Civil War Forum



  July 15, 2019
 David W. Blight, Professor of History, Yale University
 Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
2019 William H. Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography
 Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St.
  September 16, 2019
Harold Holzer, Lincoln scholar
 Lincoln at Cooper Union (3rd Annual Sergeant Charles Schwarz Meeting)
Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St.
  October 21, 2019
  Walter Stahr, Author and 2018 Seward Award Winner
 Stanton: Lincoln's War Secretary
Presentation of the 2018 William H. Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography
Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St.
  November -- TBA


  December 16, 2019
Peter Carmichael, Director of the Civil War Institute, Gettysburg College







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 2019-2020

     October 21, 2019

Author Walter Stahr on "Stanton: Lincoln's War Secretary"

2018 Seward Award Winner for Excellence in Civil War Biography

 5:30 drinks, followed by 6:00 p.m. dinner, at Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St, New York, NY 

$50 for members, $55 for non-members


RSVP Jean Grenning at or at 301-742-5680

Walter Stahr was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, grew up in Arcadia, California, and attended the Phillips Exeter Academy, Stanford University, and Harvard, where he studied law and public policy. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1982, he joined the Washington office of an international law firm, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.  In 1986, the firm posted him to Hong Kong. In 1990, he joined the Securities & Exchange Commission, where he served for several years in the chairman’s office. In 1995, he moved to Fidelity Investments to be their first internal lawyer based in Hong Kong. He returned to Washington in 1999, joining Emerging Markets Partnership as an internal lawyer, focused on Asia, and eventually rising to be the general counsel of EMP Global, as the firm is now known. In the summer of 2008, he and his family moved to Exeter, New Hampshire, where his wife taught mathematics and his children attended Phillips Exeter. In the summer of 2014 the family moved to southern California. Mr. Stahr’s first book, on John Jay, was published in 2005; his second book, on Seward, in 2012; and his third book, on Stanton, in 2017. He is now working on a biography of Salmon Chase. He is the first person to win the CWFMNY’s Seward Award twice.

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David W. Blight Wins 2019 William H. Seward Award

The Civil War Forum was honored to present its 2019 William H. Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography to David W. Blight for his 2018 book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, the 2019 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in History. David Blight is currently professor of American History at Yale University since 2003, after having taught for 13 years at Amherst College, and at Harvard University before that. At Yale, he is also the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. He has served as the William Pitt Professor of American History at England's Cambridge University; the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th Century American History at the esteemed Huntington Library in California; and a Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at the New York Public Library, in addition to having been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His previous works on this facet of American History are Frederick Douglass' Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee; Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory; A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Narratives of Emancipation; and Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory and the American Civil War. He has numerous other writing and editing accomplishments, has been a Book Review editor for several leading newspapers, and teaches summer institutes for park rangers and historians in the National Park Service. Read more about David Blight at

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. Past winners of the Seward Award are listed below.

About the Charles K. Schwarz Lecture

The Forum holds a series of lectures in memory of our beloved colleague, guiding spirit, and founding member Charles K. Schwarz.  Charlie died in September 2016 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 added their own memorial contributions.  The Forum's Board and Charlie's family 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.

The inaugural Charles K. Schwarz Lecture was held on September 25, 2017, at Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougall Street, New York City. The speaker was Dr. Anthony Waskie of Temple University.  Dr. Waskie was 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.