The horrors of War have always impacted the physical bodies of the participants, but also the minds and indeed the souls. Civil War medical care for the wounded in the was primitive by today’s standards and the care of the mind and soul were sadly neglected, ignored and or misunderstood. Dr. Kathleen Thompson did a marvelous job helping us understand the shadowy struggles of the Civil War soldier. We were pleased to make a donation in her name to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Campaign year has flown by and by all measures we have had a good year. First and foremost our speakers have been excellent, one and all. Let Bob McHugh know how much you appreciate all his hard work bringing these fine folks before our group. Our membership has increased this year, not by leaps and bounds, but heading close to the 100 mark. Jeff Gates keeps track of all of you. We’ve been at the Holiday Inn for a year and a half now. The food has been excellent and the staff extremely competent and accommodating. Tony Major is our Quartermaster and liaison with the hotel. Tony has also been our Webmaster and now Paul Bartlett is stepping up to this important post. Claire Kukielka produces an excellent newsletter each month. Jim Duffy pays the bills and keeps all our finances in order. Susan Kovacs serves as an auditor for our finances. Kay Bagenstose, Barry Arnold, and Bill Frankenfield help out at each meeting. Sherri Miller, Kim Jacobs, Dr Gerry Sherwin, Tony Major all help with the Book Raffle. Kay Bagenstose and Mike Cavanaugh maintain our book inventory. Joe Riggs headed up our Nominating Committee. The Reverends Landis and Berntsen begin each meeting with an appropriate invocation. Ed Oechsle and Dick Jacoby gave programs at the LV Active Life Center representing the CWRT. Many of you helped refurbish the G.A.R. Plot at Nisky Hill Cemetery in October. Many of you participated in the Falling Waters Field Trip so ably organized by Bob McHugh in April. Fifty-nine of you helped paint fences at the Eisenhower Farm also in April. In addition to our members, Bob McHugh’s students, John Duffy’s scouts and Pat Matthews and her folks from the Whitehall historical Society all participated. Dick Jacoby and Chuck were a big part of the planning that went into making that day a success. We co-sponsored a Meet General Grant program with the Southern Lehigh Public Library on May 1st which was well attended by community members. Our two year project working with the City of Bethlehem and Mayor Donchez to refurbish the J.K. Taylor G.A.R. Post 182 Monument ending with a wonderful ceremony at the Rose Garden on May 3rd. Over 200 students from Nitschmann Middle School were in attendance. John Rohal was an integral part of that project and Jim Duffy, Barry Arnold and Neil and Kathy Coddington all were involved as was the 153rd PA Volunteer Living History folks. Our May 6 Americans at War Conference was a grand success. Every speaker was excellent and we’ve received rave reviews from attendees. A special thanks to Mike Cavanaugh and Jeff Stocker for programming as well as Bob McHugh and Bob Ashcraft for all the technical support. Many of the folks listed above also helped make the day a success. A special thanks to Sponsors; The Holiday Inn, Kay Bagenstose, Mike and Mark Cavanaugh, Kim Jacobs, Tony Major, Bob McHugh, Kathy and Jack Minnich, Ed and Nancy Root, and Frank Whelan whose donation helped keep the admission fee as low as possible. Our Round Table will be represented at Lehigh Valley Civil War Days in Whitehall on June 17 and 18. You’ll hear more about that from Neil Coddington at our June meeting.
The point of the above is twofold, 1) We’ve accomplished a lot this year and 2) The success was created by a wide base of members, friends and supporters. The danger of trying to list so many folks is that some will be inadvertently omitted. If that is the case please forgive me.
In a larger sense all those who attend our meetings, buys book or print raffle tickets, paint cannon or fence post are all part of this. Take a bow, you all deserve it!
We end our Campaign on June 6, a famous days in its own right, when our friend Eric Campbell travels down the Shenandoah Valley from Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park to speak about Lee’s “Bad Old Man” Jubal Early and his Army.