Posted by: TC Maurice | June 4, 2018

Meeting Announcement

When: June 13th

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

Time: 7pm

Speaker: Tom Parson

Topic: Battle of Tupelo

During the summer of 1864 a Union column, commanded by Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson Smith, set out from Tennessee with a goal that had proven impossible in all prior attempts—to find and defeat the cavalry under the command of Confederate majorWork for Giants general Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest’s cavalry was the greatest threat to the long supply line feeding Sherman’s armies as they advanced on Atlanta. Smith marched at the head of his “gorillas,” veteran soldiers who were fresh from the Red River Campaign. Aside from diverting Confederate attention away from Sherman, Smith’s orders were to destroy Southern railroads and confront Forrest in Mississippi. Just weeks earlier, a similar Union expedition had met with disaster at the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads, perhaps the greatest victory of Forrest’s military career.

Joined by reinforcements led by Lt. Gen. Stephen Dill Lee, Forrest and his men were confident and their morale had never been higher. However, for two weeks, Smith outmarched, outfought, and outmaneuvered the team of Lee and Forrest. In three days of bitter fighting, culminating in the battle at Harrisburg, the Confederates suffered a staggering defeat. Forrest’s corps was devastated. He and his men would recover but would never regain their earlier strength, nor would they ever again prove a serious threat to veteran Union infantry. Work for Giants focuses on the details of this overlooked campaign and the efforts, post-battle and post-war, to minimize the outcome and consequences of an important Union victory.

Thomas (Tom) Parson is a native of Sylmar, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Immediately out of high school he enlisted in the US Navy for a four-year hitch which turned out lasting for twenty years. While on leave in May of 1980 he visited his firstTom Parson Civil War battlefield: Shiloh. Tom served on four ships and retired in 1998 as a Chief Petty Officer. Not long after retiring he signed on with the National Park Service and has spent the last nineteen years with Shiloh National Military Park. He spent his first five years with the park maintaining the National Cemetery, the mass Confederate burial trenches and other sites across the battlefield. In 2004 Ranger Parson was assigned to the new Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center in Corinth, Mississippi. His research focuses on military activities in North Mississippi and West Tennessee. Tom lives in Corinth with Nita, his wife of 38 years.


Work for Giants: The Campaign and Battle of Tupelo/Harrisburg. Kent State University Press, 2014.

Bear Flag and Bay State: The Californians of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment. McFarland Publishers, 2001.


Forrest Victorious: The Battle of Brice’s Crossroads.

The Civil War Journal of Chaplain Elijah Edwards, 7th Minnesota Veteran Volunteers.


Blue & Gray Magazine

Hell on the Hatchie: The Fight at Davis Bridge, Tennessee. Dec. 2007.

Stopping Grant in Mississippi: The Holly Springs Raid. 2010.

Final Stand in Mississippi: Tupelo, the Campaign and Battle 1864. July, 2014.


Posted by: TC Maurice | April 26, 2018

Meeting Announcement

When:   May 9th

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

Time:   7pm

Speaker: John Fazio

Topic:  Decapitating the Union: The Confederate Secret Service and the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

This presentation reviews the evidence linking the Confederate Secret Service, as well as download (1)Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Secretary of State Judah Benjamin and Secretary of War James Seddon, to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the attempted decapitation of the Federal Government on April 14, 1865. John Wilkes Booth and his action team are considered in detail, but only in the context of an underground mosaic that included numerous other individuals and action teams who and which were primed to carry out multiple assassinations for the purpose of snatching Southern independence from the jaws of a toothless and chaotic government.


John C. Fazio has a B.A. and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.  Hedownload now lives in Fairlawn (an Akron suburb) with his wife, Mary, who is retired after a career in public relations.  Between them, they have seven children, all of whom have left the nest.  John joined Mary in retirement in 2015 after practicing law for fifty years.  He is a student of history, with an emphasis on European and American history and with an even greater emphasis on the most defining event in American history, the Civil War.  He is a member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and has been its president.  He is also a member of the Lincoln Forum, the Surratt Society, the Cleveland Grays and the Western Reserve Historical Society.  He teaches Civil War history at Chautauqua Institution, frequently speaks on the war and other subjects before Roundtables and other groups and has written and published numerous articles on the war and other subjects.  In addition, he has written Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln, after five years of research and writing.  The book was released in January, 2016.  Copies are available from, from other on-line book sellers, from some book stores and directly from the publisher (Morris Gilbert Publishing Company, 3422 S. Smith Rd., Akron, OH 44333).

Decapitating the Union

Presidents Message

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





« Newer Posts - Older Posts »