From the Brigade Commander ~ September 2018

Ed Root.jpg

From the Brigade Commander

     Where did the summer go? Hopefully all have had a safe and enjoyable time these past weeks. Our Karl Lehr Memorial dinner is just around the corner and we honor him for a life well lived as an educator, preservationist and loyal member of our Round Table. We welcome George Franks back to share his knowledge on Johnston Pettigrew. Those of you who heard him speak on Falling Waters and participated in our tour there know that we are in for a treat!

     Please see Jim Duffy and Kim Jacob’s reports on our Preservation results for the last Campaign. Once again our organization has taken a leadership role in helping to save America’s historic fields where so many in the Blue and Gray gave their all.

     Speaking of Preservation: SAVE THE DATE! Our annual Gettysburg effort will be Saturday, April 27. Tell Cousin Jane to get married some other weekend, forget the High School reunion. No excuses. Be part of something special by helping to conserve and preserve this precious field.

     Also note our very special prizes for our June Preservation Raffle as listed elsewhere in this newsletter. We have something for everyone so join the fun. There are no loser where we all support historic preservation.

     On Saturday, August 18 Kay Bagenstose, Kim Jacobs and I represented the CWRT of Eastern Pennsylvania, Inc. at the Civil War Round Table Congress at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg. This gathering of representatives from all over the country explored ways to improve all our organizations. Stayed tuned for a full report.

     Our cash bar in the meeting room in June was a success, but not quite to the level we needed to make our minimums. So for now if you desire an adult beverage before the meeting you’ll have to visit the Holiday Inn watering hole near the entrance.

     We have a number of items that have been donated over time that do not quite meet our book raffle guide lines so some will be available at very reasonable prices at the sign in table. Look for them on September 4th!

     Our October 20 Field Trip to Antietam with Dennis Frye as our guide is fast approaching. Have you signed up??

     Our Round Table Board of Directors meets quarterly at the Southern Lehigh Public Library. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, October 23rd at 6:30 PM. All members are welcome!

     Dues are due! Sooner is better than later. Send your $25.00 check (It’s ok to send more if you’re so inclined!) to our PO Box 333, Allentown, PA 18105. Avoid the rush at our September meeting and bring a smile to Paymaster Jeff Gates.

     Please see my separate article on The Devil’s Dictionary. We want you all to frequent our website often so we are sweetening the pot! Our website can be found at: Paul Bartlett does a great job keeping things fresh and we endeavor to add items of interest between newsletters.

Ed Root   610-417-6673

Membership Note from Jeff Gates


Membership – Jeff Gates

I’m hoping you all had a wonderful summer and were able to visit your favorite Civil War Sites!  Our membership remained just shy of 100 this past campaign.  I’m looking for your assistance in our endeavor to find new members.  Bring a friend, co-worker, family member to a meeting as we try to break back into the triple digits of membership.

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to new members, Len and Diane French and James Kruse!  Please welcome them when you bump into them at the dinner meetings.

It’s that time of year again to renew your membership to the Civil War Roundtable.  The Dues for the 2018-2019 Campaign have not changed and remain at $25.00 (Full Time Student $10.00).  If you wish to avoid the line at the September Dinner Meeting, please mail in your membership form and Check to the Roundtable address.

PO Box 333, Allentown, PA 18105

Website Word Hunt from"The Devil's Dictionary"


The Devil’s Dictionary

was written by former Civil War soldier and writer Ambrose Bierce. He served in the 7th Indiana Infantry Regiment and on the staff of General William Hazen. Bierce fought in the Western Theater at such places as Shiloh, Stones River, Chickamauga and was wounded at Kennesaw Mountain. His work was first published as The Cynic’s Word Book in 1906 and then a more complete version in 1911 as The Devil’s Dictionary. His satirical and humorous word definitions have made folks laugh and perhaps think ever since. Some of the definitions ring as true today as they did over 100 years ago. We have a tendency these days to believe that the foibles of our contemporaries are unique and new. A few examples follow that prove otherwise:

  • Alone, adj – In bad company
  • Prejudice, n – A vagrant opinion without visible means of support.
  • Rear, n – In American military matters, the exposed part of the army that is nearest to Congress.

What, dear reader does this mean to you? As we wish to encourage all of you to visit our website often we will hide one of Bierce’s gems within it. Beginning with our September Newsletter the first person to find the word and send an email to me with it will receive three free tickets to the book raffle at the September meeting. So all you need to do is find the word and attend the meeting!

Have fun!!
d Root:

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

Karl Lehr.jpg

September 04, 2018

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

As we enter our 41st 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 each September at our “Karl Lehr Memorial Dinner.”          

Trip to Antietam on October 20th ~ Updated


Preparations for October 20, 2018 Trip
to Antietam with Dennis Frye

If you recall, we surveyed you in the spring to see when and where we should have our field trips in 2018-2019 and mode of transportation.
     In some instances, the results were a little inconclusive but overall Antietam, MD was overwhelmingly the first choice.
     That date is set as Oct 20, 2018. 
     We wanted to let you know as soon as we made a decision that we will not be chartering a bus to Antietam. We just did not have enough folks to fill the bus and the cost became very high. Instead, we will go by car as we normally do.
     Some people have already noted they will meet us at the Battlefield and others want to carpool. If you plan on carpooling, please let Barry know whether you will be driving or whether you need a ride. That way, we can make sure we have enough rides and riders.
      Please note, we will be leaving on 10-20-2018 at 7:00 am from the Holiday Inn in Fogelsville. That is our normal meeting place for field trips. If we leave at 7:00 a.m. it should give us time to get there, use the restroom, and have a bite to eat before we start our tour which begins approximately noon.
     If you have not signed up yet and are thinking about going, we would love to have you.
     Currently, we project the cost of the speaker to be approximately $10.00 per attendee providing we have 25 people.
     We will e mail you more details as the trip gets closer but did want you to know the bus is not an option for this trip.
     We hope you are looking as forward to this trip as we are.
     Barry's email is

Barry Arnold and Claire Kukielka

From the Brigade Commander ~ August 2018


From the Brigade Commander

    What a glorious way to end our 40th year with our George Seligman dinner! The incomparable Dennis Frye once again made us think and reevaluate what we thought we knew about many aspects of the Antietam Campaign. His knowledge is unsurpassed and his style and sense of humor draw one in and never let go! You will not want to miss our trip to Antietam on October 20th when Dennis will guide us over the Burnside Bridge portion of that bloody field.

    Thanks again to all who made this past year so successful. The most important factor is YOU, our members. Bring a friend, acquaintance or a stranger to our September 4th meeting and help increase our ranks! Get ready for another interesting, thought provoking and fun filled 2018-2019 Campaign. Bob McHugh has done a stellar job lining up excellent speakers, both old friends and new folks, to share his or her knowledge of The Late Unpleasantness.

    Speaking of our next Campaign, Dues are due! Sooner is better than later. Send your $25.00 check (It’s ok to send more if you’re so inclined!) to our PO Box 333, Allentown, PA 18105. Avoid the rush at our September meeting and bring a smile to Paymaster Jeff Gates.

    Let us know where you’ve been this summer as you travel this great land. A number of you endured the heat at Gettysburg over the anniversary. I’m sure you have tales to tell. Please write something about any interesting place you’ve visited for our newsletter. Your experience just might make someone else aware of a site or collection so please share!

    Please frequently review our website at Paul Bartlett does a great job keeping things fresh and we endeavor to add items of interest between newsletters.

Ed Root   610-417-6673


From the Brigade Commander ~ June 2018

Ed Root.jpg

     “Voices from the Attic.” Isn’t it amazing that new and significant information is still being discovered all these years after “The Late Unpleasantness.” Who knows what treasures still lay hidden in the attics and closets of America? Carleton Young sure found out and we applaud his wonderful research and thank him for sharing the story of Henry and Francis Martin. Their letters certainly add to our knowledge and understanding of the period and of those who lived and died in that defining time of American history.

     Our 40th year of study and working to preserve America’s historic treasures is drawing to a close. The George Seligman Dinner on June 5th honors the man who led a small group of history students from the wilderness of meeting in a room at the 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 40 years of learning and enjoyment of history and each other’s company.

     What better way to celebrate than to bring Dennis Frye to speak on June 5th. Antietam and Dennis are synonymous. His passion for history and historic preservation is known by all students of the Civil War. We announced at the May meeting that Dennis will lead us on October 20th on a tour of the portion of the Antietam battlefield associated with Ambrose Burnside’s assault.  We will visit some areas most folks never get to see and understand the struggle from both the Union and Confederate perspectives. If you’ve ever been on tour with Dennis, you most likely have already signed on for the October 20 tour. It will be a day to remember. We’re working out all the logistics so the sooner you let us know of your interest the better job we can do to prepare for this event.

     It’s difficult to fathom but our 40th Anniversary year is fast coming to a close. Barry Arnold and Kay Bagenstose continue to enhance our meetings with our special raffles. Please let them know how much you appreciate the hard work that goes into Barry’s photographs and Kay’s surprise raffle.

     Please Please Please frequently review our website at Paul Bartlett does a great job keeping things fresh.

     The time of the year for prime battlefield trekking is right around the corner. We have been fortunate that a number of folks have donated to the Round Table many maps that will make any such trip much more meaningful. At our June meeting we will have a special table full of such maps. Take as many as you wish. All we ask is for a donation of your choosing in return. Special thanks to Bill Frankenfield and Mike Snyder for giving us many of these maps.

     It has been a privilege to stand before you each month at our dinner meetings. Look around you and notice all those who make our meetings or events a success. Barry Arnold, Paul Bartlett, Rev. John Berntsen, Kay Bagenstose, Chuck Cannon, Mike Cavanaugh, Carol Detweiler, Jim Duffy, Bill Frankenfield, Jeff Gates, Kim Jacobs, Claire Kukielka, Rev. Craig Landis, Tony Major, Bob McHugh, Sherri Miller, Ed Oechsle, Joe Riggs, Wayne Schaeffer, Dr. Gerry Sherwin, and Frank Whelan. If I have forgotten you please chalk it up to an aging mind rather than any intentional slight. Thanks to all those who attend our monthly meetings for without you all of this is meaningless. Thanks also to those who are unable to attend, but support the organization financially. THANK YOU ALL!!

Ed Root   610-417-6673

Gettysburg Preservation Day ~ April 21


What a Glorious Day! The weather on April 21, 2018 was perfect for our annual conservation work day at Gettysburg National Military Park. The site was the Henry Spangler Farm west of the Emmitsburg Road where armies clashed so long ago.

Sixty-six volunteers (yes, 66!!!) gave time and effort on a beautiful Spring day as farm fences were torn down and rebuilt, picket fences painted along the dirt road winding past the farm house and hundreds of yards of brush trimmed along more fences.

Round Table stalwarts Barry Arnold, Paul Bartlett, Chuck Cannon, Tony Major, Bob McHugh, Ed Root, and Alan Tjeltveit represented our group as well as members Terri Monroe and Gary Weaver who also represented with others the Whitehall Historical Society.

Bob McHugh’s students from Saucon Valley High School were out in force as well as John Duffy’s (Jim’s brother) Boy Scouts from New Tripoli Troop 89. The attendance and enthusiasm of these students and scouts is what makes this event a wonderful success. Without them our impact and help to the Park would be a mere shadow of what we’ve accomplished these past five years since we’re reconstituted our work at Gettysburg. We trust that their work and interest will nourish the seeds already planted by the scout and school leaders.

Family members from Tony’s and Ed’s clans also made the annual trek to work and learn.


Caitlin Brown, who is Gettysburg’s Volunteer Coordinator, and Jeremiah and George of the maintenance staff were wonderful and Caitlin presented an excellent program about the families who endured those terrible times and the troops who fought over their fields. 

Ed Courrier, a freelance photographer with the Bethlehem Press, heard about our event and was present to take some great group photos.

A special thanks to Bob McHugh who generously provided coolers with iced H2O to quench the thirst of our wonderful volunteers.

This today’s language the day was a win win for all! Join us next year!

From the Brigade Commander ~ May 2018

From the Brigade Commander


     Most of us, since we live in the eastern portion of the country, have the most interest in the events and personalities that occurred in our “backyard.” So it’s fascinating and refreshing to have a program about what happened in the Western Theater. Dave Bastian shared his thoughts and research about what took place along the mighty Mississippi during the Late Unpleasantness. If you missed his program about Grant’s Canal you missed an excellent one!

      It’s difficult to fathom but our 40th Anniversary year is fast coming to a close. Barry Arnold and Kay Bagenstose continue to enhance our meetings with our special raffles. Please let them know how much you appreciate the hard work that goes into Barry’s photographs and Kay’s surprise raffle.

      I sincerely hope it’s safe to say that the threat of snow no longer looms as a menace, but that doesn’t mean that you should not frequently look at our website. We add news items and events all the time that should be an interest to all. Please, Please, Please frequently review our site at Paul Bartlett does a great job keeping things fresh.

     The Nomination Report for Officers and Directors for the 2018-19 Campaign is listed this newsletter. If you are interesting in serving our organization and would like to be considered for a position please see Joe Riggs. Nominations will be accepted from the floor prior to the vote at the May meeting.

     If you are one of the few recalcitrant souls who have not reenlisted in our happy band of history students you can avoid everlasting shame by seeing Jeff Gates and bringing your membership up to date. Your membership is important and much appreciated and you have no vote if you are not a member! Don’t make me send out the Provost Guard to track you down………

     Just a reminder…Our conservation work at Gettysburg has been scheduled for April 21. Always a great day. Thanks to all our volunteers!

     The time of the year for prime battlefield trekking is right around the corner. We have been fortunate that a number of folks have donated to the Round Table many maps that will make any such trip much more meaningful. At our May and June meetings we will have a special table full of such maps. Take as many as you wish. All we ask is for a donation of your choosing in return. Special thanks to Bill Frankenfield and Mike Snyder for giving us many of these maps.

     Our May 1 meeting with Carleton Young will once again remind everyone that one never knows what is hiding in the recesses of our attics, basements and garages. You will not want to miss his story about two young soldiers from Vermont. Please join us for dinner if your schedule permits. You will find the camaraderie and food well worth your time.

Ed Root   610-417-6673

Gettysburg Preservation Efforts (aka Brush Cutting) ~ Saturday, April 21, 2018


Gettysburg Preservation Efforts
(aka Brush Cutting)
Saturday, April 21, 2018


I want to make you all aware of some logistical changes with regard to our work site and vehicle parking.

The Spangler property consisting of the house, barn and outbuildings is along a trail used by horse tours. The area near the barn where I was planning on parking needs to be clear for horse groups to gather; consequently the parking will be limited to only those with limited mobility issues. They NPS folks want the rest of us to enter the farm either off of the Emmitsburg Road as a drop off or from West Confederate Ave.

     #1 The front entrance off of the Emmitsburg Road will be marked with orange cones and can be used to drop people off by the house and for handicapped parking. It will be best if you can park in the National Cemetery Parking lot on the Taneytown Road and shuttle/carpool from there. The driver can then park on West Confederate Avenue. (remember that West Confederate is one way South so after drop off the driver will need to swing back through town to access West Confederate off of West Middle Street)
     # 2 Take West Middle Street through town and turn left when you reach West Confederate Ave. West Confederate Ave is one way south and the path to the Spangler Farm is about 500 yards south of the Virginia Memorial on the left side of the road. The path will be marked with orange cones. Parking is available along the right side of the road. (All four tires must be on road when parking) The distance to the work site from the road along the path is about 200 yards. This area is low and does get wet so it could be a muddy walk.

At the bottom if this post, Caitlin Brown, who is the NPS Volunteer Coordinator, has provided a google map of the site showing both the Emmitsburg and West Confederate access points. ll give you a better perspective of everything. I have also attached a larger map of the Gettysburg battlefield.

I don't feel this should cause any undue hardship, but if any of you feel this is a problem just let me know. We're all volunteers so no harm no foul if you can't make it for any reason.

The CWRT will provide cold H2O.  Caitlin will give a program after our work which should be around 12:30-1pm. Bring your lunch and eat while you work or have a late lunch after the program. Bring work gloves, trimmers etc if you have them. The NPS will provide all the painting equipment and trimmers but as we will have a large group anything you bring will help. Gas powered trimmers are permitted, chain saws are NOT. 


Spring has sprung and that means we will once again be helping conserve and preserve the Gettysburg Battlefield. As you 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.  Our success in recent years is due in great part to our expanded Civil War Round Table family. In addition to our regular members and their families Bob McHugh brings students from Saucon Valley HS, John Duffy (Jim’s brother) leads the Boy Scouts of Troop 89 and Pat Matthews brings a contingent from the Whitehall Historical Society.

    This year we will work at the Henry Spangler Farm (999 Emittsburg Rd) located on the right (west) side Emmitsburg Road as you head south from town. (the entrance is a dirt road and will be marked with an orange cone; if you get to the Peach Orchard you’ve gone too far!) 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.

Logistics Guidelines:  If you wish to carpool meet at the Holiday Inn around 6:45. Claire Kukielka will be on hand to help coordinate. You need to leave no later than 7AM to arrive at the worksite by 9AM.

Weather, weather, weather. We all talk about it and can’t do a darn thing about it. Because of our numbers and multiple groups who participate it’s more than a daunting task to reschedule so unless the NPS cancels we’re on! It is imperative that I have your contact info in the event I need to relate any last minute developments.

There will be a bathroom on site. (porta potty)

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 relate the history of the property and fighting there when we complete our tasks.

Wear appropriate work clothes. Bug spray and poison ivy protection may make you more comfortable. The NPS will provide tools and paint equipment but you may bring your own gloves and trimmer if you wish.

Bottom line is that we are all volunteers so nobody will be docked if you arrive a minute late or leave a tad early. We have fun, learn about the site during the battle and help the Park. That is what’s known as a win win!

Ed Root –