Meeting of April 14, 2011

Bill Hughes on “US General Hospital at Beverly, NJ”

man with a beard presenting

Bill Hughes

William Hughes, a member of Old Baldy, spoke on the history of the U.S. General Hospital at Beverly, New Jersey, during the war. The hospital, which was located at the site of a former civil war rendezvous camp, was in operation 1864-1865. Through much research, Hughes put together an interesting description of what it took to organize and operate this type of military hospital. His book traces the hospital’s roots and the people who shaped it including: the dedicated surgeons and nurses, the brave yet gravely injured and sick soldiers, the employees who took advantage, and the community that rallied around both staff and patients. It also touches on the origins of the Beverly National Cemetery, which holds over 40,000 military burials beginning during the Civil War. We heard from actual soldiers’ letters written home from the hospital. Both the hospital and cemetery have connections to similar sites in the Philadelphia area. Continue reading

Meeting of March 10, 2011

Dick Simpson on “Wilson’s Creek, August 10, 1861”

Battle of Wilson’s Creek (Wikipedia)

Historian Dick Simpson presented a program on “The Battle of Wilson’s Creek”, the first major battle west of the Mississippi. In early August 1861, Confederate Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch’s army was camped at Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, while Union Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon’s men were camped 12 miles away in Springfield, Missouri.

On the night of August 9, both sides had developed plans of attack on the opposing camp, but rain forced the Confederates to forgo the assault. At dawn the next day, Lyon led his army into battle. The attack caught McCulloch off guard, driving his army back. For more than five hours the battle raged on “Bloody Hill”. At about 9:30 a.m., Lyon, who had been wounded twice already, was killed while positioning his troops. Command fell to Major Samuel Sturgis, who ordered a withdrawal to Springfield at about 11 a.m., his ammunition nearly exhausted.

March 2011 Newsletter

Meeting of February 10, 2011

Stephen Wright and Hugh Boyle on “Abraham Lincoln Program”

man at podium

Hugh Boyle

man presenting

Steve Wright

What a great night! This year in honor of Lincoln’s birthday, Hugh presenting a short program entitled: “Congressman Lincoln: 1847 to 1849” and Steve explored Lincoln’s formative years in New Salem. What a great evening with two Lincoln scholars. We were given insight into a period of influence on young Mr. Lincoln at New Salem and the ambition of Lincoln in Illinois as the shrewd politician. We always enjoy Hugh and Steve, but the two together made for one of our outstanding programs.

February 2011 Newsletter

Meeting of January 13, 2011

Roger Arthur on “The Secession Crisis”

man standing

Roger Arthur

“The Secession Crisis” traced the events that led to the attempt to break up the Union. Why did the Southern states believe they were better off out of the Union? What justification did they have? What did the government do or attempt to do to assuage the sectional crisis? What caused the final rift? Why would they fire on the flag?

January 2011 Newsletter

Steven James Wright – Member Profile

guy in a baseball cap

Steven James Wright

A native of Silver Bay, Minnesota, Steven James Wright developed a fascination with history by listening to his grandfather’s stories of World War I and by exploring his father’s vast library of Civil War books as a child. This interest led to his majoring in history in college at St. John’s University (B.A., Collegeville, MN, 1978) and the University of Minnesota–Duluth (M.A., Duluth, MN, 1981. He also received an M.L.I.S., Drexel University, 2003.) He worked for more than twenty-five years in the history field at such places as Gettysburg National Military Park as a seasonal Park Ranger, a full-time Park Ranger at Independence National Historical Park, and the Curator of Collections at the late Civil War Library and Museum in Philadelphia. In addition, he has written two books and contributed to four others, and has had more than 300 articles and book reviews printed in such publications as The Surratt Courier, Blue and Gray, Civil War News, Gettysburg Magazine, Civil War Times, America’s Civil War, to name but a few. A member of a number of historical and preservation associations, he has served more than five terms as President of Old Baldy Civil War Round Table of Philadelphia. Continue reading

Henry Shaffner – Member Profile

seated man in a suit and tie

Henry Shaffner

You could assume that Henry Shaffner, being a great-great Grandson of Confederate General Thomas J. (“Stonewall”) Jackson might be a Civil War buff. You would be right. But, in Henry’s family, as he was recently quoted in USA Today‘s Civil War series, “Don’t rely on your ancestors” were the watchwords. Because of all the history in Henry’s family–generals in the Revolutionary War, as well as the Civil War, and Framers of the Constitution, too, he decided on a different field in which to operate. Continue reading

Craig Schoeller – Member Profile

man in a baseball cap

Craig Schoeller

Craig Schoeller became interested in the Civil War at the time of the Centennial (1961-1965) when he read all of Bruce Catton’s books. In following years he visited most of the battlefields from Gettysburg, Antietam, Chickamauga, and to Atlanta. Later he set foot at Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Post Hudson. With the passage of time he became less interested in battle details and more attracted to human interest and people’s actions and interactions. Continue reading

Meeting of December 9, 2010

Stephen Wright on “Battle of Fredericksburg” and Michael A. Cavanaugh on a Defense of Gen. Burnside

man at podium

Stephen Wright

seated man reading

Mike Cavanaugh

Noted as being one of the most one-sided battles of the Civil War, the battle of Fredericksburg is also remarkable in that Union casualties were more than twice those suffered by the Confederates and the armies at Fredericksburg represented the largest number of armed men ever to confront each other for combat during the war. Continue reading

Meeting of November 11, 2010

Sid Copel on “Civil War Spies & Guerrillas”

portrait of Civil War soldier

Sam Davis

portrait of Civil War Confederate officer

John S. Mosby

Dr. Sidney Copel is a clinical psychologist who is now retired. He received his undergraduate and graduate training at Temple University. He was for many years the Administrator of the Psychological Clinic at the Devereux Foundation where he ran one of the biggest programs of its kind in the country. After leaving Devereux he went into private practice until his retirement in 1995. Continue reading