Posted by: cocwrt | July 9, 2013

Meeting Announcement

When:  September 11th

Where: Otterbein University, Towers Hall 3rd floor. Room 318. Westerville Ohio 43081. Please go to the “About the COCWRT” tab for more information.

Time: 7pm

Speaker: Mel Maurer

Topic: Jesse James- The last Rebel

The true story of Jesse James – Confederate Guerrilla and notorious outlaw – subject of countless article, numerous books and over 70 movies and TV shows. Jesse James was an early celebrity for all the wrong reasons. Was he a true folk hero – an American Robin Hood – or was he a ruthless criminal – a killer who served only his own interests?  His life is covered from birth through assassination – told with a sense of history and with humor.

Mel Maurer is a retired Manager of Administrative Quality and Distribution for the Boston Weatherhead Division of Dana Corporation. During his 43 years with Dana, He held management positions in Accounting, Information Technology and Administrative Quality and Distribution.

Mr. Maurer’s civic duties when working included being a member of the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce serving as Chairman of the Government Relations Division and serving as host of the Chamber’s Public Affairs Roundtable. He was also member of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce – Government Affairs Committee and a member of the U.S. Chamber’s Public Affairs Committee. He also served as a member of the Williamson County Economic Development Showcase Committee, a member of the Tennessee Association Of Business Public Affairs Committee; a member of the Policy Board of Directors for INROADS/NASHVILLE INC. and a member of the Board of Directors of the Williamson County Heart Association.  He wrote columns on government affairs for the Chamber Newsletter and the Nashville Multiple Sclerosis Association. He chaired the Williamson County Toys For Tots  Campaign and  chaired the Government Relations Committee of the Middle Tennessee MS Society.

In his retirement, he is a member of the Government Relations committee of the Buckeye Chapter of the MS Society and a 2007 inducted into the National MS Society’s Volunteer Hall of Fame and was selected as one of the “Faces of Westlake” in 2007. He is past president of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable, now its Historian, and past president of the Philosophical Club of Cleveland and a  member of the Titanic Historic Society. He is the 2009 Chairman of Westlake’s Charter Review Committee. He also writes articles for various organizations and speaks on a variety of topics. He has had more than 600 “Letters to Editors” printed in a number of newspapers and magazines including: Time, Readers Digest, USA Today, The Plain Dealer, The Sun Press, The Nashville Tennessean, The New Republic and others. He is also a published poet. He has hosted over 50 hours of TV shows broadcast on on cable in Cleveland and other cities in Northeast Ohio and has appeared in two plays presented by the Civil War Roundtable and one at the Huntington Playhouse.

Mr. Maurer received a Bachelor of Science degree from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. He and his wife, Elaine, live in Westlake, Ohio. They have four children, eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter. His interests include writing and speaking on  community affairs, charitable causes, history, political issues  and personal experiences.

Note:  There are new updates in the “Items of Interest”  and “Future Speakers” sections.

September Newsletter

Posted by: cocwrt | June 12, 2013

Meeting Announcement

When: July 10th

Where:  Otterbein University, Towers Hall 3rd floor. Room 318. Westerville Ohio 43081. Please go to the “About the COCWRT” tab for more information.

Time: 7pm

Speaker: Phil Seyfrit

Topic:  Battle of Richmond Ky.

Come and learn about the most complete victory one side had over the other during the entire American Civil War.  The absolute Confederate victory at Richmond, Kentucky, fought during the Kentucky campaign of the late summer/early fall 1862.

Confederate Major General Edmund Kirby Smith, along with Brig. General Patrick Cleburne, advances into central Kentucky and in the process utterly destroy a hastily organized army under Federal Major General William “Bull” Nelson.  Kirby Smith’s army presses on the capture Lexington and the state capital of Frankfort; the only time a Federal state capital fell during the entire war.  And yes, the Buckeye state was in the middle of it.

Up to 2001, the Battle of Richmond was barely a footnote in Kentucky’s Civil War history.  Bur since then, Richmond has taken its rightful place in the annals of Civil War history

A lifelong Madison County, Kentucky, resident, Phillip Seyfrit is a graduate of Model Laboratory School, Eastern Phillip%20Seyfrit%20(300)Kentucky University and the Mid- America College of Funeral Service.  After a twenty year career in funeral industry, in late 2007 Phillip changed direction and accepted the position of Historic Properties Director for Madison County, which duties include management and proper interpretation of the properties relating to the Battle of Richmond and the other Madison County parks sites.  Phil’s active in Richmond’s First Presbyterian Church, the Richmond Masonic bodies, and many national, state and local Civil War preservation and history groups.  He is also past president of the Madison County Historical Society. He has been published in several Civil War periodicals and enjoys visiting Civil War battlefields and related sites.
Phillip portrays Federal Colonel William Link and Confederate Colonel Preston Smith at events relating to the Battle of Richmond.  He is program chairman of the Madison Co. Civil War Roundtable and is a member of the Kentucky Civil War Roundtable and Cincinnati Civil War Roundtable.  He was elected as the inaugural president of the Central Kentucky World War II Roundtable in 2010.   He was recently appointed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to the Kentucky Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.


Posted by: cocwrt | May 24, 2013

Meeting Announcement

When: June 12th

Where: Otterbein University, Towers Hall 3rd floor. Room 318. Westerville Ohio 43081. Please go to the “About the COCWRT” tab for more information.

Time: 7pm

Speaker: Harold George

Topic:  A visit to Arlington Cemetery

      On April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began. On April 20, 1861, General Robert E. Lee resigned his officer’s commission in the Union army, electing to serve in the Confederate army. Two days later, on April 22, 1861, he left his home on Arlington Heights and moved his family to a new location in Richmond, Virginia. He would never return to Arlington. Thus began the history of Arlington National Cemetery.  At the May Roundtable meeting, Harold George will display then-and-now photographs to tell the story of Arlington National Cemetery. Through pictures, he will tell the history of the cemetery; describe burial practices; discuss the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Honor Guard, and fallen soldiers of various wars; and reveal unique cemetery facts.  
       Members might remember Harold George’s last visit to our roundtable. Dressed in period clothes, he enlightened and entertained us about Custer’s last stand. George has been a Civil War reenactor with the 9th Ohio since 1992. Included in the dozens of Civil War reenactments, parades, and ceremonies he has participated in, he was part of the reenactment commemorating the 130th and 135th anniversaries of the Battle of Gettysburg.      
       George has published several works on the Civil War, including Men of the 9th Ohio, Civil War Monuments of Ohio, Dead Soldiers at Gettysburg, Ohio and the American Civil War, and a variety of DVDs and video programs. He gives talks to genealogical societies, libraries, schools, historical societies, senior organizations, church groups, and Boy Scout troops.  Harold George retired from the Department of Defense with twenty-nine years of service. When not writing or performing for the public, he enjoys photography, travel, fishing, and reading.

Arlington Talk Description

June 2013 Newsletter


Posted by: cocwrt | April 28, 2013

Meeting Announcement

When: May 8th

Where: Otterbein University, Towers Hall 3rd floor. Room 318. Westerville Ohio 43081. Please go to the “About the COCWRT” tab for more information.

Time: 7pm

Speaker: Kristopher White

Topic:   America’s Second Bloodiest Day: The Third Day at Chancellorsville.

Kristopher White is a historian for the Penn-Trafford Recreation Board and a continuing education instructor for the Community College of Allegheny KDWhite_medCounty near Pittsburgh, PA. White is a graduate of Norwich University with a MA in Military History, as well as a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a BA in History. For five years he served as a staff military historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he still volunteers his services. For a short time he was a member of the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides at Gettysburg. Over the past seven years, he has spoken to more than 40 roundtables and historical societies.
He is the author and co-author of numerous articles that have appeared in America’s Civil War, Blue and GrayCivil War Times, and Armchair51m9WrhTeVL._SL160_SL160_ General. White co-authored The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson with longtime friend Chris Mackowski. The two have authored numerous articles and books together including a book-length study of the Second Battle of Fredericksburg and Salem Church entitled Chancellorsville’s Forgotten Front: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Chruch, May 3, 1863. The duos are currently working on a micro-tactical study of the third day at Chancellorsville.

“And Then the Circus Commenced: The Third Day at Chancellorsville.” Too often the Battle of Chancellorsville is lumped into two major events; Stonewall Jackson’s famed flank attack of May 2, 1863; and Jackson’s wounding and subsequent death eight days later. There is much more to this story than meets the eye. As morning dawned on May 3, 1863 the outcome of the Battle of Chancellorsville was still very much in doubt. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was split in three pieces; Yankees were to his front, center, and rear. Without either of his trusted lieutenants at hand, Longstreet or Jackson, the wily Confederate commander looked to bring his army back together and fall upon Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac.  Three major engagements took place on May 3rd, one at the Chancellorsville Crossroads, another on the old Fredericksburg battlefield, and the last near a small country church. In intense fightingthe two army’s sustained more than 21,000 casualties in just one day, making May 3rd the second bloodiest day of the war, and changing the makeup of the combatants forever.

Throughout the evening, we will explore the actions of both sides as they looked to best one another. We will examine the decision making from Lee and Hooker down, while at the same time look at how Hooker allowed a certain victory to slip through his fingers. We will close by looking at the far reaching impact the day had on both army’s

Emerging Civil War


Posted by: cocwrt | March 22, 2013

Meeting Announcement

When:  April 10th

Where:   Otterbein University, Towers Hall 3rd floor. Room 318. Westerville Ohio 43081. Please go to the “About the COCWRT” tab for more information.

Time:  7pm

Speaker: Dale Phillips

Topic:  Red River Campaign

In the early spring of 1864, the new overall commander of the Federal forces, General U.S. Grant, was determined to bring the full weight of all his available resources against the Confederates. General George Meade’s Army of the Potomac was to advance on Richmond supported by other Union thrusts up the Shenandoah Valley and James River. General William Sherman’s forces were to advance from Chattanooga toward Atlanta. This left only the Army of the Gulf under General Nathaniel Banks without a clear objective. Most thought it would be the Confederate port of Mobile but instead the army was ordered to advance up the Red River valley with Shreveport, Louisiana being its primary target. The objectives of the campaign were many. The primary reason was the seizure of masses of cotton needed by northern mills. Another objective was the destruction of the Confederate forces and military support facilities in the upper Red River region. There was the political objective of trying to return as much of Louisiana to the Union fold before the 1864 election.
A powerful Union army and naval force was assembled under the command of Banks and Admiral David Dixon Porter. Opposing this force was a much smaller Confederate army under the command of Richard Taylor. My presentation will look at the successes and failures of both commanders. We will discuss the route of the Union forces as they advanced from the mouth of the Red River to within 12 miles of Shreveport. We will look at and discuss the mistakes and the results of this very unique campaign.
The presentation will take a special look at Alexandria, Louisiana. During the Civil War Alexandria was a major city on the Red River because it was a portage point around a series of huge rapids that, at times of low water, blocked the river. These rapids would also play a key role in the Civil War story.  My program will open with the assault on Fort DeRussey.  It will then follow the route of the advancing Union forces to Alexandria, Nachitoches, and Mansfield. We will discuss the battlefield at Mansfield where on, April 8, 1864, General Richard Taylor halted his retreat and inflicted a devastating defeat on the Federal forces. We also discuss the battlefield at Pleasant Hill where, on April 9, 1864, the largest battle of the campaign would be waged. Even though Pleasant Hill would be a Union victory it would so unnerve General Banks that he will order his forces to retreat.
The presentation will then cover the Union forces return to Alexandria where they found the Red River too low to get their fleet over the rapids. Engineer Joseph Bailey would enter the picture and supervise the construction of a series of dams that would eventually allow the Union fleet to escape. We will discuss the entire retreat route and the battlefields on which Taylor attempted to block the Union withdrawal and destroy the Army of the Gulf. The presentation will include the engagements at Blair’s Landing, Monett’s Ferry, Mansura and Yellow Bayou. The program will end with the conclusion of the campaign on the banks of the Atchafayla River. It was here that a bridge of river steamers tied together by Engineer Joseph Bailey would allow the Union forces to complete their escape from the pursing Confederates.

Dale Phillips is a native of New Jersey. He earned a BA degree in American History from York College of Pennsylvania in 1978 and beganDale_Phillips working for the National Park service as an interpreter at Gettysburg in 1976. His other duties have included being a law enforcement ranger for the Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville, Illinois, a interpretive ranger at Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina, supervisory park ranger/historian at Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Military Park, unit manager of the Chalmette (Battle of New Orleans site) Unit of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, unit manager of the Acadian Unit of Jean Lafitte, and superintendent of the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park.
His present position is that of superintendent of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL. He has written numerous articles on U.S. military history for various publications and is also  a guide/lecturer for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, Civil War Roundtables, and other history touring organizations. His area of expertise is from the colonial period (French and Indian War) through the American Civil War.

Mr. Phillips is married to the former Carol Patton Bernstein of Shreveport, Louisiana. They have one daughter, Laura, who attends college in Phoenix, Arizona.


Posted by: cocwrt | March 1, 2013

Meeting Announcement

When:   March 13th

Where: Otterbein University, Towers Hall 3rd floor. Room 318. Westerville Ohio 43081. Please go to the “About the COCWRT” tab for more information.

Time:     7pm

Speaker:  Mark Jenkins

Topic:      Union Naval Officer Henry Walke.

Virginia-born Ohioan Henry Walke exerted a double influence on the American Civil War:  first as a senior naval officer on the western rivers and in the Atlantic, and second as a recorder and illustrator of those events.  His sketches and paintings of naval operations on the rivers in the Civil War (and in the earlier Mexican War) form a primary part of our view of those events, and his first-hand account of the river war is a major source of information for its history.
Mark F. Jenkins, a COCWRT member, has been interested in Civil War naval operations since childhood.  He constructed a website on ironclads and blockade runners that has been up on the Internet continuously since late 1996, provided information to several other authors and researchers, spoke to several Civil War Round Tables, published a two-part article on ironclads in the “Naval Gazette” in Nov-Dec 1998 and Jan-Feb 1999, and provided a biographical foreword on Lt. John Wilkinson for a recent reprint of Wilkinson’s Narrative of a Blockade Runner.  He is currently writing the first full-length biography of Henry Walke.  Mark lives in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife Jennifer and three children.

Ironclads and Blockade Runners

March Newsletter

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