September 23, 2015
“The Red Battle Shirt of Gen. A. P. Hill”
by Patrick Falci
Actor / Performing Historian
Pat Falci gained fame not only for his role as the General A.P. Hill, from Gettysburg, but also as director/screenwriter Ron Maxwell’s historical advisor for both that movie and Gods and Generals. Pat provided casting director Joy Todd and the actors with photographs and research for both films and even scouted out locations in Maryland and took Maxwell on a Stonewall Jackson tour of Civil War battlefields and other historical sites. Pat, a native of Astoria, served as Jeff Shaara’s historical advisor, providing research and tours of Civil War sites portrayed in his books, and vetted John Jakes’s manuscripts for On Secret Service and Charleston, at its editor’s request.
He has spoken at count less CWRTs throughout the country and has wowed them consistently. He is the recipient of the CWRT/NY Distinguished Service Award, the Fort A.P. Hill Commander’s Award for Excellence, the U.S. Army M.D. of Washington, D.C. Commanding General’s Award, the U.D.C. Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal, and the S.U.V. Commander’s Award for Excellence. In addition to these honors, he has earned a commission of Colonel from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
For 19 years now, Patrick has been the face of General Ambrose Powell Hill. Before that, he was a Civil War re-enactor for another 15 years with the 14th Tennessee Archer’s Brigade, Hill’s Light Division and he has been immersed in the history of the “War Between the States” for even longer.
Ever since the movie Gettysburg, where Patrick created the role of Hill, he has been enlightening the public about “Lee’s Forgotten General.” In fact he joined the Museum of the Confederacy in the unveiling of Hill’s 13th Virginia regimental flag, which he helped raise over $10,000 to restore. Hill’s wife Dolly made the flag, in part from her own wedding dress, and the restoration was a project dear to Patrick’s heart.
It’s the same love of preservation that has prompted a lifetime membership in the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), talks on Civil War subjects throughout the ountry, and a school program called “The Life and Times of the Civil War Soldier.” He was the first 3-time president of the Civil War Round Table of New York, traveling to places like Richmond where he delivered a speech for the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) on Lee’s Bicentennial, January 19. 2007. You might even have caught him as a keynote speaker at Grant’s Tomb and he is an honorary member of the Virginia SCV.
Ambrose Powell Hill, Jr. (November 9, 1825 – April 2, 1865) was Confederate armygeneral who was killed in the American Civil War.
A native Virginian, Hill was a career United States Army officer who had fought in the Mexican–American War and Seminole Wars prior to joining the Confederacy. After the start of the American Civil War, he gained early fame as the commander of the “Light Division” in the Seven Days Battles and became one of Stonewall Jackson’s ablest subordinates, distinguishing himself in the 1862 battles of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.
1842: Hill was nominated to enter the United States Military Academy in 1842, in a class that started with 85 cadets.
1861: On March 1, 1861, just before the outbreak of the Civil War, Hill resigned his U.S. Army commission.
1862: He gained early fame as the commander of the “Light Division” in the Seven Days Battles and became one of Stonewall Jackson’s ablest subordinates, distinguishing himself in the 1862 battles of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.
1862: Hill was promoted to brigadier general on February 26, 1862, and command of a brigade in the (Confederate) Army of the Potomac.
1863: Following Jackson’s death in May 1863 at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Hill was promoted to lieutenant general and commanded the Third Corps of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, which he led in the Gettysburg Campaign and the fall campaigns of 1863.
1864: His command of the corps in 1864–65 was interrupted on multiple occasions by illness, from which he did not return until just before the end of the war, when he was killed during the Union Army offensive at the Third Battle of Petersburg.
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October 28, 2015
“He Rode with Custer: Lt. Edward G. Granger”
by Sandy Barnard
In late August 1862, a 19-year-old Detroit youth signed up as a second lieutenant with the 5th Michigan Cavalry. During the next two years, Lt. Edward G. Granger, the subject of Sandy Barnard’s talk, would see action in virtually all of his regiment’s engagements, including such storied fights as Yellow Tavern and Brandy Station. During his last 12 months of service, he served with distinction as a highly valued staff aide to Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer, commanding the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. On Aug. 16, 1864, Granger carried orders from his commander directing the final charge by two of the Brigade’s regiments against the enemy at the Battle of Crooked Run, Front Royal, Va. Unfortunately, riding between the two regiments, Granger went missing at the front. Several months later, it was confirmed that he had been killed in action.
In the wake of Granger’s disappearance, General Custer wrote to his uncle a highly personal, heartfelt letter of condolence that said, in part:
“I sincerely regret even his temporary loss, as no officer of my command has been more faithful and attentive in the discharge of his duties than Lieutenant Granger. In addition to this, the personal relations existing between us from our being members of the same military family, are the most intimate and unreserved. Please convey to Mrs. Granger, to Miss Mollie and to all his relations, my heartfelt sympathy and assure his mother and sister that no effort will be spared by me to learn the exact condition and fate of the son and brother.”
Fortunately, at least 43 letters written by the young soldier to his family members at home in Michigan have survived. They offer considerable insights not only into Army life in camp and on the field of battle, but also uniquely into General Custer himself and his fellow soldiers.
Sandy Barnard, a journalist and non-fiction writer for more than 45 years, specializes in researching the Civil War and the Plains Indian wars. He is especially well-known for his research and writing on the Battle of the Little Big Horn, the career of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, and the men of the 7th U.S. Cavalry who served with him or followed him. Barnard is recognized for his expertise on newspaper reporter Mark H. Kellogg, killed with Custer at the Little Big Horn; First Sgt. John Ryan, a prominent Little Big Horn survivor; and Major Joel H. Elliott, a key 7th Cavalry officer in the 1860s. In the 1980s, Barnard assisted the National Park Service with media relations during archeological projects at then-Custer Battlefield National Monument.
His most recent book is A Hoosier Quaker Goes to War, The Life & Death of Major Joel H. Elliott, published in 2010. His earlier publications include Where Custer Fell, Photographs of the Little Bighorn, a study of historic photographs of the Little Big Horn Battlefield in collaboration with James S. Brust and the late Brian C. Pohanka, published in 2005, and Ten Years with Custer, a 7th Cavalryman’s Memoirs, published in 2002. All three books received the John M. Carroll Book of the Year Award from the Little Big Horn Associates for their respective years of publication. His 1996 biography of 7th U.S. Cavalryman, Custer’s First Sergeant John Ryan, also won the 2012 Jay Smith Award from the Little Big Horn Associates. Perhaps his most popular book remains his third edition of Digging Into Custer’s Last Stand, whose first edition appeared in 1986.
His other books include:
Campaigning with the Irish Brigade: Pvt. John Ryan, 28th Massachusetts;
I Go With Custer, The Life and Death of Reporter Mark Kellogg;
Shovels & Speculation, Archeologists Hunt Custer;
Speaking About Custer.
In early 2016, what will be his 14th book, Photographing Custer’s Battlefield, will be published by the University of Oklahoma Press. A continuation of Where Custer Fell, this book will focus on the 45 years of battlefield photographic work by Kenneth F. Roahen, a U.S. Fish & Game Service agent and a well-known freelance photographer. Currently, Barnard is editing the Civil War letters of Lt. Edward G. Granger, 5th Michigan Cavalry, who served as a staff aide to Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer while he commanded the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. The manuscript is also under contract with the University of Oklahoma Press.
For nearly 25 years, Barnard served as editor of the annual Greasy Grass magazine published by the Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association. A U.S. Army veteran who received the Bronze Star Medal while serving as an intelligence officer in Vietnam in 1968-1969, Barnard holds degrees from Boston College and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. A former newspaper reporter in Missouri and North Carolina as well as a freelance writer, Barnard is a retired journalism professor from Indiana State University. Today, he lives in Wake Forest, N.C., where he operates AST Press and Indianwarbooks.com. He writes and speaks frequently about the Indian wars and Civil War.
For book info (Click Here)
December 2, 2015
“The Battle of Wilson’s Creek”
by Ted Hillmer, Jr.
The November and December meetings are combined because of the holidays
In the early morning hours of August 10, 1861, the rolling hillsides of southwest Missouri echoed with the sounds of fierce combat. When the smoke cleared, almost 2,500 men were killed, wounded, or missing. The Battle of Wilson’s Creek, the second major battle of the Civil War and the first west of the Mississippi, marked the beginning of four years of invading armies and ruthless guerilla warfare in Missouri.
The talk will center on the activities within the battlefield and a presentation of the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service.
Ted Hillmer, a federal government employee for 38 years with the US National Park Service, is presently Superintendent for Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield located in Republic, Missouri.
January 27, 2016
“Robert C. Wood, Surgeon General of the West”
by Dr. John Fahey
Robert C. Wood is one of the unsung heroes of the Civil War. Son in law of President Zachary Taylor and politically connected in Washington DC, Wood supervised the delivery of combat casualty care support for the entire Western Theater from 1862 through the end of the War. Operating from his office as Assistant Surgeon General in St. Louis, Wood was a tireless advocate for procuring the medical personnel, supplies and equipment critical to supporting Grant and Sherman’s Vicksburg campaigns. Using original correspondence from the National Archives and Library of Congress, the talk will illustrate the difficulties Wood surmounted in coordinating medical support for Grant’s armies in the Western Theater from the summer of 1862 through 1864. The talk will also briefly discuss the relationship between the military medical establishment and the civilian relief organizations such as the Western Sanitary Commission in St Louis.
John Fahey, M.D. is currently in private practice in Decatur Illinois. He retired from the Navy in 2003 after a 30 year career during which time he was the Commanding Officer of the Naval Operational Medicine Institute in Pensacola Florida and the Commanding Officer of the Naval Hospital in Great Lakes Illinois. He has lectured extensively about military medicine in the 19th century and has given talks at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, the Order of Indian Wars Symposium in Denver, and the annual Symposium of the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association in Montana. He has had articles published in North and South, Military Medicine, and New York History. He is currently at work on a biography of Bernard John Dowling Irwin (1829-1917) who established the first full service field hospital at Shiloh and performed the first action for which a Medal of Honor was awarded.
February 24, 2016
“James Eads and his Gunboats”
by Mrs. Cher Petrovic
Union supporter James Eads, a gunboat builder, made his fortune as a young man by salvaging sunken riverboats along the Mississippi River. Eads, a self-educated engineer, devised his own diving bell from a 40-gallon whiskey keg, helping him reclaim cargo. By the time he was 40 years old, he had become a wealthy, prominent St. Louisan.
Soon after war broke out, Eads expressed his concern about the Union’s need for a strong navy presence on the Mississippi River to his friend, Attorney General Edward Bates. Bates, a fellow St. Louisan, knew of Ead’s river expertise and supported his building a fleet. He also helped Eads get an audience with Lincoln.
After Eads traveled to Washington to meet with military leaders, the War Department contracted him for seven of what would be called “City Class” gunboats. With shipyards in Carondelet, Missouri, and Mound City, Illinois, Eads kept 4,000 men working around the clock, seven days a week. These were the first ironclad warships to be built, four at the Carondelet shipyard and three at Mound City.
Despite disruptions in government cash flow, Eads financed construction with his own funds.
Cher Petrovic is a historian, photographer for national publications and is involved with Civil War reenactments. She teaches at St. Louis Community College.
March 23, 2016
“Archaeological Discoveries of Missouri Battlefields”
by Douglas D. Scott
The Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi West: Archaeology of the 1861 Battles of Boonville and Wilson’s Creek, the 1862 Battle of Moore’s Mill, and the 1864 Centralia Massacre.
The American Civil War was truly brother against brother, especially in the state of Missouri. There pro-southern Missouri Militia fought Union regulars and volunteers. On 17 June 1861 Sterling Price’s Missouri State Guard camped east of Boonville was attacked by General Nathaniel Lyons’ Union forces in the first pitched battle of the Civil War in Missouri. In August Lyons was killed in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. In March 1862 Federal troops pursued Col. Joseph Porter as he attempted to recruit men for the Confederacy in Missouri. Several fights occurred including one at Moore’s Mill in the Kingdom of Calloway. Subsequently 1500 other battles and skirmishes followed in Missouri before the war ended. One of the later and perhaps most horrific fights was the 1864 Centralia Massacre where over 150 Union volunteers were killed by a Bloody Bill Anderson’s Confederate Missouri guerrillas. Recent archaeological and historical studies of the battles of Boonville, Wilson’s Creek, Moore’s Mill, and Centralia have recovered physical evidence supporting the historic records in the broadest sense, but adding considerable detail to the stories by showing there is more than is recorded in the recollections of participants or the official record of events.
Douglas D. Scott, Colorado Mesa University, retired from National Park Service after more than 30 years of with the Department of the Interior. He is currently a Visiting Research Scientist at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, as well as an affiliate of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Scott received his Ph.D. in 1977 in Anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has worked throughout the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain West on a variety of archeological projects. He specializes in nineteenth century military sites archeology and forensic archeology. He is particularly noted for his expertise in battlefield archeology and firearms identification having worked on more than 50 battlefield sites, including Little Bighorn, Sand Creek, Big Hole, Bear Paw, Wilson’s Creek, Pea Ridge, Centralia, and Santiago de Cuba. He was awarded the Department of the Interior’s Distinguished Service Award in 2002 for his innovative research in battlefield archeology that started with his work at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. In 2015 he was the recipient of the J. C. Harrington Medal from the Society for Historical Archaeology for his lifetime achievements in the field of historical archaeology and as a founding leader in the field of conflict and battlefield archaeology.
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April 27, 2016
“The Lincoln-Douglas Debates”
by Timothy Good
Tim is the superintendent of the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site.
The Lincoln-Douglas senatorial debates of 1858 marked a significant crossroads in the political career of Abraham Lincoln. Though he lost the United States senate seat for Illinois to Stephen A. Douglas, the debates launched Lincoln into political prominence and eventually contributed to his successful run for the presidency. This program will focus on Lincoln’s political evolution during the debates through a narrative approach, evaluating his debate strategy and seemingly inconsistent views on slavery and racial inequality.
Timothy S. Good, a twenty-five year National Park Service veteran, is currently the superintendent at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, a place which commemorates the life, military career, and presidency of our 18th President. Good began his career in Washington, D.C. serving at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park and Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site. He then served a 14-month detail for the NPS Washington Office Information and Telecommunications Division, duty stationed at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., where he helped develop the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, a computerized database of 6.3 million soldier records and several thousand unit histories. Good then served on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Ill., Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville, Ohio, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio, and the Midwest Regional Office in Omaha, Nebraska before beginning his current assignment in 2009.
Good graduated from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., with a Bachelor of Arts in American History, attained his Master of Arts in History through the University of Durham, England, and earned a diploma from the United States Naval War College.
He has authored four published books, American Privateers in the War of 1812:
The Vessels and Their Prizes as Recorded in Niles’ Weekly Register (2012), Lincoln for President: An Underdog’s Path to the 1860 Republican Nomination (2009), The Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the Making of a President (2007) and We Saw Lincoln Shot: One Hundred Eyewitness Accounts (1996).
May 25, 2016
“The Marines at Harper’s Ferry”
by Will Hutchison
Will Hutchison, U.S. Marines and Army retired, provided leadership for a preeminent Civil War living history unit at Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park.
In October 2009, at Harpers Ferry, Will portrayed a Marine officer leading the U.S. Marines who assaulted the Armory Engine House and captured the Abolitionist John Brown. Will also provided research, recruitment, authentic weapons, uniforms and training for the company.
For many years, Will has been instrumental in developing the U.S. Marine Corps Historical Company. A company of active and retired marines, equipped, accoutered and armed with appropriate uniforms, they portray marines of the past to educate the public about the role of the Marine Corps in American History.
Will Hutchison is the award-winning author of the fictional Ian Carlyle series. He is considered a military history authority, and has collaborated on historical films and major historical events. Will is a sought-after international lecturer on the American Civil War and the Crimean War and an exhibitor of his own fine art photography. Outside his professional and writing interests, he is actively involved with the United States Marine Corps Historical Company, many American Civil War historical organizations, and the Crimean War Research Society.