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 Bloomington Event Center, 1114 American Boulevard West, Bloomington, MN 55420, for members and their guests. Social hour starts at 5:30 pm followed by dinner and a speaker at 6:25 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.

The Bloomington Event Center has been an excellent venue and partner to the TCCWRT, contributing to the Round Table’s health and its growth.  For more information about the Bloomington Event Center, click here.


2024-2025 Guest Speaker Schedule

September 17, 2024: Dr. Mary Walker, Medal of Honor Winner – Theresa Kaminski, Ph.D.

September 17, 2024

Dr. Mary Walker, Medal of Honor Winner – Theresa Kaminski

September 17, 2024

Mary Edwards Walker was an unusual nineteenth-century woman, brimming with self confidence and determined to make a significant contribution to her country. She believed in women’s rights, wore trousers, and graduated from medical school. A few months after the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, she left her home state of New York for Washington, D.C., where she met with the secretary of war and offered her expertise as a physician to the United States Army. Denied a commission because of her gender, Dr. Walker worked as a volunteer, sometimes at a D.C. hospital, sometimes traveling with the army. Finally, in 1864, she received a paid position as a contract assistant surgeon. During her first posting, Confederate soldiers captured Dr. Walker, and she spent time as a prisoner of war. Upon her release, she returned to her duties with the army. After the war, President Andrew Johnson awarded Dr. Walker the Medal of Honor for the incomparable medical service she rendered, the only woman to receive that recognition—and have it rescinded and restored.

Theresa Kaminski, Ph.D., is a professor emerita of history from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. As an author, she specializes in writing about scrappy women in American history. In 2020, Theresa published Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War: One Woman’s Journey to the Medal of Honor and the Fight for Women’s Rights. Her most recent book, Queen of the West: The Life and Times of Dale Evans, was released in April 2022. She is also the author of a trilogy of books about American women in the Philippine Islands, including Angels of the Underground. Theresa is currently working on a book about Jane Grant, a feminist, writer, and co-founder of The New Yorker.

October 15, 2024: Andersonville Raiders – Ms. Gary Morgan

October 15, 2024

“Andersonville Raiders”

– Ms. Gary Morgan


October 15, 2024

On a sultry evening in July, 1864, six men were marched into the stockade at Andersonville Prison.  There, in front of 24,000 witnesses, they were forced to mount a hastily erected gallows and were hanged. They had been tried, convicted and sentenced by their fellow prisoners for robbing and assaulting – and rumor had it, murdering – their fellow prisoners.  They were part of a group of rogue prisoners known throughout the prison as “Raiders.”

 Who were these six men?  Were they actually guilty of the crimes they were accused of?  Were they really murderers?  Why are the names on some of their graves not found in any military records?  What led them to the gallows?  Drawing from diaries, military records, the recently discovered transcript of the raiders’ trial and prisoners’ memoirs that were published within five years of the prison’s closing, a detailed, clearer and more accurate picture of the raiders and the events leading up to their hanging finally answers these questions.

 An unexpected offer to read a friend’s collection of letters from a Civil War sailor who died at Andersonville changed the course of Gary Morgan’s life.  The letters led to the discovery of the sailor’s diary, kept while he was a prisoner of war at Libby, Salisbury, and Andersonville prisons.  The sailor, Frederic Augustus James, wrote in his diary daily, and in the nine months that he kept it, he left only one blank – the name of the six men who were hanged at Andersonville as raiders.  Because by now she was slightly obsessed by the sailor and his story, Gary went to look up the missing names and was surprised to find that there were seven names recorded, but only six men who were hanged.  Sorting that out took two years and multiple trips up and down the east coast, looking at diaries, military records, and prisoner’s letters home, but by the time she was finished, she had it all sorted out an had enough material to write a book about the raiders incident, which she did, publishing The Andersonville Raiders: Yankee vs Yankee in the Civil War’s Most Notorious Prison with Stackpole Books in March, 2020.

 Gary Morgan is a History teacher in Western Massachusetts.  She has spoken about the raiders all over the country, including three times at the National Prisoner of War Museum at Andersonville, Georgia. Her hobbies include crocheting, volunteering at a cat shelter, and genealogy (or, as her brother calls it, “Collecting dead people”).  She is currently working on a second Andersonville related book, called Unknown Andersonville, which explores some of the lesser known aspects of the prison.

November 19, 2024: “President Lincoln’s Response to the Sioux Uprising” – as portrayed by Randy Duncan

November 19, 2024

“President Lincoln’s Response to the Sioux Uprising”

– as portrayed by Randy Duncan

November 19, 2024

It’s 1862. Frustrated, desperate Dakota Indians, taken advantage of by a corrupt government system that promised to provide for them, have attacked and killed over 600 settlers in southwestern Minnesota, resulting in a panic evacuation of a large part of the state. Hundreds of Dakota are captured and sentenced to death in military trials.

A thousand miles away in Washington, D.C., the case lands on the desk of president Abraham Lincoln, embroiled in a seemingly endless civil war with the November midterm elections fast approaching. What is to be done? We will hear the events from the president’s perspective, based on accounts and documents from the period.

Randy Duncan has been an Abraham Lincoln presenter for many years at schools, churches, civic groups, businesses, libraries, Civil War re-enactments, theater productions, and museums (including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Abraham Lincoln Home National Historic Site). He lives a little south of Springfield, IL with his wife, a dog, and a cat, and he writes his own bios.

December 17, 2024: “Elmer Ellsworth and the U.S. Zouave Cadets” – Doug Dammann

December 17, 2024

“Elmer Ellsworth and the U.S. Zouave Cadets”

– Doug Dammann

December 17, 2024

In the summer of 1860, Elmer Ellsworth and a civilian militia company of 50 men from Chicago, known as the United States Zouave Cadets, set out on a twenty-city tour to prove the value and perfection of their Zouave training. The tour, which took them to New York City, Boston, the United States Military Academy at West Point, Washington, D.C., and other prominent northern cities, was a success beyond their wildest expectations. When the Civil War started the following year and their training was needed on the battlefield rather than the parade ground, the men who accompanied Ellsworth found themselves in positions of great responsibility and leadership within the Union Army. Mr. Dammann’s program will explore Elmer Ellsworth’s widespread influence on the United States Army despite his death in an Alexandria, Virginia, hotel very early in the conflict.   

 Doug Dammann is the Curator and Site Coordinator at the Civil War Museum of Kenosha, Wisconsin, a position he has held since November 2007.  Doug has worked in the museum field for nearly 25 years, with previous employment at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Kalamazoo (MI) College and a masters degree in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University.  He and his wife Holly have two children, Andrew and Charlotte.




January 21, 2025: “Copperheads vs. President Lincoln 1864″ – Stefan Lund

January 21, 2025

“Copperheads vs. President Lincoln 1864″

– Stefan Lund, Ph.D.


January 21, 2025

After a year and a half of fighting some Northerners began to express increasing concern about the direction the Civil War was taking. In the lower Midwest, Democrats lamented the growing human cost of the war, the expansive powers wielded by the federal government, and President Lincoln’s decision to free the enslaved people of the rebel states. Vilified by soldiers and Republicans as “Copperhead” snakes, many at the time saw the anti-war faction of the Democratic Party as a serious threat to the Union war effort, while the Copperheads themselves declared they sought only to return the Union to its pre-war status quo. In a moment of candid desperation Lincoln referred to them as the “fire in the rear.” Dr. Lund will discuss the role of the Copperheads in the Civil War political landscape; why they inspired such anger in Union soldiers, why their rivals regarded them as such a danger, and how they and the rest of the Democrats nearly defeated Lincoln’s re-election campaign. Though small in number, the Copperheads’ shadow looms large over the political world of the Lincoln administration.

Stefan Lund, PhD is a teacher and editor from Minneapolis. His essay “Inexcusable by Us as Soldiers: Wartime Dissent and the 1863 Keokuk Soldier Mob,” appeared in the Annals of Iowa (2021), and he has edited multiple educational texts with Oxford University Press. Dr. Lund holds a PhD in history from the University of Virginia where he studied press censorship during the American Civil War.


February 18, 2025: “The Battle of Chickamauga” – Dave Powell

February 18, 2025

“The Battle of Chickamauga” – David A. Powell

February 18, 2025

On September 18, 1863, two armies clashed along the banks of West Chickamauga Creek in northern Georgia. Major General William S. Rosecrans, commanding the Federal Army of the Cumberland, faced off against Confederate General Braxton Bragg at the head of the Rebel Army of Tennessee. They fought for control of the city of Chattanooga, a critical transportation hub connecting roads, rails, and rivers; a city which fell to Rosecrans nine days earlier without a shot fired.

Bragg was forced to abandon the city after the Federals swarmed across the Tennessee River downstream from Chattanooga in a well-planned flanking maneuver. Now Bragg, heavily reinforced, intended to turn the tables by counterattacking and retaking the city, undoing Rosecrans’s success. The Battle of Chickamauga raged for three bloody days, until the Federals were all but routed and driven into Chattanooga’s defenses. Chickamauga went down in history as the second-bloodiest battle of the entire war, and afterwards, both sides claimed victory.  

David A. Powell is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (1983) with a BA in history. He has published numerous articles in various magazines, and more than fifteen historical simulations of different battles. For many years, David’s focus has been on the epic battle of Chickamauga, and he is nationally recognized for his tours of that important battlefield. The result of that study are five books, The Maps of Chickamauga (2009,) Failure in the Saddle (2010,) and the three volumes of a Chickamauga trilogy; The Chickamauga Campaign: A Mad Irregular Battle (2014,) The Chickamauga Campaign: Glory or the Grave (2015,) and the final volume, The Chickamauga Campaign: Barren Victory, (2016).  Subsequently, he has turned to the study of the battles for Chattanooga. Battle Above the Clouds, concerning the Battle of Lookout Mountain, was published in June of 2017. Decisions at Chickamauga followed in 2018. Two more books, “All Hell Can’t Stop Them´(on Missionary Ridge) and Union Command Failure in the Shenandoah Valley both appeared in 2019. More recently The Tullahoma Campaign (co-authored with Eric Wittenberg) and Grant at Chattanooga, were published in 2020. Decisions at Shiloh appeared in 2023, and he is now hard at work on The Atlanta Campaign, a projected multi-volume study. Volume One appeared in July, 2024. David, his wife Anne, and their trio of bloodhounds live and work in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.



March 18, 2025: “Early Baseball and the Civil War” – Bruce Allardice

March 18, 2025

Early Baseball and the Civil War – Bruce Allardice

March 18, 2025

The relatively new game of Baseball was labeled the “national pastime” even before the Civil War began. By 1861 it was being played througout the nation. For example, as early as 1858, baseball clubs organized in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was natural that the volunteers of 1861 and after, both North and South, carried their baseball playing enthusiasm with them into the army. In fact, Civil War soldiers spent more time playing baseball that they did fighting battles. And baseball games were common “back home” in the North, war or no war.

Professor Allardice takes a usually serious, sometimes humorous, look at the “National Pastime” and how it was played before, during, and right after the war. He’ll show that the war destroyed most existing baseball teams, but also helped to spread the game across the nation.

A recently retired professor of history at South Suburban College, Bruce S. Allardice is president of the Northern Illinois Civil War Round Table, and past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago. He has authored or coauthored six books and numerous articles on the Civil War. Prof. Allardice has presented numerous lectures and presentations on the Civil War for Civil War Round Tables, museums, and civic organizations.

An avid sports historian, Prof. Allardice currently heads up the “Civil War Baseball” subcommittee for the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR). He is currently newsletter editor of the SABR Origins of Baseball Newsletter, and has made numerous presentations on baseball during the Civil War era.



May 20, 2025: “The Victor of Gettysburg: General George Gordon Meade” – Jennifer M. Murray, Ph.D.

May 20, 2025

“The Victor of Gettysburg:  General George Gordon Meade”

– Jennifer M. Murray, Ph.D.

May 20, 2025 

Once prominently defined as the “Hero of Gettysburg,” General George G. Meade is now commonly obscured by generals deeply embedded into the Civil War narrative–Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan or Lee and Jackson.  Indeed, Meade commanded the Army of the Potomac, the North’s principal instrument of war, longer than any other commander and assumed a prominent role in the course of the Civil War.  Together, we will explore George Meade’s role and influence in the Civil War from his command of a brigade in the Pennsylvania Reserves to the commanding general of the Army of the Potomac. 

Dr. Jennifer M. Murray is a military historian, with a specialization in the American Civil War, in the Department of History at Oklahoma State University.  Murray’s most recent publication is On A Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013, published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2014, with an updated version that includes a new preface released in the summer of 2023.  Murray is also the author of The Civil War Begins, published by the U.S. Army’s Center of Military History in 2012.  She is currently working on a full-length biography of George Gordon Meade, tentatively titled Meade at War.  This is a comprehensive treatment of Meade’s life, with a focus on his military career in the Army of the Potomac.  She is the co-editor of the forthcoming, “They Are Dead, And Yet They Live”: Civil War Memories in a Polarized America, published with University of Nebraska Press.  In addition to delivering hundreds of Civil War battlefield tours, Murray has led World War I and World War II study abroad trips to Europe.  Murray is a veteran faculty member at Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute and a coveted speaker at Civil War symposiums and roundtables across the nation.  A Maryland native, Murray worked as a seasonal interpretive park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park for nine summers.