Welcome to the Civil War Roundtable of Gettysburg. "The most important Roundtable, in the most important small town, at the most important battlefield, in the most important country in the world."
—Joe Mieczkowski, past president


November 15, 2018


Jacob Cox and the Battle of Franklin:
the Beginning of the End for the
Confederacy in the West

Gene Schmiel

The Battle of Franklin dealt a major body blow to the Confederate Army of Tennessee, which suffered its final defeat and resultant dissolution two weeks later at the Battle of Nashville. Confederate commander John Bell Hood launched the Civil War’s final major offensive charge that day with 20,000 men attacking 13,000 Union soldiers, most of whom were stationed behind hastily-constructed but formidable barriers.

The Union defensive line at Franklin was commanded and created by General Jacob D. Cox. Cox for his part had learned that “with veteran soldiers now arrayed against each other, one rifle in the trench was worth five in front of it.” The defensive line was nearly-impregnable, but a mistake by one of Cox’s subordinates allowed the Confederates to penetrate a hundred yards into the center of the line. At that critical time Cox, who had presciently created a second line of defense behind the first, displayed conspicuous leadership and saved the day.

While Hood announced to his  men the next day that Franklin was a victory, the author of a superb Confederate memoir, Company Aytch, Private Sam Watkins, wrote later, “I shrink from butchery…My flesh trembles, and creeps and crawls when I think of it today. It was the finishing stroke to the independence of the Southern Confederacy.”

Gene Schmiel is a student of the Civil War whose book, Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era, was published in 2014. The book was labeled “Best Biography of the Year” by the Civil War Books and Authors web-site.  Gene holds a Ph. D. degree from The Ohio State University and was an assistant professor of History at St. Francis University (PA)  before becoming  a foreign service officer with the Department of State.  He resides in Gainesville, Virginia with his wife Bonnie Kathryn. 

Our meetings are the Fourth Thursday of each month.

From September to May, we meet at the GAR Building, 53 East Middle Street. Light refreshments and conversation starting at 6:30 pm, the program starting at 7.

Whenever severe weather is predicted, program information can be found on the roundtable website and Facebook page after 3 PM or you can call Lynn at 717-398-2072.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

You can now use your credit card or PayPal to securely pay for your Membership Dues. Please see the Membership page for the link.


Join or Renew Your Membership



Lynn Heller .............................................President

Kendra Debaney.....................................Vice President

Eleanor Cingire Bilz...........................Recording Secretary

Linda Seamon...............................Membership Secretary

David Diner...................................................Treasurer

Roger Heller .......................................Program Director

Linda Joswick .............................................Webmaster

Dave Joswick......................................Newsletter Editor










Fred Hawthorne, Roger Heller, Hilda Koontz, Dale Molina, Bill Myers, Larry Plymire

Next Board Meeting:

Board Meetings are open to all members. Meetings begin at 6:00 pm at Perkins Restaurant in Gettysburg. If you would like to eat before the meeting, please arrive by 5:30 pm. Board meetings are the second Thursday of January, March, May, July, September, and November.

Board Meeting Minutes



Plaque Committee:
Reviews and places plaques on buildings that existed during the Battle in Adams County. For information or an application, contact Deb Novotny.

Book Award Committee:
Review books for the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable Book Award.

Field Trip Committee:
Plan future trips for the members of the Civil War Roundtable.

If you are interested in more information, or joining, one the committees, please contact any Officer or Board Member.


Here is your RT membership renewal reminder for 2019

Enclosed with your newsletter is a membership form for the upcoming calendar year 2019. This is the form that should accompany your renewal dues. Please get rid of any old forms you may have as this is the only one acceptable. Note, it reflects the current and correct cost for renewal membership: $30 for individuals and $45 for a family, as well as prorated amounts for new members joining later during the calendar year. You can also find the form at our Membership page.

CWRT Gettysburg Holiday Party

The Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable welcomes members and guests to this year’s celebration that will include a presentation by Dr. Carol Reardon.

Date....... Thursday, December 6, 2018
Time...... 6:00 PM, beginning with social time and a cash bar.
Dinner will be served when all or most guests have arrived.
Place...... The Historic Dobbin House
Cost....... $34.00 per person. Each guest will receive
a ticket for a chance at a door prize.

Visit the Banquet Page to make your reservation. Reservations must be received by Wednesday, November 28.

Greetings, Friends!

November is here already! This is such a very special time in Gettysburg, with the autumn colors still spreading beauty throughout the battlefield.

So much to look forward to in November! The town is extra busy and bustling, as it ushers in Remembrance Weekend, Thanksgiving, Lighting of the Christmas Tree on the Square, and of course our annual Holiday Banquet at the Historic Dobbin House… great food, great company, and the great Carol Reardon as our speaker! It is also the occasion of announcing the book which will receive the 2018 Distinguished Book Award.

We look forward to the Remembrance Day Parade, which honors the soldiers and civilians of the American Civil War; Remembrance Day evening Illumination, with a candle placed at each of the 3512 Civil War graves in the Soldiers National Cemetery; and Dedication Day, the Anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. This year’s keynote speaker will be Gettysburg College President Janet Riggs. We have a very special town!

A heartfelt thanks to all you , the loyal members of our roundtable, and to our amazing board of directors, officers, and support team. Thank you too for your generous donations to our Preservation Fund. We have contributed to some very deserving organizations this year. You will find the recipients on our web page.

Thank you for the lively spirit and conversations you bring to all our meetings. This is what makes our roundtable so special. We were happy to see so many guests attending our meetings this year.

I wish you all a joyous Thanksgiving and Holiday Season, filled with happiness, health, and the warmth and love of friends and family.

- Lynn

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.

Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviors.

Keep your behaviors positive because your behaviors become your habits.

Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.

Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”

– Gandhi


December 6
Members Holiday Party
Pushing Deeper into the Soldier’s World:
The Human Element in Civil War Campaigning

Dr. Carol Reardon


January 24, 2019
Simon Cameron
Dr. Paul Kahan


February 28
The Civil War Letters of David andMahala Beem
Dr. Peter Carmichael


March 28
Book Award Winner


April 25
11th Corps at Gettysburg
Dr. James Pula


May 23
Meade's Decisions at Gettysburg
Dr. Richard Sommers


June 27
Tour of the GNMP Cannon Shop
Lucas Flickinger


July 25
The Battle of the Peach Orchard
James Hessler


August 22
East Cavalry Field
Chris Army


September 26
Thomas W. Colley's Civil War Experience in the 1st VA Cav.
Dr. Michael Shaffer


October 24
The Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham
Jan Croon


November 21
George Gordon Meade
Dr. Jennifer Murray


December 12
Members Holiday Party
The Park and It's History
Benjamin Dixon



News Briefs

facebookLike us on Facebook at Civil War Round Table of Gettysburg

Civil War Trust Organization


Did you buy a Raffle Ticket at the meeting? If so, see where your money went.



Home | Meetings | Links | Join/Renew | Preservation | Contacts| Newsletters

Reenactment photos courtesy of the Gettysburg Times
Book Chat Newsletter