Meeting of August 10, 2017

Join us at 7:15 PM on Thursday, August 10, at Camden County College in the Connector Building, Room 101. This month’s topic is

Membership Show & Tell Night

Bring your historical treasure or collection to show and share.

Describe your interest and why it’s important to you.

Please let Dave know if you plan to participate: ddsghh@comcast.net

Lecture Series Announced

2017 Lecture Series at Camden County College — New Jersey in the Civil War

Tuesday evenings at 7 pm. Connector Building, Large Lecture Hall room 105.

September 12: Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi – Northern Women in the Aftermath of the Civil War: The Wives and Daughters of the Brunswick Boys

September 19: Dr. William Carrigan – Traitor State or Jersey Blue? New Jersey and the American Civil War

September 26: Film Screening, presented by Rich Mendoza – Called to Duty: The Civil War Training Camps of New Jersey

October 3: John G. Zinn – The Mutinous Regiment: The 33rd New Jersey in the Civil War

October 10: Gary D. Saretzky – Ere the Shadows Fade: New Jersey’s Civil War Era Photographers

October 17: Film Screening, presented by Robert Baumgartner – The General

Meeting of November 9, 2017

Join us at 7:15 PM on Thursday, November 9, at Camden County College in the Connector Building, Room 101. This month’s topic is

James Scythes on “This will make a man of me: The Life and Letters of a Teenage Officer in the Civil War”

thomas-james-howellThis presentation focuses on the life of seventeen-year-old Thomas James Howell, who was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Tom Howell’s experiences give us a rare look at the war through the eyes of a teenage officer. The letters that he wrote home to his family tell the story of a young man coming of age in the army. As a young officer, he faced particular challenges as he sought to earn the respect of both the men he commanded and his superiors. Despite the challenges he faced, Howell believed that it was his duty to serve and by serving he would prove that he was a man. This study represents a valuable addition to Civil War literature by offering a unique perspective of the war as it was seen through the eyes of a teenage officer.

james-scythesJames Scythes earned a B.A. in history at Rowan University and has a Master of Arts in history from Villanova University. He is a tenure track Instructor of History at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. His research interests focus on antebellum America, American Civil War, and 19th century military history. Professor Scythes has published a number of encyclopedia articles, and in July 2016 Lehigh University Press published his first book, “This Will Make a Man of Me”: The Life and Letters of a Teenage Officer in the Civil War. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at the Gloucester County Historical Society, and is a member of the Old Baldy Civil War Round Table of Philadelphia.

Meeting of July 13, 2017

Dr. Jennifer M. Murray presents “On A Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013”

Dr. Murray provided a critical perspective to Gettysburg historiography by offering an in-depth exploration of the national military park and how the Gettysburg battlefield has evolved since the National Park Service acquired the site in August 1933. Haphazard landscape practices, promotion of tourism, encouragement of recreational pursuits, ill-defined policies of preserving cultural resources, and the inevitable turnover of administrators guided by very different preservation values regularly influenced the direction of the park and the presentation of the Civil War’s popular memory.

Dr. Jennifer M. Murray is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. She teaches a wide variety of course in 19th and 20th century American history. Murray’s most recent publication is On A Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013, published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2014. Murray is also the author of The Civil War Begins, published by the U.S. Army’s Center of Military History in 2012. Murray is currently working on a biography of George Gordon Meade, tentatively titled Meade at War. In addition, Murray worked as a seasonal interpretive park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park for nine summers (2002-2010). She received her Ph.D. from Auburn University in 2010.

July 2017 Newsletter

Meeting of June 8, 2017

Gene Barr on “A Civil War Captain and His Lady: A True Story of Love, Courtship, and Combat”

More than 150 years ago, 27-year-old Irish immigrant Josiah Moore met 19-year-old Jennie Lindsay, a member of one of Peoria, Illinois’s most prominent families. The Civil War had just begun, Josiah was the captain of the 17th Illinois Infantry, and his war would be a long and bloody one. Their courtship and romance, which came to light in a rare and unpublished series of letters, forms the basis of Gene Barr’s memorable A Civil War Captain and His Lady: A True Story of Love, Courtship, and Combat. The story of Josiah, Jennie, the men of the 17th and their families tracks the toll on our nation during the war and allows us to explore the often difficult recovery after the last gun sounded in 1865.

Gene Barr is the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the commonwealth’s largest broad based business advocacy group. Prior to his work at the Chamber, he spent almost twenty years in the energy field including more than twelve years with BP America, the U.S. subsidiary of British Petroleum, and seven years at the Pennsylvania office of the American Petroleum Institute including three years as executive director of that operation. He also served for ten years as a local elected official in the Philadelphia area.

Barr is a board member and past chair of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA, among numerous other community and professional activities. A native of the Philadelphia area, Barr has had a longstanding interest in American history, particularly the Civil War period, sparked by his first visit to Gettysburg as a youth. He enhanced his knowledge while residing in Atlanta where he became familiar with the western theater of the conflict. He was active in living history for more than a quarter century and participated as an ‘extra’ in four films depicting the Civil War period, including “Glory” and “Gettysburg.” He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. This is his first book.

June 2017 Newsletter

Meeting of May 11, 2017

Bruce W. Tucker portrays “Admiral David G. Farragut, USN”

David Farragut began his life as a sailor early; he commanded a prize ship captured in the War of 1812 when he was just twelve years old.

He was born July 5, 1801, and was commissioned Midshipman in the US Navy December 17, 1810, at age 9. By the time of the Civil War, Farragut had proven his ability repeatedly. Despite the fact that he was born and raised in the South, Farragut chose to side with the Union.

Farragut’s greatest fame came from the August 5, 1864, Battle of Mobile Bay. The Confederates had placed a large number of “torpedoes” in the waters. The monitor USS Tecumseh struck a torpedo and began to sink, causing the rest of the fleet to back away from the mine-infested waters. At the time, Farragut was watching the battle while lashed to the rigging of his flagship (USS Hartford). Alarmed, Farragut shouted, “What’s the trouble?” The USS Brooklyn answered, “Torpedoes!” Farragut shouted back, “Damn the torpedoes! Four Bells! Captain Drayton, go ahead! Jouett, full speed!” In the end, Farragut’s fleet defeated Confederate Admiral Franklin Buchanan and the last open seaport on the Gulf of Mexico fell to the Union.

Bruce Tucker holds a BA degree in Political Science & History from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York and a MS degree in Information Technology & Project Management from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken New Jersey. Bruce spent 25 years working in advancing positions of Systems Support/Project Management, Process Design/Management, and Learning Development/Content Management. As a second career, Bruce now teaches history at Rutgers University in New Brunswick for the Osher Life Long Learning Program (OLLI-RU).

Since 2009, Bruce has presented living history as both Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut and Captain Uriah Phillips Levy, USN, to churches, synagogues, schools, libraries, museums, senior centers, and Civil War roundtable groups in NY, NJ, CT, DE, and PA. He is currently the President of the USS LEHIGH/USS Monitor Naval Living History group and Corresponding Secretary of the Navy Marine Living History Association.

May 2017 Newsletter

Meeting of April 13, 2017

Herb Kaufman on “Duels, Fools, and Scoundrels”

Strange but true—this axiom was never more relevant than describing many of the unusual and extraordinary occurrences during the four years of the Civil War. While much of our history is dominated by the major battles such as Gettysburg and biographies of the key commanders such as Grant and Lee, the four years of the Civil War also included a significant number of strange and highly unusual personalities and incidents that have generally escaped modern discussion.

This presentation focused on these unusual and often controversial incidents and events. Topics include soldier murderers, plot to bomb the White House, the strange case of Ulric Dahlgren and the plot to kill the Confederate President, the spy who was hung twice and buried in three places, dueling generals, the ill-fated life & death of General A. P. Hill, the adventures of Dan Sickles, and other unusual personalities and events.

Herb Kaufman has been a teacher, lecturer and living historian of the Civil War for more than 20 years. He is a founding member of the faculty of the Civil War Institute at Manor College and an Adjunct Instructor of Civil War history at Camden County College. He is a well-known speaker on a variety of topics relating to the era of the Civil War having presented programs to civic and community groups, and educational and historical associations throughout the Philadelphia area.

Herb has also been a Civil War reenactor, and was an Educational Associate at the former MOLLUS Civil War Museum & Library in Philadelphia. He has received numerous awards for his continuing work in education and support of the history of the Civil War. Mr. Kaufman is a member of the Board of Directors and Curator of the GAR Civil War Museum of Philadelphia. He is currently the treasurer of the Delaware Valley Civil War Roundtable, and has been a member of the Old Baldy CWRT for more than 20 years. He is also a member of numerous historical and community organizations. Herb possesses a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education from Temple University.

April 2017 Newsletter

Meeting of March 9, 2017

David T. Dixon on “The Lost Gettysburg Address”

Two famous orators shared the stage with Lincoln at the Gettysburg dedication. The day’s concluding speech remained lost until an anthropologist stumbled upon it in a cardboard box at a remote ranch in Wyoming. Forgotten too was the incredible true story of its author, Charles Anderson, a slave owner who risked everything to save the Union. The New York Times called Anderson’s story, “among the most moving and romantic episodes of the war.”

David DixonDavid Dixon likes nothing better than spending hours dumpster-diving in archives and throughout cyberspace. Dixon earned his M.A. in history from the University of Massachusetts in 2003. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and magazines. Most focus on black history and on Union sympathizers in the Civil War South. His short biography of U.S. and Confederate congressman Augustus R. Wright appeared in The Georgia Historical Quarterly in 2010. He remains intrigued by the problem of defining “loyalty” in the context of civil war. David Dixon hosts “B-List History,” a website celebrating obscure characters and their amazing stories.

March 2017 Newsletter

Meeting of January 12, 2017

Roundtable Discussion: “On the Trail with Old Baldy”

Old Baldy, in a photo taken after the war (Library of Congress)

Old Baldy, in a photo taken after the war (Library of Congress)

For our next Roundtable Discussion Night, we invite members to present an interesting Historical Site that you’ve visited. Plan to show the history, pictures, learnings, etc. Share your interests and enlighten us with your experience!

To ensure the best use of everyone’s time, participation in this month’s program will be limited to 3 topics of about 15 minutes each. The participation schedule will be confirmed no later than our December 8th Roundtable meeting.

If you would like to share your historical travel experience, please contact Dave ddsghh@comcast.net or Harry hj3bama@verizon.net.

Some of the topics this month are:

Member Kathy Clark:
On my 2015 Mississippi Gulf Coast bus tour, I visited Biloxi and the home of Jefferson Davis called Beauvoir. It survived hurricane Katrina with damage that took over ten years to repair. It now looks very much like the home as it was before the storm. The complex includes the Jefferson Davis Library and Museum, cemetery, Tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier, nature trails, gardens as well as a beautiful view of the Mississippi Sound from the front of the home. I want to talk about the history of the house, damage sustained as a result of Katrina and property today. If I have a few minutes would also like to talk about the Confederate Memorial Civil War museum in New Orleans. It is a small museum but has many portraits, flags and Civil War artifacts. This site too was part of my Mississippi Gulf Coast tour.

Member Jim Heenehan:
Jim will do a short presentation on the Appomattox Sesquicentennial ceremonies that took place April 8-12, 2015, commemorating Lee’s surrender to Grant, effectively ending the Civil War. Mr. Heenehan will cover the highlights of the Sesquicentennial, including Grant and Lee at the McLean House and the Chamberlain-Gordon “salute” preceding the Confederate laying down of arms on April 12.

Member John Galie:
A brief overview of the retreat of the Army of the Northern Virginia, Gen. Robert E. Lee Commanding, during the Pennsylvania Campaign of 1863 and the pursuit by the Army of the Potomac, MG George Gordon Mead Commanding will be presented. The logistic of the retreat as well as the overwhelming challenges faced by Gen. Lee will be detailed. The focus will be on the Battle of Monterey Pass, July 4-5, 1863 in the South Mountains of Pennsylvania in which over 10,00 soldiers were engaged; making it the second largest battle in Pennsylvania during the Civil War. Recent photographs of the my visit will be included.

January 2017 Newsletter