Next Meeting: October 14, 2014
Presenter: Dr. Robert Stabile
- Canteen at 6:00 PM — Dinner at 6:50 PM
- Note New Location — 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 Spring Outing
On May 31, a large number of NEOCWRT members and their guests convened at the State Theater for a tour of Playhouse Square, the second largest theater district in the U.S.. We got a behind-the-scenes look at three of the four theaters that comprise this thriving and active cultural center. These refurbished theaters are fascinating and historic. We also got a great view of the new twenty-foot chandelier and entry arches that grace the area.
After an excellent lunch at the historic Inn of the Barristers on West 3rd Street, we took the short walk to the Cleveland Police Museum in the Justice Center. Cleveland has had its share of notorious events and interesting characters, from the unsolved Kingsbury Run murders, also known as the “Torso Killings”, to Eliot Ness, the Prohibition Era, and much more. This small museum was surprisingly interesting, and it was made even more interesting by our guide, a retired police sergeant whose wit, insight, and selective reverence for “the brass” made for a very enjoyable visit. He even provided an insider’s understanding and solution to the technically unsolved Torso murders.
It was a very popular and successful spring outing.
Civil War Symposium
This marks our third year co-operating with the folks at James A. Garfield National Historic Site to present a Civil War symposium to lead into their Civil War encampment. This year, the lead speaker was one of their reenactors, General Ulysses S. Grant. After a brief break for refreshments, provided by our organization, our own Arlan Byrne and his daughter Becky presented Cavalry in the Civil War. This is not the first talk they have done together, nor is this the first time they have given this talk (see below). As usual, they did an excellent job providing information with humor. Arlan also manages to provide an advertisement for local historical societies.
This has proven to be an excellent opportunity to showcase some of our speakers and we hope the program continues next year.
Last Regular Meeting
Topic: Petersburg: The Battle of Peebles Farm , September 1864
Presenter: George Deutsch
As expected, George gave a well-researched description of this little-known, but significant, battle that led up to the surrender of the Army of Virginia. Though the North could have achieved more with better leadership, the battle cut off one of the few remaining accesses to Petersburg.
George is a true scholar of the Civil War, and the professionalism and erudition of his presentations always impress. Whether leading a battlefield tour or presenting at a meeting, we are always pleased to have George educate us.
Arlan Byrne presents Cavalry in the Civil War as part of the Great Battles of the Civil War series
The two groups joined forces and traveled by van over Antietam Creek by way of a one lane, 19th century bridge. We arrived at a nearby Italian restaurant in Funkstown, Maryland where a tall, blonde waitress named Latonya welcomed our thirsty brood and provided liquid refreshment. After dinner, we enjoyed the cool autumn evening by relaxing and following the exploits of our Cleveland Indians and their pursuit of an American League playoff spot.
Our morning briefing dealt with understanding the various objectives of the 1862 Maryland Campaign and how those objectives might be accomplished. President Lincoln wanted to restore the Union. He also wanted to destroy the Rebel Army, if possible and to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Our group visited South Mountain and reviewed D. H. Hill’s defenses and the location where Confederate General Samuel Garland fell mortally wounded. We toured Foxes Gap, Turners Gap and Crampton Gap where we were greeted by members of the Cleveland Civil War Round Table. The Cleveland group was also touring the 1862 Maryland Campaign locations.
We had the good fortune to say hello to Dennis Frye, the Head Historian of the Harpers Ferry National Historic Site as he was conducting a living history symposium for high school students on School House Ridge. Dennis Frye is an accomplished writer whose latest book, September Suspense, Lincoln’s Union in Peril, has won national acclaim.
The Battle of Antietam began just before sunrise on the morning of September 17, 1862, when the men of Joseph Hooker’s First Corps passed through the North Woods and into the Miller cornfield to assault Stonewall Jackson’s advanced lines near the Hagerstown Turnpike near the Dunker Church. Hooker saw the Rebel bayonets poking out of the corn stalks to his front and ordered Union artillery to rake the position. Confederate artillery on Nicodemus Hill returned fire on the Union First Corps’ advance and all hell broke loose. More than 8000 men Rebels and Yankees fell in the first couple hours of the attack. No one, including the veterans of numerous battles from both armies recalled witnessing a more bloody fight.
At 11:00 am, our battlefield guide invited us to witness an artillery firing demonstration by the 42nd U S Artillery Reenactment Unit. The 42nd’s gunners used a shinny 12 pound Parrot for the firing demonstration and the sound was awesome. When they pulled the lanyard, the entire earth shook! The gunners had to wait ten minutes between each round in order to give the gun time enough to cool before inserting the next bag of black powder. Jim Rosebrock is also a member of the 42nd U S Artillery Reenactment Unit and would have participated in the live fire demonstration were it not for the fact that he had broken his arm three weeks before. We enjoyed lunch at “Bonnie’s at the Red Byrd, “one of Jim Rosebrock’s favorite haunts. We were joined by some of the gunners from the 42nd.
Sunday morning we all departed Hagerstown and headed for home. The 2013 Fall Field Trip was one of the very best. The weather was nearly perfect for touring battlefields. The food and refreshments were excellent. The Indians, Ohio State and the Cleveland Browns all won their games. (How rare is that!) Tom Horvath selected Jim Rosebrock to be our battlefield guide and he proved himself to be one of the very best. All of these elements went into making this field trip special. However, the best part of the field trip was that we all got to enjoy and experience the laughter and good company that comes with being a part of the Northeast Ohio Civil War Round Table.
The presentations are held the second Wednesday of each month at noon in the James A. Garfield Community Room of the Mentor Public Library. The next presentation is Sherman’s March to the Sea on September 10, 2014. Admission is free and bag lunches are permitted. The library requests that you phone them at 440-255-8811 to reserve your free seat.