Meeting of September 10, 2015

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

John Zinn on “New Jersey Base Ball during the Civil War Era”

John ZinnJohn will trace the game’s origins in New Jersey and Philadelphia and point out prominent early teams and players. He will also touch on the impact of the war on the game’s development in New Jersey and how the state’s soldiers brought the game to the battlefront. There will also be a description of how the early game differed from today’s game, especially regarding rules and equipment.

John Zinn is an independent historian with special interest in the history of baseball as well as the Civil War. He is the chairman of the board of the New Jersey Historical Society and was the chair of New Jersey’s Committee on the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. John is the author of three books including two about the Brooklyn Dodgers as well as numerous essays and articles. He is currently working on a biography of Charles Ebbets, longtime owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. John also writes a blog on base ball history entitled “A Manly Pastime.” He holds BA and MBA degrees from Rutgers University and is a Vietnam veteran. John is the score keeper for the Flemington Neshanock vintage base ball team. John lives in Verona, N.J. with his wife Carol.

Camden C.C. Course: The Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg

Old Baldy’s Herb Kaufman will be teaching a course at Camden County College this fall:

The Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg

Camden County College
Rohrer Center, RT. 70 & Springdale Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ
September 17 through October 15, 2015 (Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:30)

To Register: www.camdencc.edu/civiccenter (856-227-7200, ext. 4333)

Thure de Thulstrup illustration (Wikipedia)

Thure de Thulstrup illustration (Wikipedia)

This is a new course designed to explore the Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg, and the creation of the National Battlefield Park. The course will focus on the correspondence, communication, orders, and memoirs of the citizens, soldiers, and politicians of the era. As well as the three days of the Battle of Gettysburg, learn about the Southern viewpoint of the campaign, the response in the North, the biographies and actions of the officers on both sides, controversies of the battle, critical decisions, and lesser known actions that affected the outcome of the battle, cavalry actions and controversies, and the history of the creation of the National Battlefield Park.

This course explores contemporary accounts as well as recent historic analyses of aspects of the battle.

Meeting of October 8, 2015

Join us at 7:15 PM on Thursday, October 8, at Camden County College in the Connector Building, Room 101. This month’s topic is

Robert Hicks on “‘Straight and swift to my wounded I go’: The Reality of Civil War Medicine”

Bearing the bandages, water and sponge, Straight and swift to my wounded I go… To each and all one after another I draw near, not one do I miss.

– Walt Whitman, “The Wound Dresser”

Robert Hicks tintypeDespite recent commemorations of Civil War battles and leaders, the war’s medical dimension has received comparatively little public attention. America’s “good gray poet,” Walt Whitman, who volunteered in hospitals during the war, observed that “the real war will not get in the books.” For Whitman, the war’s true story was found in the hospital. The war affected every family: on average, one citizen in ten was killed, wounded, or became sick because of the war. The massive casualties made huge demands on medical practice, stimulating the reorganization of professional medicine. Faced with catastrophe, the federal medical establishment re-invented itself and created the modern hospital-centered mode of emergency care that remains the Civil War’s chief legacy to medicine. Focusing on specific wounded soldiers as lenses to understand the larger picture of the medical war, this presentation follows their experiences from the battlefield to distant general hospitals. The presentation previews the permanent exhibition of “the real war” at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Broken Bodies, Suffering Spirits: Injury, Death, and Healing in Civil War Philadelphia.

Robert Hicks with leechesRobert D. Hicks, PhD is the director of the Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He also directs the F. C. Wood Institute and holds the William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine. Formerly, he supervised exhibits, collections, and educational outreach at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. He has worked with museum-based education and exhibits for over three decades, primarily as a consultant to historic sites and museums. This work led Robert to obtain a doctorate in maritime history from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. Concurrent with the museum consulting, Robert worked for the Commonwealth of Virginia as a senior program manager in criminal justice, providing managerial assistance throughout the state. Earlier, he performed criminal justice work in Arizona, and obtained B.A. and M.A. degrees in anthropology and archaeology at the University of Arizona. He also served as a naval officer with the U.S. Naval Security Group. His most recent book is Voyage to Jamestown: Practical Navigation in the Age of Discovery (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2011)

Meeting of November 11, 2015

Join us at 7:15 PM on Wednesday, November 11, at Camden County College in the Connector Building, Room 101. (Note the change to Wednesday in November instead of Thursday, to accommodate the college’s schedule.) This month’s topic is

Paula Gidjunis on “A Country Worth Fighting For: The History of the 128th PA”

Paula GidjunisThe 128th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry men came from the counties of Bucks, Berks, and Lehigh. These volunteers enlisted in August 1862 for nine months in response to the fear of invasion of the North by the Confederate Army. Entering the battle of Antietam in Maryland after one month’s service, they had very little military training and paid with heavy casualties. By the battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863 they were fully trained soldiers and possibly were the catalyst in the friendly fire shooting of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. As they became hardened veterans, their enlistment expired.

Paula Gidjunis is a retired middle school Social Studies teacher and currently works as a bookkeeper for JPG Photography and teaches history at Manor College. She serves on the board of the Delaware Valley CWRT and chairs their Preservation Committee. She also serves on the board of the Historical Society of Montgomery County. She has a B.A. in History/Education, a certificate in Historical Preservation, an M.B.A., and recently earned her M.A. in History from LaSalle University.

Meeting of August 13, 2015

Herb Kaufman on “‘Frankly my dear:’ Hollywood and the Civil War”

Poster_-_Gone_With_the_WindClark Gable, John Wayne, Errol Flynn, Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Olivia de Havilland, and Sally Field are but a few of the countless notable Hollywood stars who appeared in motion pictures that have the Civil War as their narrative. Some of the films were frivolous (only Hollywood could make a Civil War comedy); others were based on actual experiences and events; many were based on historical novels; and all are designed to entertain.

While no Civil War film captures the breadth and depth of the full experience of the war, there are some notable Civil War films that teach about the war and others are noteworthy for absurdity, and simply for sugar-coating reality.

This program presented many of the notable, interesting and more remarkable films that capture different perspectives about the Civil War. It examined the writers, novels, and the films, many of which have become iconic depictions of this historic era.

August 2015 Newsletter

Meeting of July 9, 2015

John Jorgensen on “The Southern War Against the Confederacy: Unionism in the Seceding States”

John JorgensenThe American Civil War is remembered primarily as a contest between North and South; however, the reality of wartime identity politics was far more complex than this regional narrative admits. As many as one Southern soldier in ten served in the “Northern” army (and this number excludes as many as two hundred thousand ex-slaves who swelled the Federal ranks!). The Union Navy’s highest ranking officer was a Southerner. Four Confederate states (not counting West Virginia) elected pro-Union governors during the conflict, and on the last day of the war, the President of the United States was a man who called a Confederate city home.

John examined the diversity of Southern opinion on the issues that lay at the heart of the war. He took a broad look at some of the many ways in which Unionists in the South contributed to the Federal war effort, politically and militarily. And he began to answer the question, How did the war come to be remembered as North versus South in spite of all this?

The son of a noted Gettysburg scholar, John Jorgensen is a history teacher from Woodbridge, NJ. He holds a BA in Political Science from Fairfield University and a Masters in Social Studies Education from Rutgers University. In one way or another, the American Civil War has been a lifelong passion for him.

July 2015 Newsletter

Upcoming Local Civil War Events, Summer 2015

Saturday and Sunday June 27-28, 10am-5pm

Civil War at Hagley weekend: Bruce Tucker and other re-enactors from the USS Lehigh Crew Naval Reenacting Group will provide living history demonstrations and a variety of activities. Discover what life aboard a Union vessel would have been like. Wilmington, DE
$14.00 adults, $10.00 seniors and students, $5.00 children 6-14
http://www.Hagley.org/event/civil-war-hagley

Wednesday July 1, 7pm

Jim Sontagata, secretary, CW Forum of Metropolitan NY, “The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War”. Robert E. Lee CWRT at Woodbridge Main Public Library at G. Frederick Plaza, Woodbridge.

July 1, 7pm

Randy Drais, “Exploring the Gettysburg Battlefield: Lesser Known Monuments, Markers, and Stories”. Bucks County CWRT, Doylestown Brough Hall, 57 W. Court Street, Doylestown.

Friday July 3, 2pm

Free lawn concert at Washington’s Headquarters, Morristown. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Music by “The Fife and Drums of the Old Barracks”.

NJ National Guard Museum is open for the summer. The museum tells the history of NJ through the eyes of the military, as well as, an important state and national venue, where governors enjoyed their summers and entertained Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and Amelia Earhart, among others. The display features the only CW cannon mounted on a carriage in any NJ museum, as well as, photographs, uniforms, weapons, equipment, and other artifacts from the 18th through the 21st centuries illustrating the story of NJ’s citizen soldiers from Colonial days to the present, a special NJ at D-Day exhibit and an exterior collection of armored vehicles and aircraft. Located in the historic National Guard Training Center at Camp Drive, Sea Girt Avenue, Sea Girt, NJ

Upcoming Local Civil War Events, Spring 2015

Saturday, February 14,  11 AM – 2 PM

Open House at the Union League Free tours of the historic Civil War era Union League House at 140 S. Broad St. Philadelphia.  Call 215-563-6500 for details.

Wednesday, February 18    2 PM
Annual Temple University Black History Conference, Lincoln, Emancipation and the End of the Civil War 

Civil War & Emancipation Studies at Temple University (CWEST) sponsor. Walk Auditorium, Ritter Hall, 13th St & Cecil B. Moore Ave on Main Campus of Temple University.  Speakers; books; discussion; displays. Free. Register:  andy.waskie@temple.edu 215-204-5452

Saturday, February 21      10 AM
Annual Major Octavius V. Catto Honor Ceremony.

6th & Lombard Streets, Philadelphia, PA.   Wreath-Laying ceremony. Participants welcomed.  PA National Guard Award Ceremony to follow at 12:30pm in the Union League for the Major Catto Medal Award Ceremony.  Information: Dr. Andy Waskie 215-204-5452   andy.waskie@temple.edu

Saturday, March 21   8:30 AM – 5 PM

Abraham Lincoln Institute, Eighteenth Annual Symposium, The Latest in Lincoln Scholarship

Ford’s Theatre, 511 Tenth Street, Washington, DC.  On the program: Terry Alford, Richard Wightman Fox, Martha Hodes, Jonathan White and Dr. Stephen A. Goldman.

http://www.lincoln-institute.org/symposia/sym2013/index.htm

April 25-26

26th Annual Neshaminy State Park Civil War Reenactment,  Bensalem, PA

May 16

Monmouth County Library’s Manalapan Music Muster: The Civil War in Song (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Join us for this very special concert with performances from the Libby Prison Minstrels, Joe Becton, The Susquehanna Travellers, Jed Marum, Helen Beedle, The Irish Volunteers Civil War Band and Steve Ball and Lisa Williams. Hear the stories behind the songs as these talented musician/historians perform the music soldiers heard around the campfires and their families heard at home. Dr. David Martin, historian and author of over 20 books on the Civil War will offer the keynote address on the importance of music in the Civil War. Weather permitting, there will also be an encampment of Civil War re-enactors outside of the library to answer questions about the lives of soldiers during the War. This event is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association and made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council on the Humanities. Contact: 732-431-7220 x7222

May 17

Civil War Living History Day at Manor College, Jenkintown, PAManor College Civil War Event May 2015

May 23

Memorial Day Service at General Winfield Scott Hancock Tomb

June 13

Old Baldy CWRT Trip to Woodlands Cemetery in West Philadelphia

Brochure and signup form: Woodlands Cemetery Tour Brochure

Trip to Woodlands Cemetery

Old Baldy CWRT Trip to Woodlands Cemetery in West Philadelphia

Location: 4000 Woodland Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM to about Noon

Cost: $10.00 Per Person (Cemetery Charge)

Cemetery Tour Guide: James Mundy

Click here for the brochure and sign-up form: Woodlands Cemetery Tour Brochure