Friday, March 8, 2019

Coming April 4, 2019


Janet Croon will discuss the book she edited, The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865. LeRoy Gresham was born in 1847 to an affluent and prominent slaveholding family in Macon, Georgia. As a young child he suffered a horrific leg and back injury that left him an invalid. Educated, inquisitive, perceptive, and exceptionally witty, the 12-year-old began keeping a journal in 1860—just before secession and Civil War tore the country and his world apart. He continued to write even as his health deteriorated until both the war and his life ended in 1865. His unique view of a waning age is published here for the first time in A Son of Georgia: The Civil War Journals of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865. Edited and annotated with meticulous care by Janet Croon,  it captures the spirit and the character of a young privileged white teenager witnessing the demise of his world even as his own body is slowly failing him. Just as Anne Frank has come down to us as the adolescent voice of World War II, LeRoy Gresham will now be remembered as a young voice of the Civil War South.

Janet Croon has recently retired from teaching advanced high school history in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is originally from  Chicago.  She holds degrees from the University of Illinois (BA '83) in Political Science, Modern European History, and Russian Language and Area Studies and the University of Dayton (MA '85) in International Relations. She began teaching World History and Twentieth Century Topics in the International Baccalaureate Programme, for which she also did some contract work as a program moderator and student paper examiner.   She spends a lot of her spare time knitting, cross-stitching, watching Cubs baseball, and enjoying the history of the area once occupied by either Blue or Grey for the entirety of the Civil War.   (Amazon)


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Coming March 7, 2019


 Civil War singer / musician Charles Zahm will present a program: A Tribute to the Irish Brigade on Long Island.  Zahm is an American singer and player of Celtic, maritime and traditional American music. He was born in 1965 in Michigan. He now lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Cathy. For the most part, he sings Scottish, Irish, and early American traditional music. He also branched out into other genres, recording a CD of hymns in 2009, and a country album in 2013. He  sings baritone plays guitar, five-string banjo, mandolin, flute and pennywhistle. He has also recorded several albums composed entirely of self-written songs, mostly in a traditional Celtic style. Many of Zahm's studio albums and concerts feature former Del McCoury Band fiddler Tad Marks.

Zahm learned to play the banjo, his first instrument at the age of 14. After attending college he toured with Europe and Japan with Up With People. He has continued to play shows ever since, from large concert halls to small house concerts. In 2014 he traveled to Qatar to play on Memorial Day for the members of the U.S. Military at the Al Udeid Air Base.  Zahm has also been featured on two DVDs: Out of the Mist in 2002 and Charlie Zahm: An Evening of Classic Melodies in 2007. He was also in the movie Gettysburg — Three Days of Destiny.


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Coming February 7, 2019


 Roundtable favorite James Coll will present a program “Lincoln’s Use of the Constitution: The Emancipation Proclamation to Habeas Corpus”. James Coll is a NYC detective and an adjunct professor of American and Constitutional history at Hofstra University and Nassau Community College and the founder of ChangeNYS.org, a not-for-profit organization formed to promote the education of New Yorkers about the need for civic education and political reform in our state. Coll has received numerous awards for his police work, including Cop of the Year from the NYC Police Foundation for his rescue work both in New York and in Haiti. James lives in Seaford, NY.


Friday, December 7, 2018

Coming Thursday January 3:


The Roundtable will host a full length feature film, The Great Locomotive Chase staring Fess ParkerThe Great Locomotive Chase or Andrews' Raid was a military raid that occurred April 12, 1862, in northern Georgia during the American Civil War. Volunteers from the Union Army, led by civilian scout James J. Andrewscommandeered a train, The General, and took it northward toward Chattanooga, Tennessee, doing as much damage as possible to the vital Western and Atlantic Railroad (W&A) line from Atlanta to Chattanooga as they went. They were pursued by Confederate forces at first on foot, and later on a succession of locomotives, including The Texas, for 87 miles (140 km).


Because the Union men had cut the telegraph wires, the Confederates could not send warnings ahead to forces along the railway. Confederates eventually captured the raiders and quickly executed some as spies, including Andrews; some others were able to flee. Some of the raiders were the first to be awarded the Medal of Honor by the US Congress for their actions. As a civilian, Andrews was not eligible. 




Saturday, November 3, 2018

Coming December 6, 2018


Roundtable member Bill Finlayson will present a program entitled Touched  by Lightning: Civil War Medal of Honor winner John J. Toffey.  

John J. Toffey
Serving first as a Private in Company C, 21st New Jersey Volunteer Infantry (a nine-month service regiment) from August 28, 1862 to June 19, 1863, he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in Company F, 33rd New Jersey Volunteer Infantry on August 23, 1863, and was mustered into the unit on August 29, 1863. He participated in the November 23, 1863 Battle of Missionary Ridge, at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and it was there that he performed the act of bravery that garnered him the Medal of Honor. His wounds forced his discharge from the 33rd New Jersey on June 2, 1864, and he was appointed into the Veteran Reserve Corps. He served in the VRC as a lieutenant until June 1866. While still in service, he was an eyewitness to Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theater, participated in the search for the conspirators, testified at their trial, and witnessed their subsequent execution. He received his medal on September 10, 1897.                                                                                                                     




Thursday, October 11, 2018

Coming November 1st, 2018


Christopher Kolakowski will present his book The Boy Colonel: Arthur MacArthur and his Legacy.


Christopher L. Kolakowski was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va. He received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany. Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, and the U.S. Army. He has written and spoken on various aspects of military history and leadership from 1775 to the present. He has published two books with the History Press: The Civil War at Perryville: Battling For the Bluegrass and The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaign: This Army Does Not Retreat. Chris is a contributor to the Emerging Civil War Blog, and his study of the 1941-42 Philippine Campaign titled Last Stand on Bataan was released by McFarland in late February 2016. In September 2016 the U.S. Army published his volume on the 1862 Virginia Campaigns as part of its sesquicentennial series on the Civil War. Chris lives in Norfolk, Virginia. Chris came to Norfolk having served as Director of the General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership in Fort Knox, KY from 2009 to 2013. He became the MacArthur Memorial Director on September 16, 2013.

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.