Patrick Schroeder will present Brian Pohanka's book, Vortex of Hell. (From the Civil War Trust:) Patrick Schroeder is a Civil War author and historian. He is the editor and publisher of Brian Pohanka's book, "Vortex of Hell." Patrick worked as a seasonal living history interpreter at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park while earning a B.S. in Historical Park Administration from Shepherd College. In 1993, he wrote "Thirty Myths About Lee’s Surrender," which is currently in its twelfth printing. His thesis for his M.A. in Civil War History from Virginia Tech formed his fourth book, "We Came To Fight: The History of the 5th New York Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Duryee’s Zouaves (1863-1865)." Patrick has written, edited and/or contributed to more than twenty-five Civil War titles. Patrick resides in Lynchburg, VA, has served as the Historian at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park since 2002.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
In two decades as a sculptor and teacher, Frank Porcu has concentrated on art inspired by early Greece and the Renaissance. So when a would-be patron suggested he create a bust of Abraham Lincoln, the Mastic Beach artist initially demurred. "It was extremely different" than any of his past work, the 40-year-old artist said. But Porcu eventually sculpted a bronze bust that is receiving raves from historians for its accuracy and how it captures the power of the 16th president's character.
Porcu's Lincoln was officially unveiled at the New York Historical Society in Manhattan. Historian Harold Holzer, who has written 40 books on Lincoln and spoke at the event, said that Porcu's is the best three-dimensional likeness he's seen created in his 40 years of studying the president. "It's extremely powerful," Holzer said. "From any angle it reflects both power and sadness, and I think that's what Lincoln was all about."
The sculpture came about after Porcu was introduced to Shawn Thomas, a certified public accountant from Bay Shore who is a longtime collector of historical artifacts. "I've been looking for a Lincoln sculpture that truly expressed the essence of the man," Thomas said. He thought Porcu could capture the real Lincoln -- proud and determined -- so he offered to pay for the sculpture and the artist's living expenses like a Renaissance patron. "I said, 'Why? There are so many great Lincolns out there,' " Porcu said. "But Thomas said, 'They don't show who I know Lincoln to have been.' And that was a challenge."
The two collaborated over six months, uninterrupted even when super storm Sandy left Porcu's house awash in 2 feet of water, forcing him and his wife to live temporarily in Hicksville. Most sculptors start with a block of clay and cut it away to unveil their vision. But as a longtime student and teacher of anatomy and medical dissection, Porcu, who is on the faculty of the Graduate School of Figurative Art at the New York Academy of Art, said he envisions a piece from the inside out. "Each piece of clay is planned in advance, applied, and never touched again," he said.
Thomas and Porcu are already talking about collaborating on a different view of Lincoln or a sculpture of Theodore Roosevelt. by Bill Bleyer
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Diane Monroe Smith will discuss her book Command Conflicts in Grant’s Overland Campaign: Ambition And Animosity In The Army Of the Potomac. She is the author of three Civil War books; Fanny and Joshua, Chamberlain at Petersburg and Grant’s Overland Campaign. She is married to a Civil War author, Ned Smith. They live in Holden, Maine and spend their summers in maritime Canada.
In her book, Command Conflicts in Grant’s Overland Campaign, Ambition and Animosity in the Army of the Potomac, Smith supports with substantial historical documentation, her belief that Grant was too lenient with Sheridan, Wilson, and other Western generals, a habit that possibly extended the war in Virginia an extra nine months. The book lays out substantive evidence that had some of the Western generals not been so contemptuous of their Eastern counterparts and had cooperated more with them during the Overland Campaign, Union troops could have captured the under-defended Petersburg in summer 1864 and forced Confederate troops to abandon Richmond and probably Virginia altogether. Smith also supports with ample evidence her belief that Grant cared little about his men’s lives. He earned the nickname “Butcher” Grant during the Overland Campaign, during which he repeatedly hurled his men against entrenched Confederates. “To me, Grant was just a guy who threw men into battle” without personally reconnoitering the terrain, Smith explained.
Friday, July 26, 2013
James L. Coll will present a lecture: Forever Free: Lincoln, Civil War and the American March to Emancipation.
James Coll is an adjunct associate professor of American and Constitutional history at Nassau Community College. James is also a detective in a tactical and rescue unit for the New York City Police Department. In his work with the NYPD, James has received numerous awards, including being named Cop of the Year by the New York City Police Foundation for the efforts of his unit during the US Airways Flight 1549 plane crash in the Hudson River. One year later, James was part of the FEMA NY Task Force Urban Search and Rescue Team deployed to Haiti in the aftermath of a 7.0 earthquake to search for survivors. In addition, James is the founder of changeNYS, a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting the education of New Yorkers about civic understanding and political reform in our state. James also lectures and teaches in the Hutton House program on the campus of Long Island University, Post Campus.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
John Witt will discuss his book, Lincoln’s Code: The Rule of War in American History. In the fateful closing days of 1862, three weeks before Emancipation, the administration of Abraham Lincoln commissioned a code setting forth the laws of war for the armies of the United States. The code announced standards of civilized conduct in wartime concerning issues such as torture, prisoners of war, civilians, spies, and slaves. The code Lincoln approved ultimately shaped the course of the Civil War. And when the war was over, the same code reshaped warfare the world over. By the twentieth century, the 157 articles of Lincoln’s code had become the basis of a new international law of war. European powers adopted the American code. International agreements like the Geneva Conventions incorporated and expanded it. (publisher)
John Fabian Witt is the Allen H. Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law at Yale Law School, a professor in the Yale history department, and a Guggenheim Foundation fellow. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, the Harvard Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal, among other publications. Witt is the author of The Accidental Republic, which was awarded book prizes by the Harvard Press Board of Syndics, the American Society for Legal History, and the Law and Society Association. Professor Witt is a graduate of Yale Law School and Yale College and he holds a Ph.D. in history from Yale. Before returning to Yale, he was the George Welwood Murray Professor of Legal History at Columbia University. He served as law clerk to Judge Pierre N. Leval on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Walter E. Wilson will discuss his book James Bulloch: Secret Agent and Mastermind of the Confederate Navy. Walt Wilson is a retired Navy Captain with over 28 years of active duty service as an Intelligence Officer. After leaving the Navy in 2002, he and his wife of over 40 years returned to their roots in Texas. He is the co-author of the first biography of James D. Bulloch, Secret Agent and Mastermind of the Confederate Navy. As the former head of the Navy's intelligence operations in Europe, Walt felt a special connection with Bulloch, the ingenious secret agent who conjured up a fleet of cruisers and blockade runners from his base in Liverpool against incredible odds during the American Civil War. Bulloch was also the favorite Uncle and mentor of a future U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Michael Russert will present a lecture, “The Fenians: The Irish and the Civil War”. Michael Russert is a frequent speaker at our Roundtable. He has written several articles about the Civil War and has served as a tour guide to the Gettysburg Battlefield. He is a native of Buffalo, NY and currently resides in Cambridge, NY. He is on the book review staff of The Civil War News and Multicultural Journal. Mike is a member of the North Shore Civil War Roundtable and the Company of Military Historians. He was the former Director of the New York State Veterans Oral History Program.