Ohio County Public Library, 10/18/2016

19 10 2016

cid_dbd30eb9-4165-46cf-a86f-90fafa044a7cYesterday I presented my Kilpatrick Family Ties program to the good folks of the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling, WV, as part of their Lunch with Books program. About 60 were in attendance, including my son who is on break from Waynesburg University, and old friends Jon-Erik Gilot and Jim Dailer.

I thought the presentation went pretty well, though I was thrown when I realized I had left some materials – props, really – at home along with my clicker. I had to leave a few things out because we were on a pretty strict time limit, but managed to get all the important stuff in and field all the questions asked. Sean Duffy at the library does a very nice job, the facilities are great, and the audience engaged. If you are contacted by Sean to speak there, you should jump at the chance. And if you live in or are passing through the area, check out Lunch with Books every Tuesday at noon.

Afterwards my son and I followed Jim to lunch in North Wheeling along the river. A really perfect afternoon weather-wise. Then the boy and I took in a truly fine museum in Wheeling’s Independence Hall. More on that later.

California University of PA CWRT Recap

17 07 2016

Photo courtesy of Mike Pellegrini

Last Thursday evening, July 14, I gave a presentation on Irvin McDowell’s plan(s) for the campaign on Manassas to the California University of Pennsylvania Civil War Roundtable in California, PA. This built on the presentation I gave to the Central Ohio CWRT back in 2014 (see recap here). The evening before, I sat down and wrote a few things out – I don’t usually like to read prepared statements, but I was glad I did as it cut down on annoying umms and ahhs on my part and helped keep me on track. It also added to the length of the program, which I think clocked in at something like 1:30 to 1:45. But I didn’t see too many of the 55-60 in attendance nod off, and didn’t notice any getting up and bugging out before the meeting was over. This program continues to develop and change as my thoughts on McD’s plans evolve, but in essence it’s pretty much nailed down.

There were some good questions afterward, but not too many as we did run long and my programs typically have give and take while in process. The room in the Kara Alumni house was very nice and worked well. It was also very cool meeting Roland Maust, author of one of my top ten favorite books on Gettysburg“Grappling with Death”: The Union Second Corps Hospital at Gettysburg, who was in attendance.

Thanks to president Walter Klorczyk who heads up a very fine group. They meet on the 2nd Thursday each month on campus.

My next speaking engagement will be October 18, 2016, when I’ll present Kilpatrick’s Family Ties for the Lunch With Books series at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling, West Virginia. Stop by if you’re in the area – it’s a fun program.

McDowell’s Plan – Again

11 07 2016

This coming Thursday evening, July 14, 2016 (Bastille Day), join me at the California University of Pennsylvania’s Civil War Roundtable for a discussion of Irvin McDowell’s plan for the campaign on Manassas – what it was, what it wasn’t, how it succeeded, why it failed.

The meeting will be held in the KARA-BOOKER GREAT ROOM in the Kara Alumni House. Doors will open at 6:30 pm and the meeting will start at 7:00 pm.

Anyone interested in Civil War History is welcome to attend.

For further information, email stonewall1863@comcast.net, call 724-258-3406, or text 724-787-2340.

Wheeling WV – Oct. 18, 2016

24 05 2016

Cadet H. J. Kilpatrick

I will be presenting Kilpatrick Family Ties at the Ohio County Public Library, Fifty-two 16th St, Wheeling, WV, on October 18, 2016. This is part of their Lunch with Books series, and start time is at noon. This is a fun program, and I’m looking forward to doing it again. Hope to see some of you there!


Carnegie Library, Carnegie, PA 1/9/2016

11 01 2016

12507567_10153921327127962_979802319226606305_nI had a great time presenting Kilpartick Family Ties to a nice crowd of about seventy-five at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie, PA this past Saturday. It’s always a boost to see the venue scramble for additional seating before a talk begins. Diane Klinefleter, the curator of the Library’s Civil War Room, puts on great events there known as the Second Saturday Lecture Series. If you’re local, or even if you’re not, you should check it out.

A lot of what was included in the program has been covered here in some fashion in the past, but a good bit has not. If your group is interested in hearing this program, let me know.

Thanks to everyone who showed up, including Seton LaSalle High School history teacher Mr. K., who assigned the lecture to his AP students as extra credit and had about eighteen turn up. Just doing my part to help turn Bs into As.

The room itself displays original prints of one hundred of the known photographs of Abraham Lincoln. And an adjacent room is a fully restored Grand Army of the Potomac post. Follow the links and check them out.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

4 01 2016



From the Carnegie Library website:

Harry Smeltzer, Kilpatrick’s Family Ties

Saturday, January 9, 2016, 1:00 pm

Harry Smeltzer, host and blogger of “Bull Runnings” a digital history project on the First Battle of Bull Run, will talk on Hugh Judson Kilpatrick. “Kill Cavalry” as he was so nicknamed for his ruthless tactics was the first United States Army officer to be wounded in the Civil War.

Harry’s talk “Kilpatrick’s Family Ties” is a mix of Civil War history and family genealogy. To quote Harry,

“Let’s just say this one has a little bit of everything. Love, infidelity, murder, royalty, ragtime, madness, natural disaster, TV stars, tight blue jeans, World War I flying aces, you name it. Fun talk for all ages and genders.”

Light refreshments served. Registration not required. Free and open to the public. 2nd Saturday Lecture Series made possible by the Massey Charitable Trust.

Come one, come all. The Steelers don’t play until 8:30. Plus, see original prints of 100 photos of Abraham Lincoln, and the restored Espy GAR post!

Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall

300 Beechwood Avenue

Carnegie, PA 15106

See more at their website here.

2016 Speaking Dates

8 12 2015

Your host will be speaking twice in 2016.

January 9 – Second Saturday Lecture Series, Carnegie Library, Carnegie, PA. Promoted as a talk on Hugh Judson Kilpatrick. He is in fact the straw that stirs the drink, but don’t expect an examination of his career. Let’s just say this one has a little bit of everything. Love, infidelity, murder, royalty, ragtime, madness, natural disaster, TV stars, tight blue jeans, World War I flying aces, you name it. Fun talk for all ages and genders.

July 14 – California University of PA Civil War Roundtable, California, PA, Kara Alumni House. This will be the first time I’ve ever given an overview of the campaign. Gotta figure a way to fit it into the allotted time.