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Roundtable Program Schedule

2017-2018 Campaign

We are pleased to present the 2017-2018 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. 

Meeting Time:

Meetings begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30, and the program at 7:30.  Meetings typically end by around 9.

Meeting Location:

Our meetings are held at Judson Manor (the former Wade Park Manor residential hotel), 1890 E 107th St, Cleveland, OH, at the corner of East 107th Street and Chester, just off University Circle.
Map to Judson Manor
History of Wade Park Manor


You must make a dinner reservation for any meeting you plan to attend no later than the day prior to that meeting (so we can give a headcount to the caterer).  Make your reservation by sending an email to: .



September 13, 2017
Edward H. Bonekemper III
Myth of the Lost Cause – False Remembrance of the Civil War

The call for the removal of Confederate memorials has been heard. Why were these icons erected? Since the end of the struggle, the former Confederate states have continued to mythologize the South’s defeat to the North, depicting the Civil War as unnecessary, or as a fight over states’ Constitutional rights, or as a David v. Goliath struggle in which the North waged “total war” over an underdog South. Ed Bonekemper deconstructs this multi-faceted myth, revealing the truth about the war that nearly tore the nation apart.

Our speaker: Edward H. Bonekemper III is a military historian, author and lecturer. Between 2010 and 2016, he was book review editor at Civil War News. A national figure, Bonekemper has lectured over ten times at the Smithsonian about the Civil War, and has appeared on C-SPAN on multiple occasions to discuss Grant and Lee's Civil War generalship.

September 21 - September 24, 2017
CCWRT Annual Field Trip
Fort Monroe, the Mariners' Museum and the 1862 Peninsula Campaign

Trip Overview:

The 1862 Peninsula Campaign tour of the Cleveland Civil War Round Table will take place on September 21-24, 2017.  John Quarstein, who serves as Director of the USS Monitor Center, will serve as our guide.  Our visit will, in fact, begin in a meeting room at the Hampton Inn and Suites on September 21 at 7:30 p.m., when John will provide us with an overview of our planned events.

On Friday, September 22, our first stop will be Fort Monroe, the largest stone fort ever built in the US, which sits at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, where we will receive a two hour guided tour.  From there, we will tour the site of the Battle of Big Bethel, which occurred on June 10, 1861, less than two months after the surrender of Ft. Sumter and is considered to be the first land battle of the Civil War.  We will then proceed to The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, where we will have lunch and receive a tour of the Monitor Center, where a full size replica and the actual turret of the Monitor is on display.  We will then visit the overlook of the site of the epic battle of the ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimack.  Our tour for the day will conclude at Young's Mill before we return to our hotel.

On Saturday, September 23, we will visit Warwick Court House, the site of the Battle of Lee's Mill and the site of the Battle of Dam No. 1.  After lunch at Newport News Park, we will then tour Lee Hall Mansion, Gloucester Point, Redoubt Park and the site of the Battle of Williamsburg before returning to our hotel to prepare for a festive dinner.

Throughout our travels on September 22-23, transportation will be provided by a bus chartered exclusively for our tour. Please mark your calendars and make your plans now join us for this interesting field trip.  There is no better experience than touring the sites where history happened with the camaraderie of your fellow Roundtable members!  For a sense of what these trips are like, read this summary of our 2008 trip to Gettysburg.

Our Guide:

John V. Quarstein is an award-winning historian, preservationist, and author. He is director of the USS Monitor Center at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia, and has served as an adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary. He is author of fifteen books, including Fort Monroe: The Key to the South and The Monitor Boys, winner of the Henry Adams Prize for Excellence in Historical Literature. He is also a recipient of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's President's Award.

Tour Base:

You are encouraged to make hotel reservations for the weekend (3 nights) at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Newport News, where a block of rooms has been reserved for our group at reduced rates.  Rooms with a single King bed are $89 per night, and rooms with two Queen beds are $94 per night.  To receive the benefit of these rates, please mention that you are a member of the CCWRT when making your reservation.

Hampton Inn & Suites – Newport News
12251 Jefferson Ave.
Newport News, Virginia 23602
Telephone (757) 249-0001 to reserve your room at CCWRT discount


$150.00 per person which includes guide fees, park entrance fees, tour bus and box lunches.  Travel to Newport News, Virginia, hotel and other meals are extra.  Reserve your spot by 9/1/17.

Detailed Itinerary:

Thursday, September 21
7:30 p.m. Meet at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Newport News, VA.
Our tour leader, John Quarstein, will give an overview of the weekend.
Dinner on your own near our hotel
Friday, September 22
8:30 a.m. Depart Hampton Inn & Suites by chartered bus
9:00 a.m. Tour of Fort Monroe
11:15 a.m. Battle of Big Bethel
11:45 a.m. Boxed lunch from Smoke BBQ at the Mariners’ Museum
12:45 p.m. Guided tours of the Monitor Center, Ironclad Revolution Gallery and BCC Conservation Lab
2:30 p.m. Congress-Cumberland overlook
3:00 p.m. Monitor-Merrimack overlook
3:30 p.m. Young’s Mill
4:00 p.m. Return to our hotel by bus
6:00 p.m. Group dinner near our hotel
Saturday, September 23
8:30 a.m. Depart Hampton Inn & Suites by chartered bus
9:00 a.m. Tour of Warwick Court House
9:45 a.m. Lee's Mill
10:30 a.m. Battle of Dam No. 1
12:00 p.m. Boxed lunches from the Boxwood Inn at the Newport News City Park
1:30 p.m. Tour of Lee Hall Mansion
3:30 p.m. Gloucester Point
4:30 p.m. Redoubt Park and the Battle of Williamsburg
5:30 p.m. Return to hotel by bus

6:00 p.m.

Closing group dinner near our hotel
Sunday, September 24
  Return home

October 11, 2017
Eric J. Wittenberg
Protecting the Flank at Gettysburg – The Clash of Horse and Steel on East Cavalry Field

On July 3, 1863, a large-scale cavalry fight was waged on Cress Ridge four miles east of Gettysburg. There, on what is commonly referred to as East Cavalry Field, Union horsemen under Brig. Gen. David M. Gregg tangled with the vaunted Confederates riding with Maj. Gen. Jeb Stuart. Stuart had arrived at Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 2, and felt that if he could defeat Gregg’s troopers guarding the Union rear, he could dash thousands of his own men behind enemy lines and wreak havoc. A lengthy mounted battle ensued, highlighted by the charge of Brig. Gen. George A. Custer, leading the 1st Michigan Cavalry, which blunted the attack by Wade Hampton's brigade, blocking Stuart from achieving his objectives. This combat featured artillery duels, dismounted fighting, hand-to-hand engagements, and the most magnificent mounted charge and countercharge of the entire Civil War.

Our speaker: Eric J. Wittenberg is a historian, author, lecturer, tour guide and battlefield preservationist. He is occupied as a practicing attorney in Columbus, Ohio. His published works have focused especially on the Civil War cavalryman and the cavalry battles of the Civil War, with emphasis on the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps. In 2015, his book The Devil's to Pay: John Buford at Gettysburg won the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable's 2015 Book Award.


November 8, 2017
Mark Laubacher
Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Civil War

In an effort to bring about resolution to the Civil War, creative research was undertaken by individuals, many of whom were civilians, to aid both Confederate and Union forces against their adversaries. Much of this research involved chemical and biological agents. With one exception however, these weapons of mass destruction were never produced as President Lincoln and President Davis both disapproved of unconventional warfare. This presentation will discuss and illustrate the chemical and biological poisons considered by both militaries during the War Between the States.

Our speaker: Mark Laubacher is an RN and paramedic working as a Certified Specialist in Poison Information since 1992 at the Central Ohio Poison Center located at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Having delivered over 400 presentations, he routinely presents at the state and national levels on various topics of toxicological emergencies.


December 13, 2017
Kathleen Logothetis Thompson

Morality or War Experience? – Treatment of Mental Trauma in the Union Army

By the middle of the Civil War, the Union army had policies in place to treat mental trauma in soldiers at the Government Hospital for the Insane, a result of the asylum movement in the antebellum period. Once there, soldiers recuperated under a system of “moral treatment”. Although the Civil War armies understood the existence of war trauma, this cultural/medical analysis explains why the medical field believed it to be the result of moral or physical weakness and did not acknowledge the impact of war service on the mental state of soldiers.

Our speaker: Kathleen Logothetis Thompson earned her Masters in History from West Virginia University in May 2012. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. degree at WVU with research on mental trauma in the Civil War. In addition, Thompson served as a seasonal interpreter at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park between 2010 and 2014, and is the co-editor of Civil Discourse, a Civil War blog.


January 10, 2018
The Dick Crews Annual Debate:
What was the Most Influential Weapon
of the Civil War?

Moderator: William F. B. Vodrey

Many have described the American Civil War as the first modern war, as a kind of demarcation point between war fought with weapons and tactics little changed since the time of Caesar and the global, mechanized wars of the 20th century.  If that's so, the difference maker was certainly the rapid advance of weapons technology of the mid-nineteenth century - particularly when matched with the slow change in tactics in response to those technological advances.

So, what was the most influential weapon of the Civil War, what weapon had the greatest impact? That is the question our intrepid debaters will be addressing this year.  Our debaters and their topics are:

John Harkness - rifled musket
Lisa Kempfer - 12-pound Napoleon cannon
Mark Porter - USS Monitor
Kirk Stewart - repeating magazine rifle
Bob Boyda - grapeshot

Join us for what will certainly be an entertaining and educational evening.


February 14, 2018
Milann Daugherty

Your Affectionate Son – Found Letters from a Civil War Soldier

In 2004, educator Milann Daughtery came across a box of yellowed letters in the bottom drawer of an old dresser, all written by James Cleaver, her great-great-uncle 150-years earlier.  The letters contained a fascinating first-hand account of the Civil War as seen through the eyes of a young soldier. Over the course of three years, she painstakingly transcribed each of the letters, and undertook the research to elaborate on much of what James described. Written in the elegant style typical of the mid-nineteenth century, James’ letters give us fresh insight into the daily life of a soldier in the Civil War and the politics of the day.

Our speaker: Milann Daugherty grew up in Western Pennsylvania and graduated from Westminster College with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She taught for sixteen years at the New Castle Christian Academy. It was here that her interest in American history was ignited, setting the stage for her discovery of the letters of James Cleaver.



March 14, 2018
Robert “Bert” Dunkerly

To the Bitter End – The Surrenders of the Confederacy

Most of us know the details of Appomattox and perhaps even the Bennett Place in North Carolina. But what about the other surrenders? Bert Dunkerly will lead as we delve into the lesser-known surrenders of the Confederacy in Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, and discuss how the war ended, setting up the early stages of the Reconstruction.

Our speaker: Robert M. Dunkerly is an historian, award-winning author and speaker who is actively involved in historic preservation and research. He holds a Masters in Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State University. He has worked at nine historic sites, written eleven books, and penned more than twenty published articles. Dunkerly is currently a Park Ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park.


April 11, 2018
Mark Smith

Prepare for Sherman’s Coming – The Battle of Wise’s Forks

History has relegated the Battle of Wise's (Wyse) Forks, March 7-11, 1865 to little more than an insignificant skirmish during the final days of the Civil War. Indeed, most histories mention it not at all. Mr. Smith erases this misconception and elevates this battle and its related operations to the historical status it deserves. One of the largest battles in the history of North Carolina, it was the Confederates’ first major attempt to beat back General Sherman’s forces in the Tar Heel State. This presentation is the result of years of careful research in a wide variety of archival sources, and relies upon official reports, diaries, newspapers, and letter collections, all tied to a keen understanding of the terrain.

Our speaker: Maj. (Ret) Mark A. Smith, who holds a Masters in Military Studies, is a U.S. Army veteran with 21 years of service. He served in a variety of commander positions, and was an Army ROTC Instruction at Virginia Tech. Smith is the co-author (with Wade Sokolosky) of No Such Army since the Days of Julius Caesar: Sherman's Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro.


May 9, 2018
David T. Dixon
The Lost Gettysburg Address

The dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863 was highlighted by Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Following the formal events at the cemetery, Lincoln attended a political rally sponsored by the State of Ohio that featured a speech by lieutenant governor–elect Charles Anderson. Newspapers mentioned the program, and a few published a quote or two from Anderson, but apart from that the speech had been lost to time. In 2002 the original speech was found among family papers in Wyoming. In this presentation, Dixon reconstructs the man and his speech and explains its profound significance in the context of the war.

Our speaker: David T. Dixon earned his Masters in History from the University of Massachusetts in 2003. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and magazines. Most focus on black history and on Union sympathizers in the Civil War South. His short biography of U.S. and Confederate congressman Augustus R. Wright appeared in The Georgia Historical Quarterly in 2010. Dixon also hosts the B-List History website celebrating obscure characters and their amazing stories.


The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable