Meetings include dinner. We gather starting at 5:30 and sit down for dinner and announcements at 6:00.
The cost for meetings at Draught 55 is $45 for members and $55 for non-members. The cost for meetings at Villa Mosconi is $50 for members and $55 for non-members. Please RSVP if you are planning on attending.
To RSVP for a meeting, please see the announcement for that meeting on this page.
Upcoming Meetings 2017-18
November 20, 2017 Jeff Richman, Historian at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, on "The Gallant Sims: A Civil War Hero Rediscovered"
5:30 PM Gathering for drinks, 6:00 p.m. Dinner Draught 55, 245 East 55 Street, New York, NY
RSVP Jean Grenning, 1-301-742-5680 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our speaker at this meeting, Jeff Richman, has the fascinating job of
Historian at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Jeff came to this unusual
calling after graduating from NYU Law School in 1974 and spending the
next 33 years as a criminal defense lawyer. Jeff's incredible Civil War project has documented that there are over 5,000 Civil War veterans interred
in the vast 478 acre cemetery, including 16 generals and 85 Confederate
soldiers, many in unmarked and long unmaintained graves, but whose
interment records led to their re-discovery. These numbers are all
vastly higher than anyone expected the effort to identify. The topic of
Jeff's talk will be "The Gallant Sims." Samuel Harris Sims was born in
New York in 1829 and lived in Brooklyn at the start of the Civil War. He
was a widower with three young children when his wife of 10 years died
in 1860. He answered his country's call to arms and enlisted in the 13th
New York State militia in April 1861 as a 2nd Lieutenant for a 90 day
term, leaving his children with his sister. He re-enlisted in the new
51st NY Volunteer Regiment in September of that year and was promoted to
Captain. He was now part of Burnside's 9th Corps, taking part in such
far flung battles as Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg,
Vicksburg, the Wilderness, and Cold Harbor, among others, before he was
killed in action at the Battle of the Crater in July of 1864. And yes,
he was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, but as I'm sure Jeff will
describe, there is so much more to Sims' fascinating story, including an
surprising description of how nearly the entire record of Sims'
existence came within minutes of being totally lost to history outside a
house in Santa Barbara CA!
Timothy Egan and Ronald C. White Win 2017 William H. Seward Awards
The Civil War Forum of Metropolitan New York is pleased to announce two
winners of its William H. Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography for
2017: American Ulysses by Ronald C. White and Immortal
Irishman by Timothy Egan. Each winner will receive a full award.
The life of Thomas Francis Meagher -- the subject of Immortal Irishman
-- seems more like an adventure novel than the career of a real person;
but real he was. Sentenced to death for rebellion in Ireland during the Famine,
then transported to Australia, Meagher then escaped to New York City and
subsequently became commander of the Irish Brigade during the Civil War. His
adventures did not end with the War: ahead lay his appointment as Secretary of
the Montana Territory and, finally, his disappearance. All this Timothy Egan
narrates in lively style.
American Ulysses offers a balanced and extremely readable portrait
of U.S. Grant. Without overburdening the reader with detail, it leaves the
reader with a clear understanding of what Grant accomplished during his rise
from obscurity to command of the Armies of the United States and ultimately the
Presidency. Yet at the same time, Ronald White uses detail to make a point --
such as Grant arriving to assume command at Cairo, Illinois, in civilian clothes
and being ignored by everyone at headquarters until he wrote out an order
assuming command and read it to the astonished commanding officer.
The Seward Award is endowed through the generosity of James W. Davis, a
founding member of the Forum. The Award includes an invitation to visit the
Forum in New York City and a $2,000 stipend. Winners are chosen by the Forum's
Seward Award Committee, which comprises Forum members Nathan Burkan, Louis
McElwee, Nancy Newcomb, and Paul Windels, together with Mr. Davis. Past winners
of the Seward Award are listed below.
First Charles K. Schwarz Lecture
September 25, 2017
The Forum is pleased to announce a series of lectures in memory of our beloved colleague, guiding spirit, and founding member Charles K. Schwarz. Charlie died last September at age 87 and is missed by all who knew him. He had a keen mind and an encyclopedic memory, as anyone who talked about baseball, hockey, movies, or politics can attest, and his passion (second only to his family) was the Civil War.
Charlie's family and friends made a generous contribution to the Forum in his memory and many Forum members have added their own memorial contributions. The Forum's Board and Charlie's family have agreed that an appropriate way to use these funds, and one that Charlie would have liked, would be for a series of lectures in Charlie's memory.
We are pleased also to announce that the inaugural Charles K. Schwarz Lecture will be held on September 25, 2017, at Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougall Street, New York City, with proceedings starting at 6:00 p.m. Our speaker will be Dr. Anthony Waskie of Temple University. Dr. Waskie is especially appropriate as a speaker for this Lecture beyond his expertise on the Civil War because he has devoted a lifetime of effort to advancing the study and understanding of the Civil War in Philadelphia. In addition to serving as co-chair of the Civil War & Emancipation Studies Program at Temple University (where he is also an Assistant Professor of German), he is Vice-President of the Grand Army of the Republic Museum in Philadelphia, President of the General Meade Society, and a Trustee of the Laurel Hill Cemetery. Dr. Waskie is the author of Philadelphia and the Civil War, which was published by History Press in 2011.