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Previous Meetings:  1999-2015  2016  2017
Meeting: December 12, 2017
Our speaker this month will be genealogist, historian and author Gary L. Dyson. He will speak on his latest book; “The Ambush of the Isaac P. Smith, Family Ties and the Battle on the Stono, January 30, 1863.” The USS Isaac P. Smith was ambushed by Confederate shore batteries and captured on the Stono River near Charleston on January 30, 1863. John Wyer Dicks (Executive Officer) and Frederic Calvin Hills (Paymaster) were officers on theSmith, meeting each other as shipmates, spending time as prisoners of war together, and immediately after the Civil War becoming related when Frederic married John’s daughter Marianne. This book tells the history of theSmithleading up to its capture as well as provides an account of the crew’s captivity, the lives of Dicks and Hills after the war, and some brief biographies of other combatants, North and South. Battle reports and eyewitness accounts were used to describe the battle. This book is published through Lulu.com and is available there as well as Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Gary L. Dyson is a retired Environmental Specialist from the city of Gaithersburg, MD and a former Marine. He is a lifelong history enthusiast and has spent countless hours reading, researching and exploring battlefields – from the French and Indian War to World War II. Gary owns Dyson Genealogy and Historical Research and is the author of “Ambush of the Isaac P. Smith” and “A Civil War Correspondent in New Orleans, the Journals and Reports of Albert Gaius Hills of the Boston Journal.”   He has a BS in Natural Resources Management from Oregon State University. Gary lives in Mount Airy, MD with his wife Emily and has two children away at college. He is also a board member for the Frederick County Civil War Roundtable.



Book Review

Pictures from the meeting

Meeting: November 28, 2017

Our speaker this month will be retired National Park Service employee and Civil War re-enactor Mel Reid. His talk tonight will be about will be a living history “interpretation of becoming a soldier in the 54th Massachusetts – “From the Plantation to the Battlefield.”

When the Civil War began in 1961, African Americans, both free and enslaved, were not allowed to volunteer to serve in the United States Army. Individual states began to recruit and activate their own units before the federal government allowed enlistment early in 1863. Mr. Reid’s presentation will showcase how is was to be a recruit in perhaps the best known Black regiment of the war.

Mel Reid spent 38 years in service to the Federal government retiring from the National Park Service Headquarters in 2005. He has been awarded several plaques, certificate, citations and special achievement awards relative to his government service.

Mr. Reid is also a Civil War reenactor and lecturer has participated in numerous Civil War ‘Living History’ activities at several locations throughout the USA. He also was an extra in the motion picture “Glory”, which focused on the 54th Massachusetts. Perhaps, most notably, he had the high honor of marching in both of President Barak Obama’s inaugural parades.

What being a 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Company B reenactor means to Mel Reid: “I am a member of a special group of modern day African American Brothers in arms who proudly portray seldom told and/or untold historical perspectives about courage, valor, respect and glory earned by these remarkable African American heroes and ‘she-roes’ of the American Civil War era.

Mr. Reid attended Ohio State University and participated in various courses related to Federal Government employment.

Pictures from the meeting




Meeting: October 24, 2017
Our speaker this month will be Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Archivist Mary Klein. Ms Klein will discuss the Episcopal Bishop of Maryland during the Civil War, Rev. William Rollinson Whittingham.
William R. Whittingham was born in New York City, the son of Richard Whittingham and Mary Ann Rollinson Whittingham. In 1840, a diocesan convention elected Whittingham bishop of Maryland.

At the beginning of the American Civil War in 1861, Whittingham advocated for the Union cause, and sent a letter of praise to Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks for refusing to convene a special legislative session concerning secession. Many criticized him for intruding the church into affairs of state. Bishop Whittingham also brought several priests who refused to say prayers for the President before ecclesiastical tribunals, for failing to follow his orders. He also commended to his clergy the Lincoln administration's various calls for days of prayer or thanksgiving during the war, although a number of Southern-sympathizing parishes still refused to comply. At the time of his consecration he was the youngest of the American bishops: at his death he was the second-oldest, having been in office thirty-nine years. He died in Orange, New Jersey on October 17, 1879, and was buried at St. Stephens Episcopal Cemetery in Millburn, New Jersey.

Ms. Klein has been the Archivist for the Diocese of Maryland since 2002. Her background is in history and archives work, having earned both her B.A and M.A. from Salisbury University. She has been active in Episcopal Church matters on the local, diocesan, and national levels.

Episcopal Bishop of Maryland
William Rollinson Whittingham


Meeting: September 26, 2017
Our speaker this month will be Eugene D. (Gene) Schmiel.
He will speak on the Life of Jacob Dolson Cox, Ohio Citizen-General.

During his school days at Oberlin College, no one could have predicted that the intellectual, reserved Cox possessed a “military aptitude.” Cox's successful military career included helping to secure West Virginia for the Union; co-commanding the left wing of the Union army at the Battle of Antietam; breaking the Confederate supply line, leading to the taking of Atlanta; and commanding the defensive line at the Battle of Franklin, which effectively ended the Confederate threat in the West.  His services at the Battle of Franklin were one of the best examples of the skills a "civilian general" had attained.

After the war Cox proved to be a true Renaissance man, with careers as Governor of Ohio, Secretary of the Interior, Congressman, President of the University of Cincinnati, and President of the Toledo and Wabash Railway.  But of Cox's postwar careers, his greatest recognition came from being the best participant historian of the Civil War. His several histories of the conflict are to this day cited by serious scholars as a foundation for the memory of many aspects of the war.

Eugene D. (Gene) Schmiel is a retired U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer, who now works part-time at the Department of State.  A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he was an Assistant Professor of History at St. Francis University (PA) before joining the Foreign Service.  Schmiel has a Ph.D. degree in History from The Ohio State University, and he coauthored with his wife Kathryn a book about life in the foreign service.​
He lives in Gainesville, Virginia.

Jacob Dolson Cox

Meeting: August 22, 2017
Our speaker this month will be former BCWRT President Bob Mullauer.

In what may be one of the most timely talks ever, Bob will talk on Marylander and Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney and the Ex Parte Merryman case.

On May 25, 1861, a secessionist named John Merryman was imprisoned by military order at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md., for his alleged pro-Confederate activities. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney issued a writ of habeas corpus on the grounds that Merryman was illegally detained. General George Cadwalader, in command of Fort McHenry, refused to obey the writ, on the basis that President Abraham Lincoln had suspended habeas corpus.

Taney cited Cadwalader for contempt of court and then wrote an opinion about Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, which allows suspension of habeas corpus “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Taney argued that only Congress—not the president—had the power of suspension.
President Lincoln ignored Taney’s opinion and adhered to the suspension of habeas corpus throughout the Civil War. Merryman was later released. The constitutional question of who has the right to suspend habeas corpus, Congress or the President, has never been officially resolved.

Bob Mullauer was a high school history teacher for over a decade. He currently teaches night-time courses at Anne Arundel Community College as well as speaks to a variety of groups on topics such as the American Civil War in the Western Theater, World War II in the Pacific, and the Napoleonic Wars. He has led United States Army officers on staff rides over the Chickamauga and Chattanooga battlefields. Besides Civil War battlefields, his travels include tours of World War II battlefields in the Pacific as well as Normandy, the Bulge, Verdun, and various Napoleonic sites in Europe.


Roger B. Taney



Meeting: July 25, 2017
Our speaker this month will be Frank Armiger.

The July 25th meeting will focus on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Frank Armiger will feature an extensive Power Point presentation covering the third day of the noted battle. This is the completion of a series of three lectures presented to the Roundtable that started in 2016.

Frank is a native of the Baltimore area. He was born in South Baltimore and grew up in north Anne Arundel County. He currently resides in Timonium with his wife Susan. Frank is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University where he earned a BA in Business and Industrial Engineering. He is currently self-employed as a health care antifraud consultant specializing in Medicare and Medicaid detection and prevention. Frank is a long time Civil War buff dating back to the Centennial celebration. He is particularly interested in the Battle of Gettysburg and has visited the battlefield many times over the past 50+ years. Frank is the Editor of the Maryland Line, the newsletter of the Maryland Military Historical Society (MDMHS). He is also the President of the Curtis B Vickery Round Table of Military History where he has been a regular speaker.

CSA General George Pickett

Meeting: June 27, 2017
Our speaker will be Gene Barr. Since June is the traditional time for love leading to marriage, author Gene Barr will have a presentation based on his book; "A Civil War Captain and His Lady - Love, Courtship, and Combat from Fort Donelson through the Vicksburg Campaign".

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.




Meeting: May 23, 2017
Our speaker will be Colonel (Retired) Kevin J. Weddle, Ph.D. He will discuss his book Lincoln’s Tragic Admiral: The Life of Samuel Francis Du Pont (University of Virginia Press, 2005)
Kevin Weddle is Professor of Military Theory and Strategy at the US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He is a native Minnesotan, graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and served over 28 years as a combat engineer officer. Throughout his career he worked in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States and overseas and is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Colonel Weddle holds master’s degrees in history and civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. He has written numerous articles for popular and scholarly journals and his first book, Lincoln’s Tragic Admiral: The Life of Samuel Francis Du Pont (University of Virginia Press, 2005), won the 2006 William E. Colby Award, was runner up in the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize competition, and won the Army War College’s faculty writing award. He is currently writing a strategic history of the Saratoga campaign for the Oxford University Press. Dr. Weddle has led dozens of civilian and military groups to battlefields in the United States including Vicksburg, Antietam, Gettysburg, Grant’s Overland Campaign, and others. In addition, he has also led groups to European battlefields including Agincourt, Waterloo, Gallipoli, the Somme, Verdun, Ypres, Dunkirk, Sicily, Anzio, and Normandy.

Admiral Samuel Francis Dupont




Meeting: April 25, 2017
The April meeting is our Annual Banquet. The Guest speaker is Ed Bearss. Mr. Bearss is an independent scholar and historian whose public career began at the National Park Service in 1955 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. While there, he conducted research leading to the recovery of the long-lost Union gunboat Cairo. He also located two forgotten forts at Grand Gulf, Mississippi, and was instrumental in having Grand Gulf named a State Military monument.

In 1966, he transferred to Washington, D.C., and in 1981 he became the National Park Service chief historian for military sites. Mr. Bearss, winner of the Harry S. Truman Award and the Nevins Freeman Award for Civil War scholarship, continues to serve as a Civil War consultant and conducts detailed battlefield site tours and seminars for the Smithsonian Study Tours program.
In 1990, he was a featured commentator for Ken Burns' PBS series, The Civil War, the most popular program broadcast by that network to date. Recently, he has appeared on the Arts and Entertainment Channel's Civil War Journal. Mr. Bearss is a combat veteran of the Pacific Theater during the Second World War.

He has written over a dozen books, numerous articles, and is the editor of Gettysburg Magazine.

Ed Bearss



Meeting: March 28, 2017

Our speaker will be David Craig. He will discuss his new book Greetings from Gettysburg. This pictorial history tells the story of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania through 160 beautiful postcards, memorializing important and noteworthy scenes from the Civil War battlefield.

Craig, an avid deltiologist (postcard collector) who earned his bachelor's degree in history from Towson State College in 1971 became interested in Gettysburg while he was a student working on his master's degree in U.S. history at Morgan State University. During that time he began amassing a collection of books on Gettysburg - it now contains more than 75 volumes - to write his thesis on Gettysburg Gen. James J. Archer.

David R. Craig serves as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning, which oversees the Maryland Historic Trust and historic preservation. He is also Head of the Maryland World War I Centennial Commission.



Meeting: February 28, 2017
Our speaker will be Gregg Clemmer. He will discuss the life and career of Confederate General Edward “Alleghany” Johnson.

Gregg Clemmer is a native of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and a graduate of Virginia Tech. A writer and historian of eclectic interests, Clemmer thrives on chronicling obscure, disparate subjects, everything from the manufacturing history of miners' carbide lamps to the evolution of expedition cave camps. Resigning from medical school in his third year, Clemmer went on to pioneer solar electricity, fight urban sprawl, champion American heritage, and search for the world's deepest cave. He is an eloquent speaker and a gifted storyteller and has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, and CBS Radio.

Free from the "publish or perish" shackles of academia, Clemmer pursued Maj. Gen. Ed Johnson's never-told, extraordinary story despite colleagues' warnings of little original source material. Clemmer's diligent research over a dozen years discovered two notable caches of Johnson letters and a treasure trove of primary records. His resultant biography, Old Alleghany: The Life and Wars of General Ed Johnson is the definitive history of the man.
Clemmer is the author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles and among his four books is the acclaimed Valor in Gray: The Recipients of the Confederate Medal of Honor. He lives in Hunt Valley, Maryland with his wife Linda.

Edward “Alleghany” Johnson CSA

Meeting: January 24, 2017
Our speaker will be Michael Schaffner.

Michael Schaffner has a life-long interest in military history with a particular focus on the American civil war. He brings to his subject insights from three decades as a federal manager and fifteen years experience as a re-enactor in many roles and ranks, both blue and gray, as well as a member of the USCT Living History Association, an officer with Company B, 54th Massachusetts, and a volunteer at the African-American Civil War Museum in Washington.  The crux of his current research centers on the decisive impact of African-American soldiers and civilians on the outcome of the civil war.

As a writer, Mr. Schaffner's publications include the novel War Boys, the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, poems in Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Beloit Poetry Journal, Agni, and Poetry Ireland, as well as articles in Columbia’s Torch, Camp Chase Gazette, and Kevin Levin's blog Civil War Memory.


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