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Roundtable Program Schedule

2008-2009 Campaign

We are pleased to present the 2008-2009 Cleveland Civil War Roundtable program schedule.  This year's schedule provides an interesting mix of published authors, scholars and Roundtable members presenting on a wide variety of Civil War topics.  Please join us for what promises to be an exciting and stimulating year. 

Printer-friendly copy of the program schedule

Please note:


First, our meetings have moved this year from the Cleveland Playhouse Club to Judson Manor (the former Wade Park Manor residential hotel), located at the corner of East 107th Street and Chester in downtown Cleveland, just off University Circle and less than two miles from our old meeting location. 


Map to Judson Manor | History of Wade Park Manor


Second, the dinner reservation process has also changed this year.  As before, you must make a dinner reservation for any meeting you plan to attend no later than the day prior to that meeting.  But now you must make your reservation either online the super efficient, modern way by clicking on one of the 'Make a Dinner Reservation" links below or the slow, old-fashioned way by calling 440-449-9311 and leaving a message on Dan Zeiser's office voice mail.  (Note:THIS IS A NEW PHONE NUMBER FROM PREVIOUS YEARS!) You can also send a reservation email directly to .


Make a Dinner Reservation | Cancel a Dinner Reservation


September 10, 2008
Dr. Joan Cashin
Varina Davis, First Lady of the Confederacy
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Dr. Joan Cashin is an associate professor of history at The Ohio State University. She received her Bachelor's and Master's Degree from the American University and her PhD. from Harvard University. An historian of the United States, Professor Cashin specializes in social history, including the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras. She has published A Family Venture: Men and Women on the Southern Frontier, 1991, as well as many articles on social and cultural history. In 1996 she published Our Common Affairs: Texts from Women in the Old South. Her recent biography First Lady of the Confederacy: Varina Davis's Civil War was published in 2006 and won the prestigious Fletcher Pratt Award for Civil War nonfiction. Dr. Cashin joins the ranks of Shelby Foote, James Robertson, and Bruce Catton, all previous Pratt Award winners who have addressed the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.

First Lady of the Confederacy, Varina Davis's Civil War at Harvard University Press

Purchase a copy of First Lady of the Confederacy: Varina Davis's Civil War


September 25 - 28, 2008
CCWRT Annual Field Trip
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
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Join us on this exciting journey to Gettysburg. In the past two years over 200 acres of non-historic trees have been removed, opening up startling vistas over the fields. Our trip will include over 15 hours of battlefield exploration under the tutelage of licensed battlefield guides. We'll visit the newly opened Visitor Center and view the newly restored Cyclorama painting. Our trip will even include a Ghosts of Gettysburg tour.  Contact Jon Thompson to register.  Trip Itinerary


October 8, 2008
Chris Fortunato
The Supreme Court During the Civil War
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Chris Fortunato is a Cleveland attorney, amateur thespian, and long-time member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.  He has spoken before the Roundtable several times in the past.


November 12, 2008
Dr. James Bissland
Blood, Tears, and Glory, How Ohioans Won the Civil War
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Dr. James Bissland was born in New England and moved to the Midwest in 1976, settling in Bowling Green in 1976. Dr. Bissland is a graduate of Cornell University, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, and the University of Iowa. He is currently a writer and associate professor of journalism emeritus at Bowling Green State University. For years his primary focus as a journalist was as a human interest feature writer. In addition to Blood, Tears, & Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War (2007), he also has written Long River Winding: Life, Love, and Death Along the Connecticut (2003) and co-authored Bountiful Ohio: Good Food and Stories from Where the Heartland Begins (1993).

Dr. James Bissland blog

'Blood, Tears, and Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War' website

Purchase a copy of Blood, Tears, & Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War


December 10, 2008
Dr. Sean Brossia
Restoring the USS Monitor
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Dr. Sean Brossia is the Director of Research for C.C. Technologies Laboratories, Inc., the company selected to save the metal artifacts from the USS Monitor. Dr. Brossia has over thirteen years experience in investigating the corrosion behavior of iron and other metals in both aqueous and non-aqueous systems. He has co-authored nearly fifty technical publications and has filed six patent applications. He holds a Master's Degree and Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Sean Brossia biography at CC Technologies

'The Monitor Rises Again' at National Geographic (12/03)

The Monitor Center at the Mariners Museum


January 14, 2009
The Annual Dick Crews Debate
The Hitherto Unknown Meeting of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis at Hampton Roads in January, 1865
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This year's Dick Crews Debate will follow a different, non-debate, format.  It will feature a moderated discussion between Abraham Lincoln (John Fazio) and Jefferson Davis (Mel Maurer) based on the premise, WHAT IF Jefferson Davis had made an unexpected and unannounced appearance at the Hampton Roads conference in January, 1865 to directly negotiate a peace with Abraham Lincoln?

John Fazio and Mel Maurer are both former presidents of CCWRT. Both have presented individually to the roundtable several times in the past, and both are prolific writers (as this website attests). They enjoy historical research and share a common love of drama, which they will demonstrate in our January presentation. John is an attorney, living in Akron, and Mel is a retired executive with the Dana Corporation, living in Westlake.

The Fox and the Hedgehog: The Hampton Roads Conference on the Roundtable website


February, 11, 2009
Dr. Paul Finkelman
The Great Emancipator as Lawyer
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Dr. Paul Finkelman is an historian and legal scholar. He is the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy and Senior Fellow in the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, Albany, New York. He has published over twenty books and more than one hundred scholarly articles. Dr. Finkelman has several focuses, including slavery, race, civil rights, civil liberties, the Constitution, Constitutional Law, and baseball. He is considered one of the world's leading experts on baseball and the law. 

Dr. Finkelman did his undergraduate study at Syracuse University, and holds a Master's Degree and PhD. in American history from the University of Chicago. In 1982 he was a Fellow in Law and Humanities, Harvard Law School. He is a member of the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Dr. Finkelman has a Cleveland connection; in 1997-98 he was Baker & Hostetler visiting Professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Paul Finkelman website

Paul Finkelman biography at Organization of American Historians

Paul Finkelman books:

Congress and the Emergence of Sectionalism: From the Missouri Compromise to the Age of Jackson (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2008)

Terrible Swift Sword: The Legacy of John Brown. Co-edited with Peggy A. Russo. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2005.

Defending Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Old South: A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture). Boston: Bedford/St. Martinís, 2003.

Dred Scott v. Sandford: A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture). Boston: Bedford Books, 1997.

His Soul Goes Marching on: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid. Editor and author of two chapters. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1995.


March 11, 2009
Tim Daley
Meet Me at the Fair: The Northern Ohio Sanitary Fair of the Cleveland Chapter of the United States Sanitary Commission
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Tim Daley and his wife, Mary Lou, live in Cleveland. Employed since 1990 by the Cleveland Municipal Clerk of Courts Office, Mr. Daley is currently a Supervisor and Records Manager within the Civil Division of the Court. He did his undergraduate work at CSU, majoring in political science with a minor in history and in May, 2008, completed his Master's Degree in history at John Carroll University. Mr. Daley is currently the Executive Director of the Cleveland Masonic Library & Museum and a docent and program leader with the Cuyahoga County Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument.

A Civil War antiquarian and lecturer since 1988, Mr. Daley continues to provide historical talks and living history presentations to civic, educational, fraternal, and religious organizations. His professional memberships include: the American Association for State and Local History, the Masonic Library & Museum Association, Organization of American Historians, and the Society for Military History. He also serves on the Board of the Society for Women and the Civil War as Membership Chairman.  His fraternal affiliations include associate memberships in both the James A. Garfield Camp #132, Department of Ohio, Sons of Union Veterans and Quantrill's Raiders Camp #2087, Department of Ohio, Sons of Confederate Veterans.

In July, 2008, Mr. Daley was a guest speaker at the 10th Annual Conference for the Society for Women and the Civil War (held in Gettysburg, PA), where he presented his paper based on his master's thesis.  It is this presentation that Mr. Daley will be making to the CCWRT.


April 8, 2009
Dr. Michael Dory
The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and the Battle of Olustee, Florida
(aka Ocean Pond)

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Dr. Michael Dory holds AA, BS, and PhD degrees in History, has taught on three continents (Europe, Asia and North America), and is a certified regular education and special education teacher. He is presently employed at Cuyahoga Community College here in Cleveland. Dr. Dory also has an AS in Marine Biology, BS in Geology and Physics and an MSIR in International Relations. Additionally Dr. Dory has an EdD (ABD) in Educational Administration and Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Southern California. He is a Marine and Army veteran, having seen combat in Vietnam. Dr. Dory has been a member of the Roundtable for twenty years and was a spearhead for changing the CCWRT constitution to include women.


May 13, 2009
Barbara Whalen
The Fighting McCooks
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Barbara Whalen was born in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York. She is a former newspaper columnist, radio and television writer, and advertising executive. Her husband, Charles, a former professor of economics at the University of Dayton, served twelve years in the Ohio General Assembly and another twelve years in the United States Congress as Ohio's Third District Representative.

Together the Whalens have co-authored four nonfiction books, including The Longest Debate: a Legislative History of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. While researching that book, the Whalens came upon the archives of the McCook family, and their initial interest in researching the McCooks turned into a twenty year project, culminating in the 2006 publication of The Fighting McCooks - America's Famous Fighting Family. Barbara and Charles Whalen live in Bethesda, Maryland.

The Fighting McCooks Webpage

Purchase a copy of The Fighting McCooks - America's Famous Fighting Family


The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable