CWRT Board Meeting ~ October 23

Our next CWRT of Eastern PA, Inc. Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 23rd at Southern Lehigh Public Library 3200 Preston Lane Center Valley, PA 18034

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Our Board will review activities of the recent meetings and will set plans and goals for the remainder of the Campaign year. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:30. Meetings generally last until 8-8:30PM.

All members are invited.

Please let me know if you plan to attend.


Thank you.

Ed Root
Brigade Commander
sartilly@hotmail.com

From The Brigade Commander ~ October 2018

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From the Brigade Commander
October 2018

Our Civil War was a great and horrific tragedy. Great in the sense of scale, something we can hardly understand today. Out of a population of only some 32 million up to 700,000 died and countless others soldiers and civilians alike had lives shattered, many beyond recovery. Horrific by any measure! We can only ponder on what we lost in those who could have contributed to the benefit of our country and within the larger community of humankind.

Johnston Pettigrew was such a man. What a tragic loss! Much gratitude to George Franks for sharing the life of that scholar, soldier and man whose unfulfilled potential echoes down to us today. George has become a good friend of our Round Table and don’t be shocked if he shows up at our annual Preservation/ Conservation day at Gettysburg on April 27th!

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. One of the main things we took away from that event is that the quest to bring in new members in the 20-40 year old range is a quest destined in the most part for failure.

Folks in that age range are generally far too involved with kids and jobs and unfortunately just don’t have the time or the energy for more activities. All the groups in attendance reported this fact so we are not alone in not being successful in that quest. This doesn’t mean we should not try to gain new devotees to our organization in that or any age bracket. We have always been welcoming to women and men of all ages and backgrounds. The only criterion is an interest in our common history.

Rev. John Berntsen does yeoman work getting out publicity to news outlets of all shapes and sizes, but we are capable of more and that is where you, our membership can help. Take our informational tri-folds that contain everything potential folks need to know to come to a meeting and help distribute them far and wide. Stores, libraries, doctors’ offices; leave them anywhere that won’t get you arrested! Almost all Round Tables have experienced a decline in membership over the past 20 years. Those who not only wish to prosper, but to survive must do everything possible to ensure that our study of American History does not fade away. Here ends the Sermon of the Day ....with apologies to Rev. Berntsen and Rev. Landis......

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.

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! New membership and fresh leadership are critical to our future.

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. See Paymaster Jeff Gates.

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

From the Brigade Commander ~ September 2018

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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: http://www.cwrteasternpa.org/ Paul Bartlett does a great job keeping things fresh and we endeavor to add items of interest between newsletters.

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

Membership Note from Jeff Gates

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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"

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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! www.cwrteasternpa.org

Have fun!!
d Root: sartilly@hotmail.com

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

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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

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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 bjasparks@rcn.com.

Regards,
Barry Arnold and Claire Kukielka

From the Brigade Commander ~ August 2018

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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 http://www.cwrteasternpa.org/ Paul Bartlett does a great job keeping things fresh and we endeavor to add items of interest between newsletters.

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

 

From the Brigade Commander ~ June 2018

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     “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 http://www.cwrteasternpa.org/ 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   sartilly@hotmail.com   610-417-6673

Gettysburg Preservation Day ~ April 21

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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.

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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!