From the Brigade Commander ~ October 2019


From the Brigade Commander: Barry Arnold

 We opened our 42nd year campaign with a bang. Our September speaker was fabulous with his presentation on his book “Gettysburg Rebels”. He took five nobodies or low level privates originally from Gettysburg who joined the Confederate army and returned to fight on the Confederate side in one of the hardest fought battles of the Civil War. This was truly a must read book and presentation which addressed the myths of these individuals.

Our next speaker for October 1st will be Eric Buckland. A retired army veteran of 22 years and author of five books on Mosby’s rangers. He will speak on Mosby’s leadership. So, please come and enjoy him with me and your fellow round table members.

I want to announce that one of our preservation battlefields is the Shenandoah battlefield’s foundation. This foundation is very close to our own Round table. Our $1000.00 gift with matching funds turned into $14000.00. The money went to save the Buhl property at the battle of New Market. If you visit New Market battlefield in your travels, you can be proud that you helped save this site.

Our field trips are important to us. It allows us to get together and, first hand, see these Civil War sites. History is the road map to the future. As we plan our field trips, I hope you provide feed-back into places you would like to visit. We had a short survey in September and if you did not have an opportunity at the meeting, feel free to provide feed-back at our October meeting. We can plan and participate in great trips. Again, history is the road map to the future. As I close please be safe and drive carefully. I’ll be looking forward to seeing all of you on Tuesday October first, 2019.

CANCELLED - 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

Photos from the September 3rd Meeting

Left: Bob McHugh CWRT Program Coordinator;  Right: Tom McMillan author of Gettysburg Rebels

Left: Bob McHugh CWRT Program Coordinator;
Right: Tom McMillan author of Gettysburg Rebels

Tom McMillan who works in sports but his passion is history spoke about his most recent book is "Gettysburg Rebels: Five Native Sons Who Came Home to Fight as Confederate Soldiers"


September Book Raffle Winners

September Book Raffle Winners

Book raffle winners ~ with proceeds - as always - going to battlefield preservation!

2019 Preservation Grants Awarded by the Civil War Round Table of Eastern PA


2019 List of Donations for Preservation

With the VERY successful conclusion of the 2018 – 2019 Campaign Season, it has been determined that the following Civil War Battlefields will receive a donation from the Civil War Round Table of Eastern PA in the amount of $5,000.00. There are matching funds with each bequest and are listed below:

  • $1000.00 for preservation of 42 acres at Stone’s River (TN) – matching funds of $33.94 for a total of $33,940.00

  • $1000.00 for preservation of 15 acres at Fort Donelson, Chattanooga and Franklin – matching funds of $21.17 for a total of $21,170.00.

  • $1000.00 for preservation of 185 acres at Wilderness, Cold Harbor and Bentonville – matching funds of $10.43 for a total of $10,430.00

  • $1000.00 for preservation to the Shenandoah Battlefields Foundation of 35 acres at New Market Battlefield – matching funds of $14.00 for a total of $14,000.00

  • $500.00 for preservation of 226 acres at Reams Station, Petersburg Breakthrough, Champion Hill and Jackson Battlefields – matching funds of $7.48 for a total of $3,740.00

  • $500.00 for preservation of 73 acres at Shiloh and South Mountain Battlefields – matching funds of $6.89 for a total of $3,445.00

The $5000.00 to be awarded to the above will be matched
for a total of $86,725.00 for battlefield preservation!

2019–2020 CWRT of Eastern PA Preservation Raffle


2019–2020 Preservation Raffle

Once again, we have an excellent array of 8 prizes which will be awarded at our June 2, 2020 meeting. We will follow last year’s format in which the first winner gets to select from all eight items.  Each additional winner will then select from the items remaining. 

Our Board felt that this was a better method rather than assigning prizes to each drawing.

Historic Preservation of our sites and collections is a significant part of our Mission as an organization. There are no losers when one donates to the cause of Historic Preservation.

Tickets are sold in booklets of ten for $5.00 and are available at every meeting.

  1.  Appomattox Surrender Signing Print by Tom Lovell

  2.  Robert E Lee pencil sketch by George S. Parrish, Jr - signed & numbered

  3. Union “General Service” Coat Button Display excavated in area of Chancellorsville Battlefield (mounted & donated by Barry Arnold)

  4. The Life of Billy Yank and The Life of Johnny Reb by Bell Irvin Wiley (2 Volume Boxed Set)

  5. Stonewall Jackson, The Legend and the Man & Stonewall Jackson, Seven Days to the Last March by Lenoir Chambers (2 Volume Boxed Set)

  6. The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War (2 Volume Boxed Set)

  7. The Civil War by Shelby Foote (3 Volume Set)

  8. Grand and Lee, The Virginia Campaigns, 1864-1865 by William Frassanito (Signed Copy)

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.”

Our speaker is Tom McMillan who works in sports but his passion is history -- and he always wanted to make a contribution to history. His most recent book is "Gettysburg Rebels: Five Native Sons Who Came Home to Fight as Confederate Soldiers" (June 2017). Three years earlier he completed a more contemporary historical work: "Flight 93: The Story, The Aftermath and The Legacy of American Courage on 9/11." McMillan serves on the Board of Trustees of Pittsburgh's Heinz History; on the board of directors of the Friends of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa.; on the marketing committee at the Gettysburg Foundation, and as a tour guide of the Civil War Room at Carnegie Library in Carnegie, Pa. His day job is Vice President of Communications for the five-time Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. A former newspaper sports writer and talk show host, McMillan has covered the Olympics, the Stanley Cup Finals, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, the Final Four, various major bowl games and numerous other major (and minor!) sporting events. He grew up in Bellevue, Pa. near Pittsburgh and earned a degree in journalism and communications from Point Park University in Pittsburgh. He continues to serve his alma mater as co-director of the Pittsburgh Center for Sports Media and Marketing at Point Park. He resides with his family in Kennedy Township, Pa. and is an ardent supporter of Chelsea FC.

About the Speaker’s Topic:
Gettysburg Rebels is the gripping true story of five young men who grew up in Gettysburg, moved south to Virginia in the 1850s, joined the Confederate army - and returned "home" as foreign invaders for the great battle in July 1863. Drawing on rarely-seen documents and family histories, as well as military service records and contemporary accounts, Tom McMillan delves into the backgrounds of Wesley Culp, Henry Wentz and the three Hoffman brothers in a riveting tale of Civil War drama and intrigue

Please note Jim will be bringing his book to the meeting and you can purchase for $20.00.


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.


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