PLEASE JOIN US AT OUR NEXT MEETING!
It is not surprising at all that so many
people are still deeply interested in that peculiar
period of American history, the years 17861 through
1865. What is a surprise, though, is that more and more
people do not follow suit. The factual interest is
enormous, sometimes incredible, and source material
What work of fiction could possibly
match this romantic saga of internecine warfare? What
contemporary writer could have dreamed up the set of
characters that were involved? A general whose men
refuse to fight unless he goes to the rear, away
from danger. Two of the most successful figures of the
war who were unsuccessful in civilian life; during the
fighting one was deemed crazy, the other a drunk. A
third (hardly a more prominent figure exists even
today!), a solitary martinet, sucked lemons and refused
to tell subordinates his plans. One cavalry leader
couldn't spell but always demanded surrender "to prevent
further effusion of blood," another kidnapped a banjo
player to entertain his troops.
These were just a few of the characters;
now some plots.
A set of Rebel orders, found on an open
field wrapped up with three cigars, plays a decisive
part in one of the major battles of t he war, a
so-called victory for the Union, which brings forth an
Emancipation Proclamation, in effect, keeping England
and France from recognizing the Confederacy, a major
triumph for the North. When a group of Pennsylvania coal
miners turned soldier, ply their trade again and dig a
511-foot tunnel to reach the Confederate defenses, a
mighty explosion follows. Unhappily, a political
decision causes untrained troops to be used, resulting
in the slaughter of the attackers. A Confederate
raide4r, purchased by Theodore Roosevelt's uncle, ruins
Northern shipping by burning or capturing 69 Union
vessels. The famous Alabama is sunk off the French coast
by the USS Kearsage, and the survivors are picked up by
All of these topics have been touched
upon by our speakers over a sixty year period. In the
long ago past, speakers included Bruce Catton, Allan
Nevins, Douglas Southall Freeman and Shelby Foote.
Currently we have heard James T. Robertson, Jr., Craig
Symonds, Will Green, and other well know historians.
No wonder so many of us try to relive
this period in so many ways on the second Wednesday of
the month from September to June. The wonder is that
there aren't a host of others joining us.
Every January we have Lee/Jackson night
when a speaker discusses one of these famous Confederate
generals or a related Southern topic.
Our February meeting is devoted to
Abraham Lincoln and the Barondess/Lincoln Award which is
presented to "any person or institution and for any
contribution to the greater appreciation of the life and
works of Abraham Lincoln." Named in memory of Benjamin
Barondess, a charter member of the Round Table, the
award has been presented since 1962 to such worthies as
Gore Vidal, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Governor Mario Cuomo,
and Gabor Boritt among others.
Each May the Fletcher Pratt Award is
presented to the author or editor of the best
non-fiction book about the Civil War published in the
previous calendar year. Named in memory of Fletcher
Pratt, a journalist, author, and charter member of the
Round Table, the award has been presented since 1956.
Recipients included Bruce Catton, Shelby Foote, Steven
Woodworth, Gary Gallager, Stephen Sears, and Amanda
To help keep the history of this time
alive, a number of men and women organized the Civil War
Round Table of New York in 1951. They included
reporters, historians, professors, military personnel
and many others.
The Civil War Round Table of New York
meets the second Wednesday of the month from September
to June at the 3 West Club, 3 West 51st Street in
Manhattan. At each meeting we listen to a
historian speak about a particular aspect of the war.
To paraphrase Jeb Stuart, "If you want
to have fun, join the CWRTNY." In October, the Round
Table conducts a trip to a Civil War battlefield and
related historic sites.
The Civil War Round Table of New York
Officers and Directors 2017-2018
Michael Connors, President
Kristofer Kasnicki, VP of Programs
Joan McDonough, VP of Operations
E. A. “Bud” Livingston, Treasurer
Patricia Holohan, Secretary
Board of Directors
Board Member At Large – Carolyn Roxon