Welcome to the Michigan Regimental Round Table

The Farmington Library is working on re-opening safely, in phases. Unfortunately, we have to cancel the Roundtable's July 20th meeting at the Farmington Library. The library is still cancelling meeting reservations. We are hoping to meet in August or have a group get together. We thank our scheduled speaker, John Simmons of Grand Rapids, who was going to speak on "General John Bell Hood—Charging into History" We hope to reschedule him for 2021. We have also decided to postpone (not cancel) our Brandy Station / Culpepper Field Trip until 2021 because of the Covid-19 Virus. We plan to have Clark "Bud" Hall as our Guide. In the meantime, we invite you to enjoy the virtual presentations from the Civil War Roundtable Congress (CWRT), below, for July and August, as well as the remarkable "Fridays with Grant" series, below. Anyone using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC can participate via ZOOM. If you are new to ZOOm, check out this link on how to participate.

Fridays with U. S. Grant

Image: CWRT Congress LogoThe CWRT Congress proudly presents Fridays with U. S. Grant. Dr. Curt Fields, the preeminent Grant living historian tells the Grant story in his own words. To register for a virtual seat, click the link at the bottom of each Lecture description. We will see you in the lecture hall!!

(Registration Required—click the "Register" button at the bottom of the Lecture description.)

Friday, July 17, 7pm—Grant the Farmer

Making an economic go of life as a farmer was fraught with problems including debilitating illness and missing a planting season because of it. But, despite these challenges, Grant soldiered on, even manumitting his slave.

Friday, July 24, 7pm—The Ironic Man

Throughout his life, Grant experienced difficulties and situations that threatened his very life. Not only were these life changing, but they could have altered the trajectory of America.

CWRT July Zoom Lectures

African Americans in the Union Navy—Thursday, July 16 at 7pm EDT
Presented by Chuck Veit

In our study of the Rebellion, the story of African Americans in the Navy is assumed to be the same as that of the blacks who enlisted in the Union Army. This could not be further from the truth. In reality, sailors enjoyed a rare equality no matter their race. While individual acts of racism certainly occurred, the Navy, unlike the Army, imposed no institutional racial biases. Sailors were paid based on rating rather than race; ships were integrated; crews fought and worked side-by-side; all received the same medical care; and the bonuses of prize money were shared out evenly. At peak, black sailors made up a full 25% of the fleet, with some squadrons being upwards of 35% African Americans. This is a surprising and enlightening presentation on a facet of the war that is largely overlooked.

Embattled Freedom: Freedom-Seekers Turned Freedom Fighters
Thursday, July 23 at 7pm EDT Presented by Jim Remsen

Journalist Jim Remsen will present an illustrated history talk, "Freedom-Seekers Turned Freedom-Fighters," which chronicles the experiences of a group of fugitive slaves who escaped Southern bondage and dared to openly build new lives in the North. Once the Civil War came, these men and their sons left their safe haven in northeastern Pennsylvania (Remsen's boyhood hometown) and returned south, into the bowels of slavery, to fight for the Union. Their valor under fire helped to change many minds about black people. Remsen's history book, "Embattled Freedom: Chronicle of a Fugitive-Slave Haven in the Wary North" (Sunbury, 2017), lifts these thirteen remarkable lives out of the shadows, while also shedding light on the racial politics and social codes they and their people endured in the divided North.

Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron
Thursday, July 30 at 7pm EDT Presented by Paul Kahan

Far more than a biography of Cameron, Amiable Scoundrel is also a portrait of an era that allowed—indeed, encouraged—a man such as Cameron to seize political control. A key figure in designing and implementing the Union's military strategy during the Civil War's crucial first year, Cameron played an essential role in pushing Abraham Lincoln to permit the enlistment of African Americans into the US Army, a stance that eventually led to his forced resignation. Yet, his legacy has languished, nearly forgotten save for the fact that his name has become shorthand for corruption, even though no evidence has ever been presented to prove that Cameron was corrupt

. "Amiable Scoundrel" puts Cameron's actions into a larger historical context by demonstrating that many politicians of the time, including Abraham Lincoln, used similar tactics to win elections and advance their careers. This study is the fascinating story of Cameron's life and an illuminating portrait of his times.

CWRT August Zoom Lectures

Michael Kirschner:
The Union Mobilizes for War—Thursday, August 6 at 7pm EDT

(Lecture Details and Registration Link will be forthcoming)

Atlanta and the 1864 Election
Thursday, August 13 at 7pm EDT Presented by Ed Lowe

Image: Col. Ed LoweThe 1864 Presidential election was not one that the incumbent thought he was going to win. In fact, he prepared a document to that effect and had his cabinet blindly sign it. War weariness, mounting casualties and Copperhead fever had just about defeated Lincoln well before November balloting. And then something happened that changed all of that.

Colonel Ed Lowe details the scene as he compares the downward trend of Lincoln's fortunes and retreat strategy employed by Johnston that kept the prize from Sherman. Then Davis, tired of Johnston, replaced him with Hood. Despite that the Confederates couldn't withstand the Sherman juggernaut and Atlanta fell. With the soldier vote and the howling in Georgia, Lincoln carried the day.

The Atlanta Campagin:
Thursday, August 20 at 7pm EDT with Michael K. Schaffer

Image: Col. Michael SchafferMichael K. Shaffer is a Civil War historian, author, newspaper columnist, and instructor. He will discuss Sherman's Atlanta Campaign starting with the movement south from Chattanooga, through Ringgold, Tunnel Hill, Resaca, Pickett's Mill, Kennesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesborough and finally the capture of Atlanta itself.

This is a fascinating story of the strategy and tactics both armies used.

Dr. Mary Walker's Civil War—Presented by Theresa Kaminski
Thursday, August 27 at 7pm EDT

"I will always be somebody." This assertion, a startling one from a nineteenth-century woman, drove the life of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, the only American woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor. President Andrew Johnson issued the award in 1865 in recognition of the incomparable medical service Walker rendered during the Civil War. Yet few people today know anything about the woman so well-known—even notorious—in her own lifetime.

Theresa Kaminski shares a different way of looking at the Civil War, through the eyes of a woman confident she could make a contribution equal to that of any man. She takes readers into the political cauldron of the nation's capital in wartime, where Walker was a familiar if notorious figure.

Mary Walker's relentless pursuit of gender and racial equality is key to understanding her commitment to a Union victory in the Civil War. Her role in the women's suffrage movement became controversial and the US Army stripped Walker of her medal, only to have the medal reinstated posthumously in 1977.

Who We Are

Image: Who We Are and Our Motto

What We Do

We meet monthly to hear from our members on the latest books, issues of preservation, and other items of Civil War interest. At each meeting, a keynote speaker provides a presentation on a Civil War topic. A monthly newsletter is send by email and also snail-mailed to members.

In addition, each October we take our Annual Field Trip, in which MRRT members travel to a Civil War battlefield for a weekend tour.

Where and When We Meet

We meet on the last Monday of the month (except in October, when we go on our Annual Field Trips, and December) at the Farmington Community Library, Farmington Branch, 23500 Liberty St. Farmington, MI 48335. (248) 553•0300 Meetings start at 6:30 p.m.

Get Driving Directions to the Farmington Branch from MapQuest.

Display Location Using Google Maps

Join Us—Become A Member

The monthly program is open to all, but only members receive the monthly newsletter and can participate in the MRRT annual field trip. Annual membership dues are $5 for students and $20 for all others. The dues are used to cover expenses for speakers, facilities, preservation and administrative costs. Checks should be made out to Don Kadar and can be mailed to his home at 61895 Fairland Drive, South Lyon, MI 48178; or simply brought to a meeting and given to Don or Jeanie Graham. Cash is also welcomed.

For information on how to join the MRRT, come visit us at our monthly meeting, or email Jim Burroughs.