The Michigan Regimental Round Table

We hope that everyone has started the new year on a positive note.The Roundtable will not have a Monday, January 25, 2021 meeting. Our January, 2021 Newsletter is available here. We are optimistic regarding 2021—at least some meetings and the fall trip to the Culpepper area (see below). Jeanie Graham said that the library has reimbursed us for all of our missed 2020 meetings. There will be a newsletter later in the month.

A new year is here, which means it is time to begin paying our $25 membership dues for 2021. Send your check to our Treasurer, Jeanie Graham. Please make your check out to Jeanie Graham as the Bank does not like checks made out to the Roundtable. Her mailing address is Jeanie Graham, 29835 Northbrook, Farmington Hills, MI 48334-2326.

We have decided to postpone (not cancel) our Brandy Station / Culpepper Field Trip until the Fall of 2021 because of the Covid-19 Virus. We also plan to keep Clark "Bud" Hall as our great Tour Guide.

In the meantime, we invite you to enjoy the virtual presentations listed on the left-hand menu below (using the Zoom app—also see below) from the Civil War Roundtable Congress (CWRT), which include:

  • "Fridays with Grant" (Friday evenings 7 pm EST)
  • "Guest Speakers" (Usually Wednesday evenings 7 pm EST)

Check this page periodically, because they frequently add Speaker Events with only a brief notice. Anyone using a smart phone, tablet, or a laptop or desktop PC equipped with a webcam and microphone/speaker can participate via ZOOM. If you are new to ZOOM, check out these resources on how to participate.

Lastly, in an effort to bring more awareness to the importance of the Western Theater, a new website and blog has been created that features original blog content along with tours. The site was created by Derrick Lindow, an eighth grade history teacher in Kentucky, and currently has a half dozen or so contributors, and others coming onboard such as NPS rangers James Lewis and Lee White, along with author David Powell.

CWRT Fridays with Grant

"Temper Display"
Friday, February 5 at 7pm EDT

Image: Angry Grant

Captain Grant recalls showing some temper, the mule that wouldn't stay put and the loudmouth at the barn dance.

"First March"
Friday, February 12 at 7pm EDT

Image: Grant's First March: Springfield IL to MO 1861

Colonel Grant recalls commanding his first march; Springfield, Illinois to Missouri in July 1861. .

"Cold Harbor"
Friday, March 12 at 7pm EDT

Image: Battle of Cold Harbor

General Grant recalls the Battle of Cold Harbor including the intelligence he received, the strategy employed and the battle outcome.

CWRT January Zoom Speakers

"The Environment & the Civil War"
Judkin Browning & Timothy Silver
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 7pm EDT

Environmental factors such as topography and weather powerfully shaped the outcomes of battles and campaigns, and the war could not have been fought without the horses, cattle, and other animals that were essential to both armies.

Judkin Browning and Timothy Silver weave a far richer story, combining military and environmental history to forge a comprehensive new narrative of the war's significance and impact.

As they reveal, the conflict created a new disease environment by fostering the spread of microbes among vulnerable soldiers, civilians, and animals; led to large- scale modifications of the landscape across several states; sparked new thinking about the human relationship to the natural world; and demanded a reckoning with disability and death on an ecological scale.

CWRT February Zoom Speakers

"The Election of 1864:
(The Reelection of Abraham Lincoln)"
Jonathan White
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 7pm EDT

November 8, 1864, stands out as one of the most remarkable days in American history. Never before—nor since—had the nation held a presidential election in the midst of a terrible civil war.

Some observers worried that President Abraham Lincoln might postpone or cancel the election, but from Lincoln's perspective, "if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us." Holding the election, from his perspective, was a "necessity."

This lecture will explore the momentous steps that took place in the lead-up to this pivotal election, ranging from the battlefield to the nominating conventions to Lincoln's office at the White House. It will also explain the origin of absentee voting in American history, an important political innovation that developed in the North during the Civil War.

"The Story of Civil War Medicine"
Dr. Gordon E. Dammann
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 7pm EDT

The founder of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland,

Dr. Gordon Dammann tells the story of Civil War medicine front to back. This era is often referred to in a negative way as the Middle Ages of medicine in the United States. Many misconceptions exist regarding the quality of care during the war.

It is commonly believed that surgery was often done without anesthesia, that many unnecessary amputations were done, and that care was not state of the art for the times. None of these assertions is true.

He tells of physicians practicing in an era before the germ theory of disease was established, before sterile technique and antisepsis were known, with very few effective medications, and often operating 48 to 72 hours with no sleep.

The care of wounded and sick soldiers from battlefield, to field aid station, to hospital is one of hope, courage, innovation, discovery and social change.

Jerry Wooten
Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 7pm EDT

Historian Jerry Wooten sheds light on the creation and strategic role of the Union supply depot, the use of railroads and logistics, and its defense by U. S. Colored Troops. His presentation covers the emergence of a civilian town around the depot, and the role all of this played in making possible the Union victories with which we are all familiar.

His story also includes the best and most detailed account of the Battle of Johnsonville. The fighting took place on the heels of one of the most audacious campaigns of the war, when Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led his cavalry through western Tennessee on a 23-day raid.

On November 4-5, 1864, Forrest's troopers attacked the depot and shelled the city, destroying tons of invaluable supplies. The complex land-water operation nearly wiped out the Johnsonville supply depot, severely disrupted Gen. George Thomas's army in Nashville, and impeded operations against John Bell Hood's Confederate army.

"Rufus Dawes—To My Best Girl"
Steve Magnusen
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 7pm EDT

The drama of the lives of Rufus Dawes and his beautiful, vibrant and beloved Mary Beman Gates is portrayed in Steve Magnusen's account taken from their letters and diary entries. Although Dawes' family background was troubled, he was the descendant of leading Revolutionary War figures, ancestors who helped form the United States, the Northwest Territory, and the state of Ohio.

Dawes' unit, the Iron Brigade (6th Wisconsin Infantry), fought in some of the most famous and bloody battles of the Civil War. That played heavily in Mary's decision to become so deeply involved in a man whose life is in daily jeopardy far away. The story unfolds upon Rufus and Mary, and upon family members and soldiers who experience their own battles, trying to survive while patriotically performing their duty to the nation.

CWRT March Zoom Speakers

"My Image, My War:
Lee Ann Rose As Mary Todd Lincoln"
Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 7pm EDT

How do you create a Presidential Image at a time of War? This was often the job of the First Lady. Hear from Mary Todd Lincoln as she justifies her decisions of decorating the Presidential Mansion, her fights with public opinion about her Southern roots and her reign as First Lady during the Civil War. What does the First Lady have to do to create calm in Wartime and be seen as the symbol of the Nation and women at War. And how well did Mrs. Lincoln succeed?

"Ever the Gray Ghost:
Col. John Singleton Mosby
& the Lincoln Conspiracies"
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7pm EDT

Historian David Goetz explores Confederate Col. John S. Mosby's role in the Lincoln Conspiracies and the efforts to capture him and those who wanted Lincoln captured. He explores the broad and deep Confederate underground system of spies and other clandestine operators.

He examines Mosby's role and that of his Rangers within the larger context of the operation, Mosby's communications system with Richmond and the importance of cover stories.

Goetz then traces how Mosby Ranger Lewis Powell was drawn into clandestine work by the Confederate Secret Service and ultimately introduced to John Wilkes Booth. This fascinating story is not to be missed.

"The Battle of Cold Harbor"
Daniel Davis
Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 7pm EDT

Iamge: Battle of Cold Harbor

"1862: Year in Review"
Jerry Payn, Historian & Lincoln Reenactor
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 7pm EDT

Living historian Gerald Payn portrays Mr. Enos Foreman, Editor and Proprietor of the Wooster (Ohio) Republican and will review the significant events of 1863. So, just what does a newsman think the big news stories were? And, howbig were those that appeared belowthe fold? You know some like the Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg and the surrender of Vicksburg. But can you easily recall the first Medal of Honor recipients, why Congress suspended habeas corpus or who sponsored the Conscription Act. The Emancipation Proclamation was just the beginning of this momentous year. It�s a year full of big stories, heartbreaking reports and joyous occasions. Joinus as this small-town editor takesyou on a trip down memory laneand explains the �news worth knowing�.

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 Trip, and December, when we traditionally do not meet) 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 Jeanie Graham and can be mailed to her home at 29835 Northbrook, Farmington Hills, MI 48334-2326. The bank does NOT like checks made out to the Roundtable. Our checks may also be brought to our monthly meeting and given to Jeanie. Cash is always welcome.

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