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, 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.

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.