Meeting Information

American Civil War education, preservation and restoration

Monthly Meetings

The round table meets on the third Tuesday of the month from September through May, except April, at the Knights of Columbus, 1114 American Boulevard West, Bloomington, MN 55420, for members and their guests. Social hour starts at 5:45 pm followed by dinner and a speaker at 6:30 pm. If you are not yet a member please see Join the Table for more information or contact Carol VanOrnum, Treasurer, at

For a more complete description of the program, and a speaker bio, click on the presentation title.

2018-2019 Guest Speaker Schedule

September 18th, 2018: “Gettysburg and the Battle for Culps’ Hill” – John D. Cox

September 18, 2018

“Gettysburg and the Battle for Culps’ Hill” – John Cox

September 18, 2018

The battle of Gettysburg continues to captivate the American imagination. After 150 years, millions still visit its fields every year, commemorating the tremendous struggle. In Gettysburg: A History for the People, licensed Battlefield Guide John D. Cox brings to life the story of America s greatest battle. All of the drama of the conflict, with its tragedies and heroism, becomes real in its pages. The monumental decisions of the commanders are revealed, the self-sacrifice of the soldiers and the nightmares of the civilians, caught between the two armies, are vividly uncovered. From the start, Gettysburg: A History for the People pulls the reader into a gripping narrative, told with the knowledge of a professional, but with the vibrant touch of a master storyteller, that never lets go. Gettysburg: A History for the People reads like a novel.

John D. Cox is a writer, an artist and public speaker. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran and former Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park. He lives in Minneapolis, MN, with his wife, Barbara.

October 16, 2018: “The Lost Gettysburg Address: Charles Anderson’s Civil War Odyssey” – David Dixon

October 16, 2018

“The Lost Gettysburg Address:  Charles Anderson’s

Civil War Odyssey” – David Dixon


October 16, 2018

David’s book is titled: The Lost Gettysburg Address: The Civil War Odyssey of Charles Anderson. Anderson, a slave owner, sacrificed nearly everything to help save the Union. He ended up sharing the spotlight with Lincoln and Everett at Gettysburg in November, 1863. The three featured orations were a carefully crafted rhetorical ensemble. Each had a specific political purpose, in addition to memorializing the dead soldiers.

A transcript of this speech, along with rare photographs and a hand-drawn map of the Stones River battlefield, are all published in Dixon’s book for the first time.

David Dixon, earned his M.A. in history from the University of Massachusetts. He has published numerous articles on black history and on Union sympathizers in the Civil War South. David hosts “B-List History,” a website celebrating lesser-known historical characters and their amazing stories.

Currently, David is writing the first full-length biography of Union General August Willich, a German 48er who distinguished himself in a number of important battles.

November 20, 2018: “The Last Siege: The Mobile Campaign, Alabama 1865″ – Paul Brueske

November 20, 2018

“The Last Siege:  The Mobile Campaign, Alabama 1865″

– Paul Brueske

November 20, 2018

The Last Siege explores the events surrounding this siege and capture of Mobile, Alabama. The Union victory at the battle of Mobile Bay in 1864 ended blockade running from the port of Mobile. Uncaptured, the city remained a priority for the Confederates to defend and the Federals to attack. This book gives a new perspective on the strategic importance of Mobile as a logistical center which had access to vital rail lines and two major river systems, essential in moving forces and supplies.

Paul Brueske is a lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast, but his family hails from Plainview, Minnesota. Paul became obsessed with studying the Civil War, in particular the 1865 campaign for Mobile, Alabama. He founded the Mobile Civil War Round Table and regularly gives talks on Civil War topics. He is currently the Head Track & Field Coach at the University of South Alabama. This is his first book, a result of many years of research on the Mobile Campaign

December 18, 2018: “The Question was One of Supplies,” The Logistics for William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign” – Greg Biggs

December 18, 2018

“The Question was One of Supplies.”  – The Logistics for William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign – Greg Biggs

December 18, 2018

No army in history moved without a secure line of supplies especially if it moved into enemy territory.  If an army got cut off from its supplies then calamity usually followed often ending in defeat and/or destruction.  When William T. Sherman set his sights on Atlanta he prepared for the supplying of his army in a manner that surpassed every other Civil War general.  Rebuilding railroads and confiscating locomotives and cars to haul supplies, Sherman set a daily goal for shipments to his forward base in Chattanooga. Ruthless in making sure that only supplies got on the cars, Sherman also had to worry about protecting the line of rails that ran back to Louisville, Kentucky from Confederate raiders.  Building on a system begun by William S. Rosecrans, Sherman’s engineers built forts and blockhouses and prepared pre-fabricated trestles for replacing those brought down by Confederate raiders.  While his preparations were masterful and thorough, they were not without some flaws.  This program will examine the nuts and bolts of these logistics and cover the errors that were also made.  In the end, his supply line performed as expected and Atlanta was captured.  This set the stage for two more campaigns that Sherman would undertake before the war ended in April 1865 as well as logistics for more modern wars.

Greg Biggs has studied military history for over 50 years.  He is a former Associate Editor of Blue & Gray magazine, which has published several of his articles.  He has also been published in Civil War Regiments, North-South Trader and Citizens’ Companion and in Sons of Confederate Veterans programs in Tennessee.  He has presented in programs across the country for Civil War Roundtables and other history groups, museums and conferences.  He has conducted numerous tours of the Fort Donelson Campaign, the Tullahoma Campaign, Chickamauga Campaign, Where The River War Began campaign and the Atlanta Campaign. Greg is a Civil War tour guide for campaigns of the Western Theater for the U.S. Army and Civil War groups and is President of the Clarksville Civil War Roundtable.

January 15, 2019: “Blood on the Water: The Great Lakes During the Civil War” – Frederick Stonehouse

January 15, 2019

“Blood on the Water:  The Great Lakes During the Civil War”

– Frederick Stonehouse

January 15, 2019

While the Union and Confederate armies bludgeoned each other on the battlefields what was happening on the Great Lakes? How did the lakes contribute to the ultimate Union victory? What Confederate plots were hatched to attack the unprotected Great Lakes? This program looks at this fascinating and largely ignored part of Civil War history.

Frederick Stonehouse has authored over thirty books on maritime history, many of them focusing on the Great Lakes and contributed to several others.  He has been a consultant for both the U.S. National Park Service and Parks Canada and has been an “on-air” expert for National Geographic, History Channel and Fox Family, as well as many regional media productions.

Fred teaches maritime history at Northern Michigan University and is an active consultant for numerous maritime oriented projects and programs. In April 2000, he began teaching two Internet based courses on Great Lakes maritime history: Great Lakes Lighthouses and Great Lakes Maritime History. This is the first time such instruction has been offered on the web. He holds a Master of Arts degree in History from Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.

February 19, 2019: “Oliver Winchester in the Civil War” – Larry Ahlman

February 19, 2019

“Oliver Winchester in the Civil War” – Larry Ahlman

February 19, 2019

Larry Ahlman will explain the rapid evolution of firearms during the Civil War and Oliver Winchester’s attempts and repeated failures to impress Lincoln and sell his guns to the military. He’ll explain why some historians are now crediting Winchester with turning the tide of battle at Gettysburg even though his guns were rebuffed by the army.

Larry is a gunsmith/writer from Morristown, MN.  Larry writes articles for several outdoor and conservation magazines such as Outdoor Life, American Rifleman, MN Conservation Volunteer, Boundary Waters Journal and others. He has also authored 4 books. Having grown up in a gun shop, Larry is also a skilled gunsmith and stock maker. He has checkered hundreds of gunstocks for the Winchester Company. His website is

March 19, 2019: “F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Civil War” – Dave Page

March 19, 2019

“F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Civil War” – Dave Page

March 19, 2019

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s connections to the American Civil War and how it influenced his writing. 

Dave Page has been studying F. Scott Fitzgerald for the past 35 years, and the Civil War even longer. He has written articles for America’s Civil War, Civil War Times Illustrated, and Civil War News. As a guest of the History Channel, he talked about the Civil War along America’s coast, the topic of his book, Ships Versus Shore: Civil War Engagements Along Southern Shores and Rivers.  He is a past president of the St. Croix Valley Civil War Round Table and a retired writing instructor at Inver Hill’s Community College.

May 21, 2019: “Kentucky Raider: The Story of Private Commodore Perry Snell” – George Karvel

May 21, 2019

“Kentucky Raider: The Story of Private Commodore Perry Snell”
– George Karvel

May 21, 2019

 Kentucky Raider: Private Commodore Perry Snell, CSA and the Capture of General Edward Henry Hobson and his Order Book at Cynthiana, Kentucky, June 11, 1864 during General John Hunt Morgan’s Last Kentucky Raid.

“Using a captured (liberated) Union Order Book, kept in the family 150 years, Karvel illuminates the Civil War experiences of one Confederate cavalryman riding with Morgan’s Raiders and their Last Kentucky Raid.”

George attended the University of Colorado earning a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Accounting and Finance. After a career as a professor, at St. Cloud State and the University of St. Thomas, and work as an author and consultant, George retired in 2012.  Since then he has studied and researched his great-great grandfather who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.   “Kentucky Raider,” the result of his research was published in 2016.