First meeting- September 03, 2019 ~ Campaign 42

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First meeting- September 03, 2019 ~ Campaign 42

Reflecting On Karl Lehr, A Legacy of Honor, Commitment, and Generosity

 Karl Lehr was truly a renaissance man. He was a teacher, veteran of World War II, a preservationist and a philanthropist. During his time as a member of our Round Table he served our organization in many capacities. His commitment to historic preservation was accomplished through voice, labor and monetary contributions. Karl led a full life and his passing in 2009 at the age of 93 years generated a final gift that will continue to benefit future generations of our great land. A combination of his bequest to our Round Table and matching grants from leading Civil War preservation organizations brought $463,000 to the cause of historic preservation in 2011. We honor Karl’s memory tonight at our “Karl Lehr Memorial Dinner.”


From the Brigade Commander - Summer 2019

From the Brigade Commander: Barry Arnold

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We ended our 41st campaign with a great performance by Ken Serfass who is a first person reenactor of General Ulysses S. Grant. His talk on the siege of Chattanooga was outstanding with a full layout map of the siege. Any one that skipped that evening missed a fantastic speech.

I am the New Brigade Commander, Barry Arnold. I think everyone knows me. I’ve been attending the CWRT of Eastern PA for a number of years. I look forwarding to talking to you in the upcoming season and would love to see you at the meetings. I look forward to

your feed-back on ways we can better improve the CWRT experience.

We at the Round Table want to thank Ed Root for his leadership and service in these past years. “Thank you so much ED.” I hope I can be a good leader as you have.

I hope everyone is having a great summer. Everyone, please be careful driving while visiting your favorite civil war sites, beach excursions, or wherever your summer fun takes you.

Just a reminder that we begin our meetings on Sept. 3rd, 2019 which marks our 42nd campaign of the roundtable of Eastern Pa. In September, we have Tom McMillian, a historian who will talk on the Gettysburg Rebels. Always interesting to have stories about Gettysburg.

Looking forward to seeing you at our September dinner meeting. For now, stay safe and have a great rest of the summer.


Invitation for South Mountain Battlefield Tour on October 26

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George Franks sends us this invite concerning a tour of the South Mountain Battlefield tour being offered by the Hagerstown Civil War Round Table.

I know this is a long distance away, but we are hosting a tour on October 26, a Saturday. It will be run by the Hagerstown Civil War Roundtable. If any of your members are interested please contact me. See below. George Franks

The Hagerstown Civil War Round Table will sponsor a tour of the South Mountain Battlefield.  This program will explore the events that caused Robert E. Lee to reconsider his plans for the continued 1862 Maryland Campaign and to concentrate his army at Sharpsburg, thus setting the stage for the Battle of Antietam three days later.  We will visit Turner's, Fox's, and Crampton's Gaps, examine the terrain, and discuss the situation on the night of September 13, the major combat on September 14, and the far reaching consequences of the battle.  Updates on battlefield preservation and newly acquired property will also be provided.

George Franks [

Click here for overview from Civil War Trust on this battle

From the Brigade Commander - June 2019


From the Brigade Commander

     Michael Shaffer certainly gave us a wonderful glimpse into the life and times of Confederate cavalryman Thomas Colley. It is amazing that new material still comes to light a century and a half after the Civil War. Beyond the statistics of numbers and logistics the human element remains and is indeed a compelling story. Thanks to people like Michael we continue to learn about the people and the times that tore apart our nation.

     Our partnership with the Southern Lehigh Public Library was in the spotlight on April 15 as Alisa Dupuy preformed a first-person presentation as Clara Barton. Over 70 people attended including many of our members.  We also donated books which were raffled for the benefit of the library.

     As reported at the May meeting our Gettysburg conservation and preservation effort on April 27 was a resounding success.  Fifty volunteers consisting of Round Table members with family members and friends as well as Bob McHugh’s students from Saucon Valley High School and scouts from Boy Scout Troop 786 in Whitehall painted fences and rebuilt other fencing on the Slyder Farm. Caitlin Brown, the Park Volunteer Coordinator and Ranger did a marvelous job not only explaining the ebb and flow of the battle over the land, but also the story of struggle for the Slyder family during and after those awful days.           

     Our 41st year of study and work to preserve America’s historic treasures is drawing to a close. The George Seligman Dinner on June 4th honors the man who led a small group of history students from the wilderness of meeting in a room at the old Allentown Courthouse to the promised land of dinner meetings with wonderful speakers, field trips to places we had only read about and to the necessary and critical work of helping to save for posterity America’s historic lands and collections. No matter if you’ve been with us for days or years, we thank you for sharing in this journey of comradeship and discovery.  George’s knowledge, humor and organizational skills put us on the path for our 40 plus years of learning and enjoyment of history and each other’s company. George was a strong personality and could had stayed as Brigade Commander without challenge as long as he wished. He knew, however, that a flow of new leadership was and is in the best interest of our and any organization and encouraged others to step forward and take that responsibility. Our June meeting is also where we install our officers and Board members for the next Campaign.  It has been my honor and pleasure to have been Brigade Commander these past three years.  I know you will support Barry and his team as well!

     Brigade Commander – Barry Arnold
     Regimental Commander – Bob McHugh
     Company Commander – Claire Kukielka
     Paymaster – Jim Duffy
     Adjutant – Kay Bagenstose
     Directors, term ending June 2021 – Neil Coddington & Kim Jacobs
     Directors, continuing, term ending June 2020 – Bill Frankenfield & Frank Whelan

          Please join us on June 4th as Kenneth Serfass will attend as General U.S. Grant.

                             Ed Root   610-417-6673

CWRT of Eastern PA makes Gettysburg NM Park Facebook Post

Our work day on April 27th at Gettysburg National Military Park was the subject of a Facebook post by Caitlin Brown of the park staff on Monday April 29th. She gives us a shout out along with the scouts and the students from Saucon Valley High - some one whom were at their prom the night before, but still managed to get up and make it to Gettysburg for the work day.

Thanks to all who helped make the day possible and to Caitlin for here recognition of our annual work day.

Here are two screen shots which captured the post:

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Gettysburg NMP - April 27, 2019 - Work Day at the John Slyder Farm


Saturday April 27th saw fifty CWRT members, friends and family, along with Boy Scouts and students and teachers from Saucon Valley High School spend the day in Gettysburg National Military Park working at the John Slyder Farm.

This years’ annual work day consisted of painting the LONG fence bordering the driveway and building fencing in the back pasture of the Slyder Farm.


What a fantastic (though windy) day in the park. Following lunch we were treated to a presentation by Volunteer Coordinator Kaitlin Brown concerning the history of the farm, and the events which occurred there during the days of battle in early July 1863.

THANK YOU to all who helped plan the event and work to preserve Gettysburg as a place of history and learning.

[Photos from the day are below]

The following history of the farm is from “Barns of the Civil War” website
(click here for site)

John Slyder moved to Gettysburg in 1838 coming across the Mason-Dixon line from Carroll County, Maryland and worked as a potter. Slyder made a career change and purchased a 75 acre tract of land in 1849 and began building a farm. He built his home, several outbuildings like a blacksmith shop and a carpentry shop along with a double log barn on the property. He dug a well which provided a good source of water and planted a peach and pear orchard which produced exceptional fruit. The property also included a 30 acre timber lot and an 18 acre meadow. Slyder used the blacksmith shop to manufacture tools for other local farms. At the time of the battle John lived on the farm with his wife Catherine and three of his five children, John (age 20), Hannah (17) and Jacob (9). The family was directed to leave on July 2 by Union patrols and the family heeded their warning.


One of the most controversial aspects of the Battle of Gettysburg is how long it took the Confederates to get into position to attack on July 2 and what their actual plan was. It was nearly 4 PM when the last of John Bell Hood’s division got into position. These men were Alabamians under the command of Evander Law. They had began their day near what is today Caledonia State Park and had been marching since around 4 am. It was a hot day with temperatures reaching the upper 80s and high humidity. When they arrived at Gettysburg they immediately began marching to get into position to attack. No rest for the weary and no time to refill empty canteens.

Opposing Hood’s men were the soldiers of the United State Sharpshooters. The unit was the brainchild of Hiram Berdan, a New York inventor and championship marksman and was formed in July 1861. These men were crack shots. In order to qualify for the outfit a recruit had to hit 10 consecutive bulls-eyes from both a standing position at 200 yards and 100 yards offhanded. The men were trained to be used as skirmishers and were given a green uniform rather than the standard blue, an early attempt at camouflage. The were ordered to seek out targets of importance like officers. They were also armed with breech loading rifles to increase their firepower. Originally their use of these much more modern weapons was overruled but Berdan went over the heads of the generals directly to Abraham Lincoln and put on a dazzling display of what these new rifles could do. Lincoln was sold and the sharpshooters got their breech loading rifles. These soldiers may be the first special forces soldiers in American military history.

About 170 sharpshooters from the 2nd US Sharpshooter regiment took position along the Slyder farm lane behind a stone fence. Law’s exhausted and parched soldiers advanced against them, probably ruing not being able to stop and get a drink in the stream. The sharpshooters began taking their toll on the Alabamians but they could not hold long. Law’s 1,500 men eventually got around their flank and the sharpshooters fell back. Some of these Alabamians continued on toward their date with destiny on the slopes of Little Round Top, others headed towards Devil’s Den.


The US Sharpshooters had bought time. It may have only been ten minutes or so but that time allowed other Union soldiers to move into position on Little Round Top and immortality. The sharpshooters lost about 25% of their men to do so but they may have saved the nation. After falling back many of the sharpshooters also helped to defend Little Round Top. The farm also saw an ill-fated cavalry charge on July 3 that was doomed before it began and resulted in the death of Union general Elon Farnsworth.

The farm was used as a field hospital by the Confederates. The home was ransacked and the property was left in shambles with all of the family’s possessions stolen. A damage claim was filed with the government but as was common for many other Gettysburg residents it was never paid. In September of 1863 Slyder, on the verge of bankruptcy, picked up his family and moved to Ohio. The farm was eventually purchased by the National Park Service. Several outbuildings were relocated to the farm in an attempt to make it a working farm again in the 1970s to help educate the public about farming in the Civil War. The project was axed due to budgetary problems in the 1980s though some education groups are brought to the farm to learn about the impact of the war on farmers. The farm was used for filming of the 1993 movie Gettysburg and the home was used for the interior of Robert E. Lee’s headquarters. The farm is accessible by walking on the horse trail, either from West Confederate Avenue or South Confederate

Lehigh Valley Civil Wars Days ~ June 1 & 2

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Our CWRT is pleased to once again support this event especially as it educates citizens about the Civil War and benefits historic preservation.

 We need volunteers as we will have a table distributing information about our organization.

Slots are 9 to 1 and 1-5 on Saturday and 9-1 on Sunday.

Please see me at the May meeting or email at if you can help.

 Thank you, Ed Root


Learn how the Civil War was fought in 1864 through battle reenactment scenarios (Cold Harbor and Fort Stedman), discussions with Living Historians and tours of the trenches.

  • Visit the Military Camps to learn about a soldier’s life and activities in camp.

  • Visit the Historic Street to learn about other aspects of life during the Civil War.

  • Visit the Lyceum to learn about Civil War period music and to hear lectures.

  • Children’s Activities
    Infantry firing demonstrations
    Saturday evening dance (period clothing not required) and concert followed by night firing 

Click here for registration and schedule

Location is the Whitehall Parkway Recreation Area - Google Map Link

From the Brigade Commander ~ May 2019

From the Brigade Commander - May 2019

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      Wow, Peter Carmichael certainly gave a lively presentation on the life of the Common Soldier at the April meeting. His thoughtful analysis of the entirety of the Civil War soldier experience was both thought provoking and entertaining. If you unfortunately missed the meeting you missed a great one. We will have a few of his excellent new book “the war for the Common Soldier” available for sale at the May gathering.

     Bill Frankenfield was kind enough to donate 4 tickets to the combined museums at the Pry House at Antietam, The National Museum of CW Medicine in Frederick, MD & Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office in Washington, DC. Thanks to all those who participated in the raffle at the April meeting. We’re happy to report that Bill is home from rehab and continuing to recover from his surgery. It was also wonderful to see Jim Duffy again at the meeting and he has now taken back his duties as our Paymaster.

     We were very happy to report at the April meeting our donation in the amount of $1000 to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation for their Star Fort initiative at Winchester. Because of a 47 to 1 match our donation is very significant! These folks have done yeoman works in the Valley and all should appreciate and applaud their excellent preservation work. See

     Elsewhere on the Preservation front the Central Virginia Battlefield Trust continues to fight for all of us in the Fredericksburg area where it seems strip malls sprout faster than Spring weeds. They have recently saved 73+ acres at Myers Hill, part of the Spotsylvania Battle. See Please remember that the cost doesn’t just stop once properties are purchased by these groups. Many times there are maintenance costs as well as costs returning the land to its battlefield appearance such as removing structures erected after the war.

     At Gettysburg attempts are still being made to preserve a portion of Camp Letterman where so many suffered after that great battle. Stay tuned for further developments.

     We will report at our May meeting about the April 15 Clara Barton program which we cosponsored with the Southern Lehigh Public Library as well as the results of our April 27 Gettysburg Brush cutting venture.

     Sadly we received word prior to the April meeting of the passing of long time member Rev. Craig Landis. As Rev Berntsen said during his invocation Craig thoroughly enjoyed being part of our group and his smiling face and gentle manner will be missed. We also were advised that former member Stephen Herczeg also passed away. I’m sure many of you will remember him

     We are fast approaching vacation time and many of you will be visiting our Civil War sites.  We have a number of battlefield guidebooks and maps that have been donated over time. These items will be available for a donation at the check in table at both our May and June meetings.    

     Please make sure you stop by the Preservation Table as you enter the meeting room.  We have some absolutely marvelous items for our annual June Preservation raffle.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to win one of these great items. See Jim and Kay.

     The election for Officer and Directors for the 2019-20 Campaign will be held at the May meeting. The Nomination Report for our next Campaign for Officers and Directors is as follows:

Additional nominations, if acceptable to the nominee, may also be made at that meeting.

  • Brigade Commander – Open

  • Regimental Commander – Bob McHugh

  • Company Commander – Claire Kukielka & Barry Arnold

  • Paymaster – Jim Duffy

  • Adjutant – Kay Bagenstose

  • Directors, term ending June 2021 – Neil Coddington & Kim Jacobs

  • Directors, continuing, term ending June 2020 – Bill Frankenfield & Frank Whelan

     Please join us on May 7th as Michael Shaffer will present In Memory of Self and Comrades.

                             Ed Root   610-417-6673

From the Brigade Commander ~ April 2019


From the Brigade Commander… 

     We dodged the worst of the weather by one day last month, but unfortunately the weather did cause Ted Alexander to have to miss our meeting.  Ted is a wonderful speaker and an excellent historian and preservationists, but unfortunately stuff happens. Those in attendance had to suffer through his fill in… me. The story of the 15th, 19th and 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiments at Gettysburg has great interest for me and I was pleased to share it with you.

     Bill Frankenfield was kind enough to donate 4 tickets to the combined museums at the Pry House at Antietam, The National Museum of CW Medicine in Frederick, MD & Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office in Washington, DC.  These will be raffled off in two different pairs at our April 2nd meeting. All proceeds benefit historic preservation. Bill continues to recover from surgery and appreciates all the cards and good wishes.

     We have partnered with the Southern Lehigh Public Library in the past supporting their Civil War programs. On Monday, April 15 at 7PM. Alisa Dupuy will present a first-person impression of Clara Barton. The program is free, but reservations are required as seating is limited. We have partnered with the library previously to the advantage of both organizations. Claire has sent details separately or see the article below and the April newsletter.

     Our Gettysburg conservation work on April 27th is fast approaching and will be at the John Slyder Farm. There is something for everyone, painting, fencing, brush cutting or just standing around critiquing the work done by others. We’ll have fun, learn about that portion of the battlefield and help preserve and conserve our nation’s historic land! NPS Site Coordinator Caitlin Brown will speak to us about our work site and the battle. I will be emailing all those who signed up with logistics about parking etc early next month so please make sure I have your contact information.

     The Nomination Report for our next Campaign for Officers and Directors is as follows:

Brigade Commander – Open

Regimental Commander – Bob McHugh

Company Commander – Claire Kukielka & Barry Arnold

Paymaster – Jim Duffy

Adjutant – Kay Bagenstose

Directors, term ending June 2021 – Neil Coddington & Kim Jacobs

Directors, continuing, term ending June 2020 – Bill Frankenfield & Frank Whelan

The election of Officers & Directors will take place at the May 7th meeting. Nominations, if acceptable to the nominee, may also be made at that meeting.

     Please join us on April 2 as Peter Carmichael, will present concerning his new book on the Common Soldier. See you on the 2nd!

                             Ed Root   610-417-6673

CWRT Co-Sponsors Alisa Dupuy's Portrayal of Clara Barton on April 15

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During the American Civil War, Clara Barton became known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” delivering supplies and caring for the sick and wounded. After the war, Barton organized a campaign to locate missing soldiers. Her enduring legacy was the founding, in 1881, of the American Red Cross. 


Program co-sponsored by Civil War Roundtable of Eastern, PA and Southern Lehigh Public Library