Posted by: TC Maurice | March 28, 2018

Meeting Announcement

When:   April 11th

Where:  La Navona, 154 North Hamilton Road. Gahanna Ohio 43230

Time:     7pm

Speaker:  Dan Welch

Topic:    William Child, the Smoketown Hospital, and the aftermath at Antietam.

Antietam remains the single-bloodiest day in American military history, nearly 23,000 casualties in just 9 hours of combat. For many, the story then follows Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia back to Virginia or McClellan’s final weeks in command of the Army of Potomac and the events that led to the battle of Fredericksburg. Tonight historian Dan Welch will share the stories and challenges of the longest operated field hospital at Antietam, the Smoketown Hospital. Through the letters and diary entries of William Child, Assistant Surgeon of the 5th New Hampshire, we will hear of the next fight for the many wounded left in the battle’s wake, survival.

Dan Welch currently serves as a primary and secondary educator with a public schoolprofile district in northeast Ohio.  Previously, Dan was the Education Programs Coordinator for the Gettysburg Foundation, the non-profit partner of Gettysburg National Military Park, and continues to serve as a seasonal Park Ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park. He holds a MA in Military History with a Civil War Era concentration at American Military University and is the coauthor of  The Last Road North: A Guide to the Gettysburg Campaign.

Emerging Civil War

April Presidents Report

Posted by: TC Maurice | March 15, 2018

Meeting wrap up.



The Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable wishes to extend our warmest thank you and appreciation to Dr. Robertson for his visit to our roundtable last night.

Posted by: TC Maurice | March 3, 2018

Meeting Announcement

When: March 14th 2018

Where: La Navona, 154 North Hamilton Road. Gahanna Ohio 43230

Time: 7pm

Speaker: James I. “Bud” Robertson

Topic: Water in the Civil War

 Water;  It is the basic essential of life–so much so that we take it for granted.  But water is more than something we drink.  Especially was this so in the Civil War.  It provided a route of transportation for both sides and a defensive barrier for many battles.  It produced mud that hampered movements and dehydration when it was lacking.  It could be a source for cleanliness, just as it was a source for deadly disease.  In short, it would be impossible to discuss the Civil War without encountering water all along the way

Fort Donaldson Water Battery on the Cumberland River


Burnside’s Mud March of 1863

Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson, Jr.

One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson served as Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission in the 1960s and worked with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He then taught 44 years at Virginia Tech, where his upper division course on the Civil War era attracted 300 or more students per semester and made it the largest class of its kind in the nation. He received every teaching award given by Virginia Tech. At his retirement in 2011, the University named him Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History. 03201701

The Danville, VA, native is the author or editor of more than 40 books, including three studies written for young readers. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals.” Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.

The recipient of every major award given in Civil War history, he is a lecturer of national acclaim.

He holds a Ph.D. degree from Emory University and honorary doctorates from Randolph-Macon College and Shenandoah University.

Robertson, a charter member (by Senate appointment) of Virginia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, was actively engaged in the state’s sesquicentennial observances.

He is the Father of the traditional state song, “Our Great Virginia,” approved by the General Assembly in March, 2015.

Robertson’s annotated edition of John B. Jones’s A REBEL WAR CLERK’S DIARY debuted at MOC in Appomattox on September 26, 2015 in two volumes published by the University of Kansas Press. His latest books are AFTER THE CIVIL WAR (National Geographic Society, 2015) and CIVIL WAR ECHOES: VOICES FROM VIRGINIA, 1860 -1891 (Library of Virginia, 2016).

Presidents Message

Posted by: TC Maurice | January 27, 2018

Meeting Announcement

When: February 14th 2017

Where: La Navona, 154 North Hamilton Road. Gahanna Ohio 43230

Time: 7pm

Speaker: Mark Laubacher

Topic: Weapons of Mass Destruction Considered during the Civil War.

In an effort to bring about resolution to the Civil War, creative suggestions and research was offered by individuals, many of whom were civilians.  Several of such suggestions involved the use of chemical and biological agents as unconventional weapons by both Confederate and Union forces against their adversaries.

The Confederacy considered weaponizing numerous chemicals and biological agents. A Southern civilian offered a detailed plan to take Fort Pickens by the deployment of a poison gas from a balloon.  Another suggested using red pepper and veratria, or hydrocyanic acid and arseniuretted hydrogen in artillery shells.  To combat a tunneling operation by Union forces, Confederate troops created fuse activated sulfur smoke cartridges. Chinese stink balls were considered as an adjunct to break the siege of Petersburg. Chloroform was to be used in a plan to thwart USS Monitor. A plot to sell smallpox contaminated clothing to Union forces was devised by a Southern sympathizer. A high ranking Confederate surgeon suggested the use of potassium cyanide and hydrochloric acid in artillery shells.  A medical doctor from Kentucky schemed to contaminate the New York water supply with strychnine, arsenic, and prussic acid.  This same physician executed a plan to infect the population of major Northern cities and President Lincoln with yellow fever.

The Union also researched and discussed uses of chemicals on Rebel troops. A New York City schoolteacher thoroughly researched a chlorine ordinance to be contained in an artillery shell. Another idea was to fill a hand-pump fire engine with chloroform for dispersal on troops. A captain proposed using a cacodyl glass grenade for ship-to-ship fighting.  The grenade would also have contained arsenious acid.  In a letter to President Abraham Lincoln, a professor envisioned the combination of hydrochloric and sulfuric acids on Confederate lines.  There were over 1500 different schemes, suggested by Northern citizens, for disposing of CSS Virginia (Merrimack), including a plot to poison the crew. A Wisconsin citizen wrote to the governor, and suggested using kites to drop red pepper over Confederate camps.

With the exception of the yellow fever scheme, weapons of mass destruction were not sortied as neither President Lincoln nor President Davis gave authorization, as both disapproved of unconventional warfare.  Both feared the negative propaganda, the infuriation of the citizens, and reprisals from irregular warfare.  As a result, on April 24, 1863, President Lincoln issued General Order No. 100, which prohibited the use of poison in any manner.  This presentation, complete with photos and descriptions, will discuss and illustrate the chemical and biological poisons considered by both militaries during the War Between the States.  It is imperative that history shows that such weapons of mass destruction were considered, but not utilized.


List three chemicals considered to be used as a weapon by Union or Confederate forces during the US Civil War.

Name the disease involving a plot to infect citizens of major Northern cities and President Lincoln.

State two explanations mass destruction weapons during the US Civil War were not utilized

Mark Laubacher is a RN and paramedic working as a Certified Specialist in Poisonlaubacher Information since 1992 at the Central Ohio Poison Center located at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.  Prior to this, he was a full time staff nurse at Children’s Emergency Department for 4 years.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Capital University in 1989.  He is also currently a faculty member for Grant Medical Center Paramedic Program in Columbus, Ohio.  Having delivered over 500 presentations, he routinely presents at the state and national levels on various topics of toxicological emergencies.

A student of US Civil War history, Mark presented a paper on snake bites to Union and Confederate soldiers at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine Conference in 2013.  He did the same at the Society of Civil War Surgeons Conference in May 2014.  A review of unconventional weapons that were considered during the Civil War was given in New Orleans in September 2014 to the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology. He is active member of the following: 1st Ohio Light Artillery Battery A, Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable, Society of Civil War Surgeons, National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Society of Civil War Historians.  His publications include:

Laubacher, Mark. “Snake Bit–Perpetuated Error: No Snake Bites to Civil War Soldiers.” Blue & Gray Magazine 30, no. 5 (July 2014): 45-52.

Laubacher, Mark. “The First Medical Man aboard USS Monitor,” Journal of Civil War Medicine 19, no. 2 (April/May/June 2015): 60-71.

February Presidents Message





Posted by: TC Maurice | January 3, 2018

Meeting Announcement

When:  January 10th 2018

Where: La Navona, 154 North Hamilton Road. Gahanna Ohio 43230

Time:   7pm

Speaker:  You!     Annual Roundtable group discussion

Topic:  “Did James Longstreet Fail to Fulfill his duty to Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg?”

My Fellow Roundtable Members: Our next meeting is on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 7 pm at La Navona, 154 North Hamilton Road, Gahanna, Ohio 43230.  Our January meeting is the night on which we have our annual debate.  The topic for this year’s debate is “Did James Longstreet Fail to Fulfill his duty to Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg?”  Please come to the meeting ready to discuss this topic. As I have said before, no one should feel that they do not know enough about the Civil War or the Battle of Gettysburg to contribute to this discussion.  Civil War roundtables were formed as debating societies, so our annual January meeting allows us to return to our roots.  Our Roundtable members are kind and respectful, and they really like hearing everyone’s point of view.  I will present a short summary of the actions (or should I say inactions?) of General Longstreet on July 2 and 3, 1863, and then moderate the debate.

James Longstreet

James Longstreet

Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee


There is no new Treasurer’s Report for December, because we had no account activity,  so our finances are is as follows:

Treasurer’s Report for December 2017

Beginning checking account balance 12/1/2017 = $2,570.93

December receipts = $0

December expenses = $0

Ending checking account balance 12/31/2017 = $2,570.93

 January starts a new fiscal year for the Roundtable, so dues are once again due.  Our dues are:

Single       $25.00
Family      $35.00
Student    $15.00

We have not raised our dues for many years, and I have no plans to do so in 2018.  Please continue to support our book raffle. Once again, I will match raffle sales up to $50 if everyone at the meeting buys at least one ticket. Please make a point of getting your dues in to Dave DeLisio or me as soon as possible; don’t make me channel my debt collection attorney doppelganger!

Battlefield Tour Report:  Please save the dates of April 12, 2018 through April 15, 2018 for a trip to Chickamauga.

James G Ryan
President, Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable

Save The Coaling!

Posted by: TC Maurice | December 1, 2017

Meeting Announcement

No Meeting in December



Merry Christmas to all and see everyone January 10th

December Presidents Message


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