Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable

Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable

The Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable (LCCWRT) promotes and further stimulates interest in all aspects and phases of the Civil War period.

The round table meets second Tuesday of the month except for January and February. Meetings start at 7:30 PM. Light refreshments are provided at 7 PM. Attendance is free for the first meeting. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in our county’s history during the period of the Civil War. Informed speakers present battles, leaders and life on the home front and audience participation is e


December Meeting!

Tuesday, 12 December, 630 pm at the Balch Library.

Our speaker this month is our own Curl Piggot!

Topic: Regimental Sutlers: The Good and the Bad.

Curl has been a reenactor for over 25 years and a avid collector of Civil War artifacts since the age of 13. He is a founding member of the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable. Curl has 2 relatives that served in Col. Elijah White's 35 Battalion of Virginia Cavalry.

Come and join us for the last meeting of the year—see you there!


We hope to see you all at tonight's meeting!


November 2023 Meeting–Bushwhackers, Jayhawkers, and Order No. 11: The Long Civil War in Bleeding Missouri

Our November 2023 meeting is at Balch Library.
Speaker: Pamela Grainger Tilson
Location: Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia
Meeting time: 6:30 p.m., November 14, 2023

Bonus: We will hold a silent auction for a framed Yardley-Taylor map of Loudoun County, courtesy of our guest speaker!

Topic: Bushwhackers, Jayhawkers, and Order No. 11: The Long Civil War in Bleeding Missouri

Missouri, a border state, has been called “the very seedbed of the Civil War” for good reason. Guerrilla warfare in Missouri had a five-year head start by the time word was received that Sumter was under fire. Once the ink was dry on the Kansas-Nebraska Act, civilians in Missouri and the Kansas Territory began playing a game of upping-the-atrocity ante. Missouri ranks third behind Virginia and Tennessee for number of battles, engagements, and skirmishes, but this number does not count the guerrilla action committed in Missouri before 1861.This program will explore the factors that helped produce the animosity that drove such players as William Clarke Quantrill, “Bloody Bill” Anderson, Charles Jennison, and Jim Lane. Appomattox came and went but the unrest went on in the heartland.

Pamela Grainger Tilson, a current North Carolinian, is a former president of the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable. A Missouri native, she grew up a few miles from a village where Bill Stewart, a protégé of “Bloody Bill” Anderson, practically burned a community to the ground in vengeance early in the war. She has spoken to various groups on such wide-ranging historical topics as the legacy of Lafayette and the Berlin Airlift. Civil War topics explored include drummer boys, the battle of Franklin, and the sorrow that was Missouri’s Order No. 11. Tilson holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in history from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. During her almost forty years in northern Virginia, she worked a majority of that time as an editor at a math teachers association. Current interests include World War One history, her local DAR chapter in North Carolina, and cemetery preservation.


At our meeting tonight, several of our members asked that we pass along this memorial service information:

The Clinton Hatcher Camp SCV is holding a graveside service to honor Clinton Hatcher, colorbearer of the 8th Virginia Infantry, who was killed at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, 21 October 1861. All are welcome to attend.

The service will be at 9am on Saturday, 21 October 2023 at the Ketoctin Baptist Church (16595 Ketoctin Church Road, Purcellville, VA 20132).

The service will be followed by breakfast at Tammy’s Diner (2 E Loudoun Street, Round Hill, VA 20141)


October meeting! Our topic this month is ‘The Human and Personal Side of the Civil War.’

Our meeting starts at 630pm at the Balch Library in Leesburg. Parking is available at the church across the street. We hope to see you there!

Our Speaker: Carl Sell has been interviewing, researching. writing and talking about events and history all his life. He started a newspaper career in the 1950s and has been involved with news and events ever since. He was an award-winning sports reporter and later news editor for the old Washington Star. Then then spent 15 years as the Director of Sports Information at George Mason University, retiring in 1996. He turned his attention to the Civil War, wring several books and numerous articles for the Civil War News. He concentrates on the human and personal side of the war and promises some about Loudoun County tonight.


September meeting: Tuesday, 12 September at Balch Library, 6:30 pm.

Our speaker is Eric Buckland!

Our topic is Mosby’s Rangers vs. Cole’s Cavalry

This presentation will discuss the three fights: Five Points, Loudoun Heights and Blakely’s Grove Schoolhouse, that occurred between Mosby’s Rangers and Cole’s Cavalry in January and February of 1864. The Rangers won two of the three fights, but the one loss was painful and heartbreaking for them. Mosby stated in his report that they had suffered heavy losses, "more so in worth than the number of slain." Many years later, Cole's Cavalry would strive to hold their annual reunions on, or as near to as possible, the date of their victory.

Hope to see you there!


Head over to our park website for a full list of programming to commemorate the 161st Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.


August meeting! Please join us on Tuesday, August 8 at 630 pm at the Balch Library for our monthly presentation. Our speaker is our very own Craig Swain.

"We should attempt the boldest moves" : Opening the Carolinas Campaign, January-February 1865

A common description of the Carolinas Campaign of 1865 holds that General William T. Sherman continued his march through the southland, blazing a path of destruction the Confederacy lacked the will or ability to resist. Such interpretation overlooks many issues Sherman’s force overcame in January and February. And thus we lack an appreciation of the opportunities Confederate leaders failed to exploit. Far from being an easy uncontested advance, Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign began with weeks of bold and risky maneuvers overcoming logistical constraints, foul weather, and difficult terrain deep in enemy held territory. Our speaker, Craig Swain, will highlight the operations in South Carolina during January and February 1865, as Sherman’s columns blazed a path (quite literally) to the state capital of Columbia.

Craig Swain is a graduate of Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, with a BA in history. Commissioned in the Army after college, he served as both a combat arms and communications officer. After leaving the Army, he continued his studies at Missouri State University. He is the author of numerous articles appearing in Civil War Times, America's Civil War, Artilleryman, and other magazines. His award winning blog, recently relaunched, "To the Sound of the Guns," covers various aspects of the war, but with focus on artillery and the Charleston Theater of war. Craig is presently an information technology manager for a US Government Agency.

Photos from Antietam National Battlefield's post 08/03/2023

Finally reopened!


Our July meeting will be on Tuesday, July 11th at 6:30 pm at Balch Library.

July topic: A Busy Little Town in the Midst of a War: Bloomfield, Missouri in the Civil War

Bloomfield, Missouri sits atop Crowley's Ridge and astride the natural routes from Missouri into Northeast Arkansas. This geographic position ensured the town's prosperity from its founding in 1835. And with the outbreak of hostilities starting the Civil War in Missouri, Bloomfield became an important strategic objective for both sides. During the war, Bloomfield changed hands sixteen times. Regulars and raiders frequently passed through. Its men served on both sides of the conflict. Its civilians suffered through hardship and deprivations. Its buildings and homes became military headquarters and hospitals, with most ultimately being destroyed by war. The first issues of what later became "The Stars and Stripes" newspaper were published in Bloomfield during the war. Despite not seeing a major pitched battle, the town of Bloomfield, Missouri saw considerable activity during the Civil War and offers many stories of a town caught between the warring factions.

Our lecturer this month is our very own, Craig Swain! We hope that you’ll join us on Tuesday evening!


For all those heading to Gettysburg this weekend for the 160th!

160th Battle Anniversary reminder: Weather safety. In the event of thunderstorm/tornado warnings, or a heat index of more than 105 degrees, all programs will be canceled. In the event of a heat index of more than 91 degrees, programs will be shortened and modified. See the entire list at: https://go.nps.gov/BattleAnniversary160.

Photos from Gettysburg National Military Park's post 06/22/2023

Little Round Top, coming along nicely!


🎇 We look forward to seeing you, family, and friends at the park on the 4th of July. FoBB will also have a float in the Leesburg Parade again this year🇺🇸


LCCWRT Meeting Notice: June 13, Battle of Cedar Mountain by Chris Bryan

Meeting will start at 6:30 at the Balch Library. Dues were due in March, $25. Check can be made out to “LCCWRT”.


The II Corps, Army of Virginia suffered a bloody and demoralizing defeat at the Battle of Cedar Mountain on August 9th, 1862, after initial success where it nearly defeated Stonewall Jackson’s command. This talk will describe the fighting at Cedar Mountain in detail and will also describe the aftermath for the II Corps that summer during the Second Manassas Campaign.

Our Speaker

Chris Bryan earned a B.S. in History from the United States Naval Academy, an M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis, and a Masters in Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland, College Park. The former Naval Aviator works as a project manager and lives in southern Maryland with his wife and two children. This is his first book.


May meeting! Tuesday 9 May!

Please come to our meeting at Balch Library. Guests are welcome. Meeting Starts at 6:30. Dues ($25) were due in March.

Our Speaker

Carleton Young has been invited to share his story with more than 250 Civil War Roundtables, historical societies, and other organizations around the country.


Imagine clearing out your family attic and discovering an enormous collection of letters written by two soldiers during the Civil War, but not knowing why the letters were there. Faced with that situation, Carleton Young spent more than a decade visiting battlefields and researching the two soldiers as well as other people who appear in the letters. The two brothers were members of the celebrated Vermont Brigade in the 6th Corps of the Army of the Potomac.

In Voices From the Attic: The Williamstown Boys in the Civil War, he tells the story of these two brothers who witnessed and made history by fighting in the Peninsula Campaign, then at South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, the Bristoe Campaign, the Wilderness, Petersburg, and Cedar Creek. They then preserved that history through their surprisingly detailed and insightful letters.

The publication of the book was followed by many favorable reviews. Civil War News called it “a substantial contribution to the genre of first-person Civil War accounts becoming so popular today.”

We hope to see you on Tuesday!


Should be a great day for a hike!

Join us this Sunday for a ranger led battlefield hike. We will meet at the New York State Monument, 1pm. This program will focus on the action in and around the Sunken Road. The hike will run approximately 2 hours and will cover about 2 miles. For a list of all our hikes presented this spring, please head over to our website. https://www.nps.gov/anti/planyourvisit/2023-spring-battlefield-hikes.htm


April Meeting! Take a break from doing your taxes and join us on Tuesday, April 11 at 630 pm at the Balch Library for our monthly get together!

Dues are $25. Please make your checks out to LCCWRT. We are looking for someone to manage the book/raffle sales.

The Lecture by Greg Clemmer
Robert E. Lee: The History You Were Never Taught

With Confederate statues and indeed Southern history grabbing headlines across our country, it might be interesting if we took a look at pages of our history rarely read. Robert E. Lee’s memory is especially under review – if not attacked. But the former Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia’s most enduring legacy is one few recognize, and one we should all be grateful for.

Gregg is a native of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and a graduate of Virginia Tech, with a Master's degree in military history from Norwich University. A former president of the Montgomery County (MD) Civil War Round Table, He numbers two Union generals and 14 "in-the-trenches" Confederates in his ancestry, including members of Armistead's and the Stonewall brigades.

Gregg has been a study leader for the Smithsonian Associates since 1988, specializing in cave as well as Civil War and Revolutionary War tours. A former professor of history at Carroll Community Collège in Westminster, MD, Gregg has also been an onboard lecturer for American Cruise Lines, specializing in the histories of the Columbia and Mississippi Rivers.


The Orange County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing about the proposed Wilderness Crossing development project on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at 6:00 pm in the Public Safety Building (11282 Government Center Drive, Orange, VA 22960).

The CVBT and the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition encourage the public to attend the meeting and express their opposition to the proposed rezoning for this massive development project that would have a negative impact on the Wilderness battlefield. For more information visit: https://www.pecva.org/wilderness-crossing/


Spring Antietam hikes! Come out and get some exercise and learn about the battle!

This Sunday we will have our first hike of the spring. Join us at 1p.m. for the Irish Brigade Hike. Check out all the details on our website as well as a list of all spring programs coming down the road. https://www.nps.gov/anti/planyourvisit/2023-spring-battlefield-hikes.htm


Hi all, just a reminder that tonight (March 14) is our first lecture of 2023! We start at 630pm at Balch Library!


March 2023 Meeting!

Our 2023 meeting schedule begins on Tuesday, March 14! We have a great speaker lined up for this month! The meeting begins at 6:30 at the Balch Library. Parking at the library is limited, but parking is available across the street in the church parking lot

Lecture Topic: The Surrenders of the Civil War

Myths and misconceptions abound about those last days of the Confederacy. There would be no single surrender or treaty that brought the war to an end. Rather, the Confederacy collapsed, its government on the run, its cities occupied, its armies surrendering piecemeal.

Each surrender—starting at Appomattox and continuing through Greensboro, Citronelle, and the Trans-Mississippi—unfolded on its own course. Many involved confusing and chaotic twists and turns. Misunderstandings plagued many of the negotiations. Communications were problematic. Discipline often broke down. Tempers flared. It was anything but a nice, neat ending to the war.

How did the war finally end? What was the status of former Confederate soldiers? Of slaves? How would everyone get home? Was there even a home to go to? As the surrenders unfolded, daunting questions remained. Appomattox was just the beginning.

About our speaker: Robert M. (Bert) Dunkerly is a historian, award-winning author, and speaker who is actively involved in historic preservation and research. He holds a degree in History from St. Vincent College and a Masters in Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State University. He has worked at fourteen historic sites, written over a dozen books, and numerous scholarly articles. His research includes archaeology, colonial life, military history, and historic commemoration. He is a past President of the Richmond Civil War Round Table, and serves on the Preservation Commission for the American Revolution Round Table-Richmond. He has taught courses at Central Virginia Community College, the University of Richmond, and the Virginia Historical Society. Dunkerly is currently a Park Ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park. He has visited over 500 battlefields and over 1000 historic sites worldwide. He enjoys exploring local bookstores, battlefields, and breweries, not necessarily in that order.

Other important information: Elections for directors will be held at the start of the meeting. A new president, raffle/book manager, and speaker scheduler is needed. Please consider supporting the round table in one of these positions.

Dues are $25 and are due this month. If you are unable to attend you can mail your check to:

Gary Mester
13366 Teaberry Court
Fairfax, VA 22033


Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable 2023 schedule of speakers:

March 14: Bert Dunkerly: Johnston’s Surrender to Sherman

April 11: Gregg Clemmer: Lee—The History You Were Never Taught

May 9: Carleton Young: 6th Corps, Army of the Potomac

June 13: M. Chris Bryan: From Cedar Mountain to Antietam

July 11: Burrus Carnahan: Lincoln

August 8: Craig Swain: Topic TBD

September 12: Eric Buckland: Topic TBD

October 10: Greg Sell: Topic TBD

November 14: Pam Tilson: Topic TBD

The week before each meeting, we’ll send out the speakers biography and description of the discussion topic.

All meeting are at Balch Library and begin at 630 pm. Mark your calendars!

What speakers are you most interested in? Drop a comment and let us know!

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