Saturday, May 4, 2019

Coming Thursday June 6, 2019


Harvey Sackowitz and Howard Ehrilich discuss the Booth Conspiracy. John Wilkes Booth is the primary name gleaned from the infamous Lincoln assassination. It’s easy to ignore those who helped him. John Wilkes Booth was not alone in his plot, nor was the killing of Abraham Lincoln the only goal planned by him and his comrades. Dispatching Lincoln was only the first step in their plans for a larger plot. In fact, it hadn’t even been the initial goal. John Wilkes Booth may be the most recognizable name, but his part of the assassination was only a piece of the puzzle. Among him were others aiding from the sidelines, aiming to resurrect the Confederacy’s efforts in fighting the Civil War. The goal regarding Lincoln was, in fact, a Confederate secret plot in name, action, and execution and Booth was aided by several co-conspirators. Join us as our popular Roundtable guests relate this complicated plot and Booth’s escape and ultimate capture.  

Professor Ehrlich has served as a National Park Service Ranger at Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay and is the former Executive Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association.  He has an       MA in Educational Administration from Columbia University, an MS in American History from Queens College City University of New York and a Ba in American History from Queens College City University of New York.  He is an Adjunct Instructor of Curriculum and Instruction at St. John’s University.   

Professor Harvey Sakowitz has served as the past President of the Nassau County Civil War Roundtable. Adjunct Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at St. John’s University. He has an Advanced Certificate in Administration and Supervision from Brooklyn College, an MS in History from Queens College and a BA in History from Queens College.


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Coming May 2, 2019


If clothes make the man, uniforms make the soldier. Join us  for an informative survey of the  varied uniforms worn by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Presented by Leslie Jensen, curator of the Museum of West Point, we will explore the wide variety of dress and fatigue uniforms worn between 1861 and 1865. These uniforms varied greatly depending on locations, supply of cloth and state regulations which often differed from standard regulations. Access to captured stocks of blue Union uniforms also resulted in combinations of uniform pieces early in the war.


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.