News

Report of Board Meeting of the Civil War Roundtable of St. Louis

The Board met in-person and via Zoom on Saturday, August 15, 2020. We had about eight or nine participants on Zoom and four in-person.

We discussed the results of the recently conducted survey. It was heartening to see that nearly everyone surveyed was willing to renew or consider renewing their membership in spite of all the uncertainties we are now facing. Gloria will be sending out information regarding dues and renewal of memberships. We also decided to ask members for donations on a voluntary basis.

The principal item of discussion was whether and how to hold meetings this Fall. The current restrictions on meetings issued by the St. Louis County Health Department would restrict attendance to about half the membership at the Royale Orleans, even if that many were willing to attend. Because of the uncertainties of new or revised health restrictions and the fluctuations in the COVID-19 situation and considering the fact that a very large percentage of our membership falls into the high-risk group, the Board decided to conduct all regular meetings through January 2021 via Zoom. One of our previously scheduled out-of-town speakers has already indicated she preferred not to travel. It is unfortunate that it appears that about 10% of the membership does not have access to Zoom, but perhaps they can ask a family member who has access to the Internet to allow them to use their computer for that purpose. Many of us have already used Zoom or a similar software for online meetings, lectures, etc. If you have taken advantage of the programs from the National Civil War Roundtable Congress, you will see that it is very simple to use. Jim Erwin has purchased a year’s license for Zoom. If you have questions about how to access it, please send an email to stlcwrt@gmail.com. Although we usually pay only travel expenses and lodging, offer authors the opportunity to sell their books, and do not pay an honorarium, under the circumstances it may be occasionally be necessary to offer an honorarium to obtain quality speakers. To account for such an eventuality, the Board authorized the spending of up to $250 as an honorarium should it become necessary.

Jim Erwin was directed to inform Royale Orleans that we will not be having regular in-person meetings until February 2021 at the earliest. The Board will meet again in January to evaluate the situation and decide when and how to conduct regular meetings for February through May 2021.

Our meetings will start at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month. The first four meetings will be on September 23, October 28, December 2 (because the fourth Wednesday in November is the day before Thanksgiving), and January 27. Father Vince needs to re-confirm or make other arrangements for speakers in light of the Board’s decision. Further details as to the speakers and their topics, and the necessary login information for Zoom will be sent later.

Given the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 situation, the Board decided to postpone elections until May 2021. We do have one resignation. I am sorry to announce that Bill Winter has resigned from the Board. He has done so much for the Roundtable already and we appreciate his service to it and to the cause of Civil War history. We look forward to seeing Bill in person at the Roundtable whenever we are able to resume regular meetings. If anyone is interested in filling that slot (none of us could fill his shoes), please send an email to stlcwrt@gmail.com.

The Board decided to resume the Little Roundtable discussion group, beginning Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 11:15 a.m. at Miss Sheri’s Cafeteria, where it was held before. We may be able to conduct a combination in-person and Zoom meeting, depending on the number of persons who wish to attend. We had from 12-15 at the meetings in the past. Bob Schultz led a discussion of “When did the Civil War begin?” at the last meeting. October’s topic will be “When did the Civil War end?” We will make a final decision as we get closer to the date and send the necessary details then.