Calendar of Events

All events take place at the Fort Taber Military Museum unless otherwise noted. Talks are free and open to all.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Jan 25, 2022, 7:00pm

Patrick Donovan

Varnum Memorial Armory Museum

Patrick Donovan will explain recent efforts to restore the historic armory, professionalize the care of the museum collection, and add professional conservation services to the Varnum Continentals, a historic, non-profit organization. He will also bring some of the museum’s latest and most special Civil War relic acquisitions and will share their amazing stories with the group.

Patrick is Vice President of the Varnum Continentals, Inc., an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that owns and manages two museum properties: the James Mitchell Varnum Estate and the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum. As Armory Vice President, Patrick is responsible for the Varnum Armory facility and is executive director of the Varnum Armory museum which houses the largest collection of Rhode Island military history on display. The Varnum Continentals’ mission since 1907 has been to preserve and share Rhode Island military history with the ultimate aim to educate and encourage patriotism and service – of all kinds – to our state and country.

We will be making our first attempt at doing a video of this presentation and linking it to our Facebook page or to a YouTube Channel. If you are an out of town member, we wish to have you included in our monthly meetings via the internet.


THIS IS AN IN-PERSON MEETING

The New Bedford Civil War Round Table is moving to a new and permanent meeting location.

Beginning with the January 2022 meeting, we will meet at the Low Tide Yacht Club. This location is next door to our previous meeting space at the Fort Tabor Military Museum. The Yacht Club room offers us a larger facility, and you will feel comfortably spaced, not jammed together.
Ample, free parking. Directions

Masks are required even if you have both shots and a booster. This is City of New Bedford policy in city-owned buildings.

Feb 22, 2022, 7:00pm

Dr. Megan Kate Nelson

Saving Yellowstone

Megan Kate Nelson, Ph. D returns to the New Bedford Civil War Round Table.

She will introduce her latest book, “Saving Yellowstone”.

Each year nearly four million people visit Yellowstone National Park, but few know the fascinating and complex historical context in which it was established. In late July 1871, the geologist-explorer Ferdinand Hayden led a team of scientists through a narrow canyon into Yellowstone Basin, entering one of the last unmapped places in the country. The survey’s discoveries led to the passage of the Yellowstone Act in 1872, which created the first national park in the world.

Author Megan Kate Nelson examines the larger context of this American moment, illuminating Hayden’s survey as a national project meant to give Americans a sense of achievement and unity in the wake of a destructive civil war.

Saving Yellowstone follows Hayden and two other protagonists in pursuit of their own agendas: Sitting Bull, a Lakota leader who asserted his peoples’ claims to their homelands, and financier Jay Cooke, who wanted to secure his national reputation by building the Northern Pacific Railroad through the Great Northwest. Hayden, Cooke, and Sitting Bull staked their claims to Yellowstone at a critical moment in Reconstruction, when the Grant Administration and the 42nd Congress were testing the reach and the purpose of federal power across the nation.

A narrative of adventure and exploration, Saving Yellowstone is also a story of indigenous resistance, the expansive reach of railroad, photographic, and publishing technologies, and the struggles of Black southerners to bring racial terrorists to justice. It reveals how the early 1870’s were a turning point in the nation’s history, as white Americans ultimately abandoned the higher ideal of equality for all people creating a much more fragile and divided United States.

Megan has a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and a PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa. She has also taught U.S. history and American Studies at Texas Tech University, Cal State Fullerton, Harvard, and Brown. Megan is a recipient of a 2017 NEH Public Scholar Award.

Learn more about Megan on her website, and follow her on Twitter.


THIS IS AN IN-PERSON MEETING

The New Bedford Civil War Round Table is moving to a new and permanent meeting location.

Beginning with the January 2022 meeting, we will meet at the Low Tide Yacht Club. This location is next door to our previous meeting space at the Fort Tabor Military Museum. The Yacht Club room offers us a larger facility, and you will feel comfortably spaced, not jammed together.
Ample, free parking. Directions

Masks are required even if you have both shots and a booster. This is City of New Bedford policy in city-owned buildings.

Mar 22, 2022, 7:00pm

Mary Gorman A.K.A. Gary Morgan

Andersonville Raiders

On the evening of July 11, 1864, six men were marched into Andersonville Prison, surrounded by a cordon of guards, the prison commandant, and a Roman Catholic priest. The six men were handed over to a small execution squad, and while 26,000 Union prisoners looked on, the six were hung. The six, part of a larger group known as the Raiders, were killed, not by their Rebel enemies but by their fellow prisoners for the crimes of robbing and assaulting their own comrades.

Mary (Gary) Morgan became interested in Andersonville when a colleague lent her the Civil War letters of Frederic Augustus James, a sailor on the Housatonic who died as a POW at Andersonville, and is believed to be the only sailor at Andersonville to have kept a diary. The only blank James left in his diary was the names of the Raiders who were hanged at Andersonville Prison for robbing and assaulting their fellow prisoners. Morgan tried to remedy that omission to satisfy her own curiosity, only to discover that there were seven names provided but only six men were executed. Trying to figure out who was actually hanged took two years and multiple trips up and down the east coast, and when it was over, there was enough information to write a book, which she did — the first book ever published devoted exclusively to the Andersonville Raiders.

Originally from Brockton, Morgan attended Florida State University and subsequently moved to Western Massachusetts where she currently teaches at Amherst Regional High School. Morgan is the recipient of a 2017 Friends of Andersonville Grant. She returned to Georgia on Veteran's Day Weekend to present her findings at the National Prisoner of War Museum, and she will be returning to Andersonville in July to present a Raiders-themed tour of the prison for the National Park Service on the 155th anniversary of the hanging.


THIS IS AN IN-PERSON MEETING

The New Bedford Civil War Round Table is moving to a new and permanent meeting location.

Beginning with the January 2022 meeting, we will meet at the Low Tide Yacht Club. This location is next door to our previous meeting space at the Fort Tabor Military Museum. The Yacht Club room offers us a larger facility, and you will feel comfortably spaced, not jammed together.
Ample, free parking. Directions

Masks are required even if you have both shots and a booster. This is City of New Bedford policy in city-owned buildings.


PAST EVENTS:

Dec 7, 2021, 6:00pm

Annual Holiday Dinner

at the Century House

Save the Date

Reservations required. Please order your tickets this month. Tickets are $35 and you are encouraged to bring a guest, or more! You'll find an order form on page 6 of the Flagbearer.

Century House 107 Main Street, Acushnet, MA | Directions

Nov 9, 2021, 7:00pm

Codie Eash

Written in Ink and Marked with Blood:
Frederick Douglass's Gettysburg Address

(ZOOM Talk)

On January 25, 1869, Frederick Douglass visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of the Civil War’s costliest engagement. There, the formerly enslaved and self-emancipated activist, author, and lecturer delivered a speech in which he reflected upon the words spoken and deeds done on battlefields across the country during the “Abolition War” (as Douglass called it) from 1861-1865 and the Reconstruction that followed. Through written word and commanding oratory, he brought meaning to the bloodletting of fallen United States soldiers and the martyred Abraham Lincoln, and placed the racial and political results of the war—constructive as well as destructive—within the context of world history. Join Codie Eash for this discussion of the motivations for Douglass’s address, how it was received by those who heard it, and what it means in our collective memory today.

Codie Eash serves as Operations Manager at Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and is a 2014 graduate of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor degree in communication/journalism and held a minor in history.

Codie regularly lectures for National Park Service sites, historical societies, Civil War roundtables, and educational groups. He has published articles and essays in local newspapers, regional magazines, and national history journals. Codie contributes to the blog Pennsylvania in the Civil War; writes book reviews for Civil War Monitor magazine; serves as a co-host on Battles and Banter, a military history podcast; and maintains the Facebook page Codie Eash – Writer and Historian, which primarily focuses on the Civil War era.


Zoom Talks Registration: To register please contact us so we can send a Zoom request/invite to your email address. Let us know which talk you would like to join.

New to Zoom? Here's a good Zoom tutorial video (opens on YouTube). Be sure you have an audio hook up if you are using your computer.

Oct 26, 2021, 7:00pm

Ron Coddington

Faces of Civil War Nurses

(ZOOM Talk)

Introducing Ron Coddington
Historian, author, and guide

While other kids in his Middlesex, N.J. neighborhood collected baseball cards, 14-year-old Ronald S. Coddington browsed flea markets looking for old photographs. Collecting historic images would become his lifelong pursuit. He began to write about the lives of identified Civil War Soldiers in his collection in 2001. Many are included in his books, Faces of the Civil War, Faces of the Confederacy, and African American Faces of the Civil War. Ron is a regular contributor to the New York Times series Disunion, and a columnist for the Civil War Times.


Zoom Talks Registration: To register please contact us so we can send a Zoom request/invite to your email address. Let us know which talk you would like to join.

New to Zoom? Here's a good Zoom tutorial video (opens on YouTube). Be sure you have an audio hook up if you are using your computer.

Sep 28, 2021, 7:00pm

James A. Hessler

Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard

(ZOOM Talk)

New speaker addition at The New Bedford Civil War Round Table!

Historian, author, and guide—James A. Hessler will be with us Sept. 28 via Zoom. His topic; Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard.


Zoom Talks Registration: To register please contact us so we can send a Zoom request/invite to your email address. Let us know which talk you would like to join.

New to Zoom? Here's a good Zoom tutorial video (opens on YouTube). Be sure you have an audio hook up if you are using your computer.

Jun 22, 2021, 7:00pm

Kate Taylor

as Mary Todd Lincoln

(ZOOM Talk)

Kate Taylor returns as Mary Todd Lincoln

Living historian, Kate Taylor of Mary Surratt fame will return to the New Bedford Civil War Round Table. Most of you remember Kate’s wonderful performance at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park as “Mary Surratt; Guilty, or Not Guilty” as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

This performance is open to all—tell your friends about this great opportunity to become familiar with the New Bedford Civil War Round Table.


Zoom Talks Registration: To register please contact us so we can send a Zoom request/invite to your email address. Let us know which talk you would like to join.

New to Zoom? Here's a good Zoom tutorial video (opens on YouTube). Be sure you have an audio hook up if you are using your computer.

May 18, 2021, 7:00pm

David T. Dixon

The Lost Gettysburg Address:
Charles Anderson’s Civil War Odyssey

(ZOOM Talk)

David explains how Anderson, a slave owner, ended up sharing the spotlight with Lincoln November 1863.

David Dixon earned his M.A. in History at the University of Massachusetts in 2003. He has been on tour visiting Round Tables from coast-to-coast. As with many of our speakers, it is worthwhile to find him on YouTube and listen to his presentations. In this case David’s talk at the Gettysburg Foundation Sacred Trust Symposium in 2016 is a good start to understanding this interesting piece of history. The Charles Anderson speech was never published and was forgotten for 150 years. David Dixon brings it to life in a most interesting way.


Zoom Talks Registration: To register please contact us so we can send a Zoom request/invite to your email address. Let us know which talk you would like to join.

New to Zoom? Here's a good Zoom tutorial video (opens on YouTube). Be sure you have an audio hook up if you are using your computer.

Apr 27, 2021, 7:00pm

Thomas F. Army, Jr.

Engineering Victory

(ZOOM Talk)

Leaders win through logistics. Tom Army’s book, Engineering Victory: How Technology Won the Civil War, and presentation will discuss the Union advantage.

Civil War Historian Dr. Thomas F. Army Jr. Ph.D. is an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut. He is also known for his YouTube series on the history of the United States.


Zoom Talks Registration: To register please contact us so we can send a Zoom request/invite to your email address. Let us know which talk you would like to join.

New to Zoom? Here's a good Zoom tutorial video (opens on YouTube). Be sure you have an audio hook up if you are using your computer.

Mar 23, 2021, 7:00pm

Mark Mello

Lost Cause Mythology: Do the Victors
Really Write the History?

(ZOOM Talk)

Ever hear the old adage, “History is written by the victors”? Well, if there is any instance in our history that proves that is not always the case, it’s the American Civil War.

In many ways the defeated South shaped the way that many still view this critical moment in our history. Why do we call it a Civil War? Was the outcome of the war as inevitable as people like to think? Why do Americans still romanticize plantation life? Why do we as a nation still glorify those who rebel, or fight the man? In this presentation, we will seek to answer what “Lost Cause Mythology” was and still is, and how it still effects the way that we choose to talk about the Civil War today.

New Bedford Civil War Round Table President

Mark has a M.A. in US History from Providence College, and a B.A. in History from Bridgewater State University. Mark is a life-long historian, with a special love of the American Civil War. He currently works for the National Park Service at Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park as a Park Ranger and a Public Historian. He has taught classes for Massasoit Community College and the Second Half Life-Long Learning Center in Fall River. He is a Civil War Reenactor and has lectured on topics related to the American Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Antebellum Period to numerous groups including Civil War Round Tables, Historical Associations, public libraries, and schools.


Zoom Talks Registration: To register please contact us so we can send a Zoom request/invite to your email address. Let us know which talk you would like to join.

New to Zoom? Here's a good Zoom tutorial video (opens on YouTube). Be sure you have an audio hook up if you are using your computer.

Feb 23, 2021, 7:00pm

Ben Kemp

Grant's Final Days

(ZOOM Talk)

Operations Director, Friends of U.S. Grant Cottage, Mt. McGregor, NY

Join U.S. Grant Cottage Historical Site Operations Manager Ben Kemp as he shares the compelling story of how famed Civil War General and two-term U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant ended up spending his final days in the foothills of New York’s Adirondack Mountains. His story is an inspirational tale of family devotion and a true character study of a man known for his triumph over adversity. Learn how the amazingly preserved cottage atop Mt. McGregor, with the sweeping views of the Hudson Valley and Green Mountains, became a historic site that has welcomed visitors for the last 135 years.

Ben Kemp was born and raised in the Saratoga region of New York. He is a living historian, speaker, and researcher who has been featured on C-Span, PBS, and the 2020 History Channel documentary, Grant. Kemp has been a staff member with the Friends of U.S. Grant Cottage since 2014.


Zoom Talks Registration: To register please contact us so we can send a Zoom request/invite to your email address. Let us know which talk you would like to join.

New to Zoom? Here's a good Zoom tutorial video (opens on YouTube). Be sure you have an audio hook up if you are using your computer.

Jan 26, 2021, 7:00pm

Matt Atkinson

General Robert E. Lee

(ZOOM Talk)

Gettysburg NPS Ranger

We are pleased to welcome Matt as our guest speaker. Matt is from Houston, Mississippi—a little town below Tupelo. Grierson’s raid came through his hometown. Matt is a lifelong fan of the Civil War and he recently scored his dream home—a little log cabin near Gettysburg, Pa. Civil War is his passion but his true love is his three children—Ben (12) and the Ladies … Emma and Aubrey (6). Matt apologizes beforehand for any interruptions.

General Robert E. Lee Q & A

Matt is pleased to join us on Jan 26th, almost on the anniversary of General Robert E. Lee’s birthday. He will give some introductory remarks but he’d rather talk about whatever Lee subject you, the audience, wish to talk about. So, like December’s expanded Q & A, whereby we typed into the chat box on Zoom a question and a discussion followed, we will do it again. It seem to be a very successful format. An hour and fifteen minutes went by quickly. Let your friends know that they are welcome to join us!


Zoom Talks Registration: To register please contact us so we can send a Zoom request/invite to your email address. Let us know which talk you would like to join.

New to Zoom? Here's a good Zoom tutorial video (opens on YouTube). Be sure you have an audio hook up if you are using your computer.