Sunday, March 8, 2020

Coming Thursday April 2


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. 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 in 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.


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Coming March 5, 2020

Mike Fitzpatrick will speak on the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg. The Irish Brigade was one of the legendary units of the Civil War. Three of its regiments were from New York. The other two were the 28th Massachusetts and the 116th Pennsylvania. With its numbers horribly thinned at Antietam and Fredericksburg, the three New York regiments could barely muster two weak companies each. But the Irish Brigade was still a force to be reckoned with when they were thrown in to support Sickles’ collapsing line on the afternoon of July 2.  
One of the memorable moments of the battle came as the men of the Irish Brigade knelt while the Brigade Chaplain, Father William Corby, stood atop a boulder and pronounced general absolution to the men.


They attacked into the Wheatfield, charging across into the Rose Woods and the Stony Hill. The Confederate advance was temporarily halted just as it threatened to overwhelm the entire Union position, although the brigade was flanked by Confederate Reinforcements advancing from the Peach Orchard and forced to withdraw back across the bloody Wheat-field.

The fighting 69th traces its lineage to the Irish Brigade. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Coming February 6

Long time North Shore Civil War Roundtable member Valerie Protopapas will discuss the sinking of the Sultana. The Sultana was a Mississippi River side-wheel steamboat, which exploded on April 27, 1865, in the worst maritime disaster in United States history. Constructed of wood in 1863 by the John Litherbury Boatyard in Cincinnati, she was intended for the lower Mississippi cotton trade. The steamer registered 1,719 tons and normally carried a crew of 85. For two years, she ran a regular route between St. Louis and New Orleans, and was frequently commissioned to carry troops.

Although designed with a capacity of only 376 passengers, she was carrying 2,137 when three of the boat's four boilers exploded and she burned to the waterline and sank near Memphis, Tennessee. The disaster was overshadowed in the press by events surrounding the end of the American Civil War, including the killing of President Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth just the day before, and no one was ever held accountable for the tragedy.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Coming January 2, 2020 Movie Night: "The Tall Target"


The Tall Target is a 1951 American historical thriller film directed by Anthony Mann. This historical thriller is set shortly after President Abraham Lincoln was elected and centers upon a bodyguard who learns of a plot to assassinate him. He tries to tell his superiors, but they scoff at the notion. This causes the bodyguard to quit and launch a personal investigation. He is on a Baltimore-bound train when he learns that one of the potential assassins is also a passenger. Now the bodyguard must somehow stop him and the other would-be killers.

Starring Dick Powell as John Kennedy, Adolphe Menjou as Colonel Caleb Jeffers, Paula Raymond as Ginny Beaufort, Marshall Thompson as Lance Beaufort and Ruby Dee as Rachel.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Coming December 5, 2019


North Shore Civil War Roundtable member John Scotto will present a lecture entitled Civil War Field Artillery: A Critical Reassessment. John has been a member of the NSCWR since 1997, and was an original member of the Steering Committee and Board of Directors until 2014. He’s helped lead two battlefield tours, and made three presentations to the Roundtable.  John is currently employed by the Long Island Rail Road.

John’s presentation is on the capabilities and limitations of Civil War artillery, concentrating on the field, or “light”  artillery most common on Civil War battlefields.  His objective will be to provide a better understanding of the above, in order to help the student of the Civil War and battlefield visitor put the war in its proper technological and historic context.


Monday, October 7, 2019

Coming November 7, 2019


Ed Flanagan will discuss General Grant at the Battle of Belmont. Ed Flanagan is a librarian and the branch manager of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Ulmer Park Branch. Ed graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a B.A. in History and a M.S. in Library from Clarion University. ED has been a life long student of the American Civil War since he visited Gettysburg Battlefield as a 10 year old in 1972. ED is a member of the Nassau County CWRT and the CWRT of New York. As a member of the Nassau County CWRT, Ed has given talks on “How to Build a CW Library”, “Fort Pickens: The First Shots of the CW”, “Captain Henry Walke: The Man who Ran the Gun and Lived to Draw About It”, “Newspaper Battle Maps of the CW” and “Fort Hatteras: The First Move in the Game.”

Ed’s talk will be on ex-Captain Sam Grant’s transformation to General Grant at the Battle of Belmont in November of 1861. How does a perceived ne’er-do-well town drunk in the small Illinois town of Galina in April 1861 and six months later he leads a raid that disrupts Confederate operations in Missouri and catches the attention of President Lincoln!

The Battle of Belmont was fought on November 7, 1861 in Mississippi County, Missouri. It was the first combat test in the American Civil War for Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, the future Union Army general in chief and eventual U.S. president, who was fighting Major General Leonidas Polk. Grant's troops in this battle were the "nucleus" of the Union Army of the Tennessee. On November 6, Grant moved by riverboat from Cairo, Illinois, to attack the Confederacy's small outpost near Belmont, Missouri across the Mississippi River from the Confederate stronghold at Columbus, Kentucky. He landed his men on the Missouri side and marched to Belmont. Grant's troops overran the surprised Confederate camp and destroyed it. However, the scattered Confederate forces quickly reorganized and were reinforced from Columbus. They counterattacked, supported by heavy artillery fire from across the river. Grant retreated to his riverboats and took his men to Paducah, Kentucky. The battle was relatively unimportant, but with little happening elsewhere at the time, it received considerable attention in the press, with southerners praising it and northerners lamenting the Union defeat.


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.