From The Brigade Commander ~ October 2018


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