Category Archives: Meeting announcement

Meeting of May 10, 2018

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

Harry Jenkins on “With Cadence and Clarion Call: Bugle, Fife, and Drum: Military Music of Camp and Field”

The beginnings of American military music essentially started when William Diamond, the drummer of the Lexington Militia, beat the call to arms that gathered the men who fired “the shot heard ’round the world,” launching the colonists into a long struggle for our independence. The British troops brought with them their splendid military bands. In contrast, the Continental troops were as meagerly equipped musically as they were militarily. Despite a shortage of fighting gear and supplies, the Continental Army and its leaders were able to launch an effective fighting force. And the musicians as well always seemed to be able to muster a few drums and a fife or two to stir the hearts of Washington’s men. These fifers, drummers―and later buglers―held important places from the American Revolution, on through the Civil War, continuing and further evolving in today’s modern military.

As a student, performer, and instructor of this brand of music, Harry Jenkins has done numerous presentations on the topic. With his earlier focus on “Drums & Drummer Boys,” his new presentation takes a broader view that includes the fife and the bugle, as well as the drum, and their history and use primarily as “Field Music.” He describes the musicians’ role and duties―in camp, on the march, and on the battlefield. Using audio and visual recordings, along with authentic replica instruments, Mr. Jenkins describes and demonstrates some of the music they played. Weaving this together with military reports and historical records, letters-home and post-war memoirs, this presentation will paint a picture of these musicians―most of whom were youngsters―told through stories and vignettes―some sad and poignant, some receiving high praise, some heart-warming, and others often humorous. The presentation will conclude with an inspiring DVD presentation of various military music ensembles recorded in live performances, showing the rich history of the traditional music, as well as its evolution in today’s military pageantry.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Harry started on the bugle, and later on drum, at the age of ten in a Boy Scout Drum & Bugle Corps. After a few years he moved on to the arena of Drum Corps competition, and was a member of several State and National Champions, including the Blue Rock Drum & Bugle Corps of Wilmington, DE, the Golden Knights Senior Corps of Union, NJ, the great Yankee Rebels Corps from Baltimore, MD, and also with Philadelphia’s own world renown “Reilly Raiders” Drum & Bugle Corps. He also spent many years as a Drum Corps instructor, and served as a judge in Drum & Bugle Corps and Band competitions. Having spent 20 years in Civil War reenacting as a drummer, soldier, and officer, he is a member of the internationally recognized “Company of Fifers & Drummers,” and is an active performing member of the “United States Association of Rudimental Drummers.”

Harry is a 30-year member of the Old Baldy Civil War Round Table of Philadelphia, serving as Program Chair and on the Board of Directors. He is also a member and supporter of The Friends of Gettysburg Foundation, Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and a long-time member of the Civil War Trust.

Educated in Architecture at Temple University and Arizona State, his career has included working as a Project Manager with architecture firms, construction companies, and government agencies, responsible for the design and construction of varied building projects that include government facilities, schools and colleges, and extensively with hospitals and other health care facilities. He now resides in Newark, Delaware, with wife Bobbie. Son Clayton, a graduate of George Washington University and a Certified Master Brewer, is also a drummer.

Meeting of June 14, 2018

Join us at 7:15 PM on Thursday, June 14, at Camden County College in the Connector Building, Room 101. This month’s topic is

John Fitzpatrick on “‘There is No Fail here.’ President Lincoln’s Leadership at Gettysburg”

Why did President Lincoln, a concerned, caring, conflicted, and careworn president, come to Gettysburg for only 25 hours on November 18 and 19, 1863? The governors of the 18 Union states that provided soldiers to the Union Army of the Potomac, who had fought and died there, not the Federal government, organized and managed the cemetery dedication ceremony. The President was not invited as the keynote speaker—indeed, he was asked to make only “a few appropriate remarks.” Yet he accepted that “secondary” role in the midst of the American Civil War with no end in sight—Why? Gain a greater appreciation of the immortal Gettysburg Address in light of the real back story, the enormous personal, political, and policy pressures impacting the president, and a fractured country, how this leader overcame them, his purposes [gratitude, equality, Union] and how the president achieved those objectives in his short, masterful presentation. Each of those pressures are particularly described in John’s presentation.

John Fitzpatrick is a Licensed Battlefield Guide Emeritus at Gettysburg having guided there for the past 14 years. John was a Senior Corporate Counsel in the Chevron Corporation Law Department for 32 years [including serving for 10 years as a facilitator in Chevron’s internal “Chevron Leadership and Management Forum”], retiring in 2006. Prior to entering Law School, John served on Active Duty as a United States Marine Corps Officer—Pilot, Tank Platoon Commander, including a Vietnam tour of duty where he flew 140 combat missions. Captain Fitzpatrick was Honorably Discharged from Active Duty in 1971. Contemporaneously with his civilian law and Arbitration career [admitted to practice in CA, PA and DC], he transferred to and served as an Active Reservist Pilot with the PA Air National Guard, then Legislative Liaison and finally as a JAG expert in Arbitration and Mediation in the United States Air Force Reserve, OGC, in the Pentagon. Colonel Fitzpatrick transferred to the Retired Reserve in 1997. John, an Honors Graduate of Villanova University and the University of Georgia School of Law where he co-authored and published a Law Journal Note on the legal issues involved with the U.S. recognition of China, now divides his time amongst Guiding at Gettysburg, volunteer Veterans’ Activities and his national and international Commercial, Construction, Securities and Securities Employment Arbitration practice.

Meeting of July 12, 2018

Join us at 7:15 PM on Thursday, July 12, at Camden County College in the Connector Building, Room 101. This month’s topic is

Bob Russo on “Independence: An Ideal, a National Park, and a World Heritage Site”

Only a few miles from where many of our members live, sits what is known as the most historic square mile in the United States of America. Independence National Historical Park, located in Old City Philadelphia, encompasses approximately 55 acres, and includes numerous original historic structures that tell the story of our Nation’s founding and our Founders. Independence Hall, Congress Hall, and Old City Hall where the United States Supreme Court met from 1791 to 1800, will be discussed in this presentation. Additional buildings, such as Benjamin’s Franklin’s Print Shop, the First and Second Banks of the United States, and some important players in our Nation’s founding will be discussed. Also discussed will be the famed Liberty Bell, a symbol of freedom and liberty for people all over the world and an inspiration for oppressed people everywhere.

Stories of Independence Hall will include the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Room, the Assembly Room where great events happened and the Long Gallery on the second floor, which is often overlooked but has great importance in both the Revolutionary Era and just previous to the Civil War Era. The presentation occurs just a week after our July Fourth celebration.

In 1948, the National Park Service took over operations of the park and they continue to maintain the structures and grounds throughout the park. Previous to the Bicentennial of Independence in 1976 vast improvements were made throughout the park in advance of that celebration. We now look forward to the Nation’s 250 birthday in 2026 with improvements already taking place.

Bob’s expectation is that you’ll learn a few things about Independence National Historical Park and the momentous events that occurred in and around the hallowed buildings of the Park. Bob’s hope is that after experiencing the presentation you’ll want to visit the park at some point in the future.

Bob Russo is a current member and former Vice President of Old Baldy Civil War Round Table. He can also be found many Saturday mornings volunteering for the National Park Service at Independence National Historical Park. While there he conducts tours of Independence Hall and Congress Hall and offers interpretation at the Liberty Bell and other sites within the park. Bob has a vast interest in American history that dates back to his teen years. He has been a member of numerous historical organizations over the years that include the Gettysburg Foundation, Surratt Society, Ford’s Theater Society, Civil War Trust, National Constitution Center, the Museum of the American Revolution, and others. Bob recently became a Share Holder of the Library Company of Philadelphia. In 2014 Bob also received the Certificate of Completion from the Civil War Institute at Manor College in Pennsylvania. In his employment Bob works as the Senior Vice President of a local structural steel and miscellaneous iron fabricator and erector. Bob has been a resident of Cherry Hill for over twenty-five years and also served a full term on the Cherry Hill Board of Education from 2006 to 2009. He served one year as that Board’s Vice President.