Bill spoke on the history of the Old Baldy Civil War Round Table. He has been gathering information and stories from older sources and has many pictures to display.
Bill attended Pfeiffer University and West Chester University. He has a Masters of Education and has taught and coached for 38 years. He spent 25 years as a volunteer fireman and six terms on school board. Bill first became interested in the Civil War about 1989 with visits to Harpers Ferry, Cedar Creek, Antietam, and Gettysburg. He belongs to the Civil War Trust and NRA. He is currently President of the Board of Directors for the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society. Bill joined Old Baldy in 1990 or 1991. He has published two books and written several articles for the Old Baldy newsletter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Roundtable Discussion: “On the Trail with Old Baldy”
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 or Harry .
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.
Ed Bonekemper on the “Myth of the Lost Cause: False Remembrance of the Civil War”
The Southern-created Myth of the Lost Cause has long dominated Americans’ remembrance of the Civil War, the country’s watershed event. In many ways, that Myth has been America’s most successful propaganda campaign.
Historian Ed Bonekemper examines the accuracy of the Myth and how it has affected our perception of slavery, states’ rights, the nature of the Civil War, and the military performance of Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, and James Longstreet. He begins by discussing the nature of slavery in 1860, including whether it was a benign and dying institution.
The heart of his analysis is whether slavery was the primary cause of secession and the Confederacy’s creation. He does this by examining Federal protection of slavery, slavery demographics, seceding states’ conventions and declarations, their outreach to other slave states, Confederate leaders’ statements, and the Confederacy’s foreign policy, POW policy and rejection of black soldiers.
Drawing on decades of research, Bonekemper then discusses other controversial Myth issues, such as whether the South could have won the Civil War, whether Lee was a great general, whether Grant was a mere “butcher” who won by brute force, whether Longstreet lost Gettysburg for Lee, and whether the North won by waging “total war.”
Ed Bonekemper earned a B.A., cum laude, in American history from Muhlenberg College, an M.A. in American history from Old Dominion University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He is the author of six Civil War books. Ed was the Book Review Editor of Civil War News from 2010 until mid-2016 and was an adjunct lecturer in military history at Muhlenberg College from 2003 to 2010. He served as a Federal Government attorney for 34 years and is a retired Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.