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By , March 6, 2010

Our Guiding Principles

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

Next Meeting: October 14, 2014

Topic:

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 mikeanddonnas@roadrunner.com

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

As part of the “Great Battles of the Civil War” series, long-time member Arlan Byrne and his daughter, Becky,  presented Cavalry in the Civil War.
This is not the first time Arlan and his daughter have teamed up for a presentation and the repartee between them always adds to the humor.  Their presentations are well researched and informative, and the PowerPoint presentation created by John Sandy and Becky was first class.
Arlan always seems to find the humor in any topic, which I appreciate.  Well done, Arlan, Becky, and John!
2013 Fall Field Trip: The 1862 Maryland Campaign      by John Sandy
On a clear September morning, President Tom M. Horvath along with NEOCWRT members: Joe Tirpak, Bill Meissner, Steve Abbey, Arlan Byrne and John Sandy departed from northeast Ohio for Hagerstown, Maryland and our annual field trip. The senior contingent departed from Mentor at 8:00 am and arrived in Hagerstown just after 1:30 pm. They then proceeded to “nap until dinner time.” The “young bucks” waited until 10:30 am to leave Ohio and checked into the hotel at 5:30 pm.  However, the later arriving travelers did not require a nap!

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.

On Friday morning we met Jim Rosebrock, the Chief Battlefield Guide for Antietam.  We gathered at the Antietam Battlefield Visitors Center for a briefing on the day’s agenda.  Our guide is a graduate of Niagara University and earned his Master’s degree in National Resources Strategy.  He is a graduate of the U S Army Command and General Staff College and a retired U S Army Lt. Colonel who is now employed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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.

Jefferson Davis and the Confederate States of America on the other hand, wanted to secure independence by adding the state of Maryland to the Confederacy.    In addition, Davis wanted the Army of Northern Virginia to act in concert with other Confederate offensives in western Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi.  Davis wanted to secure European recognition of the Confederacy and that could only be attained by a victory.
George B. McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac, wanted to drive the Confederates out of Maryland and maintain his army for future operations.  His movements and orders were captioned with “Proceed with Caution.”
Above left photo: Tom Horvath, John Sandy, Arlan Byrne ; back row: Joe Tirpak, Steve Abbey and Bill Meissner
Above right photo:  John Sandy and Steve Abbey at the North Carolina Monument on South Mountain
Robert E. Lee’s objectives were to destroy the Army of the Potomac before overwhelming manpower and industrial capacity were brought to bear against the South.  Lee also wanted to affect the U S midterm elections by appealing to the hearts and mind of the North.  The war effort was costing hundreds of thousands of lives and bringing the scourge of death and suffering to every city and hamlet of the Union.  Lee also wanted to carry the war into the North in order to halt the destruction of Virginia’s farms and private homes by invading federal armies.

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 enjoyed a lunch break at the nearby Sunrise Café, where the food and service were excellent.  After lunch we headed for Loudoun Heights. Located 900 feet above Harpers Ferry and the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, Loudoun provides a spectacular view of the river gorge and the town below.

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.

Historian Dennis Frye greeting the NEOCWRT Field Trip members near School House Ridge
We spent the remainder of the day visiting the shops and historic buildings in Harpers Ferry before returning to our hotel. Later, JET led our group to a nearby, famous steak house where a line of famished and thirsty couples were patiently waiting to be seated.  Undaunted, our COB asked to see the manager and applied his negotiating skills to the occasion.  Within minutes, we were directed to a comfortable table for six, much to the dismay of all, including our group.  Joe claims that it was his beautiful white hair that charmed the manager and won the day.  Joe added: “It happens all the time, everywhere I go.  They see my white hair and they are entranced.”
Jim Rosebrock and members of the NEOCWRT 2013 Field Trip admire the view from Loudoun Heights
Photographs by Tom Horvath
Early on Saturday morning, we returned to the Antietam Battlefield in order to review the positions and deployment of Lee’s defensive line around Sharpsburg and McClellan’s plan of attack   We began our tour at the Pry House, the location of McClellan’s headquarters during the Battle of Antietam.  In 1862, much of the surrounding area was open pasture land and cultivated fields.  The Pry farm’s location afforded McClellan a clear panorama of the battlefield and the movements of both armies.  Today, much of the area is overgrown with trees that obscure the sight lines and block one’s vision.

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.

Saturday afternoon we return to the battlefield to review the fighting along the Sunken Road and at Burnside’s Bridge.  Later we toured the National Cemetery located in Sharpsburg, where 4746 men and women are buried. More than 1/3 of the graves are marked Unknown. In the center of the National Cemetery stands a 44 foot tall granite statue of a Union soldier.  “Old Simon,” as he is called first appeared at the Centennial Exposition is Philadelphia, Pa. in 1876.  The statue was later moved to its present location and dedicated on September 17, 1880.  Simon weighs 250 tons.
Saturday evening we stopped at that Italian restaurant in Funkstown for another visit with Latonya.  Later we all gathered in Joe and Bill’s room to watch Ohio State defeat Wisconsin and the Indians secured a playoff spot by beating the Minnesota Twins.

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.

Latest Courier

We have, in my opinion, one of the best round table newsletters around – thanks to the many contributors and, especially, to the editors, John Sandy and Carl Dodero.  Here is a link to the latest one:
Lunchtime Series:  Major Battles of the Civil War

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.

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 hs 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 Ohio Historical Society has a web site dedicated to Ohio activities related to the Civil War sesquicentennial.  That web site is:  www.ohiocivilwar150.org.
The James A. Garfield National Historic Site (Lawnfield) is sponsoring a lunchtime series on Major Battles 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

    Ebook
    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/50674

    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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