Community Outreach, July 2018

Bob Russo on “Arlington National Cemetery—Garden of Stone”

Bob is presenting for our Community Outreach initiative: 10:30 am, July 2, 2018, at the Katz JCC Community Center, Cherry Hill, NJ. The JCC charges a $5 donation to cover refreshments.

Over many years Bob Russo made numerous trips to Arlington National Cemetery to better understand the history and sites of this National treasure, hallowed ground and final resting place of over 400,000 veterans and their family members. Bob’s presentation, Arlington National Cemetery—Garden of Stone, is the result of much of that work.

To stand at Arlington National Cemetery today it’s easy to look at the rows of tombstones, set in perfect alignment, and view the rolling hills as a Garden of Stone. What you see today involves years of evolution that started long before the Civil War. In fact the narrative of the ground at Arlington goes back to the time of the American Revolution when George Washington’s adopted son purchased the ground where the National Cemetery sits today. Year’s later Robert E. Lee resided here. The guards at today’s Tomb of the Unknowns tie directly to George Washington and his Continental Army. That connection can be seen at Valley Forge National Historical Park. These associations to the past convey an interesting story that spans over 235 years.

Many stones symbolize the story of an American hero, someone who served our Nation either in the military or some other capacity. Beyond the graves are numerous monuments that tell a tale of American courage, some from America’s most heart wrenching and iconic moments. Three of the Marines who raised the flag at Iwo Jima are buried here, President Kennedy, his brothers, two Apollo 1 astronauts, Joe Louis, Audie Murphy and many other well known Americans. Memorials to the Shuttle Challenger Astronauts, the Confederate Monument, the Memorial Amphitheatre, the Nurses Memorial, war memorials and the great dignity of the Tomb of the Unknowns, along with others, will be discussed in this presentation.

Bob Russo is the Vice President of Old Baldy Civil War Round Table and can also be found most Saturday mornings volunteering for the National Park Service at Independence National Historical Park. While there he conducts tours of Independence Hall, 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. Bob 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 and others. 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.

This is an often-somber presentation that coincides with the solemn remembrances of Memorial Day. Bob’s hope is that you learn a few things about Arlington National Cemetery that you didn’t know and that this presentation causes you to want to visit or revisit this historic National Cemetery. He further hopes that you will be touched in some way by some of the stories and photos from, Arlington National Cemetery—Garden of Stone.

Meeting of July 12, 2018

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.

July 2018 Newsletter

Meeting of June 14, 2018

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.

June 2018 Newsletter

Civil War Prisons – An American Tragedy

Now Available on Amazon pay-per-view: A new Civil War Documentary, “Civil War Prisons – An American Tragedy”

This edgy documentary covers one of the saddest and least covered chapters of the war. Check out the review by the Philadelphia Inquirer and the link to the film.

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/20150820_Documentary_looks_at_the_dark_world_of_Civil_War_prisons.html

http://www.amazon.com/dp/b07bfpph4h

Meeting of May 10, 2018

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.

May 2018 Newsletter

Meeting of April 12, 2018

Randy Drais on “William H. Tipton: The Man Behind the Camera”

Most Battle of Gettysburg buffs have heard about Gettysburg photographer William H. Tipton. Tipton studied photography as the apprentice of Charles and Isaac Tyson, who were among the earliest Gettysburg photographers, and he later went into business for himself, taking thousands of photographs of visitors to the Gettysburg battlefield, where he also established Tipton Park and was a major force behind the establishment of the Gettysburg Electric Railway’s trolley line on the battlefield.

By 1888, Tipton had produced approximately 5,000 views of the Gettysburg battlefield (the vast majority of the collection was acquired by the Gettysburg National Military Park from C. Tyson Tipton in 1935) and more than 100,000 portraits. Join amateur historian Randy Drais as we learn not only about William H. Tipton’s many influences on Gettysburg, the battlefield, and the Gettysburg National Military Park, but also his family and their involvement as well, and view many of Tipton’s rarely seen battlefield photographs.

Born and raised in York, Pennsylvania, Randy Drais developed a keen interest in the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Campaign immediately after a 5th grade field trip to that famous Civil War battlefield. A lifelong passion to learn more resulted in his creation in March of 2008 of a website, battleofgettysburgbuff.com, for individuals who wish to learn and do more than the average visitor to the battlefield. A “companion” website, battleofgettysburgbuff.net, Facebook page, and a quarterly newsletter soon followed.

A graduate of York College of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in International Studies, Randy has worked in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, the Pennsylvania Senate, and the Pennsylvania Department of State. Married with two daughters, Randy retired on January 1, 2015 and now devotes even more time to his main passion, learning even more about the Battle of Gettysburg and sharing that information with others. He has also co-authored “Texans at Gettysburg: Blood and Glory with Hood’s Texas Brigade” and is currently working on a second volume.

April 2018 Newsletter

The Andersonville Trial – Hanging Captain Wirz

Monday, March 19, 7 p.m. – The Center at Camden County College, Blackwood, NJ

The Confederate prison at Andersonville killed more Union prisoners (13,000) than any battle.
The horrific conditions of the prison and the controversial trial of Captain Henry Wirz will be reviewed in detail. Revenge and the wrath of the North targeted Wirz for the enormous loss of life from starvation, exposure, and disease.

Presented by Old Baldy C.W.R.T. member Joseph F. Wilson, whose ancestor survived the war’s deadliest prison.

See attached flyer for more info. Contact: joef21@aol.com

Meeting of March 8, 2018

Robert C. Baumgartner on “The Historiography of the Confederacy”

Mr. Robert C. Baumgartner will present the Historiography of the Confederacy, through the works of Douglas Southall Freeman, T. Harry Williams, and C. Vann Woodward. The connection to modern historiography is from the works of George Rable and James McPherson, who were students of Williams and Woodward, respectively.

Robert C. Baumgartner is an adjunct professor of history at Camden County College teaching primarily with The Center. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rowan University, and has received training in historical preservation from Arizona State University. Mr. Baumgartner is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board of the Declaration Project at Harvard University. He currently is a faculty member at Triton Regional High School and is working on two current research projects: one dealing with the history of Triton High School’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the second is a study on the lack of geographic education in the state of New Jersey. Bob is a member of the Old Baldy Civil War Roundtable, and presented The General in our 2017 Lecture Series on NJ in the Civil War.

March 2018 Newsletter