Scottsdale, Arizona

Program Schedule and Speakers

September 18, 2012
David Shultz - Cemetery Ridge July 2nd: Hancock’s Ride Saves the Union Center
7:30 p.m., July 2, 1863, Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg. Without regard for his personal safety, General Winfield Scott Hancock, commanding the Union Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, completed one of the most daring rides in the annals of American Civil War history. The general’s timing was impeccable; his bravery beyond the call to duty. Accompanied by a single aide, Hancock spurred his horse down Cemetery Ridge in search of troops to reinforce those being mauled by General Longstreet's advancing legions, which seemingly had yet another victory at hand. The battle below the Union Center would culminate in bloody hand-to-hand combat over a five-acre parcel where a meandering creek flowed southward through a shallow ravine. Referred to as Plum Run Ravine, this hollow would prove to be the dividing line where Hancock secured the Union victory. At no time before this battle had Union troops displayed such tenacity. Hancock saw and noted this, and with his life on the line led individual men forward, as well as regiments and batteries. Although his July 2 ride was but one of many reasons why General Robert E. Lee gained nothing but irreplaceable casualties that day, the general’s remarkable feat earned him the respected title that lasted his lifetime: "Hancock the Superb."
    David Shultz is the author of five books on the Battle of Gettysburg, and has also written numerous articles concerning the battle. A native of Hanover, Pennsylvania, his great-great-grandfather, Private Samuel Shultz, Company C, 2nd Pennsylvania Cavalry, was on detached duty at General George Meade’s Headquarters as a courier July 2-4. His interest in his ancestor’s military career spawned further interest in the Battle of Gettysburg. To date, all net profits from all his published works have been donated to Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation. His works include: Double canister at Ten Yards: Union Artillery and the Repulse of Pickett’s Charge, Guide to Pennsylvania Troops at Gettysburg 1 & 2, The Baltimore Pike Artillery Line and Kinzie's Knoll, and The Battle Between the Farm Lanes: General Hancock’s Ride Saves the Union Center. He and coauthor David Wieck are currently completing their full study on Cemetery Ridge July 2. This will be followed by A Comprehensive Tactical Study of Artillery: The Gettysburg Campaign.

General Hancock’s Ride

October 16, 2012
Richard McMurry - Jefferson Davis: His Strategies
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Richard McMurry is a historian, author and lecturer of Civil War history. Graduating from the Virginia Military Academy, he earned a Ph.D. in history from Emory University and taught at Valdosta State University and North Carolina State University. McMurry’s field of specialization is the American Civil War. He has authored more than one hundred articles on various facets of that great conflict. Two of his books, John Bell Hood and the War for Southern Independence and Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History, were listed among the one hundred best modern Civil War books as selected by the eminent historian Gary W. Gallagher for the magazine Civil War. He also compiled a biographical encyclopedia of the alumni of the Virginia Military Institute who served in the Civil War. Speaking to Civil War groups, high school and college classes, historical, literary, and library societies, and civic clubs – in twenty-five states – Dr. McMurry is also active in such organizations as the Civil War Trust and the Blue and Gray Education Society. He presently lives and writes in Dalton, Georgia.

Jefferson Davis

November 20, 2012
Gregory Mertz - Enemy Intent: How Army Intelligence Shaped the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
Cavalry was often the eyes and ears of the army, but at the end of the first day of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Union General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant decided to send virtually all of his cavalry on a raid to Richmond. Confederate Army commander Robert E. Lee responded by sending away about half of his cavalry, including J.E.B. Stuart, who effectively served as his chief intelligence officer. This program will take a look at the battle and how both armies tried to determine the enemy intent through a variety of means – many of them new and unique, because of the inability of the armies to rely upon their cavalries, which otherwise were their most effective tool for gathering information about army positions and movements.
    Mr. Mertz’s interest in the Civil War grew out of annual hiking and camping trips through the Boy Scouts of America that were made to the Shiloh battlefield in Tennessee every spring. Obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout, Greg went on to his Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Park Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and a Master of Science degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Beginning his National Park Service career at Gettysburg National Military Park and then Eisenhower National Historic Site, he was later transferred to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, serving as site historian at the “Stonewall” Jackson Shrine and then as site historian and museum curator for the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center. He is now Supervisory Historian, selecting, training and evaluating the permanent, seasonal, intern and volunteer employees at the park. Greg served as initial President of the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table, and is a current board member. He is also a former board member of the Brandy Station Foundation.
    Mertz is the author of many articles, some of which including a piece on the command decisions made by Generals Lee and Jackson during the Chancellorsville Campaign in the July-August 1987 Confederate Veteran magazine; a two-part feature article and "General's Tour" on the Battle of the Wilderness, for the April 1995 and June 1995 issues of Blue and Gray Magazine; a piece on Jackson's artillery during the Battle of Fredericksburg for Blood on the Rappahannock: The Battle of Fredericksburg, a 1996 issue of Civil War Regiments; a feature article on Upton’s Attack at Spotsylvania Court House for the Summer 2001 Blue and Gray Magazine; and a feature article on the Laurel Hill fighting at Spotsylvania Court House in the Summer 2004 Blue and Gray Magazine.

The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
This image of the Apex of the Mule Shoe Salient depicts Federal soldiers overwhelming the Confederate line shortly after dawn on May 12, 1864.
Confederate misinterpretation of intelligence information contributed significantly to the Federal initial success in the fighting that led to the famous Bloody Angle fight later that day.

No meeting in December.

January 15, 2013
Edwin C. Bearss - The War in the Trans-Mississippi: Did It Really Matter?
The “Civil War Walking Encyclopedia” is back! Ed Bearss, U.S Park Historian, Emeritus, is one of the foremost Civil War historians on the planet. Growing up on a rugged family cattle ranch in Montana through the depths of the Great Depression, listening to his father (a Marine in World War I) read accounts of military campaigns, jump-started his lifelong interest in military history. His favorite milk cow was named Antietam.
    Bearss is a celebrated tour guide, lecturer, author and authority on all aspects of our Civil War. Smithsonian Magazine featured him in 2006 as “an American who made a difference.” He has also been called “The Homer of the American Civil War.” A featured commentator for Ken Burns’ PBS Series, The Civil War (1990), is still the most popular program broadcast by that network to date. The Civil War Trust created the Edwin C. Bearss Lifetime Achievement Award for achievements in historic preservation, and made him the first recipient in 2001. This U.S. Marine Corps veteran of World War II is a speaker much in demand, and has a busy schedule leading tours of historic battlefields. We are fortunate to have him speaking to our group once again.

February 19, 2013
Rev. Bob Macfarlane - A Visit from General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
Receiving his education at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in Theological Studies, his B.A. in Philosophy and Religion at Boston University, and his Master of Divinity degree at Andover Newton Theological School, Rev. Bob Macfarlane’s interests are many: Scottish Clan Macfarlane Society International, Herman Melville Society, Robert Louis Stevenson Society, Greater New Bedford Civil War Round Table (founder), and numerous Kiwanis Clubs (including the one in Scottsdale, Arizona, when he was the Interim Minister of the Scottsdale Congregational Church from 2009-2010). Now retired in Carver, Massachusetts, Bob continues to stay active with the Scottsdale Civil War Round Table, and now brings us General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in full dress uniform. Having studied Chamberlain for several years, Bob is known for presenting historical programs relating the colonel’s heroic life, while dressed as Chamberlain would have been, in a custom-made blue Union uniform, complete with its double row of brass buttons, red sash, and sword. Chamberlain was also a minister, who married the daughter of a congregational minister, and who spoke about the Civil War for 50 years until he died in 1914 at age 86.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

March 19, 2013
Clark “Bud” Hall - The Battle of Brandy Station: The Beginning of the End of the War
Receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Kansas State University, Bud Hall has undertaken graduate studies in history and law at Kansas State and the University of Virginia. He is now Senior Managing Director for The Fairfax Group, a global security and investigative firm specializing in conducting complex internal inquiries for multinational companies, major law firms and sovereign governments. He previously served as Global Security Director for General Electric, managing a large-budget security program. In this capacity, Mr. Hall chaired the Security Council and served as Crisis Management Leader and as Business Compliance Officer. In addition, he has served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and to the U.S. Department of State on global investigative matters. Prior to serving with GE, he enjoyed a distinguished career with the U.S. Congress as a criminal investigations manager, during which time he served as Chief Investigator for the U.S. House of Representatives Iran/Contra Committee. Further, Mr. Hall performed sensitive internal investigations for the U.S. Senate Ethics, Armed Services, Justice, and Intelligence Committees. Prior to this service with Congress, seventeen years was spent with the FBI, when he managed nationwide organized crime investigations, serving as Unit Chief of the Organized Crime Section at FBI Headquarters. He is qualified as an expert witness in U.S. District Court.
    Clark “Bud” Hall has written and lectured widely on cavalry operations in the American Civil War. He is a co-founder and past board member of the Chantilly Battlefield Association, Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, Inc., and the Brandy Station Foundation. Presented with numerous battlefield preservation commendations – including the distinguished “Ralph A. Happel Battlefield Preservation Award” by the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (2011) – he also just received the Edwin C. Bearss Lifetime Achievement Award (2012) for his preservation efforts at Chantilly Battlefield, as well as for his establishing of the Brandy Station Foundation, which defeated development schemes for a Formula One racetrack proposed for the battlefield.
    Mr. Hall is a decorated Marine combat veteran, who served in Viet Nam as a tactical commander. He resides in Middleburg, Virginia.

The Battle of Brandy Station

April 16, 2013
Gail Stephens - Lieutenant General Jubal Early: Lee’s Bad Old Man
Gail Stephens has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Politics from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and did graduate work at Johns Hopkins and Harvard Universities. She worked for the Department of Defense for 26 years, retiring in 1994 as a member of the Department’s Senior Executive Service. Upon retirement, she began to study the American Civil War. She volunteers at Monocacy National Battlefield near Frederick, Maryland; lectures regularly on various Civil War topics, including Monocacy, Major General Lew Wallace and the 1864 Maryland campaign; and gives battlefield tours. In 2002, she won the National Park Service’s E.W. Peterkin award for her contributions to public understanding of Civil War history. She has written articles on Lew Wallace and on Early’s 1864 invasion of the North for several Civil War publications. Her book on Wallace’s Civil War career, Shadow of Shiloh, published by the Indiana Historical Society Press in October 2010, won the Civil War Forum of New York City’s William Henry Seward Award for best Civil War biography of 2011.

Jubal Early

May 7, 2013
Gordon Rhea - Carrying the Flag: The Story of Private Charles Whilden, the Confederacy’s Most Unlikely Hero
A student of history, Gordon Rhea graduated summa cum laude from Indiana University with a B.A., from Harvard University with an M.A., and from Stanford University Law School. Specializing in complex criminal cases and appeals to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, he then went on to be Special Assistant to the Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities, in Washington, D.C., and after that to prosecuting criminal cases in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia as an Assistant United States Attorney, after which he became Assistant United States Attorney for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mr. Rhea became a partner in the law firm of Alkon & Rhea, moving on to sole practitioner, co-counseling with major national firms. He is presently with the firm of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook and Brickman, handling a variety of complex civil and criminal cases with a specialty in toxic torts, groundwater and industrial pollution.
    Mr. Rhea has lectured extensively during the past several years on topics of military history at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and at historical societies and Civil War round tables across the country. Being a member of numerous boards of directors of historical societies and preservation organizations, including the Civil War Library and Museum in Philadelphia, he has also appeared on The History Channel, A&E, and the Discovery Channel, in programs related to the Civil War. He has written scores of articles, and three books: The Battle of the Wilderness: May 5-6, 1864; The Battle of Cold Harbor, and In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee: From the Wilderness to Cold Harbor. Gordon Rhea is considered one of the foremost authorities on Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign. He lives in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.