Sunday, July 16, 2017

Coming September 7, 2017

Professors Howard Ehrlich and Harvey Sackowitz of New York’s St. John’s University will present a program entitled An American Tragedy: Mary Todd Lincoln.  Their power point presentation will follow her tragic life and the very sad events leading up to her years in the White House and the even more shocking story of her life after President Lincoln’s assassination. 

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.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Coming July 6

Edward Alexander will discuss his book, Dawn of Victory: Breakthrough at Petersburg. (From Amazon) “After the unprecedented violence of the 1864 Overland Campaign, Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant turned his gaze south of Richmond to Petersburg, and the key railroad junction that supplied the Confederate capital and its defenders. Nine grueling months of constant maneuver and combat around the “Cockade City” followed. As massive fortifications soon dominated the landscape, both armies frequently pushed each other to the brink of disaster. As March 1865 drew to a close, Grant planned one more charge against Confederate lines. Despite recent successes, many viewed this latest task as an impossibility―and their trepidation had merit. “These lines might well have been looked upon by the enemy as impregnable,” admitted Union Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright, “and nothing but the most resolute bravery could have overcome them.” Grant ordered the attack for April 2, 1865, setting the stage for a dramatic early morning bayonet charge by his VI Corps across half a mile of open ground into the “strongest line of works ever constructed in America.” Dawn of Victory: Breakthrough at Petersburg by Edward S. Alexander tells the story of the men who fought and died in the decisive battle of the Petersburg campaign. Readers can follow the footsteps of the resolute Union attackers and stand in the shoes of the obstinate Confederate defenders as their actions decided the fate of the nation.”

Edward S. Alexander is a 2009 graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in History. He has worked since 2011 at Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Petersburg, Virginia, and previously with Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. A current resident of Richmond, Virginia, Edward’s research is focused on the Sixth Corps of the Army of the Potomac.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Coming June 8, 2017

Due to scheduling conflicts this event has been CANCELLED. Roundtable member and historian Richard Welch has graciously volunteered to step into the breech and speak about an aspect of the Civil War not often addressed. 

Amanda Foreman will discuss her widely acclaimed book A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War. Her book was the winner of the Fletcher Pratt Award for Civil War History, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the New York Times Top Ten Books of 2011 and named one of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Chicago Tribune, The Economist, Nancy Pearl, NPR,, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.  

(Amazon) “In this brilliant narrative, Amanda Foreman tells the fascinating story of the American Civil War—and the major role played by Britain and its citizens in that epic struggle. Between 1861 and 1865, thousands of British citizens volunteered for service on both sides of the Civil War. From the first cannon blasts on Fort Sumter to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, they served as officers and infantrymen, sailors and nurses, blockade runners and spies. Through personal letters, diaries, and journals, Foreman introduces characters both humble and grand, while crafting a panoramic yet intimate view of the war on the front lines, in the prison camps, and in the great cities of both the Union and the Confederacy. In the drawing rooms of London and the offices of Washington, on muddy fields and aboard packed ships, Foreman reveals the decisions made, the beliefs held and contested, and the personal triumphs and sacrifices that ultimately led to the reunification of America.” 

"Though with the North we sympathize It must not be forgotten That with the South we’ve stronger ties Which are composed of cotton. Punch, 30 March, 1861." 

Amanda Foreman is the author of the prize-winning best sellers, ‘Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire', and 'A World on Fire: A Epic History of Two Nations Divided'. She is currently a columnist for 'The Wall Street Journal'. Her latest work is the BBC documentary series, 'The Ascent of Woman'. In 2016, Foreman served as chair of The Man Booker Prize. Her book on the history of women, 'The World Made by Women', will be published in 2017. She is a co-founder of the literary nonprofit, House of Speak Easy Foundation, a trustee of the Whiting Foundation, and an Honorary Research Senior Fellow in the History Department at the University of Liverpool. Amanda lives in New York with her husband and five children. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Coming May 4, 2017

NSCWR member and former board member John Scotto will discuss the first two battles of the Seven Days, the battles of Mechanicsville and Gaines’ Mill. The presentation will begin with a brief overview of the Peninsula Campaign, followed by a review of the operational and tactical decisions made by the rival army commanders and their key subordinates. Some commonly held beliefs may be challenged in this informative and well researched presentation.

John has been a member of the NSCWR since it's second meeting.  When he resigned from the board, he was its longest serving member. John graduated from C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University in 1989, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.  He served in the US Army from 1989 to 1993, leaving as a Captain in the Regular Army.  He led a mechanized infantry platoon in the 1st Armored Division during the 1991 Gulf War. John subsequently served in the US National Park Service from 1994 to 1996, at Richmond National Battlefield Park and Sagamore Hill National Historic Site.  He was a financial adviser from 1996 to 2003.  Since 2003 He has been employed by the Long Island Rail Road.

Seven Days Battles—June 25, 1862 – July 1, 1862
With a Federal army of more than 100,000 well-supplied soldiers poised on its eastern flank, the citizens of Richmond, Virginia warily awaited news from the tenuous lines along the swampy Chickahominy River. Would the Union Army, after victories at Fort Henry and Donelson, take Richmond as its ultimate prize? Would the brief tenure of the Confederacy come to a quick and inglorious end in the summer of 1862? In what would prove to be one of the more savage and remarkable campaigns of the American Civil War, the Army of Northern Virginia under the leadership of a new commander named Robert E. Lee, would take to the offensive against George B. McClellan and his mighty Army of the Potomac.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Coming April 6, 2017

Ron Coddington  will present a Power Point entitled The Rise and Fall of the Carte de Visite in Civil War America.  Ron has been associated during much of his professional life with media organizations, through which he has covered major news events. He created maps and explanatory diagrams for the San Jose Mercury News Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Bay Area earthquake. He also produced award-winning interactive graphics for 9/11 and the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger at USA Today. And countless other projects.

Nowadays his passion is rooted in leading collaborative teams to conceptualize and produce visual journalism across platforms. As USA Today's art director in the late 2000s, he helped guide the Design Department through the early stages of its evolution as a digital-centered organization. Today, as an assistant managing editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, he leads a creative team of designers, developers, researchers and editors who create award-winning journalism for thought leaders and other professionals in academe.

Those with an active interest in the Civil War know him as a contributing author to the New York Times series Disunion and author of three books of soldier stories, Faces of the Civil War, Faces of the Confederacy, and African American Faces of the Civil WarHe is also a passionate collector of Civil War era photography.  His next volume in the series profiles sailors in the Union and Confederate navies. He became the fourth publisher and editor of Military Images magazine in August 2013.

Ron’s talk this evening will focus on Civil War Photography:  The Rise and Fall of the Carte de Visite in Civil War America.  “The Civil War Generation was the first to grow up with photography. This trans-formative medium made it possible for Americans from all walks of life to preserve their own likeness, a privilege once reserved only for the wealthy. During photography’s early years, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes ruled the portrait world.  Then on the eve of the Civil War, a curious new format landed in America-the carte de visite.”

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Coming March 2, 2017

David Kinkaid will perform Irish Civil War Songs.  The Irish Volunteer is David Kincaid's first album of Civil War related Irish music. For years Kincaid has been the lead singer, lead guitarist, and leading songwriter for the American roots rock band, The Brandos. Kincaid, a long time Civil War enthusiast, assembled a collection of songs written during the Civil War era about Irish American soldiers fighting for the Union. Most of the songs only came with lyrics so Kincaid had to find traditional Irish music to set the lyrics to. Kincaid was devoted to historical accuracy in performing the songs, the pieces are performed only with instruments that would have been available to the people of the period. With the exception of "Free and Green" all the songs were written either before or during the Civil War. The songs praise the Irish immigrant volunteers who fought for the Union, most of the songs mention Thomas Francis Meagher, Michael Corcoran, and the famous Irish Brigade.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Coming February 2, 2017

North Shore Civil War Roundtable member Jeff Richman will discuss his book The Gallant Sims”: A Civil War Hero Rediscovered.  If you’re familiar with the phrase “the dustbin of history," you’ll shudder to learn that it’s almost where the extraordinary story of Brooklynite and Civil War Captain Samuel Sims ended up. But fate intervened. A cache of Sims's letters and personal drawings were rescued from the garbage in California and a trove of Sims’s photos and letters were discovered in a trunk in a Poughkeepsie basement. Who was Sims? The Brooklyn Daily Eagle wrote that this citizen-soldier was “as brave a man as ever drew a sword.” In 1886, 22 years after his death at the Battle of the Crater, his former comrades banded together to pay for an extraordinary grave site monument at Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery.  A few years back, Jeff Richman, Green-Wood's historian, negotiated the purchase on behalf of The Green-Wood Historic Fund of the Sims Collection--objects and papers lovingly saved for more than a century by Civil War Captain Samuel Sims's descendants and his fiancĂ©e's family. In this book, Richman, using these unique items, letters, and other new discoveries, tells Sims's fascinating story with its many dramatic arcs: his loyal service and death in battle, the Confederate who returned Sims's sword, and the erection of his Green-Wood monument. This is the tale of a leader in war who was so admired by his men that they called him "The Gallant Sims." The twists and turns of this story are remarkable. And they are all here in this fascinating book about Captain Sims - published with the generous support of the Furthermore Foundation. 

Jeff Richman, a long-time trustee and member of the NSCWR, is Green-Wood Cemetery’s historian. Twenty-five years ago he started leading tours at Green-Wood—a place that combines so many of his interests: 19th century New York City, landscape design, sculpture, rural cemeteries, 19th century photography, contemporary photography, and more. He became its part-time historian in 2001 (while practicing law, representing indigent criminal defendants for 33 years) and its fulltime historian in 2007. He is the author of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery: New York’s Buried Treasure (1997), Final Camping Ground: Civil War Veterans at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, In Their Own Words (2007), and edited Green-Wood at 175 (2013). He has also been the curator for several gallery exhibitions, including three on the Civil War and one on Coney Island. Since 2002, he has been leading Green-Wood’s Civil War Project, which, through the work of hundreds of volunteers, has identified 5,000 Civil War veterans interred at Green-Wood, written an online biography for each, successfully applied to the Department of Veterans Affairs for 2,200 gravestones, and had them installed to mark formerly-unmarked graves.