CWRTDC'S NEXT MEETING:

JAMES B. CONROY

who will speak on

"THE HAMPTON ROADS PEACE CONFERENCE OF 1865"

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

at Ft. McNair Officers' Club, Washington, DC
6 pm: Social Hour (cash bar)
7 pm: Dinner ($36 for dinner and lecture)
8 pm: Lecture ($5 for lecture only)
 Reservations required by 5pm, Wed., Oct. 4th
SEE THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE OR AT  http://cwrtdc-meetings.blogspot.com/
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS AND REMIT PAYMENT

About the Topic
After nearly four years of war, over 600,000 young Americans were dead, the battered Rebel armies were cornered, and the rebellion was nearly broken, but no one knew when it would end.  A Federal push to victory would kill tens of thousands more, humiliate the South, and delay for generations what Lincoln wanted most: a reunited nation healed of its painful wounds. 


Reasonable men on both sides would meet in Hampton Roads on February 3, 1865, in search of a way out.


On the paddle-wheeler River Queen, the Air Force One of its day, Lincoln and his charming Secretary of State, William Seward, sat down with Davis’s emissaries: Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Senator Robert M. T. Hunter and John A. Campbell. It was a gathering of old friends. Stephens, Davis’s eccentric Vice President, led the Southern delegation. Weighing less than 100 pounds, “Little Alec” had been Lincoln’s ally in the Congress of 1848 in a movement to end the Mexican War.  The aristocratic Senator Hunter of Virginia had been Seward’s friend and colleague in the old Senate.  The brilliant Alabamian Campbell, a former Justice of the United States Supreme Court, now the Confederacy’s Assistant Secretary of War, had worked hard with Seward to stop the fighting before it started.


Their reunion at Hampton Roads began in a glow of nostalgia, descended into threats, and ended with a glimpse of Lincoln’s startling compromise, which was sure to enrage his own party. In the end, the war dragged on for two more bloody, destructive months.  


James Conroy will explore how the failure of the Hamptons Roads Conference shaped the course of American history and the future of America’s wars to come.  He will discuss the peace conference’s origins, its failure, and its aftermath, including Lincoln’s alliance with Stephens in the old House; Seward’s friendship with Davis in the old Senate; Blair’s wartime maneuverings in Richmond with the leaders of the Southern peace movement; Secretary of War Edwin Stanton’s attempts to sabotage the peace talks; the outrage they provoked in Congress and in Lincoln’s own cabinet; the Northern leaders’ moving conversations with their old Southern friends on the River Queen; Grant’s surreptitious efforts to negotiate peace with Lee and evade Stanton’s efforts to derail them; and Lincoln’s poignant search for a path to reconciliation in the smoking ruins of Richmond after the peace conference failed.  

 
About the Author:

James B. Conroy has practiced law as a trial lawyer in Boston for 32 years and is a co-founder of Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP, one of the city’s leading litigation firms. While working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC as a speechwriter and a press secretary in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, he earned a master’s degree in international relations at George Washington University and a law degree, magna cum laude, at the Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Conroy also served for six years as a photographer and a journalist in anti-submarine aviation units in the United States Navy Reserve.

 

In 2014, Mr. Conroy was elected a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society in recognition of his first book, Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865, the only book ever devoted to Lincoln’s peace negotiations. The book was a finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, awarded to the author of the best book of the year on Lincoln, a Civil War soldier, or the Civil War era.  Mr. Conroy’s second book, Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime, was released in October, 2016, and is the co-winner of the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize for 2017, and the winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award for 2017. 

 
Mr. Conroy has lived in Hingham, Massachusetts with his wife, Lynn since 1982. Their daughter, Erin, is a lawyer and the mother of two young boys. Their son, Scott, is a political journalist. Mr. Conroy is a member of Hingham’s Historical Commission and its Community Preservation Committee and has chaired its Government Study Committee, its Task Force on Affordability, and its Advisory Committee, which counsels the Hingham Town Meeting, an exercise in direct democracy through which the town has governed itself since 1635, well before Conroy’s time.
 
For more information about Mt. Conroy and his publications, visit www.jamesbconroy.com  
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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




CWRTDC'S PREVIOUS MEETING:


EMMANUEL DABNEY

who will speak on

"THE PETERSBURG CAMPAIGN"

Tuesday, September 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)



 Reservations required by 5:00 pm, Wednesday, September 6th 





SEE THE INSTRUCTIONS AT  http://cwrtdc-meetings.blogspot.com/ OR BY CLICKING THE "MEETING/TOURS" TAB ABOVE
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS AND REMIT PAYMENT






About the Topic:  Emmanuel Dabney will discuss the June 1864-April 1865 Petersburg Campaign. In addition to an overview of battles, Mr. Emmanuel will look at the troop’s relationship with the earthwork system, the varied use of artillery and sharpshooting techniques, and the effects of disease and morale on the outcome. W. H. McLaurin William H. McLaurin of the 18th North Carolina Infantry wrote years after the war:  
“The story of Petersburg will never be written; volumes would be required to contain it, and even those who went through the trying ordeal, can not recall a satisfactory outline of the weird and graphic occurrences of that stormy period.”
Yet, soldiers (including McLaurin) through letters, diaries, or memoirs attempted to make sense of the 292 days in and around the trenches outside Petersburg and Richmond.
About the Author:  Emmanuel Dabney has been employed by the National Park Service at Petersburg National Battlefield since 2001. After completing high school in Dinwiddie County, Emmanuel graduated magna cum laude with an Associates of Arts from Richard Bland College, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia and completed a Master’s degree in Public History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Mr. Dabney is particularly interested in nineteenth-century American history, including the Civil War, slavery and emancipation, free blacks, and slaveholders.  He has stated, however, that he is not limited to that specific time frame or region.  https://interpretivechallenges.wordpress.com/about/
Mr. Dabney has given many programs on the issues facing African-Americans in antebellum, wartime, and immediate post-war America as well as how to represent these experiences within professional museum settings. Emmanuel has delivered programs to the Civil War Trust, the Virginia Association of Museums, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, various roundtables, and other organizations.
As an avid genealogist and historian, Mr. Dabney discovered his great-great-great grandfather was a wealthy Virginia slave owner and his great-great-great grandmother was a mixed-race free Black woman. Among those in his family tree are two members of Virginia’s Secession Convention, numerous Confederate soldiers and officers, and his great-great grandfather, Henry Dabney, who was involved in digging earthworks around Petersburg in 1864 and 1865.
Kevin Levin has noted that dramatic changes have taken place in the way we remember and commemorate the battle of the Crater.  He explains that Mr. Dabney is a big part of the story that he now tells about the Crater.  For more information, visit Mr. Levin’s website at http://cwmemory.com/2010/08/01/the-future-of-petersburg-national-battlefield/

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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 

The Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia 
 and  
The City College of New York (CCNY)
Alumni Association Washington DC Chapter  
 jointly and proudly sponsor


STANLEY R. SCHNEIDER
who will speak on
"GEN. ALEXANDER S. WEBB"

 Tuesday, June 13, 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)
Chicken Florentine, Salad, and Cherry Cobbler
8 pm: Lecture ($5 for lecture only)
(please arrive at 7:30pm for the lecture)

RESERVATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 5PM ET, WEDNESDAY JUNE 7, TO MEET CLUB DEADLINES 
Space may be limited, so make your reservations early.
SEE THE INSTRUCTIONS AT THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE OR AT
 http://cwrtdc-meetings.blogspot.com/ 
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS AND REMIT PAYMENT
If you have any questions about making reservations online, please email reservations@cwrtdc.org 

ABOUT THE TOPIC:
Stan Schneider tells the remarkable story of Union General Alexander S. Webb. Scion of an illustrious family, Webb was a hero (arguably the hero) of the battle of Gettysburg, chronicler of the Civil War in its aftermath and an honored participant in post war veterans’ societies. Webb lived a gilded life in late 19th century New York and became President of the City College of New York, a post he held for 33 years. 

Webb’s grandfather, Samuel Blatchley, was aide-de-camp to George Washington, crossed the Delaware with him, was wounded at the battle of White Plains and Trenton, and eventually appointed as Brigadier General commending Washington’s light infantry.  Webb’s father, James Watson Webb was a soldier, newspaper publisher, diplomat and confidant and ally of William H. Seward.  He also served as ambassador to Brazil during the Civil War.

Alexander Webb, the youngest of six children, graduated from West Point in 1855. Except for a nine month stint fighting the Seminoles in Florida, he spent the six years before the Civil War as a math instructor at West Point.  At the war’s outbreak, he was appointed assistant to the artillery commander of the Army of the Potomac and served in a series of staff positions during the first two years of the war.  He was credited with sighting the Union guns at the Battle of Malvern Hill and can be seen bare headed in the famous photo of Lincoln visiting McClellan in the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam.  Webb thought his slow promotion was punishment for his association with Generals McClellan and Fitz John Porter, both of whom were relieved of command and booted out of the Army in late 1862. 
At Chancellorsville in May 1863, Webb performed courageous service as Chief of Staff to General Meade’s Fifth Corps, guiding a brigade to a critical position to defend against a Confederate assault. As a reward, he was promoted to Brigadier General, the orders coming through just three days before the Battle of Gettysburg.   He was appointed to command the Philadelphia Brigade, a mostly Irish outfit recruited from the dockyards, and an incongruous position for the patrician New Yorker.  Together Webb and the Philadelphia Brigade achieved immortality at Gettysburg.  Posted at the “angle," in the wall on Cemetery Ridge and adjacent to the “copse of trees” which was the target of Pickett’s Charge on the last day of the battle, they stood firm and repelled the Confederate assault on their front, killing Confederate General Armistead after his unit momentarily achieved a break-through.  Webb would eventually receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions that day and his exploits and that of the Brigade are marked by numerous statues and markers on the battlefield. 

Webb would go on to successfully lead a division at the battle of Bristoe Station and to serve with distinction at the Wilderness. At Spotsylvania Court House, he was shot off his horse and was critically wounded.  The New York Times reported him dead. But he survived, being promoted Major General during his seven month recuperation. 

Webb returned to the Army of the Potomac in January 1865, as its Chief of Staff, a position he held until Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in April of that year.  He remained in the Army until 1869. When he was ordered to join a regiment forming in the west to fight Indians, he resigned instead to become a president of the City College of New York, serving until 1902.

Webb regularly took part in reunions and dedications and authored books and articles about Gettysburg, the Peninsula campaign, and the Wilderness.  Ever the loyal subordinate, he defended the records of General McClellan and General Meade against all critics.  He advocated to the Secretary of War for an African American graduate of CCNY to be admitted into the U.S. Army Signal Corps, over the objections of its commander.  Webb founded the Westminster Kennel Club and then served as its President for the first 10 years.   He was also close to his four brothers, who would become bankers, financiers, philanthropists, and (in one case) marry into the Vanderbilt family. 


Webb died in 1911, two years, before the 50th Reunion of the battle of Gettysburg, and he is buried at West Point.  A holiday was declared in Gettysburg, and the Governors of New York and Pennsylvania were both in attendance, when a statue to Webb was dedicated on the battlefield in 1915.  Two years later, a duplicate statue was dedicated at the City College of New York.  General Webb was portrayed by the renowned re-enactor and historian, the late Brian Pohanka, in the 1993 movie “Gettysburg.”


ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Stanley R. (Stan) Schneider is a past Board Member, Vice President, and two term President of the Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia (CWRTDC), the third oldest such organization in the United States. He is a graduate of the City College of New York (CCNY) and its ROTC program.  Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he eventually became a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves and is an Honor Graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College. 
Mr. Schneider's civilian career began with stints at the National Academy of Science and Naval Intelligence, followed by 36 years of service with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA working in positions related to management of weather and earth observing satellites. He retired from NASA in 2010 and is currently a consultant to aerospace companies.

Mr. Schneider has had a lifelong interest in the Civil War.  As a freshman at CCNY, he was inducted into Webb Patrol, an ROTC fraternity named after the College’s 2nd President and Civil War hero.  As a senior, he was elected Commanding Officer of Webb Patrol.  On active duty and subsequently the Reserves, Mr. Schneider was stationed at a series of U.S. Forts named after Civil War Generals---Lee, Pickett, and A.P. Hill--- and read Douglas Southall Freeman’s “Lees Lieutenants” to learn more about the personages mentioned on the ubiquitous signs and road side markers.  His senior thesis at Command and General Staff College was on “Lee’s Lieutenants” and its relevance to the (then) modern Army. 

For many years, Mr. Schneider was a member of the Army’s 310th Theatre Army Area Command (TAACOM) with headquarters at Fort Belvoir’s John Singleton Mosby U.S. Army Reserve Center.   The 310th unit crest consisted of Mosby’s plumed hat superimposed on the southern (St. Andrews) cross. Mr. Schneider is currently Vice President of the 310th Alumni Association known as the “Mosby Rangers."
__________________________________________
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 CCNY Alumni Association/Washington DC Chapter click HERE
CWRTDC'S PREVIOUS MEETING:

PERRY D. JAMIESON
speaks on
"GENERAL WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK"

Tuesday, May 9, 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)
Pork Tenderloin, Salad and Key Line Pie
8 pm: Lecture ($5 for lecture only)

 Reservations required by 5:00 pm, Wednesday, May 3rd 

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 reservations@cwrtdc.org  <reservations@cwrtdc.org>

About the Topic:  General Winfield Scott Hancock gained his greatest fame for his crucial contributions to the Federal victory at Gettysburg in July of 1863. Union veterans remembered Hancock as a general who led from the front and whose forceful presence could change the course of a battle. In addition to his service in the Civil War, though, the General's military service included experiences during the Mexican-American War, Reconstruction, and the Indian wars. He also pursued a national political career, which ended in an unsuccessful try for the presidency in 1880.



Dr. Jamieson’s talk will introduce the General as an American soldier who put his mark on many of the important military and political events of his lifetime.  It will highlight topics covered n his 2003 book, Winfield Scott Hancock: Gettysburg Hero.


Dr. ”Jamieson handles well the details of Hancock's wartime rise to fame as ‘Hancock the Superb,’ as he does the rest of the general's Civil War service," wrote John E. Deppen on the Civil War News Web site. David Fitzpatrick, writing in the Journal of Military History, noted that the book is for the general public and "will be of value to those who have a casual interest in the Civil War." 


About the Author:   Dr. Perry D. Jamieson, was born in Detroit, Michigan, and spent his boyhood in one of its suburbs, Farmington. He grew up reading Bruce Catton (one of our Round Table’s founder’s), T. Harry Williams, and other historians of the Civil War centennial era. Dr. Jamieson’s parents encouraged his interest in history and they gave him his first look at the Antietam battlefield, on a summer vacation trip. That memorable visit made the battle seem more real to him. The terrain of Sharpsburg’s farms and the words on the War Department tablets reinforced the historical accounts that he had read. The experience confirmed in his young mind that there really had been a Battle of Antietam: it wasn’t a story made up by Bruce Catton and other writers.

Throughout his career, Dr. Jamieson has always has enjoyed meeting people with an interest in the American past and in historic preservation. The Antietam battlefield has been the scene of a number of milestones in his life. For example, he met Stephanie Deats at Michigan State, they married, and spent part of their honeymoon at Antietam. “Ever since then,” Dr. Jamieson reports, “I’ve had people—especially women--tell me that it was an odd thing for me to drag a new wife to a Civil War battlefield. I’ve never understood that.  Antietam is a much better place to visit than Niagara Falls.” 


Dr. Jamieson received his Ph.D in history from Wayne State University, taught at the University of Texas, and served as the historian at the Air Force History Support Office, in Washington, DC.  He has also lectured at the U.S. Defense Department's Joint Military Intelligence College, and he was appointed fellow to the Grady McWhiney Research Foundation.


In fact, Dr. Jamieson studied under Grady McWhiney, a noted Civil War historian, and he  wrote his first book with McWhiney, entitled Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage. The book is considered a significant work on Civil War military tactics.


Dr. Jamieson's other books include Crossing the Deadly Ground: United States Army Tactics, 1865-1899, University of Alabama Press (Tuscaloosa, AL), 1994; Death in September: The Antietam Campaign, Ryan Place Publishers (Forth Worth, TX), 1995; and of course, Winfield Scott Hancock: Gettysburg Hero, McWhiney Foundation Press (Abilene, TX), 2003.


In addition to his books on the Civil War, Dr. Jamieson has written about U.S. Air Force history.  For example, in Lucrative Targets: The U.S. Air Force in the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations, he provides a look at the U.S. Air Force's involvement in the U.S. war with Iraq in the early 1990s, particularly focusing on the force's contribution to two operations: Desert Shield and Desert Storm.



After ending his Air Force career, Dr. Jamieson and Stephanie moved to Sharpsburg, where he now spends time hiking his favorite place, the Antietam battlefield. He has always been impressed with the sharp contrast between the area‘s past and present.  On September 17, 1862 the Antietam valley was the terrifying scene of horrific events. Today it’s a reassuring landscape of peaceful fields. “I’ve seen a lot of battlefields,” Dr. Jamieson says, “ones in the United States and elsewhere--Marston Moor, Culloden, Waterloo, and many others. None of them takes hold of me the way that Antietam does.” He is concerned that, as historian Grady McWhiney once put it, “Americans are in danger of losing their history.” He has warned, “If we don’t preserve the Antietam battlefield, a crucial part of our national past will disappear forever. We can’t let that happen. . ..”




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