conversations and presentations by famous and knowledgeable historical personages.  My son and I “worked” at the tent for a few hours.  Our “work” consisted of sitting and listening with great pleasure and interest to several historical figures.  First was General Halleck and his generals — Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, James B. McPherson, and others.  The focus of his talk was not battles, but his generals: their personalities and how they changed the way war was waged — from military strategy to transport and supply, field hospitals and triage, and the use of black units in combat.  Next, Jefferson Davis made a good case for the legality of secession.  But, as one of the audience stated, “You may be right, but you’d better win.”  The final speaker of the day was a lieutenant in the navy who served on Lake Erie.  He shed light on this mostly ignored battleground of the Great Lakes.  He explained why the war ships of the Great Lakes initially could have no more that one cannon and how a Confederate plot to free the prisoners on Johnson’s Island was foiled.

Meanwhile, member John Sandy put a number of miniature soldiers through their paces as he taught them the rudiments of marching; and Founder Norty London gave a presentation inside the visitors center.

This encampment seems to improve each year.  There is something for adults and children, from the serious Civil War scholar to folks wishing to spend a few hours touring Garfield’s home and speaking with reenactors; from discussions of battle strategy to rolling hoops.  We are pleased to assist the JAG NHS rangers in putting on this enjoyable family event.

2018 Spring Outing

This year’s spring outing is scheduled for Saturday, June 9th.  We will visit Oberlin and tour some of the sites that were probably significant in the Underground Railroad.  After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the site of the 103rd OVI in Sheffield Lake.  There we will explore their museum, old barracks, and photo gallery.  Those who did not sign up at our April meeting will have another opportunity in May, or may contact Franco Sperrazzo.

Lunchtime Series:  Leaders and Legacies of the Civil War

This series of talks has been so successful that the Mentor Public Library and James A. Garfield National Historic Site have decided to continue the talks.   Rather than relying on battles, the emphasis has been switched and the title of the series changed to Leaders and Legacies of the Civil War.

The next program on May 9 is James Garfield and the First Decoration Day.  What is now Memorial Day was originally Decoration Day, and the first Decoration Day ceremony was at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868.  The speaker was James A. Garfield. 

These talks normally take place on the second Wednesday of the month, at noon in the James A. Garfield Community Room of the Mentor Public Library.  Talks are scheduled to last about one hour.  Attendees are invited to bring their bag lunches.

 Other Web Sites of Interest

Western Reserve Historical Society:  Our club has acquired a group membership in the Western Reserve Historical Society.  Located in University Circle, the Civil War archive of books and photographs has been toured and admired by many of our guest speakers.  It is one of the best collections in the country.  They also own and run Hale Farm and Village.  Their web site is:  www.wrhs.org.
The James A. Garfield National Historic Site (Lawnfield) is sponsoring a lunchtime series on Leaders and Legacies of the Civil War at the Mentor Public Library.  Their web site, a portion of the National Park System site, is http://www.nps.gov/jaga.

6 Responses to “Home”

  1. I came across your Civil War Round Table and thought you might be interested in a true story about an 82nd Ohio soldier told in the first person in dramatic form. The ebook is written with a discussion guide for Civil War Round Tables and you may want to check it out.

    Hiram’s Honor: Reliving
    Private Terman’s Civil War, ISBN 978-0615-27812-4.
    Hiram’s Honor can be examined at http://www.amazon.com/Hirams-Honor-Reliving-Private-Termans/dp/0615278124/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239221935&sr=8-1


    The unique thing about this book is that I assume the identity of my ancestor in all of his battles and prison misery. It was quite a challenge to match every detail that actually happened (dairies, letters, first-hand accounts) with a first person dramatized and riveting story of how I would have reacted in his situation. Best wishes in your work.

  2. Dave Krueger says:

    Greetings from Delafield, Wisconsin, Birthplace of Lt. Alonzo Cushing. Just a quick update on the Medal of Honor. Although it was widely reported that the Secretary of the Army had approved the nomination, the process is still ongoing. The Secretary of Defense has not yet made his recommendation. Additionally, the President would still have to sign off. I would be happy to keep you updated if the situation changes.
    Best Regards
    Dave Krueger
    Delafield, WI

  3. George Richards says:

    I’m very interested in your group. May non-members attend meetings?

    Many thanks,
    George Richards

  4. admin says:

    George — yes, non-members may attend. Because we take the summer off, our next meeting is not until Sepetember 11. Closer to the meeting date, make a reservation (see above) and look me, Tom Horvath, up at the meeting. I’ll be glad to introduce you to some of our members. Meanwhile, you may be interested in the symposium being held at Lawnfield on July 13, also described above.

  5. Hello NEOCWRT. My name is Jonathan Hennessey. I am author of a new Civil War nonfiction graphic novel from HarperCollins. I would like to let members of your group know I will be doing a reading from my book at 6 pm Thursday, August 8 at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on Medina Road in Akron.

    THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS: A GRAPHIC ADAPTATION (www.graphicgettysburg.com) is a bold and innovative use of the comics medium. It uses the words from Lincoln’s iconic speech to tell the “whole story of the Civil War, 1776 – The Present.” I will be presenting a chapter of the book mostly examining the Confederacy’s legal case for secession, Lincoln’s counterargument, and how both the language of both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence informed those two different positions. I will be projecting still and animated segments of the book on a movie screen.

    Kirkus Reviews called the book, “Engaging, provocative and deftly nuanced. … This second collaboration by Hennessey and McConnell again finds them probing the implications of history through incisive analysis and compelling art.”

    Library Journal hailed it as, “An excellent work. … Not a simplification but a detailed and nuanced analysis of Lincoln’s famous speech.”

    Thank you for your consideration!

    All best,

    Jonathan Hennessey

  6. Scott Mingus says:

    Thanks for the invitation to speak at the CWRT again. My topic this year will be Confederate General William “Extra Billy” Smith: From Virginia’s Statehouse to Gettysburg Scapegoat.

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