Civil War Forum
 Date  Speaker  Topic  Location
  September 17, 2018
 Frank O'Reilly, Historian of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park  2nd Annual Sergeant Charles Schwarz Meeting
Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St.
  October 15, 2018
  Carolyn Ivanoff, Educator
 Civil War Medicine
 Draught 55, 235 East 55th St
  November 19, 2018
  Gene Dattel, Berkeley Fellow, Yale U
 Draught 55, 245 East 55th St.
  December 10, 2018
Jay Jorgensen, Attorney and Author
 The Wheatfield at Gettysburg
Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St.
  January 21, 2019
Martha Hodes, Professor of History, NYU
  Mourning Lincoln
 Draught 55, 245 East 55th St
  February 18, 2019
Paula Hopewell, Election Official and Lincoln Lecturer
 Abraham Lincoln and the Border Region
 Draught 55, 245 East 55th St
  March 25, 2019
Peter Vermilyea, Western Connecticut State University  The Pipe Creek Circular and the Battle of Gettysburg
 Draught 55, 245 East 55th St
  April 15, 2019
   Jackie Eberstein, R.N., Author and Lecturer
Joshua Chamberlain & the CWFMNY 10th Anniversary Celebration 
Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St.
  May 20, 2019
 Draught 55, 245 East 55th St.

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. 

Meetings 2018-19

     March 25, 2019

Peter Vermilyea on "The Pipe Creek Circular and the Battle of Gettysburg"

5:30 PM Gathering for drinks, 6:00 p.m. Dinner, at Draught 55, 245 East 55th Street, New York, NY 10022

RSVP Richard Asaro at or at 718-894-2946

Our speaker will be Peter Vermilyea, a graduate of Gettysburg College and the Scholarship Director at that school's Civil War Institute. He is also a teacher of history at Western Connecticut State University and at Housatonic High School in CT. In addition, he is the author of two books on the history, both obscure and unique, of 18th and 19th century Litchfield CT. His subject will be The Pipe Creek Circular and the Battle of Gettysburg. Those of you who remember Paul Windels’s presentation on General John Reynolds at Gettysburg may remember the degree to which General George Meade's Pipe Creek Circular was then, and has long remained, a divisive controversy in any serious analysis of that battle. It was Meade's contingency plan for falling back to Maryland should the Army of the Potomac meet with trouble at Gettysburg. Veterans, historians and Civil War buffs have argued for the past 156 years about whether or not the Circular demonstrated Meade's desire to abandon the field of the great Union victory. What has been overlooked is that the act of preparing the Circular - and some aspects of it that were actually enacted - had significant effects on how the Battle of Gettysburg was fought. For too long, historians have viewed Gettysburg through the eyes of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate army. By shifting the focus to George Meade and the Union preparations for the engagement, new and important perspectives on this battle that continues to fascinate Americans can be gained. This is an absolutely necessary supplement to any CW enthusiast's understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg. This will be the last meeting at Draught 55, at 245 East 55 St, NY NY before we once again head further south for our 10th Anniversary meeting in April. 

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.