CWRTDC'S NEXT MEETING:
JONATHAN HORN
speaks about
"Robert E. Lee's Decision"

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
at Ft. McNair Officers' Club, Washington, DC

(see directions here) or (download them in pdf here)


6 pm: Social Hour (cash bar)
7 pm: Dinner ($36 for dinner and lecture)
8 pm: Lecture ($5 for lecture only)

Reservations Due By Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 5pm
SEE THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE RIGHT OF THIS POST
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS AND REMIT PAYMENT
If you have any problems making reservations online or would like to know about alternatives to making reservations or payments online,
please email Paula Whitacre at reservations@cwrtdc.org reservations@cwrtdc.org


About the Topic:
On the eve of the Civil War, one soldier embodied the legacy of George Washington and the hopes of leaders across a divided land. Both North and South knew Robert E. Lee as the son of Washington’s most famous eulogist and the son-in-law of Washington’s adopted child. Each side sought his service for high command. Lee could choose only one.

Jonathan Horn will discuss his book on the topic, The Man Who Would Not Be Washington, Robert E. Lee's Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History.  Mr. Horn reveals how the officer most associated with Washington went to war against the Union that Washington had forged. His biography follows Lee through married life, military glory, and misfortune.
The story that emerges is more complicated, more tragic, and more illuminating than the familiar tale. More complicated because the unresolved question of slavery—the driver of disunion—was among the personal legacies that Lee inherited from Washington.  More tragic because the Civil War destroyed the people and places connecting Lee to Washington in agonizing and astonishing ways.  More illuminating because the battle for Washington’s legacy shaped the nation that America is today. As Washington was the man who would not be king, Lee was the man who would not be Washington. The choice was Lee’s. The story is America’s.
A must-read for those passionate about history, The Man Who Would Not Be Washington introduces Jonathan Horn as a masterly voice in the field.


Adapted from:

About Our Speaker:
Jonathan Horn is a former White House presidential speechwriter.  He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the PBS NewsHour, and his writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times Disunion series, The Weekly Standard, and other outlets.

During his time at the White House, Mr. Horn served as a speechwriter and special assistant to President George W. Bush.

A graduate of Yale University, Mr. Horn now lives with his wife, Caroline, in Bethesda, Maryland.

For additional information and a list of his appearances and publications, visit http://www.jonathanhornauthor.com/news-and-appearances _________________________________________
For information about the Round Table and to apply for membership, see the Tab above marked "About Us/ Membership Information" or click HERE

The Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia
and
The Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia
jointly and proudly sponsor

SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL


who will speak on

Lincoln at The Creation: The Bloomington Convention of 1856 and the 'Lost Speech'

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

at Ft. McNair Officers' Club, Washington, DC


6 pm: Social Hour (cash bar)
7 pm: Dinner ($36 for dinner and lecture)

Menu  Entrée: London Broil

Entrée includes house salad; vegetables; potatoes or grains; and bread rolls

Dessert: Apple cobbler and freshly brewed coffee and tea

8 pm: Lecture ($5 for lecture only)
(please arrive at 7:30pm for the lecture)

To meet Ft. McNair's access requirements and to facilitate check-in, we strongly encourage making reservations online via this website.
RESERVATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 5pm EST, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5 
Space may be limited, so make your reservations early.

SEE THE INSTRUCTIONS AT TO THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE 
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS AND REMIT PAYMENT
If you have problems making reservations online (and preferably only in such situations), you may send a check to be received by Friday, February 2, made payable to the "Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia" to: 
CWRTDC, c/o Andrew Evatt, 6613 New Hope Drive, Springfield, VA  22151 
Include with the check the name(s) of the guest(s) who will attend and an email address so we may confirm receipt.  For further information, please email Paula Whitacre at <reservations@cwrtdc.org> or reservations@cwrtdc.org  
 
ABOUT THE TOPIC:

Volume II of Sidney Blumenthal’s acclaimed, landmark biography, The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, reveals the future president’s genius during the most decisive period of his political life when he seizes the moment, finds his voice, and helps create a new political party.

In 1849, Abraham Lincoln seemed condemned to political isolation and defeat. His Whig Party is broken in the 1852 election, and it disintegrates. His perennial rival, Stephen Douglas, forges an alliance with the Southern senators and Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Violent struggle breaks out on the plains of Kansas, a prelude to the Civil War.

Lincoln rises to the occasion. Only he can take on Douglas in Illinois, and he finally delivers the dramatic speech that leaves observers stunned. In 1855, he makes a race for the Senate, which he loses when he throws his support to a rival to prevent the election of a proslavery candidate.


Mr. Blumenthal's Wrestling With His Angel explains how Lincoln and his friends operate behind the scenes to destroy the anti-immigrant party in Illinois to clear the way for a new Republican Party. Lincoln takes command and writes its first platform and vaults onto the national stage as the leader of a party that will launch him to the presidency.
 
Mr. Blumenthal expands on this history in his forthcoming third volume of the series, which will cover Lincoln’s role in founding the Republican Party of Illinois at its 1856 convention, and he will discuss "Lincoln At The Creation: The Bloomington Convention of 1856 and the 'Lost Speech.'”
 
 
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
 
Sidney Blumenthal is the former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. He has been a national staff reporter for The Washington Post, Washington editor and staff writer for The New Yorker, senior writer for The New Republic, and contributor to numerous additional publications. His books include the bestselling The Clinton Wars, The Rise of the Counter-Establishment, and The Permanent Campaign.


Mr. Blumenthal was the executive producer of the Academy and Emmy Award–winning Taxi to the Dark Side.  He has also served as a political consultant for other films and projects
 
Wrestling with His Angels is the second book of a four book series covering The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln. The first book is entitled A Self-Made Man. Reviews of both books can be found in past issues of The Lincolnian, the newsletter of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia.


Information from:
Amazon.com
Simonandschuster.com





__________________________________________


For information about the Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia and to apply for membership, see the Tab above marked "About Us/ Membership Information" or click HERE 


For information about the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia click HERE
CWRTDC'S PREVIOUS MEETING:
ROBERT O'HARROW, JR.
speaks about
"MONTGOMERY MEIGS"

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
at Ft. McNair Officers' Club, Washington, DC

(see directions here) or (download them in pdf here)


6 pm: Social Hour (cash bar)
7 pm: Dinner ($36 for dinner and lecture)
8 pm: Lecture ($5 for lecture only)

Reservations Due By Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, 5pm
SEE THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE RIGHT OF THIS POST
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS AND REMIT PAYMENT
If you have any problems making reservations online or would like to know about alternatives to making reservations or payments online,
please email Paula Whitacre at reservations@cwrtdc.org reservations@cwrtdc.org


About the Topic:

Robert O'Harrow, Jr.'s 2016 book, "The Quartermaster: Montgomery C. Meigs, Lincoln's General, Master Builder of the Union Army," is "[t]he lively story of the Civil War’s most unlikely—and most uncelebrated—genius” (The Wall Street Journal)—General Montgomery C. Meigs, who built the Union Army and was judged by Abraham Lincoln, William Seward, and Edwin Stanton to be the indispensable architect of the Union victory.

Meigs was involved in a number of important projects as a young man prior to the Civil War, however.  Born in 1816 to a well-to-do, connected family, he graduated from West Point as an engineer, helped build the country's forts, and even served under Lt. Robert E. Lee to make navigation improvements on the Mississippi River. He also designed the aqueducts in Washington during a time when people were dying from contaminated water.  In addition, he built the spectacular wings and the massive dome of the then-brand new U.S. Capitol.


It was Meigs' work during the Civil War that made him a national hero, though. After being Introduced to President Lincoln by Secretary of State William Seward, Meigs was appointed Quartermaster in charge of supplies, and he commanded Ulysses S. Grant’s base of supplies that made Union victories, including Gettysburg, possible. Meigs also sustained Sherman’s army in Georgia and his March to the Sea.  After the war, Meigs built Arlington Cemetery (on land that had been Robert E. Lee’s home).

Civil War historian James McPherson calls Meigs “the unsung hero of northern victory,” and Robert O’Harrow Jr.’s biography of the general (who was never on the battlefield) tells the full dramatic story of this fierce, strong, honest, loyal, forward-thinking figure. The Civil War Monitor reports that O'Harrow's work is an "excellent …thorough, masterfully crafted, and impeccable researched biography [ ] destined to become the authoritative volume on Meigs.”


Adapted from
https://www.amazon.com/Jr.-Robert-OHarrow/e/B0082MAUBM; see also https://www.civilwarmonitor.com/book-shelf/oharrow-the-quartermaster-2016



About Our Speaker: 

Robert O’Harrow, Jr. is an award-winning reporter on the investigative unit at The Washington Post. His work has focused on privacy, technology, national security, law enforcement, federal contracting and the presidential election.

Mr. O’Harrow is also the author of “No Place to Hide,”  and “Zero Day: The Threat in Cyberspace.”  In No Place to Hide, Mr. O'Harrow lays out in detail the post-9/11 marriage of private data and technology companies and government anti-terror initiatives to create something entirely new: a security-industrial complex. Drawing on his years of investigation, Mr. O'Harrow shows how the government now depends on burgeoning private reservoirs of information about almost every aspect of our lives to promote homeland security and fight the war on terror.

Mr. O’Harrow is a two-time Pulitzer prize finalist and winner of the Sigma Delta Chi award for excellence in journalism and the Investigative Reporters and Editors ("IRE") award for outstanding investigative work. He studied economics and history at Virginia Tech. He lives with wife and son in Arlington, Virginia.




_____________________________________________
For information about the Round Table and to apply for membership, see the Tab above marked "About Us/ Membership Information" or click HERE
CWRTDC's PAST MEETING:
ED BEARSS
speaks about
"GRIERSON'S RAID"

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
at Ft. McNair Officers' Club, Washington, DC

(see directions here) or (download them in pdf here)


6 pm: Social Hour (cash bar)
7 pm: Dinner ($36 for dinner and lecture)
8 pm: Lecture ($5 for lecture only)

Meeting-Only Reservations Still Available
SEE THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE RIGHT OF THIS POST
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS AND REMIT PAYMENT
If you have any problems making reservations online or would like to know about alternatives to making reservations or payments online,
please email Paula Whitacre at reservations@cwrtdc.org <reservations@cwrtdc.org>

About the Topic:
Grierson’s Raid was arguably the most effective cavalry raid of the entire Civil War.

While many of the most famous cavalry raids were launched by Confederate leaders, such as J.E.B Stuart or Nathan Bedford Forrest, this was a Union raid. It was commanded by Benjamin Grierson who, despite a pre-war dislike of horses, quickly proved himself to be a brilliant cavalry commander.
His raid was part of Grant's successful campaign against the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, on the Mississippi River. Grant’s infantry were marching down the west bank of the river, getting into a position from where they could cross over onto the east bank south of Vicksburg. Grierson was ordered to launch a raid through the heart of the state of Mississippi to distract Confederate attention from Grant’s move and force the Confederates to move troops away from the city.


Starting with three regiments (about 1,700 men) located near La Grange, Tennessee, Grierson’s aim was to reach the Southern Railroad of Mississippi and destroy as much of it as possible. From there he could either return to La Grange or head south to the Union position at Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

One of the reasons for his success was his willingness to split his force. On April 20, 1863, Grierson sent 175 men (what he called the “least effective portion of the command”) to La Grange with orders to make it appear that the entire expedition had returned. He then headed south with his larger force, fighting a series of minor skirmishes (the Official Records list eleven) and avoiding the Confederates chasing him. 

On April 24, Grierson reached the Southern Railroad and inflicted considerable damage. After learning more about the size of the Confederate forces behind him, he decided to continue south to Baton Rouge, reaching it safely on May 2.

In 16 days, Grierson’s men had marched 600 miles and fought multiple skirmishes, but with limited casualties: three dead, seven wounded, eight sick left behind, and nine missing.  On the Confederate side, however, Grierson claimed in his report to have killed and wounded 100 Confederates, captured another 500, damaged between 50 and 60 miles of railroad, destroyed over 3,000 stand of arms, and commandeered 1,000 horses and mules.

At the end of the raid, Grierson learned that at least 5,000 men had been sent out to capture him, which included a considerable number of Pemberton’s cavalry, detached from Vicksburg at a crucial moment when they would have been better used to watch Grant on the Mississippi. 
According to some, Grierson’s Raid was the most successful cavalry raid of the war for two reasons. First, it played a direct role in the success of Grant's main expedition against Vicksburg. Many of the Confederate raids arguably had no more than nuisance value (although Stuart’s ride around McClellan’s army on the Peninsula in the previous year could claim a similar significance as playing a part in the defeat of that army).
Second, Grierson had successfully taken a large cavalry force through entirely hostile territory in the heart of the Confederacy. Stuart, on the other hand, had been operating in Virginia, and other Confederate cavalry raids were made in friendly parts of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Thus, Grierson’s raid was an early example of the Union’s ability to bring the war to the heart of the Confederacy, which was repeated on a broader scale by Sherman in Georgia and the Carolinas over the next two years.


Adapted from:
http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/wars_griersons_raid.html

For more information, visit:

About Our Speaker:  Edwin Cole (Ed) Bearss needs no introduction to this Round Table or to most Civil War enthusiasts. He is a world-renowned military historian, author, and tour guide recognized for his work on the history of the Civil War and World War II.  We are gratified to have Ed as one of our Round Table's lifetime honorary member, yearly speaker, and frequent leader for our field trips and tours.

Ed is the author of numerous books including the definitive three volume series, “The Vicksburg Campaign.” He is a tireless advocate of Civil War preservation, donating his time to many organizations and activities involved with that mission, including serving on the board of the Civil War Trust. Among his many honors, Ed was named by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of its “35 Who Made A Difference.” Since 2005, the Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia has recognized Ed’s contributions by making an annual “Ed Bearss Award” to a preservation cause of his choosing. To date, the Ed Bearss Award has provided more than $10,000 to worthy--many times little known--Civil War preservation efforts.

Ed has worked as a historian at the Vicksburg National Military Park, where he conducted research leading him and two friends to the long-lost Union gunboat the U.S.S. Cairo. He also located two forgotten forts at Grand Gulf, Mississippi. Ed rose in the National Park Service (NPS) to the post of regional historian and is acclaimed as more knowledgeable on the Civil War battlefields than virtually anyone else.


During his time with the National Park Service, Ed led efforts for researching, preserving, and interpreting among others: Pea Ridge; Wilson’s Creek; Fort Smith; Stones River, Fort Donelson; the battlefields around Richmond, Fort Moultrie, and Fort Point. Ed was named Chief Historian of the NPS in 1981, a position he held until 1994. He also served as special assistant to the NPS director from 1994 to 1995. After his retirement in 1995, Ed received the title "Chief Historian Emeritus," which he holds to this day.

Ed’s abundance of awards and honors are too numerous to mention. Some of the more recent include: the 2014 DAR Medal of Honor; the Douglas Southall Freeman Award for 2014 in honor of his book entitled “The Petersburg Campaign,” recognized as the best published book of high merit in the field of Southern history; and the Lincoln Forum’s Richard Nelson Current Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.  In addition, the Civil War Trust has established its annual lifetime achievement award in Ed’s name.

Currently, there is a bill pending in Congress (H.R. 1225) sponsored by Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA), to recognize Ed, and he may soon receive a new accolade to add to an already lengthy resume: Congressional Gold Medal recipient. For more information about that effort, click HERE or visit http://www.cwrtdc.org/p/ed-bearss.html  Information is also available on Congressman Connolly's website at https://connolly.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=910

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For information about the Round Table and to apply for membership, see the Tab above marked "About Us/ Membership Information" or click HERE