Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Coming Thursday September 5, 2019

Michael K. Shaffer will share his research on the life of Thomas Wallace Colley, a Civil War veteran, providing our Roundtable audience with a look at his newest book, “In Memory of Self and Comrades: Thomas Wallace Colley’s Recollection of Civil War Service in the 1st Virginia Cavalry.” Shaffer is a historian, teacher and author who now resides in Georgia. He teaches at Kennesaw State University’s College of Continuing and Professional Education.

Thomas Wallace Colley witnessed Civil War action on the field as a Confederate soldier in the 1st Virginia Cavalry. He experienced the loss of comrades and the loss of his foot blown away in battle. A war amputee, Colley would remove his prosthetic foot for pictures as a badge of honor. His amputation was an experimental success as surgeons tried out a new way of amputation. “Colley’s  religious beliefs along with a very supportive family probably saved him,” said Shaffer. “Because there’s no question he was definitely suffering from what we now know as PTSD.”  Colley contributed the land, money out of pocket, timber and building materials towards a church, post-war. He later became a member of the church and superintendent of its Sunday school.

“There are many arms and legs to history,” said Shaffer. “Colley writes about the social, the political, the economic issues that were going on. And medical issues — hospital conditions and so forth. I think there’s something in the book for most anyone, regardless of where their interest might lie. If they love military history, there’s plenty in the book about that.” One of the striking moment’s in Shaffer’s book is a picture of Colley and his two boys. In the photograph Colley is standing next to two fresh faces in uniform, gearing up to go fight for a united country in World War I.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Coming Thursday July 11, 2019

Walt Whitman impersonator Daniel Blaine Ford will discuss Walt Whitman during the Civil War. (Review)“Daniel is a true artist and friend who speaks extemporaneously and with wisdom and conviction from the bottom of his heart. He knows of what he speaks and speaks it from the right places”.  “Daniel Blaine Ford performed as Walt Whitman during a special humanities-based tour of Whitman's involvement in Camden, New Jersey. Mr. Ford was thoroughly professional, easy to work with, creative, based his portrayal on superb research. He also interacted easily with people of all ages. I only ran the tour once, but would have happily contracted with Mr. Ford again, and would still, for any portrayal of that great poet”.

Daniel Ford Blaine, aka Walt Whitman II, grew up within biking distance of the Whitman homestead in West Hills. He became interested in Walt Whitman as a 9 year old and was influenced by a collateral Whitman descendant who was one of his teachers.   His primary career has been as a biology teacher, an ornithologist and as an organizer of various charitable organizations.   A New York Times article published in 2008 described him  as a 'tall old man in outmoded dress ambling with the aid of a long walking stick, wearing a black coat, a black vest hung with a thin  gold chain and a white collared shirt open wide at the neck.  Much of his face is obscured by an enormous white beard with his long grey hair played out in the wind beneath a green slouch.  It is not the ghost of Walt Whitman who died in 1892 but his stand in, Daniel Blaine Ford. For more than 35 years he has served as Walt's alter ego doing presentations of Whitman and his poetry.  Unlike Walt,  he is a proud father of five and a grandfather.

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.