Speakers & Events

April 14, 2020 - Why Texans Fought in the Civil War MEETING CANCELLED

Presentation by Dr. Charles Grear, Professor - Central Texas College

Due to health concerns regarding meetings of over 10 people, our April Meeting has been cancelled.

May 12, 2020 - MEETING CANCELLED the topic was The Hard Hand of War - Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians

Presentation by Dr. Mark Grimsley, Professor, Ohio State University

Due to health concerns regarding meetings of over 10 people, our May meeting has been cancelled.

January 14, 2020 - Kenneth Lyftogt wins 2019 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History for his book on Iowa and the Civil War; Volume 1: Free Child of the Missouri Compromise 1850-1862

January 14, 2020 - Kenneth Lyftogt wins 2019 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History for his book on Iowa and the Civil War; Volume 1: Free Child of the Missouri Compromise 1850-1862

Presentation by Kenneth Lyftogt, Historian

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

Dinner: 6PM Program Starts at: 7PM


(Menu: King Ranch Chicken, Green Chili Rice, Roasted Vegetables, Salad and Desserts. Cost - $13. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263.)

Kenneth Lyftogt is the winner of the 2019 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History for his book Iowa in the Civil War; Volume 1: Free Child of the Missouri Compromise 1850-1862. This well researched and beautifully written work was the clear winner of the Award which focuses on new books written about the Trans-Mississippi sector of the Civil War. There were 8 other candidates for the Award.

Iowa became a State in 1846 as the first "free" addition to the United States from the Missouri Compromise. By 1850 it had a substantial population and much of that population was anti-slavery. (In fact, John Brown lived in Iowa before going to Harper's Ferry.) Many Iowans enlisted in the Union Army. The Iowa units and their commanders took part in many engagements in the Trans-Mississippi including Wilson's Creek and Pea Ridge. This Volume covers their participation in these battles as well as Fort Donelson and Shiloh.

But the book is not just a summary of battles. It is also the story of the social and political history of the state during this period. Drawing on many first person accounts, letters and diaries, Lyftogt is able to convey what it was like to be "there." As he says in his introduction, "Iowa voices are some of the most eloquent and pertinent of the war. I have tried, as much as possible, to simply allow them to tell their stories."

Kenneth Lyftogt is a retired lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Northern Iowa. He is the editor of Left for Dixie: The Civil War Diary of John Rath, and the author of Blue Mills to Columbia: Cedar Falls and the Civil War and Iowa's Forgotten General: Mathew Mark Trumbull and the Civil War.

Here is what Drew Wagenhofer of Civil War Books and Authors has to say about the book:

"Written in a popular narrative style, Free Child of the Missouri Compromise 1850-1862 succeeds in conveying to readers the nature of Iowa's political transformation during the 1850s, and it very fruitfully explores the state's many important contributions to the Union war effort on both sides of the Mississippi during the first year of the war. Numerous prominent Iowa civilian and military leaders not widely known or appreciated in the general literature are also usefully profiled in the study. The trilogy is off to a solid start, and the next two volumes will be highly anticipated."

Please join us as we present the 16th A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History to Kenneth Lyftogt. See you on the 14th!

March 10 - The Vital Importance of Texas in the Civil War

March 10 - The Vital Importance of Texas in the Civil War

Presentation by: Dr. T. Michael Parrish, Professor, Baylor University

Location: UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, 1000 Montgomery, Fort Worth 76109

Dinner starts at 6PM Program starts at 7PM


(Menu: Almond Crusted Tilapia, City Rice, Seasonal Vegetables and Dessert. Cost $13. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263)

Several serious Union attempts to invade Texas during 1862 and 1863 had failed, including an attempt to capture Galveston, an attack on Sabine Pass and the Texas Overland Expedition via Southern Louisiana. In the Spring of 1864, an army of 30,000 troops under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks and a powerful group of naval vessels under Adm. David Dixon Porter pushed up the Red River Valley. Their intent was to capture Shreveport, enter Texas and move to capture the entire state. The Red River Campaign ended in a crushing Union defeat that damaged the overall war effort and devastated the heart of Louisiana, but left Texas relatively unscathed and prosperous. Why did Lincoln and his administration think Texas was so important that it justified such momentous efforts? The reasons were economic, political and strategic. These will be covered by Michael Parrish in his presentation on March 10th.
Dr. Parrish is the Bowers Professor of History at Baylor University. He is the author or co-author of numerous books on the Civil War including the definitive biography of Gen. Richard Taylor. He is also the editor or co-editor of three Civil War book series. Copies of his Taylor book will be available for purchase and signing at the meeting. See you on the 10th!

February 11, 2020 - Hymns of the Republic - The Final Year

February 11, 2020 - Hymns of the Republic - The Final Year

Presentation by S. C. "Sam" Gwynne, Author and Historian

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

Dinner: 6PM Program Starts at: 7PM


(Menu: Italian Sausage and Beef Lasagna, Caesar Salad, Bread Sticks and Dessert. Cost: $13. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263.)

When I heard that S. C. "Sam" Gwynne was writing a book on the last year of the Civil War, I had my doubts. What new could he add to the literature on this oft covered subject? Sure he wrote the best selling book Empire of the Summer Moon on Quanah Parker and the Comanches. And his book on Stonewall Jackson - Rebel Yell! - significantly improved our appreciation of how the War transformed this great General. But the last year of the Civil War? What about Catton, Foote and the others?

I just finished his new book Hymns of the Republic - The Final Year. Without a doubt - Gwynne has done it again. As usual, the writing is superb. In one volume he is able to capture how the nature of war and the nation changed during this period. His clear assessment of the actions and motivations of key figures like Lincoln, Davis, Lee, Grant, Sherman and others is both interesting and insightful. This is not a "battles" book. It is a "big picture" book that puts many of the events and people in a much needed perspective and is an excellent addition to our understanding of this important year in American history. As you know, Sam is an outstanding speaker. You will not want to miss his February 11th presentation. Of course, Hymns of the Republic will be available for purchase and signing at the meeting. See you there!

December 10, 2019 - General George Gordon Meade

December 10, 2019 - General George Gordon Meade

Presentation by Dr. Jennifer Murray, Historian - Oklahoma State University

UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, Room 124, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner: 6PM Program Starts at: 7PM


(Menu: Chicken Piccata with Julienne Vegetables, Roasted New Potatoes, Garden Salad and Desserts, Cost: $13, RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263)

George Gordon Meade - great General? Grant's puppet? Was the Union victory at Gettysburg because of his tactical genius or was he just lucky? Did he miss the opportunity to destroy Lee's Army by not pursuing his foe after the battle or did he make the right decision to rest and regroup his exhausted Army? Why has Meade never received the recognition for heading the Army of the Potomac from Gettysburg to the end at Appomattox? Bad PR? Sheridan? Personality? These and many more questions will be answered by Dr. Jennifer Murray in her presentation.

Dr. Murray is an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University. She is the author of numerous articles and the book On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013 The book on the Crown Jewel of the NPS is based on her extensive research and her experience serving nine summers at the Park. It will be available for purchase and signing at the meeting.

It should be a great evening learning more about this important Civil War General. See you on the 10th!

November 12, 2019 - Chancellorsville: Behind the Myths

November 12, 2019 - Chancellorsville: Behind the Myths

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

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

Dinner: 6PM Program Starts at: 7PM


(Menu: Braised Brisket with BBQ sauce, corn on the cob, roasted new potatoes and dessert: Cost - $13 per person, RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263)

Ralph Peters will discuss the popular myths and brutal facts of the Battle of Chancellorsville--perhaps the most misunderstood battle in American history. With special attention to issues of character and leadership, and a fresh assessment of the role of immigrants on the field, Ralph will explain why this most-stunning of all the Confederate victories made the outcome of Gettysburg inevitable. With this year's publication of Darkness At Chancellorsville, he concluded his six-book cycle (and a decade's work) on the Civil War in the east and he encourages round-table members to ask questions regarding how his views deepened or changed.

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Ralph Peters is a prize-winning, bestselling novelist and the author of innovative works on strategy and security. He began his military career as a private and rose through the ranks. His unusual career took him from Moscow to Mandalay and from the Middle East to Latin America. After leaving the military, he also worked as a columnist, a popular media commentator and a "strategic scout" in the developing world. In recent years he has focused his attention on writing his “Battle Hymn Cycle” of Civil War novels. His books feature careful historical research, strong character development and an emphasis on the thoughts and experiences of the Civil War soldiers and officers. His latest book will be available for purchase and signing at the meeting. This will be the third time Ralph has spoken to our group. Those of you who have heard him before know how good of a presenter he is. Those who have not, need to mark your calendars now for November 12th. Don’t miss this presentation. You will not be disappointed.

October 8, 2019 - The Leadership of Ulysses S. Grant

October 8, 2019 - The Leadership of Ulysses S. Grant

Presentation by Dr. Steven Woodworth, Professor - TCU

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

Dinner: 6PM Program Starts at: 7PM


Menu: Herb Crusted Pork, Fire Roasted Corn, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Garden Salad and Dessert. Cost: $13. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263.

Here is a question. If you walked into a room of Civil War Union Generals and knew nothing about the insignia that identified rank, would you identify Ulysses S. Grant as the man in charge? Probably not. He was 5' 8" tall, weighed 135 pounds and wore a Private's coat with an insignia sewn on it. He did not have an authoritative bearing. Perhaps the active, penetrating eyes would have given him away. But, chances are, you would have not been successful. So what was it that made Grant a great leader? In the view of Professor Steven Woodworth, it was the behaviors he learned through his command experiences. In effect, it was the experiences and the lessons that they taught him that made Grant a great commander and leader. This will be the focus of Steve's presentation on the 8th.

Dr. Steven Woodworth does not need an introduction to our group. His presentations are always memorable. We are fortunate to have one of the country's leading leading Civil War historians in our community. He is a prolific author and his book on the Army of the Tennessee - Nothing but Victory is a classic. Books will be available for purchase and signing. See you there!

September 10, 2019 - The Civil War for the Common Soldier

September 10, 2019 - The Civil War for the Common Soldier

Presentation by Dr. Peter Carmichael, Director Civil War Institute, Gettysburg, PA

UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, Room 124, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner: 6PM Program Starts at: 7PM


(Menu: Chicken Parmesan, Penne Pasta, Garden Salad, Dessert: Cost - $13 per person, RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263)

So often we look at the battles and leaders of the Civil War and feel that this gives us a good picture of the conflict. But we are missing a critical element. How did Civil War soldiers endure the brutal and unpredictable existence of army life during the conflict? This question is at the heart of Peter S. Carmichael's sweeping new study of men at war - The Civil War for the Common Soldier and will be the focus of his presentation. Through extensive research of the letters and records left behind by individual soldiers from both the North and the South, he has been able to explore the totality of the experience for the Civil War soldier --the marching, the fighting, the boredom, the idealism, the exhaustion, the punishments, and the frustrations of being away from families who often faced their own dire circumstances. His focus is not on what soldiers thought but rather how they thought. In doing so, he reveals how, to the shock of most men, well-established notions of duty or disobedience, morality or immorality, loyalty or disloyalty, and bravery or cowardice were blurred by war. He found that a pragmatic philosophy of soldiering emerged, guiding members of the rank and file as they struggled to live with the contradictory elements of their violent and volatile world. In the end, soldiering in the Civil War was never a state of being but a process of becoming.

Peter Carmichael is the Director of the Civil War Institute and a Professor of History at Gettysburg College. He received his PhD from Penn State University and is also the author of The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion (UNC, 2005) and Lee's Young Artillerist: William R. J. Pegram (Virginia, 1995). In addition to his books, he has also published a number of articles for both scholarly and popular journals, and he speaks frequently to general and scholarly audiences. His latest book will be available for purchase and autographin at the meeting. This should be an excellent presentation on a seldom explored but very important topic. See you there!

May 14, 2019 - Jefferson Davis' Cabinet of the Confederacy

May 14, 2019 - Jefferson Davis' Cabinet of the Confederacy

Presentation by Waite Rawls, President, American Civil War Museum Foundation

UNT Health Science Center, MET Building Room 124, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner: 6PM Program Starts at: 7PM


(Menu: Grilled Tri Tip, Roasted New Potatoes, Grilled Vegetables, Salad and Dessert. Cost - $13. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263.)

All Presidents in history have surrounded themselves with a small cadre of people who serve as confidantes, advisors, and assistants. Jefferson Davis was no exception. Many came from his family and friends—others because of their importance to specific issues. They came with different levels of experience and expertise. And they came from all over the South—8 different states of the south were represented, as well as one Yankee. With a couple of notable exceptions, they all carried the rank of Colonel—in the cavalry, because a cavalry colonel had a higher level of pay than one in the infantry. The talk will deal with who these people were, what they did, and whether or not Davis paid any attention to them.
There will also be a brief presentation on the American Civil War Museum which is the nation’s largest and most important museum devoted to the subject of the Civil War and the repository of most of the personal artifacts that belonged to Davis and his family, as well as many items of interest from Texas.
Waite Rawls became the Executive Director of the Museum of the Confederacy in January 2004 and was elected President and CEO in November 2006. He is now the President of the American Civil War Museum Foundation, which includes the Museum and White House of the Confederacy.
Formerly, he spent thirty years as an investment banker in New York and Chicago, including being the Vice Chairman of Continental Bank. Additionally, he has been an Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Visiting Professor at the Darden School.
He is a native of Franklin, Virginia, has a BA from the Virginia Military Institute and his MBA and JD from the University of Virginia. Please be there for his presentation on the 14th!

For more information, send email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com.

April 9, 2019 - The Battles and Campaigns of Nathan Bedford Forrest

April 9, 2019 - The Battles and Campaigns of Nathan Bedford Forrest

Presentation by Brig. Gen. John Scales (Ret.) - Author and Historian

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

Dinner: 6PM Program: Starts at 7PM


(Chicken Cordon Bleu with Chicken and Rosemay New Potatoes, Mixed greens salad, and dessert. Cost $13. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263.)

Nathan Bedford Forrest - "The Wizard of the Saddle" - is one of the most fascinating and controversial figures of the Civil War. He was regarded as one of the most capable of Confederate generals, but often his activities were conducted away from the main army. Did his achievements actually affect the overall conduct the war, and if so, how and to what effect?

Our speaker, Brig. Gen. John Scales (Ret.), is imminently qualified to answer these and other questions about Forrest's battles and campaigns. He is a Vietnam veteran who later served in command positions with the US Army Special Forces rising to the level of General. Along the way he also received a PHD in systems engineering from the University of Alabama. General Scales retired from the military in late 2002 and continued his career as a scientist in Huntsville, being granted six patents and publishing three military history books, the latest of which is the topic of his talk. The book is a carefully researched and clearly written account of the strategy and tactics of all of Forrest's engagements during the War. (augmented by over 100 maps). It will be available for purchase and author signing at the meeting. See you on the 9th!

For more information, send email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com.

April 10, 2018 - OUR CIVIL WAR: MEN, MYTHS AND A FORGOTTEN MILITARY REVOLUTION

April 10, 2018 - OUR CIVIL WAR: MEN, MYTHS AND A FORGOTTEN MILITARY REVOLUTION

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


(Menu: Beef Lasagna, Grilled Vegetables, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad, and Dessert - $13.00 per person. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting 817-307-9263.)

Last year, I asked Ralph Peters why he wrote historical novels instead of history books. His answer was very revealing: "I write novels because they are able to convey the emotions, feelings, fears and aspirations of the participants. They cover the same facts but with a focus on the people." With that background here is the synopsis of his talk:

"Ralph Peters will discuss a range of topics, from the misunderstood influence of the Mexican War on our Civil War; the wartime legacy of the frontier Army; a forgotten 'revolution in military affairs;' myths we believe that don't match the facts, and the problems of battlefield leadership...all with a focus on the human dimension, 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. 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 a good supply of his books for purchase and signing at the meeting. This should be a fascinating and memorable presentation. Don't miss it. (and feel free to bring a friend). See you on the 10th!

March 12, 2019 - The Second Battle of Pea Ridge

March 12, 2019 - The Second Battle of Pea Ridge

Presentation by Ed Bearss - Chief Historian Emeritus - National Park Service

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

Dinner: 6 PM Program starts at 7 PM

(Menu: Braised Pot Roast with Petite Vegetables, New Potatoes, Salad and Dessert. Cost - $13. RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by calling or texting to 817-307-9263.)

The Pea Ridge Campaign was arguably the most significant campaign of the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi region. The Union Army of the Southwest under Brigadier General Samuel Curtis defeated the Confederate Army of the West led by Major General Earl Van Dorn. The Battle of Pea Ridge was fought on March 7-8, 1862. It played a significant role in claiming Missouri for the Union and opening Arkansas to Union occupation.
The battle took place over two days near the small communities of Leetown and Elkhorn Tavern. It involved 10,500 men in the Union ranks and 16,000 men (including 800-1,000 Native Americans) on the Confederate side. Unlike other Civil War battlefield sites, Pea Ridge National Battlefield Park encompasses almost the entire battle - over 4,000 acres.
Our speaker, the incomparable Ed Bearss, was instrumental in the formation of this impressive site. Ed started with the NPS in 1955. By 1958 he was made regional historian for the Southeast region. In preparation for the Civil War Centennial new battlefield parks were being planned. Ed became the point man to do the research. He was the one that walked the battlefields, did the historical research, drew the maps and helped define the boundaries. When the time came to lay out the battlefield at Pea Ridge, Ed was put on the team to do it. Ed's presentation will cover the basics of the battle and then cover his work in making the Pea Ridge National Battlefield Park a reality.
This is a rare chance to hear how our study of the Civil War and our appreciation of where it was fought were changed forever. Don't miss it!



For more information, send email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com.

March 13, 2018 - The Battle of Brice's Cross Roads

March 13, 2018 - The Battle of Brice's Cross Roads

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


(Menu: Chicken Piccata, New Potatoes, Grilled Vegetables, Salad and Dessert. Cost $13. Please RSVP to Jim Rosenthal by responding to this email or by calling or texting at 817-307-9263)

In June of 1864 Union General William Tecumseh Sherman was in the middle of his Atlanta Campaign. His massive Army had plenty to contend with in their march through Georgia, but one of his biggest concerns was "that Devil" Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest with 3,000 cavalry troops in his rear. So he dispatched S. D. Sturgis from Memphis with 4,800 infantry and 3,000 cavalry to take care of this threat. Big mistake. Forrest detected the Union Army sent to do battle with him. He met the challenge by striking Sturgis' Army at Brice's Cross Roads. The result was a stunning victory for Forrest showing his tactical and battlefield superiority. This is one of the most amazing stories of the Civil War and we have the perfect person to tell it - Ed Bearss.

Ed needs no introduction to our group - or to any group with a Civil War interest. He has spent his lifetime studying, teaching, writing, recounting and documenting the War. He was on the front lines a Marine in WWII but he has also been on the front lines as Chief Historian of the NPS, saving Civil War battlefields and leading hundreds of tours. Don't miss this event and feel free to bring a friend. See you on the 13th!

February 12, 2019 - A Perfect Hell of Blood: The Battle of the Crater

February 12, 2019 - A Perfect Hell of Blood: The Battle of the Crater

Presentation by A. Wilson Greene - Author and Historian

Location: UNT Health Science Center, MET Building - Room 124, 1000 Montgomery, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Dinner: 6PM Program: 7PM

(Menu: Grilled Chicken Kabobs, Saffron Rice, Greek Salad, Hummus with Pita Bread, and desserts. $13. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by texting or calling Jim Rosenthal at 817-307-9263.)

While the Petersburg Campaign lasted for 292 days in 1864-1865, July 30, 1864 is clearly the one day most familiar to students of the Civil War. On that fateful Saturday, a Pennsylvania regiment filled with former coal miners exploded a mine beneath a prominent Confederate fort, killing more than 300 Rebel soldiers, and opening a 500-yard gap in the Southern defenses. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant characterized the Union attacks that followed as "the saddest affair I have witnessed in the war." Grant was right. From the Federal perspective there was a great deal to be sad about, including his own management of the operation. This presentation will explore those unhappy elements, especially the fate of the United States Colored Troops who participated in the attack. The talk is based on Will Greene's new book - "A Campaign of Giants: The Battle for Petersburg" which will be available for purchase and signing on the 12th.

A. Wilson Greene is a native of Wheaton, Illinois. He holds degrees from Florida State and LSU. After 16 years with the National Park Service, he became the first executive director of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, now the American Battlefield Trust. From 1995 to 2017 he was the founding director of Pamplin Historical Park & the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier near Petersburg. "A Campaign of Giants" is his fifth book, with two more volumes on the Petersburg Campaign under contract. Will Greene is a highly regarded historian and speaker. This should be another great presentation. See you on the 12th!

For more information, send email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com.

February 13, 2018 - John Ericsson and the USS Monitor: The Genius behind the Warship that Revolutionized Naval Warfare

February 13, 2018 - John Ericsson and the USS Monitor:
The Genius behind the Warship that Revolutionized Naval Warfare

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


(Dinner: Samon glazed with maple and ginger, Rice Pilaf, mixed vegetables, salad and dessert. $15 . To RSVP, respond to this email or send a text or call Jim Rosenthal at 817-307-9263)

The USS Monitor is a ship well known for changing the course of naval warfare during her one and only battle in her short life. Historians agree that the ship was revolutionary, but the real question is: Who were the key figures behind the success of the “cheesebox on a raft?” Certainly, those who commanded and fought the ship in March 1862 are recognized and celebrated. But the real genius was the ship’s designer, the Swedish engineer John Ericsson.
This talk will look at this extraordinary man and the huge challenges he faced, the setbacks he endured, and the obstacles he overcame in creating the Monitor – all at a critical time in the course of the American Civil War and in the engineering and technologies of naval warfare in the mid-19th century.
Dr. Bill Cogar received his doctorate from Oxford University and was a Professor of Naval History at Annapolis from 1983 to 1998. He was instrumental in transforming and modernizing the Naval Museum at the Academy. He went on to head several other museums including The Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Virginia (the current home of the Monitor) retiring in 2011. He now heads the Historic Naval Ships Association. Bill is widely recognized as one of the top naval historians and the expert on this fascinating story of Ericsson and the Monitor. Don't miss this program! See you on the 13th!

January 8, 2019 - Dr. Christopher Grasso to Receive 2018 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History for his book Bloody Engagements: John R. Kelso's Civil War

January 8, 2019 - Dr. Christopher Grasso to Receive  2018 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History for his book Bloody Engagements: John R. Kelso's Civil War

Presentation of Award Followed by Talk from Honoree

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

Dinner: 6 PM Program starts at 7 PM


Menu: Almond Crusted Tilapia, City Rice, Seasonal Vegetables and Dessert. Cost $13. RSVP to Jim Rosenthal by responding to this email or by calling or texting 817-307-9263)

Southwest Missouri was an ugly place during the Civil War. It was where brother fought brother and neighbor fought (and preyed upon) neighbor. The stories of guerillas operating in this region are numerous. But most of these are of Confederates. There were Union guerillas as well. The most important of these was John Kelso and this book is his first-hand account of his experiences. A former Methodist preacher and Missouri schoolteacher, he served as a Union army foot soldier, cavalry officer, guerilla fighter and spy. Kelso was a fearless and aggressive fighter who was driven by revenge after pro-Confederate neighbors stole his property, burned down his house and drove his family and friends from their homes.

Kelso's account is carefully edited and annotated by Christopher Grasso. The book is well researched with good background on the people, places and events that are happening contemporaneously with the narrative. It is a fascinating story that provides much needed balance to the history of the conflict in Southwest Missouri and is a richly deserving recipient of the 2018 Pate Award.

Dr. Christopher Grasso received his PhD from Yale in 1992 and is Professor of History at William and Mary. His book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

See you on the 8th!

For more information, send email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com.

January 9, 2018 - Andrew Masich Wins 2017 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award

January 9, 2018 - Andrew Masich Wins 2017 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award

Dr. Andrew Masich will speak on his book Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands: 1861-1867

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

Dinner - 6PM Program starts at 7PM


Dinner: Penne Pasta with Garlic Shrimp, Roma Tomatoes and Basil; Vegetables - Zucchini, Squash and Bell Peppers; Caesar Salad and Dessert, Cost $15. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or by text or phone to 817-307-9263.

At times it seems that everything that needs to be written about the Trans-Mississippi sector of the Civil War has already been written. Yet, we received numerous excellent entries in the Pate Award competition for 2017 - the best of which was selected to be Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands: 1861-1867 by Andrew Masich. This book expertly shows how the Civil War in this area was actually three Civil Wars with Anglos, Indians and Hispanos as the protagonists. All three groups were fighting for survival and dominance The result was a peculiar mixture of conflict and interdependence.

Most of us know the story of the early stages of the Civil War in New Mexico and Arizona culminating in the Battle at Glorieta Pass, but little has been told about what happened in this region from 1862-1867. By using both Mexican and American archives and previously overlooked Indian Depredation Records, Masich is a able to fill in the gaps in this interesting history. The result is an outstanding book, a deserving Pate Award winner and the subject of our presentation.

Andy Masich is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Smithsonian-affiliated Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. He is also an adjunct professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University and is widely recognized for his Emmy-winning historical documentaries and his lively lectures on history and public history. He has authored and co-authored several Western History books including his Pate Award winner. This should be an enjoyable and enlightening evening for all. See you on the 9th!
 

November 13, 2018 - The Generals and Mr. Lincoln

November 13, 2018 - The Generals and Mr. Lincoln

Presented by George Buss - Historian and Lincoln Impersonator

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

Dinner - 6PM Program starts at 7PM


(Menu: Home style Meatloaf, mashed new potatoes, Sauteed beans and carrots, salad and dessert. $13.00 per person. Please RSVP to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com or call or text 817-307-9263.)

Dateline: March 1864
President Abraham Lincoln has just made Ulysses S. Grant general-in-chief of the Union Army. Grant will hold the rank of Lieutenant General. In this presentation President Lincoln will discuss the reasons for the selection of General Grant. He will also give us his views on some of the other candidates for the position such as General George G. Meade and General Henry Halleck as well as others who have held leading roles in the Union Army like General Winfield Scott and General George McClellan. President Lincoln will be available for questions on the Grant appointment as well as other topics related to his Presidency.

George Buss as Abraham Lincoln
As Lincoln said about himself, so too, George “is 6 foot 4 inches tall, nearly and weighs between 160 and 180 pounds.” George Buss is a 6th generation Illinoisan who, for the past 30 years, has interpreted Abraham Lincoln for thousands of audiences across the United States to critical acclaim including C-Span, Lincoln Forum, Mariners Museum and American Queen Steamship Co. George was asked to give the Gettysburg Address for the National Commemoration at Gettysburg in 2015. Since then he was asked to appear at Gettysburg annually. (In fact, he will be in Gettysburg the day after he does his North Texas Round Table tour.) Jack Waugh has known George for over 20 years and has been with him at many events and tours. Jack’s comment on George: “He is the best. You will not be disappointed.”

See you on the 13th!

For more information, send email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com.

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 11, 2018 - The Generals of Shiloh

September 11, 2018 - The Generals of Shiloh

Presented by Larry Tagg - Author and Historian

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

Dinner: 6PM Program: starts at 7PM



The United States in 1860 was an unmilitary nation with a tiny standing army. When war broke out in Charleston Harbor in April 1861, hundreds of new generals had to be minted to command hundreds of thousands of new soldiers. These new warrior-leaders were not professionals, but were elevated overnight from a hodge-podge of street-level occupations.

The Battle of Shiloh - the first large engagement in the West - was the proving ground for many of these new commanders. Of the 63 Generals at Shiloh, only 14 were serving as career soldiers when Fort Sumter fell, a year before the battle. Thirteen more were lawyers, prominent in their communities and well-connected. Twelve were politicians, including the previous Vice President of the United States, now a Confederate. There were five businessmen (including an Iowa hatter), four plantation owners, two teachers, a millwright, a sheriff, a blacksmith, a riverboatman, a geologist, a horsebreeder, a bishop, a newspaper editor, a farmer, a cotton broker, a stagecoach operator, a bridge engineer, a Navy ordnance officer, and an architect. The most famous of them all, Ulysses S. Grant, was clerking at his father’s dry goods store in Illinois.

A study of the generals of Shiloh also illuminates the entire history of the Western Theater in the first year of the war. Shiloh was the improbable rendezvous of more than a hundred thousand Americans. There were men here who had fought in and brought experience from every battle in the West over the previous twelve months. Mostly, however, Shiloh was a meeting of young men who had never fired a gun in anger. Some of the new recruits had just received the first muskets they had ever held. That they fought so hard and so well in dense, ravine-crossed woods, under amateur officers, is an indication of the intensity of their will to fight.

The consequences of the Battle of Shiloh were profound. Strategically, the Union armies, by defeating the Confederate concentration of the Army of the Mississippi, opened the way to capturing the rail hub of Corinth on May 30 and the city of Memphis on June 6, 1862, two months after the battle. The horrific casualty totals that appeared in the nation’s newspapers, however, produced both the most immediate and the longest-lasting result of the battle: its effect on the nation’s psyche. More than twenty thousand men lay on the field killed or wounded at the battle’s end (and 19 of the 63 Generals), a number which shocked and dismayed the entire American public.

Born in Lincoln, Illinois, Larry Tagg graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. A bass player/singer of world renown, Larry co-founded and enjoyed substantial commercial success with “Bourgeois Tagg” in the mid-1980s. He went on to play bass for Todd Rundgren, Heart, Hall and Oates, and other acts. He recently retired after teaching high school drama, English and Asians and Middle Eastern literature in the prestigious Humanities and International Studies Program in Sacramento, CA. Larry is the author of the bestselling book The Generals of Gettysburg, a selection of the Military Book Club, and The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln.

Looking forward to seeing everyone back after our Summer break. Join us on the 11th for this excellent presentation!

For more information, send email to jimrosenthal5757@aol.com.

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!