Speakers & Events

November 7, 2017 - Harriet Tubman: Hero of the North Star

November 7, 2017 - Harriet Tubman: Hero of the North Star

Presented by Elizabeth Parnicza, Historian, National Park Service

Location - UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner at 6PM (No entrance until 6PM) Program starts at 7PM

(Dinner Menu - Chicken Piccata, New Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables, Garden Salad and Dessert. Cost $13. Please RSVP to Jim Rosenthal by email or to cell 817-307-9263)

What creates a hero? Harriet Tubman was a woman who never quit. Born a slave on Maryland's Eastern Shore, she read the stars and navigated the marshes to steal herself to freedom. Dissatisfied with a freedom that did not include her loved ones, she famously broke the law in at least 13 return trips to carry her family and friends from Maryland to freedom in the North and later, Canada.

Most famous for her work on the Underground Railroad, her life personified her commitment to doing right. She served as a nurse, cook, and spy in the Civil War, and she participated in the Combahee River Raid in South Carolina that destroyed riverside plantations and freed 750 enslaved people. Her later career included caring for elderly African Americans and working as a suffragist. Her tireless efforts prove the power of an individual to help change the world.

Elizabeth (Beth) Parnicza started her career with the National Park Service in 2008 as an Intern at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NBP. She distinguished herself as a knowledgeable historian with a gift for interpreting history and was offered a permanent position shortly thereafter. In March of this year she was involved in starting a new Harriet Tubman Underground Visitor Center in Church Creek, Maryland. Beth has spoken to our group before. She is knowledgeable, entertaining and always well prepared. Don't miss her presentation on the 7th!

October 10, 2017 - The Lost Gettysburg Address

October 10, 2017 - The Lost Gettysburg Address

Presentation By David Dixon, Author and Historian

Location - UNT Health Science Center, Medical Education and Training Center, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program starts at 7PM

(Dinner Menu: Beef and Italian Sausage Lasagna, bread sticks, Caesar Salad and Dessert. $13 per person. RSVP to Jim Rosenthal by email or by calling or texting 817-307-9263)

All of us are familiar with Lincoln's Gettysburg Address - one of the most widely quoted speeches of all time. The man who preceded Lincoln on the dais, Edward Everett, is also well known - primarily for the length of his talk (over 2 hours). But few know that there was a third speech that day given by Charles Anderson, a slave owner who sacrificed nearly everything to help save the Union. How did he wind up sharing the stage with the President and the best know orator of his day? What did he say?

Our speaker, David Dixon, will answer these questions and explain how the three featured speeches at Gettysburg were a carefully crafted rhetorical ensemble, each having a specific political purpose, in addition to memorializing the dead soldiers. He will also share the unusual story of the discovery of the speech manuscript itself, in a most unlikely place.

David is a frequent and popular speaker at Civil War related events and is the author of numerous articles. David's book (with the same title as his talk) will be available for purchase and signing. Here is how one reviewer described it. "“It's amazing that stimulating and informative Civil War books with whole new perspectives keep coming out of the woodwork. … This one makes it a pleasure to be a book review editor. . . .Don't miss it.” And don't miss David's presentation of this little known story. See you on the 10th!

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September 12 - The Texas Campaign of 1863

September 12 - The Texas Campaign of 1863

Presented by: Dr. Donald Frazier, Professor, McMurry University

Location - UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program begins at - 7PM

Texas often gets scant attention in the study of the American Civil War. When it does, most of the conversation centers on events like The Battle of Galveston, The Battle of Sabine Pass, or perhaps even the Battle of the Nueces. Dr. Don Frazier will demonstrate how Texas was the key to the Trans-Mississippi and the Trans-Mississippi was key to American strategic thinking in 1863. The Campaign for Texas, then, became an important part of Union strategy until overshadowed by events farther afield.

Dr. Donald Frazier is a Professor of History at McMurry University in Abilene. He is a prolific author on many Civil War related topics - especially the Trans-Mississippi. He is also a two-time Pate Award Winner. He is also the President of the McWhiney History Education Group - an organization involved in everything from publishing to preservation. Don is an entertaining, knowledgeable and, often, humorous speaker. Don't miss his presentation on the 12th. See you there!

December 12, 2017 - The 5th Texas

Presented by Dr. Steven Woodworth, Professor, Texas Christian University

Location - UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6 PM Program starts at 7PM

January 9, 2018 - A. M. Pate, Jr. Award Presentation

Recipient and Speaker to be determined.

Location - UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program starts at 7PM

February 13, 2018 - The Real Story of the USS Monitor

Presented by Dr. Bill Cogar, Executive Director, Historic Naval Ships Association

Location - UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program starts at 7PM

March 13, 2018 - An Evening with Ed Bearss - Topic to be announced

Presented by Ed Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus, National Park Service

Location - UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program starts at 7PM

April 10, 2018 - The Civil War We Don't Know

Presented by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Ralph Peters, Author, Commentator and Historian

Location - UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program begins at 7PM

May 8, 2018 - Program to be announced

Program and Presenter to be announced.

Location - UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program starts at 7PM

May 9, 2017 - William Rion Hoel - The Indispensable Man

May 9, 2017 - William Rion Hoel - The Indispensable Man

Presented by Dr. Gary Joiner, Professor, LSU Shreveport

Location - UNT Health Science Center, Medical Education and Training Center, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program - 7PM

(Menu: Grilled Shrimp over Checca with Artichoke hearts and Capers, rice pilaf, grilled vegetables, garden salad and dessert - $14 per person. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or call or text 817-307-9263.)

The Union "Brown Water" Navy played an important role in the Civil War Western Theater. Admirals Farragut and/or Porter were involved in virtually every engagement near a river. But there were other exceptional men in the Western Navy. One was William Rion Hoel - the indispensable man - who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.

Hoel was a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River who joined the Navy in October 1861. In February of 1862, while serving as the First Master of Cincinnati, Hoel was wounded during the Battle of Fort Henry. Less than two months later, on 4 April, he volunteered to pilot gunboat Carondelet in her famous run past the Rebel batteries at Island Number 10. This enabled Union forces to cross the river and to take this key island with quantities of cannon, equipment and stores.

In October of 1862 Hoel then took command of USS Pittsburg. On 29 April 1863, as Acting Rear Admiral David D. Porter's flotilla was bombarding the Confederate Batteries at Grand Gulf, his flagship, USS Benton, became unmanageable and was caught under heavy fire in a position where she could neither steer nor reply to the enemy guns. On seeing Porter's predicament, Hoel slipped the Pittsburg in between Benton and the flaming Rebel batteries to protect her by taking the fire himself. In the next 10 minutes his heroism cost the Pittsburg 6 men killed and 8 wounded, but the sacrifice allowed Porter's ship to extricate herself from the deadly trap.

Gary Joiner is a cartographer and a professor of history at LSU in Shreveport. He is the author or editor of 32 books including “One Damn Blunder From Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign in 1864” - a Pate Award Winner. He is an interesting and entertaining speaker and will be a fitting "Grand Finale" to our 2016-2017 season. See you on the 9th!

April 11, 2017 - Admiral Francis DuPont - Lincoln's Tragic Admiral

April 11, 2017 - Admiral Francis DuPont - Lincoln's Tragic Admiral

Presented by Colonel (Retired) Kevin J. Weddle, Ph.D., Professor, US Army War College

Location - UNT Health Science Center, Medical Education and Training Bldg., 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program - 7PM


(Menu: Almond Crusted Tilapia, Rice Pilaf, Grilled Vegetables, Garden Salad, Dessert - $14 per person. RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or call or text 817-307-9263)

Lincoln's Tragic Admiral is the story of a long-forgotten naval officer whose stellar peacetime and early wartime career was overshadowed by his failed attack on Charleston in April 1863. Although Admiral Du Pont championed technological innovation, he outspokenly opposed the use of the new ironclads to attack Charleston, which caused him to clash with the powerful secretary of the navy, Gideon Welles. Only when his objections were overridden, did his use of these modern vessels bring his career to a tragic end. The talk exposes this historical misunderstanding, while also pinpointing Du Pont's crucial role in the development of United States naval strategy and his work in modernizing the navy between the Mexican War and the Civil War.

Colonel Weddle is Professor of Military Theory and Strategy at the US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He is a native Minnesotan, graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and served over 28 years as a combat engineer officer.
He holds master’s degrees in history and civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. He has written numerous articles for popular and scholarly journals and his first book, Lincoln’s Tragic Admiral: The Life of Samuel Francis Du Pont (University of Virginia Press, 2005), won the 2006 William E. Colby Award.

He is a highly recommended speaker and tour leader. This should be another great presentation and will give us insight into this little known - but important military figure. See you on the 11th!

March 14, 2017 - An Evening with Ed Bearss

March 14, 2017 - An Evening with Ed Bearss

Presented by Ed Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus, National Park Service
Moderated by: Jack Waugh, Author and Historian

Location - UNT Health Science Center, Medical Education and Training Bldg., 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program - 7PM


Menu: Round Table Pot Roast, glazed carrots, new potatoes, and dessert. Cost - $13 per person. RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or call or text 817-307-9263

Ed Bearss has earned the distinction of being one of the best known and revered Civil War historians. He has spent his lifetime studying, teaching, writing, recounting and documenting the War. He was on the front lines as a Marine in WWII but he has also been on the front lines as Chief Historian of the NPS, saving Civil War battlefields, recovering a sunken battleship, and leading hundreds of tours. Best of all - Ed is a great storyteller. Our "Evening with Ed" will enable him to tell his stories of some of his many experiences.

We are very fortunate to have Jack Waugh moderating the program. Jack wrote the book - "Edwin Cole Bearss: History's Pied Piper" - a biography of Ed. He knows Ed as well as anyone. And Jack is a former reporter with an eye for a good angle and a good question.

Most of us first "met" Ed when we watched the Ken Burns series on the Civil War. Who couldn't like this engaging, knowledgeable, and entertaining historian? Jack has promised me that one of the questions he will ask Ed will be about the making of this Civil War series. I have heard the story and it alone is worth the price of admission.

Don't miss this event! (Feel free to invite a guest.) See you on the 14th!

February 14, 2017 - Will the Real Joe Joskins Please Step Forward

February 14, 2017 - Will the Real Joe Joskins Please Step Forward

Presented by Rick Eiserman, Author and Historian

Location - UNT Health Science Center, Medical Education and Training Bldg., 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 5PM Program - 6PM

(Please note the change in time! This should give us the opportunity to have our meeting and still be able to celebrate Valentine's Day! Menu: Roasted Chicken w/ country mushroom sauce, new potatoes, sauteed veggies, salad and dessert. $13.00 To RSVP either respond by email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or call or text 817-307-9263.)

One of the fascinating things about studying the Civil War is the "stories within the stories." We have all read biographies of the "big names" - Grant, Lee, Jackson, Sherman, etc. But hundreds of thousands of men served on both sides during the War. Many of them had relatively uneventful military careers. They served their time, did their jobs and went back home to their families. But some seemed to be everywhere. Their names pop up in battlefield accounts time and time again. Their war experiences were just as interesting as those of the top Generals - but from a different perspective. After awhile the questions are asked: "Who is this guy? What is his story?" One such man was PVT. Joe Joskins. Our speaker, Rick Eiserman, has spent years following the road of discovery to find the "real Joe Joskins."

PVT Joe Joskins, Co. A, 5th Texas Infantry, left behind a rich and insightful account of his Civil War experiences. He was wounded an incredible six times and fought in many battles from Gaines’ Mill to Darbytown Road, As you can well imagine he was not often in the rear guard. He was in the middle of the action and lived to tell the tale. All of this makes for a great story and Rick Eiserman will share it with us on the 14th.

Rick Eiserman served for 20 years in the US Army and retired as a Lt. Col. He was an instructor/historian at the US Army War College, is a frequent speaker for history groups, an author and is currently the historian for the Hood’s Texas Brigade Association, Reactivated (HTBAR) and is editing the manuscript of PVT Joe Joskins, for publication.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 14th!

January 10, 2017 - Dr. Jerry Thompson Wins 2016 Pate Award For His "A Civil War History of New Mexico Volunteers and Militia"

January 10, 2017 - Dr. Jerry Thompson Wins 2016 Pate Award For His

Presentation by Dr. Jerry Thompson On his Pate Award Winning Book

Location - UNT Health Science Center, Medical Education and Training Center, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program - 7PM

(Dinner will be Home Style Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy, Grilled Seasonal Vegetables, Mashed New Potatoes, Salad and Dessert - $13. Please RSVP to Jim Rosenthal by responding to this email or by phone or text to 817-307-9263.)

We are pleased to announce that the 2016 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History goes to Dr. Jerry Thompson for his "A Civil War History of the New Mexico Volunteers and Militia." The award is given to honor outstanding research done on the Trans-Mississippi sector of the Civil War. The book represents a 10-year effort and is the first scholarly study of the 6,500 Latinos from the Territory of New Mexico, who ably served on the southwestern frontier.

The focus of the book is on the Confederate Invasion of 1861-62 and it's effects - especially the bloody Battle of Valverde. But the emphasis is on the soldier's themselves and on the companies in which they served. On the basis of service records and numerous other archival sources Jerry is able to give the reader insight into how these units were recruited; who led them; how they were equipped; what they endured on the battlefield; how they adapted to military life and their interactions with other New Mexicans, hostile Indians, outlaws and deserters.

The book is a monumental 939 pages in length. But it's thoroughness will provide a goldmine for historians of today and tomorrow. It represents a significant achievement in Civil War scholarship and is the epitome of what we try to encourage through this Award.

Jerry Thompson is a Professor at Texas A & M International University and it the author or editor of 24 books. This is his second Pate Award. His first was won in 2006. Please join me in honoring Jerry Thompson for his achievement on the 10th! See you there!

December 13, 2016 - 1864 - The Birth of Modern War

December 13, 2016 - 1864 - The Birth of Modern War

Presented by Lt. Col. (Ret) Ralph Peters, Author, Historian, Commentator

Location - UNT Health Science Center, Medical Education and Training Bldg., 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program - 7PM

(Menu: Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Penne Pasta with Marinara Sauce, Caesar"s Salad and Dessert. RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@ aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263)

Ralph Peters will discuss the human aspects and brutal realities of leadership and soldiering in the Civil War, as well as the birth of modern warfare during the conflict. His primary concern is to help us see those famed and not-so-famous leaders as real human beings, not statues frozen atop pedestals. Drawing on his near-lifelong study of the war and his own military background, he will offer a fresh look at the war and those who fought it that goes beyond the hand-me-down clichés that often distort our understanding. Committed to a balanced appreciation of both sides of the Civil War, he finds heroes North and South.

Ralph Peters is a bestselling author whose dramatized histories of the Civil War have won multiple prizes, along with critical praise as the most realistic and accurate Civil War novels ever written. A retired U.S. Army officer and former enlisted man, Ralph also has written widely on strategy and security for dozens of national newspapers, magazines and journals. As a soldier, researcher and journalist, he has experience in eighty countries and six continents, but his core specialty has been Russian affairs. Since 2008, he has been Fox News' Strategic Analyst. He has been fascinated by the Civil War since his childhood during the conflict's centennial and regards his current epic study of our Civil War in the eastern theater as the most important work he has ever done.

We will have copies of Ralph's latest book - "The Damned of Petersburg" - available for sale and signing at the meeting. We are also doing a "silent auction" of a few Civil War related items that would be perfect Christmas gifts (proceeds going to our online project).

Ralph Peters is internationally known for his compelling analysis. It will be fascinating to listen to his views on 1864 and the birth of modern war. This would be a great opportunity to bring a guest. See you on the 13th!

November 8, 2016 - Cedar Creek - Sunset of the Confederacy

November 8, 2016 - Cedar Creek - Sunset of the Confederacy

Presented by Frank O'Reilly, Historian, National Park Service

Location - UNT Health Science Center, Medical Education and Training Bldg., 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program - 7PM

The Confederacy began to unravel by the late summer and fall of 1864 with the fall of Atlanta, Mobile Bay, and two defeats in Stonewall Jackson’s old haunts, the Shenandoah Valley. On the eve of the Northern presidential election, Confederates needed to act boldly to demonstrate the war was far from over. Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early decided to strike a blow against Major General Philip H. Sheridan’s Union forces at Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864. On the eve of battle, Abraham Lincoln calculated that he could be within 6 electoral votes of losing the presidency. Early’s initial success seem to fulfill Lincoln’s worst fears, but the Union army rallied, redeemed itself, and destroyed Early’s forces. The resounding victory at Cedar Creek virtually assured Lincoln’s reelection—and spelled the ultimate doom for the Confederacy.

Frank A. O’Reilly received both his BA and MA in American History from Washington and Lee University. He joined the National Park Service at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in 1987. He continues to work there as Park Historian.

O’Reilly, who has lectured extensively on military history to audiences around the world, has written numerous articles on the Civil War and Mexican War and has appeared on CSPAN and in several video documentaries. He is the author of Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg and The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock which garnered a number of awards including a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in Letters.

Frank has spoken to our Round Table in the past. If you have heard him, you know that you will be informed and entertained. For those who have not heard him - you are in for a treat. See you on the 8th!

October 11, 2016 - Dixie Blues - Confederate Texans from Washington-On-The-Brazos

October 11, 2016 - Dixie Blues - Confederate Texans from Washington-On-The-Brazos

Presented By Dr. Richard McCaslin, Professor, UNT

Location - UNT Health Science Center, Medical Education and Training Bldg., 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program - 7PM

(Dinner - Beef Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad, and Dessert. Cost $13. Please RSVP to Jim Rosenthal at jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or call or text 817-307-9263)

Early on the second day of the Battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864, the Texas Brigade counterattacked and stopped a Union advance that threatened to overwhelm the Confederates. Excited by the Texans' timely arrival, Gen. Robert E. Lee placed himself in their front, only to be told that he had to go to the rear before they would advance. Pvt. Leonard Gee actually grabbed Traveller's reins before Lee agreed to retire to safety. Gee was a member of the Dixie Blues, mustered as Company E of the Fifth Texas Infantry in the Texas Brigade. He and his comrades came from Washington, Texas, on the Brazos River, revered as the place where the Republic of Texas began in 1836, less than a generation earlier. The story of the Dixie Blues, a chapter in Richard B. McCaslin's recently published history of Washington-on-the-Brazos, provides an interesting insight into the Civil War experiences of a unique group of Texans raised among the memories of a more successful independence movement.

Dr. McCaslin is a Professor of History at the University of North Texas and the author of many books and articles on Texas and Civil War history. He won the Pate Award for his book on "Rip" Ford and is the recipient of our Distinguished Service Award in Civil War history. He is a great speaker - knowledgeable, articulate and entertaining. Please join me to hear him on the 11th!

September 13, 2016 - The 44th New York at Gettysburg - Zouaves at Little Round Top

September 13, 2016 - The 44th New York at Gettysburg - Zouaves at Little Round Top

Presented by Dr. Steven Woodworth, Professor, TCU

Location - UNT Health Science Center, Medical Education and Training Bldg., 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner - 6PM Program - 7PM



Most people who visit the Gettysburg battlefield with a serious interest in the Civil War visit Little Round Top. Most people who visit Little Round Top notice the castle-like monument near the south end of the summit. That monument commemorates 44th New York Volunteers, an interesting regiment with quite a story behind it before it arrived at Gettysburg. There it was part of Strong Vincent's brigade, rushed to Little Round Top to hold the hill against the advance of Hood's Texans and Law's Alabama brigade. Vincent's left-flank regiment, the 20th Maine, gained well earned fame. The 44th New York, held the center against the onslaught of the 5th Texas Regiment, and its story is also worth telling.

Dinner on September 13th will be Pecan Crusted Chicken, Mashed New Potatoes, Garden Salad and Dessert. The cost is $13 per person payable by check or cash at the door. We do need a count of meals for the caterer. So please respond to Jim Rosenthal by email, phone call (cell 817-307-9263) or text to RSVP. As always, if you do not plan on eating dinner, you are welcome to attend the program starting at 7PM.

Steve Woodworth is an excellent presenter and always interesting, articulate and informative. This should be a great program and an excellent way to start off the new season. Don't miss it!