Sunday, September 9, 2018

Coming October 4, 2018

Islip Town Historian George Muckenbeck will present a power point entitled “I Could Live as Long as They on Mule and Molasses”. A captured Union officers amazing story of the pivotal Battle of Port Hudson told from inside Rebel lines.

Mr. Muckenbeck is a native Long Islander who resides in West Sayville, NY. He earned a BS in Engineering from the United States Coast Guard Academy and an MA in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Public University. A Certified Lay Servant in the United Methodist Church, he is a fourth generation member of New York’s volunteer fire service as an active member of the West Sayville Fire Department, Company H, The Fourteenth “Brooklyn” Regiment New York State Militia Society of New York Civil War History Group, The American Legion, The Industrial Archaeology Society, United States Naval Institute, Society of Civil War Surgeons, Museum of Civil War Medicine, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, National Model Railroad Association, and Firemen’s Association of the State of New York. In addition, he has produced numerous programs, articles and studies on the Bible, local history, fire service training and history as well as railroad history and military history.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Coming September 6, 2018

Coming Thursday September 6, 2018.  Author Bruce Venter will discuss his book, Kill Jeff Davis: The Union Raid on Richmond, 1864.  The ostensible goal of the controversial Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond (February 28–March 3, 1864) was to free some 13,000 Union prisoners of war held in the Confederate capital. But orders found on the dead body of the raid’s subordinate commander, Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, point instead to a plot to capture or kill Confederate president Jefferson Davis and set Richmond ablaze. What really happened, and how and why, are debated to this day. Kill Jeff Davis offers a fresh look at the failed raid and mines newly discovered documents and little-known sources to provide definitive answers. He tells, at last, the full story of this hotly contested moment in Civil War history.

Bruce Venter’s major interest is Civil War cavalry with an emphasis on the career of Union general Judson Kilpatrick. He frequently lectures on the cavalry and has led bus tours on the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid, the focus of his book, Kill Jeff Davis. In 2012 he participated in a re-enactment of Dahlgren’s raid thru Goochland County where he rode with over 80 troopers for three days, serving as their historian. He is a past president of the Richmond Civil War Round Table and currently serves as 1st vice president of the Goochland County Historical Society.  He has published articles in Blue and Gray, Civil War, Patriots of the American Revolution, Goochland County Historical Society Magazine, Washington Times and numerous professional journals. He is also the author of The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Guard Action that Saved America. Venter spent 36 years in public education before his retirement, mostly as an assistant superintendent in school systems in New York, Virginia and Maryland. He holds a B.A. in history from Manhattan College and a master’s in public administration and doctorate in educational administration from the University at Albany.  Bruce Venter is president of America’s History, LLC, a tour and conference company which he founded in 2010. He lives in Goochland County, Virginia, with his wife Lynne and their beagle “Sally Seddon.” 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Coming July 12, 2018

Barnet Schecter will discuss his book The Devil’s Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots in a talk he calls Emancipation and Its Enemies: The Legacy of the Civil War Draft Riots. Schecter explains the resurgence of the Democratic Party in the aftermath of the riots, and after 1863, with New York City as its national headquarters. The Democrats--led by Boss Tweed, John Hoffman, and A. Oakey Hall in New York City and New York State, and by presidential candidate Samuel Tilden and New York World editor Manton Marble at the national level--took the offensive to reunite with the southern wing of the party and defeat Reconstruction, the Republican program of emancipation and civil rights for African Americans. It has been said that the North won the Civil War and the South won the peace--but the important role of New York in that outcome is little known. 

Barnet Schecter, an independent historian, is the author of George Washington’s America: A Biography Through His MapsThe Devil’s Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America; and The Battle for New York: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution. He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of New York City and various books on the Revolution and Civil War. In addition to lecturing, and leading tours and military staff rides, he consults on books, exhibitions, films.

Please Make Note

Barnet Schecter’s presentation will be July 12, the second Thursday of July because of the July 4th Holiday.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Coming June 7, 2018

Professor Wilbur Miller will discuss the  Civil War and Reconstruction. Professor Miller became interested in the history of policing when he was an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, during the Free Speech Movement.  His instructor there started him on a dissertation, completed at Columbia University that became his first book, Cops and Bobbies (1977). It compared New York and London police in the nineteenth century. His next project moved to the South and the federal government: Revenuers and Moonshiners (1991) which sought to demonstrate that there was a more active national state after Reconstruction than is usually described. Since then he has  edited a five-volume encyclopedia, The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America  (2012) and is currently working on an overview of the history of private policing in the United States. He teaches courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the history of crime and criminal justice, and the history of New York City. 

Professor Miller has taught history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook for 36 years. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Coming May 3, 2018

Scott Mingus will discuss his book Second Day at Gettysburg: The Attack and Defense of Cemetery Ridge July 2, 1863. Scott Mingus is a scientist and consultant in the paper industry, and holds patents in self-adhesive postage stamps and bar code labels. The Ohio native graduated from the paper science and engineering program at Miami University. He was part of the research team that developed the first commercially successful self-adhesive U.S. postage stamps. He has written nineteen Civil War and Underground Railroad books. His biography of Confederate General William “Extra Billy” Smith won multiple awards, including the Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Prize for Confederate History. He has also written several articles for Gettysburg Magazine, as well as for various historical journals. 

Scott and his wife Debi live in York, Pa., and he maintains a blog on the Civil War History of York County ( He received the 2013 Heritage Profile Award from the York County Heritage Trust for his contributions to local Civil War history. He also has written six scenario books for Civil War miniature wargaming. His great-great-grandfather was a 15-year-old drummer boy in the 51st Ohio Infantry under General Sherman, and other family members fought at Antietam and Gettysburg.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Coming April 5, 2018

Gene Barr is the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business Industry and the author of the non-fiction work, A Civil War Captain and His Lady: Love, Courtship, and Combat from Fort Donelson through the Vicksburg Campaign.”

The Chamber is the largest broad based advocacy group in Pennsylvania. Barr joined the Chamber in 2003 and became president in 2011. He has more than 40 years of experience in politics, government affairs, and business operations including work with BP America, Associated Petroleum Industries of PA, and McNees Wallace & Nurick.  He is a member of the US Chamber Board of Directors, United Way of the Capital Region and a number of other groups. He is a board member and past chair of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg. Recently, Barr was named “The Most Effective Association Lobbyist” in the Capitol in a poll conducted by Pennsylvania Legislative Services and was also included in the Pennlive/Patriot News list of the 17 most influential people in Pennsylvania politics in 2017.

He is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Coming March 1, 2018

The March 1st meeting presents a program by author V. P. Hughes (North Shore Civil War Roundtable member Valerie Protopapas) on her new book, A Thousand Points of Truth: The History and Humanity of Col. John Singleton Mosby in Newsprint covering Mosby’s life as presented by the press from his first appearance in 1862 through the year of his death, 1916.  The presentation will be focused to the origins of the book—necessary to understand its intent—followed by the Civil War years of 1862 through 1865. Copies will be available for purchase at the meeting. 

John Singleton Mosby (December 6, 1833 – May 30, 1916), also known by his nickname, the "Gray Ghost", was a Confederate army cavalry battalion commander in the American Civil War. His command, the 43rd Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, known as Mosby's Rangers or Mosby's Raiders, was a partisan ranger unit noted for its lightning-quick raids and its ability to elude Union Army pursuers and disappear, blending in with local farmers and townsmen. The area of northern central Virginia in which Mosby operated with impunity was known during the war and ever since as Mosby's Confederacy