From the Brigade Commander - March 2018


From the Brigade Commander

     Once again at our February meeting we were reminded how fresh and fascinating research continues to bring forth “new” stories. Thanks to Jim Remsen for bringing the history of the black men and women who settled in Waverly, Pennsylvania. First as fugitives from slavery prior to the Civil War and later as defenders of the Union who fought in the blue uniform on many a bloody field this is a story largely unknown until now. Thanks Jim!! Once again we were very happy to see some of Bob McHugh’s excellent students from Saucon Valley High School attend our program.

     Barry Arnold has donated some wonderful framed photography over the last year or so. Some of his work now resides in Nitschmann Middle school in Bethlehem. Last month Barbara Kreidler was the happy winner of a view at Gettysburg near Smith’s NY Battery above Devil’s Den featuring one of the Park’s magnificent witness trees. Barry has graciously offered to bring a different image to each meeting. If you want to be in the running for one of these great items see Barry and Tony at the check-in table every meeting.

     Don’t forget to frequently check our website. There is always something informative and interesting. We endeavor to include in the Calendar section events being held by other organizations such as the Lehigh County Historical Society at the LV Heritage Museum. I encourage any of you to send an article you deem worthy of sharing to me for inclusion. Check out our site at Paul Bartlett does a great job keeping things fresh.

     Have you thanked Kay Bagenstose yet for her monthly 40th anniversary special raffle and treats? She’s put a tremendous amount of work AND expense into this effort. Let her know how much it is appreciated!

     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. 

     This year we will work at the Henry Spangler Farm located on the right (west) side Emmititsburg Road as you head south from town. (the entrance is a dirt road which will be marked; 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.

     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.

     If you have not already done so please see the sign-up sheets at our meeting. We have a wonderful tradition of service at Gettysburg NMP. Be part of our continuing work to maintain and preserve this national treasure. Those wishing to car-pool should meet at the Holiday Inn parking lot and leave no later than 7AM.

     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. 

     Please join us at the March 6th gathering when we welcome back Professor Gray from East Stroudsburg University when he will share his thoughts on "Civil War Captives and a Captivated Home Front: The Rise of Prisons as Dark Tourist Destinations." Mike is also the President of the Board of Trustees of the Lehigh County Historical Society.

Ed Root   610-417-6673