Recap: Powhatan Civil War Roundtable, 1/19/2023

23 01 2023

This past Thursday I was hosted by 42 good folks at the Powhatan Civil War Roundtable for the shortest version yet of my presentation on McDowell’s Plan for First Bull Run. This will come as a relief to the people who have had to sit through up to 1:45 of earlier iterations.

All in all, a lot of fun. Top notch accommodations (The Mill at Fine Creek), a pre-meeting cannon salute (not for me, but for a founding member), a nice dinner, a cool coffee mug, and, again, all done in an hour, including Q&A.

If you’re a speaker and get an offer to speak to this great bunch, jump on it.

Five more shows to go this year, but not this program. If you’re group interested, as always, let me know.





2023 Shaping Up – Speaking Schedule Thus Far

18 11 2022

My speaking schedule for 2023 promises to be my busiest yet – though I have set the bar pretty low. That’s understandable, I guess, since I don’t actively solicit engagements and I have no books to sell. You can keep up to date, as well as find recaps to prior engagements, here. I don’t have any battlefield tours scheduled right now, but we’ve got something in mind, so check back daily. As of right now, here are my dates and locations – six dates, five states, three topics:

1/19/2023 – Powhatan Civil War Roundtable, Powhatan, VA

3/13/2023 – Fort Sumter Civil War Roundtable, Charleston, SC

3/16/2023 – Rufus Barringer Civil War Roundtable, Pinehurst, NC

4/12/2023 – Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable, Columbus, OH

5/17/2023 – Western Pennsylvania Civil War Roundtable, Sewickley, PA

710/2023 – Raleigh Civil War Roundtable, Raleigh, NC

If your group is open to a Civil War presentation that doesn’t have anything to do with Gettysburg, you can contact me in the comments section here or on the Book Me, Danno! page, the Bull Runnings Facebook page, the Bull Runnings Twitter account, or via email provided in the right hand column. That’s as solicitous as I get.





Frederick County Civil War Round Table

25 04 2022
I forgot to take my traditional selfie. Thanks to my son for taking up the slack.

This past Thursday, April 21, I delivered my presentation on McDowell’s Plan to about 25 folks of the Frederick County Civil War Round Table, at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine smack dab in Frederick, Md. They were a good group, stayed awake, and asked some really good questions afterwards. It was nice to see old friends Jim Rosebrock, Brian Downey, and Tracey McIntyre, too. Thanks to Matt Borders for inviting me down. If you get the chance to speak there, or attend a meeting on the third Thursday each month, be sure to take advantage.





Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Carnegie, PA

15 03 2022

This past Saturday, March 12, I gave a presentation on the 69th New York State Militia at First Bull Run to the good folks at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie, PA. We had a bit of a blizzard the night before, and it was touch and go whether or not the library was even going to be open. But program honcho Jon-Erik Gilot made the decision to go forward and I was all for it – I find speaking into a camera with no one around difficult. I need to see faces. Due to the accumulation of snow and the fact that it was the morning of one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the nation in nearby Pittsburgh, turnout was relatively light. Between live and Zoom/Facebook Live I think we had about thirty people watching.

For a first-time presentation it went pretty well, although I once again ran way, way too long. There were a good number of questions, and all-in-all I was pleased. I have some work to do before I give this presentation again, this time for Civil War Talk (Zoom or Facebook Live only), on March 16. Needless to say, there will be changes. So, don’t beat me up too much.

Here is Saturday’s program on YouTube.





Upcoming Talks

23 02 2022

In March I’ll be giving two presentations, drawing heavily on the Bull Runnings In the Footsteps of the 69th New York State Militia tour from 2019. Both presentations can be attended remotely.

On March 12, I’ll be speaking live at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, PA.

And on March 16, I’ll be speaking on Zoom with Civil War Talk.

Hope to see some of you soon!





Funny Stuff, and an Update

14 09 2021

I made some updates to my speaking schedule. Between October 2021 and April 2022 I’ll be presenting in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Two McDowell’s Plan shows, and one on the 69th NYSM at Bull Run. The Plan programs will be brand new versions, stripped down, which should be more impactful. The 69th talk will be the Saturday preceding St. Patrick’s day, which here in Pittsburgh – where I’ll be speaking – is a pretty big day. That should be interesting. You can see the schedule here.

I’m working my way through South Carolina newspapers for the two months following the battle, and am finding good stuff, even if I’m going blind in the process. Very interesting the tone of the state’s newspapers versus Virginia’s and North Carolina’s. Think the freshmen football players who never get in the game, who taunt their opponents from the sidelines under the expectation of not having to face them on the field. (I’m talking about geography, here.) Check out this column, in the Charleston Mercury, criticizing Virginia for its soft treatment of Union prisoners captured at Bull Run. I may transcribe it later.





Fort Sumter Civil War Round Table 4/12/2021

29 04 2021

20210412_183609

My now traditional pre-talk selfie.

This past April 12, I was in the Holy City, otherwise known as Charleston, SC, to present my program on McDowell’s plan for what became the First Battle of Bull Run. We had about 30-35 people on hand at the hall of Stella Maris Catholic Church on Sullivan’s Island, in the shadow of Ft. Moultrie. This presentation capped of a very full day that included a trip out to Shute’s Folly in Charleston Harbor, the site of Castle Pinckney, which for a time was home to Federal prisoners taken at First Bull Run. But more on that later.

The talk was a long time coming, as friend Jim Morgan (a co-founder of the round table) had first invited me down a couple-or-three years ago. I was scheduled to speak last May, I think, when the group held their meetings at The Citadel, but Covid put the kibosh on that. So things loosened up and we rescheduled, but with a change in venue as things had not loosened up enough for the folks at the Citadel.

I’ve presented “McDowell’s Plan” more times than any other program I’ve done. And I’m never happy after I finish, as I always think I left something out, or put something in that I shouldn’t have, or said something stupid (see below for my pre-talk stupid story). This time was non different, and I vow again to make big changes before next time (which right now looks like April 2022 in Frederick, MD). But I got some good feedback, answered some good questions, and I think folks generally liked it.

20210412_183204

We started out pledging allegiance to this flag.

20210412_183232

This flag was also there, but no one pledged anything to it.

All in all it was a good time, and I have to say there are some really sharp minds in this group (including present and former Citadel history profs. Kyle Sinisi and Steve Smith, and retired USMC Col. Ed Forte, among others), so be on top of your game if you’re lucky enough to be invited to speak there.

I did have the opportunity to really embarrass myself with one other esteemed member of the group, and I’ll share that story which I posted on Facebook again here because I’m a glutton for punishment.

So, after a full morning of boating and exploring Castle Pinckney, I got back to my base of operations and was able to take a nap and freshen up. I met up with a few members of the RT at a place called “Poe’s” on Sullivan’s Island, near the venue. (Turns out some hack writer from Baltimore was stationed for a time at Ft. Moultrie, also on Sullivan’s Island.) Jim Morgan, one of the founders of the RT and the person who invited me to speak, makes the introductions. Now, I’m horrible with names and forget them as soon as I hear them. I’m seated next to a man named Rick Hatcher, and am told he is a retired NPS historian who had worked at both Ft. Sumter and Ft. Moultrie, among others. At some point, I was handed a copy of one of my Collateral Damages articles from Civil War Times. Mr. Hatcher asked me if I ever wrote about the Ray house. I’m thinking on it, and having trouble focusing what with all the new names that are rapidly escaping my brain. He says “Wilson’s Creek.” I say, “Oh yeah, I did,” and he tells me he used to work there, and I try to remember the man’s name who I talked to at the site when I wrote “the article.” Well it soon dawns on me that I’m thinking of the Bottom House at Perryville, and that I never wrote an article on the Ray House at Wilson’s Creek. Trying to explain this mix-up, I say, “Well, same state.” Which can only be true if Missouri and Kentucky are the same state. And they’re not. Still trying to dig myself out, I bring up a fine study of Wilson’s Creek that I read years ago, which was authored by William Garrett Piston “and some other guy.” Ummmm….did I mention it was a long day? (Mr. Hatcher was a good sport about it.)

175074397_4254508511239513_4310527582675249242_n





Update: Ft. Sumter Civil War Roundtable

24 03 2021

For anyone planning to attend my upcoming presentation to the Fort Sumter Civil War Roundtable in Charleston, SC on April 12:

The venue has changed. Due to Covid restrictions, the roundtable is unable to use the facilities at The Citadel. Instead, we’ll meet at 6:30 at the parish hall of Stella Maris Catholic Church, 1204 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island. The parish hall is in between the Ft Moultrie visitor center and the church, tucked away behind a house that’s right there on the road.

Also, I’m here live. I’m not a cat. I’ll be back to posting soon. Lots of stuff still ahead. Lots and lots of stuff. And we’ve got a Facebook Live event coming up in July, from the battlefield.

ONWARD!

CV5UzgHW4AAx6xC





Recap: Rufus Barringer Civil War Roundtable 10-15-2020

19 10 2020
121414576_3718088378214865_2510706787481339102_o

About 18 socially-distanced people showed up at the Rufus Barringer Civil War Roundtable

For the first time since Fo Da Co, or what others refer to as the Before Times, I gave a real, live, in-person presentation this past Thursday. Nope, not Zoom, or Facebook Live, or any of those other presentations we see on-line every day. Me, with a computer, projector, and a room not-full of people. People wearing masks, which, I’ll tell you, makes it a little difficult to judge how well things are going.

The good folks at the Rufus Barringer Civil War Roundtable in Southern Pines, NC, were wonderful as always (this was my 4th trip there). They sat through what turned out to be a 90 minute presentation, nobody walked out, and some great questions were asked afterwards.

122082224_10158731988417962_2383487347623444094_n

And Away We Go!

Roundtable director and dear friend Teej Smith and newsletter editor Matt Farina treated my wife and me to a great dinner prior to the meeting, and we were joined by friend and author Charlie Knight of the North Carolina History Museum. After my talk, Civil War stamp aficionado Matt presented with two nice framed items now proudly displayed in my library.

122083724_10158731988112962_3627085878399962251_n

Clockwise from left, Teej Smith, Charlie Knight, Myself (with newsletter), Matt Farina

We spent the rest of the weekend with my in-laws, who also attended the talk and with whom we stayed, tooling about Pinehurst, taking in the mostly golf-related sights and wrapping up with a round on the Country Club of North Carolina’s Dogwood course. I had never hit out of long Bermuda rough or pine straw before, which I did often and with predictable results (yes, I could have stayed out of the rough, but then I’d have seen a lot less of the course). I played horribly and had a great time.

122101788_10158732031217962_8444325658370628275_n

Fore!

Thanks to everyone!





Coming Up!

4 10 2020

Just a couple of housekeeping things.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, I’ll be speaking about McDowell’s Plan to the Rufus Barringer Civil War Roundtable in Pinehurst, NC. This will be my fourth trip to this fine group. The state has limited attendance to 25 and members get first dibs, so if you’re thinking of stopping by check with them first. We’ll be turning this into a mini vacation with my NC in-laws.

Having some time on my hands the other day, I flipped through S1, V2 of the ORs and marked all the correspondence associated with First Bull Run. I think I’ll start posting those soon (I label them “Official Correspondence” to differentiate from personal letters, which for some reason I first labeled “Private Correspondence,” even though much of it was intended for publication in newspapers – I should probably fix that, but have to figure out a simple and efficient way).

Still plenty of newspapers to look at, and I have one letter from a private in the 18th VA that was subsequently purchased by the NPS. I received a copy before they purchased it, and was in the process of transcribing, but they’ll be sending me a transcription from the much clearer original soon. Good stuff in it. Thanks to readers Tim Smith of Joliet, Il., and Patrick Schroeder of Lynchburg, Va.

Two interviews of authors of new books in the works, so be on the lookout for them.