Civil War Forum
 Date  Speaker  Topic  Location
 June 19, 2017
 Michael McCarthy, Author
 Confederate Waterloo, The Battle of Five Forks
 Draught 55, 245 East 55th St.
 July 17, 2017
 William H. Seward Award Winner  Timothy Egan
 Immortal Irishman, Thomas Francis Meagher
 Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St.
 September 25, 2017
 Charles K. Schwarz Lecture Andy Waskie
  Meet General Meade
 Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St.
 October 16, 2017
William H. Seward Award Winner   Ronald C. White
 American Ulysses -- U.S. Grant
 Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St.
 November 20, 2017
  Jeff Richman
  The Gallant Sims
 Draught 55, 245 East 55th St.
 December 11, 2017
 David Mark Brown
 Johnny Reb and Billy Yank in the Spanish-American War
 Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal St.
 January 15, 2018      Draught 55, 245 East 55th St.
 February 12, 2018
  Bruce Venter
  Kill Jeff Davis
 Draught 55, 245 East 55th St.
 March 19, 2018
     Draught 55, 245 East 55th St.
 April 16, 2018
     Draught 55, 245 East 55th St.
 May 21, 2018
  Pat Schuber
 Draught 55, 245 East 55th St.
 June 18, 2018
  Jim Santagata
  Montgomery Miegs
 Draught 55, 245 East 55th St.
 July 16, 2018
  Seward Award Winner
   Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougal 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. 

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

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.