From the Brigade Commander - January 2018

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018 and our continuing study of American history! We always find something new and fascinating from our monthly speakers as well as from the never ending release of books that break unknown ground and discover treasurers.

A picture is worth a thousand words; certainly a truism for all those who attended our December gathering with Tim Smith. History does come alive when we view the scenes of that famous field at Gettysburg through the eyes of men like Gardner and Tipton. Thanks Tim for an excellent program.

We were pleased to see eight students from Bob McHugh’s Saucon Valley High School United States History Advanced Placement class at our December meeting. These are exceptional young people who also participate in our annual conservation project at Gettysburg. We salute the next generation of folks who study our nation’s history and help preserve her historic sites and collections!

Congratulations to Jeff Gates for winning our December 40th Anniversary prize (generously organized by Kay Bagenstose) and to Terri Monroe for coming away with our December Preservation raffle print which was donated by Barry Arnold. Keep buying those tickets for our June raffle folks. We all win when we donate to historic preservation. Shame on you is you have not stopped by to see Jeff Gates and reenlisted for this our 40th year. Your membership is important and we do appreciate your support.

Don’t forget to frequently check our website. There is always something informative and interesting. http://www.cwrteasternpa.org/ Paul Bartlett does a great job keeping things fresh.

Signup sheets will be at the January meeting for our Saturday, April 21st Brush Cutting adventure at Gettysburg’s Henry Spangler Farm.

A hearty “Thank You” to all those who responded to our Annual Appeal. Thus far we have received donations totaling nearly $500 from ten members. This support over and above your dues will help us to continue to provide the excellent programs and meetings you have come to expect and appreciate without raising dues or dinner fees. If you are of a mind, it is not too late to make an offering to the Cause!

See you on January 2 when we welcome in the New Year with Mike Jesberger who will speak about the Civil War Home Front, a little discussed, but very important facet of the “Late Unpleasantness.”

Ed Root sartilly@hotmail.com 610-417-6673

Ed Root.jpg

Annual Appeal for the CWRT of Eastern PA

bugler.jpg

Dear members and supporters of the Civil War Round Table of Eastern PA, Inc,

On this link, please find a letter of appeal for your support of our organization. As you all are most likely aware, the cost of "doing business" of any organization or business always seems to rise, not fall as time passes. This is true for our CWRT as well. Venue costs go up as food and staff costs increase; speaker costs rise as we do provide accommodations as needed as well as provide travel reimbursement. Our goal is always to support historic preservation and educational initiatives with whatever money we retain over expenses. None of our Officers and Board members receive payment other than occasional reimbursement for out of pocket expenses. Most of them donate more than time and energy and do it freely and passionately.

It is not or intent or desire to increase our dues or dinner costs as we wish to encourage membership and we wish to keep our dinner cost affordable. We feel strongly that our members and friends receive excellent value for both items. 

We do need your help however. We realize that all of us receive pleas, especially at this time of the year, and we also realize that there are more good causes than any of us as individuals can possibly support.

This plea is definitely a soft sell as we do not wish any of you to feel that there is  pressure to make any sort of a donation at this time. It is strictly up to each of you to decide if this is something you wish to do and have the resources to do.

Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated. Donations may be tax-deductible as the CWRT is a 501(C)3  -non-profit corporation.

Sincerely,

Edwin Root and the Officers and Directors of the CWRT of Eastern PA, Inc

Link to Appeal Letter and Donation Form

From the Brigade Commander - December 2017

From the Brigade Commander: Ed Root
     Who knew? Isn’t it amazing how new scholarship results in new information that adds to our knowledge of our Late Unpleasantness? Who knew that Charles Anderson, son of an aide to Lafayette, brother of Fort Sumter’s Robert, friend of R.E. Lee gave a speech at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863? Now those of you who attended the November meeting know! Much gratitude is due to David Dixon for sharing the story of “The Lost Gettysburg Address.”

     We have been gathering at the Holiday Inn now for almost two years. Those of you who join us for dinner each month have experienced the good food, excellent service and resulting camaraderie that develops from chatting over a good meal. If you have not attended the dinner portion of our meetings please consider doing so. Bring a friend!

     Our trip to Gettysburg on October 28th to visit the “Lost Ave” with Dean Shultz was a grand success. So much so that the attendees donated $150 to the Land Conservancy of Adams County as a token of appreciation and our CWRT matched that with another $150. Thanks so much to Wayne Schaeffer, Claire Kukielka and Barry Arnold for all their hard work arranging the trip!

     You’ve noticed by now the treats brought every meeting by our Adjutant, Kay Bagenstose, as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary. Please note that all calories have been surgically removed for your snacking enjoyment! Let Kay know how much you appreciate her effort!

     Your membership dues are the foundation for our financial success each year. There are few places in this world where $25 can result in such a positive experience. So, if YOU haven’t reenlisted yet, get going and bring a friend! Don’t let Jeff Gates feel lonely at the entrance to the meeting room. He’s a very sensitive fellow and will feel sad if you pass him by.

     Remember to stop by and see Jim Duffy and Kay Bagenstose and check out our items for our Preservation raffle. We have more prizes than ever to entice your hard earned greenbacks from you. Remember, when it comes to historic Preservation there are no losers; we all have the satisfaction of helping to Save our Historic Sites and Collections!

     Don’t forget to frequently check our website. There is always something informative and interesting. http://www.cwrteasternpa.org/ Paul Bartlett does a great job keeping things fresh.

     Rev. John Berntsen has stepped up and will be helping out Program Chair Bob McHugh with our publicity effort. It is imperative that we reach out and find folks interested in American history and bring he or she into the fold. Any organization not growing is failing. There is no such thing as standing still. Onward and upward!! All members should help spread the word about our organization. The more members, the merrier! Thanks John!

     We have a member who lives in the Catasauqua area who would love to attend a meeting, but needs a ride. Please contact me if you are able to help!

     See you on December 5th when we welcome old friend Tim Smith and “Early Photography of the Gettysburg Battlefield.”

Ed Root sartilly@hotmail.com 610-417-6673

Ed Root.jpg

Annual Gettysburg Conservation Day ~ Saturday, April 21st, 2018

GBurg2018(2).jpeg

Annual Gettysburg Conservation Day Saturday, April 21st, 2018

     As you probably know our Round Table was one of the first organizations to volunteer for “Brush Cutting” at Gettysburg NMP. We’ve been doing this for well over 20 years. For most of that time we have been a “Fire Brigade” going wherever the need was the greatest. This year will be no exception.

     On November 4th Chuck Cannon, Jeff Gates and I met with NPS Site Co-Ordinator Alyce Evans at the Henry Spangler Farm located on the right side Emmititsburg Road as you head south from town. (the entrance is a dirt road which will be marked) The property is about 300 yards west of the road and consists of a house, smoke house and barn. Kemper’s Brigade of Pickett’s Division organized near here for the assault on July 3, 1863. As in previous years we have something for all ages and abilities. There will be brush cutting around fence lines, some fences will need rebuilding and for the artistic there is a picket fence that needs painting. We’ll also need drivers if none of the above fits your job description capabilities.

     We’ll work from about 9AM until 12:30 or so. Bring your lunch and eat on the job or wait until everything is done and go into town. As a reward for your service one of the NPS staff will give a history of the property and fighting there when we complete our tasks.

     There will be sign-up sheets starting at the December meeting. We have a wonderful tradition of service at Gettysburg NMP. Be part of our continuing work to maintain and preserve this national treasure.

GBurg2018(1).jpeg
GBurg2018(3).jpeg

October 28, 2017 Trip to Neill (Lost) Ave in Gettysburg

October 28, 2017 Trip to Neill (Lost) Ave in Gettysburg

NeillAve6.jpg

             The first field trip of the year (2017-2018 Campaign) took us to Neill (Lost) Ave. in Gettysburg. The tour started in the parking lot on the Baltimore Pike with Dean Shultz, property owner and personal guide, using a large map to explain the battle in general and handing out personal maps of the property.  As we left the parking lot and crossed  Baltimore St., Dean pointed out some building and their significance like the saw mill, and the house used as a hospital with a small field adjacent to it, used temporarily as a grave yard.  At the end of the field is a dried up well that soldiers used.  That brought us to Dean's house which was a log cabin built about 1760, and owned by Peter Baker in 1863.  The house has blood stains on the upstairs floor, a marker on the front of the house  designating it a "Manor of Maske" and a bench on the porch that Dean said many soldiers sat on.  We then moved to his barn which he explained the siding boards were not original because the boards were removed to be used as coffins.

            Dean had been educating us for twenty minutes just to get to the point where I thought the tour would start.  Sometimes we would walk about 50 to 100 feet and he would stop and explain about cattle grazing in a wooded area, or where soldiers had temporarily been buried, or demonstrate dowsing or how the wind mill's purpose was power to move water uphill to water crops. 

            Now we were approaching Neill Ave. which is considered "pristine"  because it's appearance is like it was in 1863, not paved like all other avenues in Gettysburg and the original wall that the two adversaries fought over.  The main reason for this, it's on private property.  He explained how Gen. Neill sent the 7th ME and the 43d NY to the stone wall at the crest of the hill to move the 2nd Va. away from the stone wall to protect the Baltimore Pike.  Gen. Neill then went to get the 49th NY and 61st PA and put each on it's flanks.  Neill's other unit, the 77th NY was guarding Powers Hill.  Dean talked about the 4 monuments to the union units of Neill's Brigade.  The last monument on the hill was the 61st Pa and the last unit in line in the Army of the Potomac. Just past the 61st monument is CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

 

From the Brigade Commander - November 2017

         From the Brigade Commander: Ed Root
     We’re all familiar with the phrase, “an army moves on its stomach.” Chris Bryce certainly expanded that truism with his wonderful presentation of Grant’s crossing of the James River. The logistics of moving such a large army out of under the very gaze of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia is an amazing story largely overlooked or underplayed in the telling of the 1864 battles. Thanks to Chris we have a much better understanding of the momentous task taken by Grant and his stalwart men.
     Our dinner meetings are an opportunity for folks to relax and renew old friendships and make new ones. If you have not attended the dinner portion of our meetings please consider doing so. The food and the conversation and the camaraderie are all wonderful. You won’t be disappointed. Bring a friend!
      We continue to celebrate our 40th anniversary all throughout this Campaign. Kay Bagenstose is doing a grand job with prizes and treats at every meeting. Please contact me if you have a particular memory or photo from our past that you wish to share with your fellow Civil Warriors.
     Have you renewed your membership yet? Your support helps us continue to bring excellent speakers before you and ultimately assists in raising funds for the cause of historic preservation. Don’t let Jeff Gates feel lonely at the entrance to the meeting room. He’s a good fellow so stop and chat and reenlist now!
     Our local preservation effort this year at Allentown’s Union and West End Cemetery has been postponed due to scheduling conflicts with the cemetery folks.
     Remember to stop by and see Jim Duffy and Kay Bagenstose and check out our items for our Preservation raffle. We have more prizes than ever to entice your hard earned greenbacks from you. Remember, when it comes to historic Preservation there are no losers; we all have the satisfaction of helping to Save our Historic Sites and Collections!
     SAVE THE DATE!!!! SATURDAY, April 21, 2018. Our annual Gettysburg Brush cutting effort will be held that day. Stay tuned for details as to where we will be working and the post labor reward for service.
     Don’t forget to frequently check our website. There is always something informative and interesting. http://www.cwrteasternpa.org/
     We are seeking help for our publicity effort. Bob McHugh will provide all the info. All we need is someone to help get that information to the various outlets. Please contact me. All members should help spread the word about our organization. The more members, the merrier!
     We have a member who lives in the Catasauqua area who would love to attend a meeting, but needs a ride. Please contact me if you are able to help!
     Those of you who attended our Americans at War Conference last year will remember Colonel Ward Nickisch’s wonderful talk about the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. These amazing and dedicated people 2 travel the world wherever Americans have fallen and have either not been found or have been recovered, but not identified. To have died in the service of our nation is the ultimate sacrifice, but to be “lost” to family members and friends is even more tragic. My wife and I have just returned from visiting the facility in Oahu, Hawaii where incredible work is done to find and identify these American heroes and truly bring them home. As we approach Veterans Day and express our gratitude to those who have served this nation let us resolve to never forget the ones we couldn’t bring home and the never ending task to do so. I’ll tell you more about these amazing people who dedicate their days to bring them home at our November meeting. Please check out the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil to learn more.
     See you on November 7th when we welcome David Dixon and his fascinating account of “the Lost Gettysburg Address.”
     Ed Root sartilly@hotmail.com 610-417-6673

Ed Root.jpg

From the Brigade Commander - October 2017

     Wow, we really started off our 40th Anniversary year with a wonderful meeting. Bruce Venter’s program about the 1864 Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid was both entertaining and informative. Sixty members and guests gathered to begin our Campaign year by honoring the memory of Karl Lehr, a true gentleman and scholar who supported our Round Table in thought, word and deed. Our dinner meetings are an opportunity for folks to relax and renew old friendships and make new ones. If you have not attended the dinner portion of our meetings please consider doing so. The food and the conversation and the camaraderie are all wonderful. You won’t be disappointed.

     We intend to celebrate our 40th anniversary all throughout this Campaign. Kay Bagenstose is doing a grand job with prizes and treats at every meeting. Please contact me if you have a particular memory or photo from our past that you wish to share with your fellow Civil Warriors.

     Have you renewed your membership yet? Your support helps us continue to bring excellent speakers like Bruce before you and ultimately assists in raising funds for the cause of historic preservation. Don’t let Jeff Gates feel lonely at the entrance to the meeting room. He’s a good fellow so stop and chat and reenlist now!     

     SAVE THE DATE!!!! SATURDAY, April 21, 2018. Our annual Gettysburg Brush cutting effort will be held that day. Stay tuned for details as to where we will be working and the post labor reward for service.      Don’t forget to frequently check our website. There is always something informative and interesting. http://www.cwrteasternpa.org/

    We are seeking help for our publicity effort. Bob McHugh will provide all the info. All we need is someone to help get that information to the various outlets. Please contact me. All members should help spread the word about our organization. The more members, the merrier!

    See you on October 3rd when Petersburg National Battlefield’s Chris Bryce will bring to life “Grant’s Crossing of the James and the Battle for Petersburg.”                  

Ed Root   sartilly@hotmail.com   610-417-6673

FullSizeRender.jpg

From the Brigade Commander - September 2017

Summer has a way of passing all too quickly and this one was no exception. Hopefully everyone is rested and ready to begin Campaign #40 on September 5th.  This is a big year for us and we hope to have fun reminiscing about the past and planning new adventures for the future. Along those lines please look for any photos for days gone by and contact me so we can share them. Also, please consider writing some personal thoughts about people, places or events that struck a chord with you.  We’ve had some great times so share those gems.

Some housekeeping items from last Campaign:

     We have great folks who volunteer his or her time and talents. Additionally a number of you have been very generous with financial donations over and above membership dues. This is extremely important as we provide speakers with mileage reimbursement and rooms at the Holiday Inn. Even though our friends at the Inn give us an excellent rate, the cost adds up over the course of the year. As we continue to try and keep dues as affordable as possible this extra income certainly helps covers expenses and affords a greater impact for historic preservation donations. Please know that your support is greatly appreciated.

     Bob McHugh has been doing double duty as Program Chair and Publicity Chair. As that’s not very fair to him we’d really love for some kind soul to step up and help. Bob will still provide the program notes. We just need someone to help get the information to the right people and follow up. It’s very important. Please contact me or see Bob or me at any meeting.

     Because of the generosity of our membership as well as the success of our Americans at War Conference we ended our year with a $4000 donation to the Civil War Trust. Because of matching grants that $4000 morphed into much much more. Please see Jim Duffy’s report elsewhere in this newsletter. There are no losers when it comes to historic preservation donations. We all carry away with us the satisfaction of doing our share to help preserve America’s historic sites and collections.

Some thoughts going into this 40th Anniversary Campaign:

      We’ve had a year and a half under our belt now at the Holiday Inn and all reports have been outstanding concerning both the venue and the food. Please join us for dinner and conversation if at all possible. If not, walk-ins for just the program are always welcome with open arms. Bring a friend, acquaintance or even someone you don’t know, but bring someone! He or she will certainly thank you.

     We have held our annual print raffle for preservation with great success over the years. This year you will have two chances to win nice artwork. Barry Arnold has generously donated an item for which we will draw a winner at our December meeting. We will also hold our end of year raffle in June. ALL tickets will be eligible for the June raffle so it will be a bonus for anyone buying tickets early as you’ll have two opportunities to win a great prize.

     Claire Kukielka and Barry Arnold have been hard at work planning possible field trip ventures! See their report elsewhere in this newsletter.

     We are working with the folks at Union-West End Cemetery in Allentown about a joint conservation effort and tour. Our work last year at Nisky Hill Cemetery in Bethlehem was very successful. Stay tuned for developments!

     SAVE THE DATE: Our annual brush cutting venture at Gettysburg will be Saturday, April 21st. The NPS is always grateful for our support and we will again reward our volunteers with a special treat/tour after the work day is over. No excuses SAVE THE DATE!!

     Check our website often. Many items of interest and information are added that cannot make the newsletter due to the timetable.   Paul Bartlett is doing a wonderful job keeping things fresh. http://www.cwrteasternpa.org/

     See you September 5th – Ed Root, Brigade Commander, sartilly@hotmail.com 610-417-6673

_____________________________________

Newsletter Mailing Update

Fellow Civil War Round Table members,

     For many years now we have distributed our newsletter via email. A small number of folks still receive the newsletter via the USPS. We cannot continue to do this for a number of reasons. The first is cost: additional cost to copy, cost for stamps, cost as well as time for someone to physically run to make copies and run to the Post Office. I hope you understand and can provide us with an email address as we will no longer provide newsletters via USPS after December, 2017
    I will be happy to discuss the matter further if you wish to contact me.

Sincerely,
Ed Root, Brigade Commander
sartilly@hotmail.com        610-417-6673

Annual Karl Lehr Dinner: A legacy of honor, commitment and generosity.

September 05, 2017
Annual Karl Lehr Dinner: A legacy of honor, commitment and generosity.

Karl Lehr.jpg

Annual Karl Lehr Dinner: A legacy of honor, commitment and generosity.

As we enter our 40th year we remember Karl Lehr who 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. It is because of people like Karl Lehr that our organization became well known and respected in historic preservation circles. We honor Karl’s memory tonight at our “Karl Lehr Memorial Dinner.”   

From the Brigade Commander Ed Root ~ July 2017

     We ended our 39th Campaign year on a high note with good friend Eric Campbell. It’s always a special evening when one of our many National Park Service friends pays us a visit. The campaigns in the Shenandoah Valley continue to fascinate all Civil War “life time learners.” Thanks to Eric our knowledge and understanding of Jubal Early’s October 19, 1864 assault at Cedar Creek was greatly increased.
     Thanks to Round Table members who volunteered on both June 17 & 18 at the Lehigh Valley Civil War Days in Whitehall. Barry Arnold, Kay Bagenstose, Jim Duffy, Bill Frankenfield, Tony Major, Ed Oechsle and Roger Tice all gave up all or parts of their weekend to help spread the word about the CWRT of Eastern Pa, Inc. and our activities. Neil and Kathy Coddington and all the folks at the Friends of Camp Geiger work hard every year to bring this event to the Lehigh Valley.
     Our organization’s 40th year is upon us! Bob McHugh has a wonderful lineup of speakers set for the 2017-18 year. You will not want to miss any of these programs! We start off the year at the Holiday Inn on September 5th when Bruce Venter will present Kill Jeff Davis; The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond, 1864. I’ve heard this program and it is excellent! Bruce’s book is top notch scholarship as is his presentation.
     Have you checked our website recently? If not, you are missing out on much. Paul Bartlett is doing a super job keeping the site fresh with news and information. Do yourself a favor and visit it frequently. We’ve also added to our research section which will help answer many of your questions about people, places and events during those turbulent years. http://www.cwrteasternpa.org/
     Our next Executive Board meeting will be held at the Southern Lehigh Public Library at 3200 Preston Lane in Center Valley on Tuesday, August 1st at 7PM. All members are invited.
Many of you will travel over the summer visiting our country’s many fascinating historic sites. Please consider writing a short review to share with your fellow history buffs. We can all learn from each other so let us all benefit from your knowledge and experience. Contact me at sartilly@hotmail.com
     Membership dues for our 40th campaign are due! Avoid the rush and send your $25.00 to CWRT of Eastern PA at Post Office Box 333, Allentown, PA 18105. Spread the word and enlist a friend. They’ll thank you and you’ll make Enlistment Officer Jeff Gates’ job a tad easier in September!
     Have an enjoyable and safe summer; see you on September 5th!!