Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the Petersburg Campaign

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain earned the sobriquet “Lion of the Round Top” for his tactical brilliance leading his 20th Maine Infantry on the rocky wooded slopes of Little Round Top at Gettysburg on the evening of July 2, 1863. Promoted to brigade command, he was presumed mortally wounded during an assault at Petersburg on June 18, 1864, and bestowed a rare “on the spot” battlefield promotion to brigadier general. He survived, returned to the command in 1865, and participated in the surrender of Lee’s veterans at Appomattox.


Chamberlain went to his grave a half-century later believing he was wounded while advancing alone from the future site of “Fort Hell.” His thrust, so he and others believed, was against the permanent fortifications of the Dimmock Line at Rives’ Salient, near the Jerusalem Plank Road, through a murderous flank fire from what was soon to become Confederate-held Fort Mahone. This narrative has been perpetuated by Chamberlain scholars and biographers over the past century. Chamberlain’s wounding and Rives’ Salient are now fused in the modern consciousness. This interpretation was given an additional mantle of authority with the erection of a Medal of Honor Recipient’s placard near South Crater Road by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources on November 8, 2014.

In fact, argues author Dennis A. Rasbach, a careful review of the primary evidence left by Chamberlain and his contemporaries suggests that Chamberlain was mistaken regarding the larger context of the engagement in which he fought and fell. An overwhelming body of evidence, much of it derived from Chamberlain himself, demonstrates he was actually attacking a different part of the Confederate line in the vicinity of an entirely different road. This part of the Petersburg campaign must now be rewritten to properly understand the important battle of June 18, 1864, and Chamberlain’s role in it.

Dennis A. Rasbach, MD, is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a practicing surgeon. He is a member of the Civil War Round Table of Southwest Michigan. The father of two sons, he resides with his wife Ellen in St Joseph, Michigan.

Railroad Defense in the Atlanta Campaign

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

In May 1864 Major General William T. Sherman began the Atlanta Campaign by marching his army south from Chattanooga.  Sherman's route would take him deep into the Southern heartland over a trek of mountainous terrain and rivers.  His main enemy was the Confederate Army of Tennessee, commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston, but Sherman regarded his main adversary to be his logistical lifeline.   The Yankees would be tied to a 471 mile long railroad line back to the Ohio River.  The vast portion of this single-track supply route was in hostile territory.  Any major break in the line would result in the stalling of his campaign at best, and the destruction of his army at worst.  Between May 1864 and October, Sherman was able to keep his army supplied despite the Confederates' best attempts to stop him.  Sherman organized a defensive strategy that enabled him to have economy of force and tactical flexibility.  Please come to our November meeting to hear how General Sherman achieved this!

Robert Girardi earned his M.A. in Public History at Loyola University of Chicago in 1991.  He is past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago, a fellow of the Company of Military Historians and is an associate member of the Sons of Union Veterans.  He is on the Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society as well as the editorial review board of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.  He has consulted for the Chicago Historical Society and the Bureau County Historical Society on the Civil War exhibits.  In 2013 he joined the Board of Directors for the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation, and was awarded a research grant by the Friends of Andersonville.  He was the 2010 recipient of the Chicago CWRT’s Nevins-Freeman Award for service and scholarship.  In 2014 he was awarded the Iron Brigade Association Award for Civil War Scholarship by the Milwaukee CWRT.  Robert has a lifelong interest in the Civil War and has studied all facets of the conflict.  He speaks to groups of all ages and levels of experience on multiple aspects of the Civil War, especially the experience of the common soldier, and the role of Illinois in the war.

He has written ten books and numerous essays and book reviews and was the guest editor for the 2011-2014 Sesquicentennial of the Civil War issues of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.  His most recent essay appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of the Chicago History magazine.

In his spare time, he is employed as a homicide (violent crimes) detective by the Chicago Police Department.  He has been a policeman since 1986, and a detective since 1992, on the South Side of Chicago.

“Faith of the Fathers" – the Courage, Humor and Dedication of Catholic Civil War Chaplains

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

​​The 100+ Catholic priests who served as chaplains in the Civil War were NOT your “usual” priests & bishops - there was nothing boring about them!  They were a unique group of “priest pioneers”: adventuresome, courageous, outspoken, ground-breakers & apologists as well as Catholic churchmen in “foreign land”. This presentation focuses on the role of these Catholic chaplains in the War, their numbers, impact and some stories of some colorful and interesting “characters” among them.

Being an antebellum Catholic was not an easy task, due to lack of priests as Catholic immigrants flooded the country, a strong anti-Catholic culture, and a Vatican that didn’t “get” American democracy.  We will put flesh on the long-ignored topic of religion in the war, and introduce a group of Catholic clergymen who changed the country and became “legends” because of their service – Corby, Cooney, Sheeran, the Jesuits, Irish Catholics and many more.

​Robert J. Miller, is Pastor at St Dorothy Church (Chicago); Adjunct Professor of Ecclesiology, Archdiocese of Chicago; and author of "Both Prayed to the Same God: Religion and Faith in the American Civil War”.

Sultana - Fate's Cruel Twist

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

A riverboat catches fire on the Mississippi in 1865 but it didn’t get much coverage in the newspapers of the day. Because it occurred during the jubilation with the end of the war, it became a little known footnote in history. The story of the 1800 men (more than were lost on the Titanic in 1912) who lost their lives in one of the worst naval disasters in history is a real tragedy.  They were Union veterans that had been released and were returning north to home and safety.  Please come to our April meeting to look more closely into how something like this could happen.


After 43 years working for a plumbing wholesale company in Pontiac, MI, Bill Grandstaff retired, and as Mark Twain said, “I hired a hall and gave a lecture and have never had to do a day’s work since.”

Living in Romeo with his wife, Peggy, he maintains an old 1876 home so his three kids and three grandkids have a place to visit.  Their dog, Max, maintains control of the house and their activities evolved around his schedule (it seems).

Bill is on the board of directors for the Wisner House in Pontiac.  He does first person portrayals as Moses Wisner for the tours of the campus.  He works with the Octagon House in Washington, MI as Loren Andrus, the builder and owner of the 1860 home.  As Mr. Andrus, he gives talks to school and tour groups.  In addition, he is the President and founder of the Israel B. Richardson Civil War Round Table.  One of his favorite activities is giving CW talks to different organizations with the hope of sparking an interest in some aspect of the Civil War. 

With those few extra moments, Bill is a trustee on the Romeo District Library, chairman of the Suburban Library Co-op, a member of the Romeo Planning Commission plus a member of the Cemetery Board.  As his wife says, “I have got them coming and going.”  But aside from all of this, Bill’s month of December is committed to visiting nursing homes, schools and tree lighting events in three communities in my red suit.


Bill is a Vietnam Veteran of the 101st Airborne Division with two years of service in the US Army.

The Private History of a Campaign That Failed

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

“I could have become a soldier if I had waited; I knew more about retreating than the man who invented
retreating.” – Mark Twain, 1885


Samuel L. Clemens speaks of exploits, prior, during, and after the Civil War.  He shares reflections and
comments of the conflict that pitted brother against brother and almost divided our country. Clemens was the
next door neighbor to Harriet Beecher Stowe.  Sam reveals the ideology they shared on warfare and slavery.

Hear how President Abraham Lincoln profoundly influences Sam’s life.  Another story tells of two men, Mark
Twain and U.S. Grant, who became close friends and collaborators and within fifteen months, alters their lives
and changes the course of American literature and history by publishing the Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant
and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1885.


An experienced printer, journalist, lecturer, and storyteller, Mark Twain sprinkles factual antidotes into this
entertaining lecture. “How pale is a theory in the presence of a fact.”


Moderator of the Humanities Nebraska Chautauqua for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.  Warren Brown, a Mark Twain
scholar, has created another first-person Chautauqua-style program.  A Studs Terkel award winner, Mr.
Brown’s characterization of Mark Twain’s stories and lecture series promote an appreciation for humanity
which are guaranteed to stimulate “the grey matter of our imaginations.”  The lecture is educational,
inspirational, and historically amusing.  Mr. Brown has performed more than 1,200 programs throughout the
United States since 1996 and has been endorsed by the Illinois Arts Council, the Illinois Humanities Council,
and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Grant - The Man Behind the Uniform

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

Ulysses S. Grant may be best known for his Civil War career or as the 18th President of the United States, but if you attend our October meeting, you will have the chance to hear all about Grant’s childhood, his years at the United States Military Academy, his meeting, courtship and marriage to Julia, his service in the Mexican War and subsequent resignation from the army in 1854, his struggles as a farmer and then finally, his rise to prominence leading Union troops in the Western Theater! 

Dr. E. C. (Curt) Fields, Jr., has been an avid and lifelong student of the American Civil War. His interest in portraying General Ulysses S. Grant was driven by that study and his deep respect and admiration for General Grant. Dr. Fields is the same height and body style as General Grant and, therefore, presents a convincing, true-to-life image of the man as he really looked. He researches and reads extensively about General Grant in order to deliver an accurate persona of the General.  His presentations are in first person, quoting from General Grant’s Memoirs; articles and letters the General wrote, statements he made in interviews or wrote himself, and first-person accounts of people who knew the General or were with him and witnessed him during events.

Dr. Fields holds a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Education from the University of Memphis.  He later earned a Master’s degree in Secondary Education and Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Curriculum from Michigan State University. He is a career educator having taught for eight years at the Junior and Senior high school levels; then served for 25 years as a high school administrator.  He teaches as an adjunct Sociology Professor at the University of Memphis and in Education for Belhaven University, Memphis campus.  He is now an Educational consultant and Living Historian.  As a consultant, he has worked in Leadership Development with International Paper, Thomas and Betts, Caterpillar, and the North Mississippi Mayor’s Association, speaking on Leadership as espoused and practiced by General Grant.  As a Living Historian, Dr. Fields portrayed General Grant at the 150th Sesquicentennial observations of: Fort Donelson and Shiloh, TN, and Raymond and Vicksburg, MS.  He has been selected to portray General Grant at the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House, VA, in 2015.  He has portrayed the General at Appomattox (with the Living Historian’s group: Lincoln’s Generals) in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  He will portray General Grant in the Visitor Center film that is to be shown at Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, to be shot in July, 2014.  Dr. Fields has appeared with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in Vicksburg NMP.  He was featured as General Grant, and as a Grant authority, in the Discovery Channel three-part documentary series “How Booze built America.”  Dr. Fields portrays General Grant, giving his life story, on the Civil War Trust website in the IN4 series of biographies and significant places and events the distinguished Civil War Trust has established.  This may be seen at Civilwar.org and select IN4 at the top of the page.  He was honored to have been elected to life Membership in the American Civil War Round Table-Queensland, Australia, and is an occasional contributor to their newsletter: “The Bugle”.  He served as a Memphis, TN, Police Officer for four years; was an MPD Hostage negotiator and received the Life-Saving medal from the City of Memphis for actions in the line of duty.  Later he served for nearly 20 years as a Reserve Officer. Dr. Fields is a frequent contributor to “The Civil War Courier” (A Civil War monthly newspaper) and is a member of: The Tennessee Historical Society, The West Tennessee Historical Society, The Shelby County Historical Society, The Nathan Bedford Forrest Historical Society, The Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, The Appomattox 1865 Foundation, The 290 Foundation (dedicated to the Civil War Navies), The Civil War Trust and the Ulysses S. Grant Association.  

Potawatomi Soldiers in the Civil War – A Lost Chapter in Michigan’s Civil War History! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

​​In 1840 the US Army came to Michigan for the purpose of rounding up the Potawatomi Indians and sending them west to Kansas.  The polite name for this action was “The Potawatomi Removal”.  A more accurate name would be “The Trail of Death”.  The soldiers wore blue uniforms and use rifles with bayonets to “persuade” the reluctant captives to move forward.  24 years later, the Civil War was not going well for the North.  In order to win the war, they needed fresh troops.  But where to find them?  In desperation, they sent recruiters to the Indian tribes in Michigan, to invite them to enlist.  Not all of the Potawatomi were gone. Many had evaded the removal of 1840, and now their young men were being asked to put on a blue uniform, carry a rifle and bayonet, and fight to save the US Government.  Would any of them, do it?

On Tuesday, March 13, this question will be answered!  A real-life History Detective is coming to St. Joseph to meet with the Civil War Round Table of Southwest Michigan.  He has chosen this occasion to tell, for the FIRST TIME IN PUBLIC, the story of Potawatomi Indians who volunteered to be sharpshooters in the army of General Grant.  You will not find this information on the internet!  It is not in any book in your library!  The only way to lean this story is to attend the March 13 meeting of the Civil War Round Table of Southwest Michigan.  The time is 6:30 pm.  The Place is the Fellowship Hall (lower level) of the First Congregational Church at 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI.  Admission is free for members or students.  Non-member admission is $5.00.  The stories are unforgettable!  One tale is called the Lost Papoose, about a baby left behind by accident when soldiers rounded up a village and marched them way.  Another tale is called The Great Escape, the story of a band that broke away from the Trail of Death and returned to Michigan.  There is also a story of a soldier who shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln.  Another soldier was the son of a Potawatomi Chief who was wounded in action and ended up a resident at Michigan’s Old Soldier’s Home.  If you enjoy Civil War history, you will not want to miss this program!  If you have an interest in Native American history, you too will want to see this program!

The speaker is Lansing historian Chris Czopek.  Chris is the author of “Who Was Who in Company K”, the first and only book written about Michigan’s all-Indian Sharpshooters unit.  After the program, there will be a book signing.  Bring your checkbook and take home an autographed copy of his unique book! 

​​Chris grew up in Michigan during the Civil War Centennial.  As a boy, he would watch a Civil War movie on TV – then go to the library and find out how much of the story was true. This was the beginning of his career as a “history detective”.

After college, he worked for a newspaper, joined the army and served six years in Military Intelligence, volunteered for an archaeological dig in Israel, worked as a tour guide at the State Capitol Building in Lansing, a photographer for the State Senate, and a criminal records manager in the offices of the Michigan State Police.  He lives in Lansing with his wife, Bonnie.

In recent years Chris has become well known to Michigan historians for his expert research of Civil War soldiers. Called “Lansing’s History Detective” by the Lansing State Journal, he has published several books on Civil War history and has been a consultant for The History Channel.  Chris is best known as the author of Who Was Who in Company K, the first book to give solid facts about Michigan’s Native American men who served in the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters.  He is currently involved in projects that will bring the role of Native American soldiers in the Civil War to public attention. He takes great pride in his contribution to the award-winning documentary film Road to Andersonville

​Michigan and the Economic & Industrial Tools of the Civil War

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

Please come to our February meeting to hear Professor Dennis Doyle present the very interesting subject of how Michigan developed into an important component of the industrial, technological and agricultural power of the Northern states that helped to defeat a determined Southern army.  He will focus on Michigan's population, the number of soldiers it supplied to the Union army, how it fed, clothed, trained and transported them into the Civil War.

Professor Dennis Doyle has been a full time professor at Joliet Junior College since January, 2003 and his teaching and research interests center on the American Civil War, the Great Depression and the social history of poverty in America.  Professor Doyle also developed one of the first community college courses on War, Conflict and Peace a class that he teaches every spring semester at JJC.  Professor Doyle is an active member of the Society of Military History and President of the South Suburban Civil War Round Table.  He has a B.A. from Colorado State University, a M.A. from DePaul University and a M.A. from American University. 

Grant - Personal Struggles Through Early Victories

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

For those that made our first meeting on October 11, 2016, this meeting is part two of the story of Ulysses S. Grant.  We pick up the story with Grant's resignation from the Army in 1854 and his struggles in civilian life.  At the start of the Civil War, he rejoined the Army and we follow his rise to prominence leading Union troops though his early victories at Fort Donelson and Shiloh in 1862. 

Dr. E. C. (Curt) Fields, Jr., has been an avid and lifelong student of the American Civil War. His interest in portraying General Ulysses S. Grant was driven by that study and his deep respect and admiration for General Grant. Dr. Fields is the same height and body style as General Grant and, therefore, presents a convincing, true-to-life image of the man as he really looked. He researches and reads extensively about General Grant in order to deliver an accurate persona of the General.  His presentations are in first person, quoting from General Grant’s Memoirs; articles and letters the General wrote, statements he made in interviews or wrote himself, and first-person accounts of people who knew the General or were with him and witnessed him during events.

Dr. Fields holds a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Education from the University of Memphis.  He later earned a Master’s degree in Secondary Education and Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Curriculum from Michigan State University. He is a career educator having taught for eight years at the Junior and Senior high school levels; then served for 25 years as a high school administrator.  He teaches as an adjunct Sociology Professor at the University of Memphis and in Education for Belhaven University, Memphis campus.  He is now an Educational consultant and Living Historian.  As a consultant, he has worked in Leadership Development with International Paper, Thomas and Betts, Caterpillar, and the North Mississippi Mayor’s Association, speaking on Leadership as espoused and practiced by General Grant.  As a Living Historian, Dr. Fields portrayed General Grant at the 150th Sesquicentennial observations of: Fort Donelson and Shiloh, TN, and Raymond and Vicksburg, MS.  He has been selected to portray General Grant at the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House, VA, in 2015.  He has portrayed the General at Appomattox (with the Living Historian’s group: Lincoln’s Generals) in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  He will portray General Grant in the Visitor Center film that is to be shown at Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, to be shot in July, 2014.  Dr. Fields has appeared with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in Vicksburg NMP.  He was featured as General Grant, and as a Grant authority, in the Discovery Channel three-part documentary series “How Booze built America.”  Dr. Fields portrays General Grant, giving his life story, on the Civil War Trust website in the IN4 series of biographies and significant places and events the distinguished Civil War Trust has established.  This may be seen at Civilwar.org and select IN4 at the top of the page.  He was honored to have been elected to life Membership in the American Civil War Round Table-Queensland, Australia, and is an occasional contributor to their newsletter: “The Bugle”.  He served as a Memphis, TN, Police Officer for four years; was an MPD Hostage negotiator and received the Life-Saving medal from the City of Memphis for actions in the line of duty.  Later he served for nearly 20 years as a Reserve Officer. Dr. Fields is a frequent contributor to “The Civil War Courier” (A Civil War monthly newspaper) and is a member of: The Tennessee Historical Society, The West Tennessee Historical Society, The Shelby County Historical Society, The Nathan Bedford Forrest Historical Society, The Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, The Appomattox 1865 Foundation, The 290 Foundation (dedicated to the Civil War Navies), The Civil War Trust and the Ulysses S. Grant Association.  

Round Table Discussion of the 1864 Atlanta Campaign

​Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

The May meeting will be an open discussion by the members of the round table of the 1864 Atlanta Campaign.  The meeting will be moderated by Mike Dumke, Ted Chamberlain, Keith Chapman & Scott Adrian. The discussion will include the various aspects of the Campaign including troop movements, personalities, battles, terrain, significance, and the effect the end result had on the War.

Civil War Trivia

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

Please come to our Annual Civil War Trivia Night hosted by our own LeAnn Krokker & John Urschel!  This has always been a very fun evening with lots of friendly competition!  Please join us!

Round Table Discussion of the Petersburg Campaign

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

The May meeting will be an open discussion by the members of the round table of the Petersburg Campaign.  The meeting will be moderated by Mike Dumke, Dennis Rasbach - Author of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the Petersburg Campaign, Ted Chamberlain & Scott Adrian. The discussion will include the various aspects of the Campaign including troop movements, personalities, battles, terrain and the significance of the various engagements.

Civil War Trivia

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

Please come to our Annual Civil War Trivia Night hosted by our own LeAnn Krokker!  This has always been a very fun evening with lots of friendly competition!  Please join us!


Meeting Schedule

We meet on the second Tuesday of the month from September though May except for December.

The meetings are held in the Fellowship Hall (lower level) of the First Congregational Church at 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI at 6:30 pm. ​​

Camp Douglas - Chicago's Forgotten Civil War Prison

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

Opened in 1861, Camp Douglas was a Union training and reception facility for over 40,000 Union soldiers in Chicago.  Camp Douglas became a prison camp, housing over 30,000 Confederate prisoners, from 1862 until it was demolished in 1865.  Containing over 200 buildings on 60 acres, Camp Douglas was the most significant Civil War facility in Northern Illinois.


David Keller is a long-time resident of Chicago and an amateur historian.  Mr. Keller’s professional life included various executive positions at Chicago area commercial banks.  Currently he is a respected expert witness in banking matters throughout the country.  Retired since 2002, he devotes much of his time to volunteer activities including the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago History Museum and the American Youth Soccer Organization.  David’s interest in Camp Douglas comes from his interest in the Civil War, Civil War Prison Camps and 19th century Chicago history.  As the founder of the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation, Mr. Keller is in demand as a speaker on the Civil War and Camp Douglas and has written two books, The Story of Camp Douglas, Chicago’s Forgotten Civil War Prison and Robert Anderson Bagby, Civil War Diary (Annotated) 1863-1865.


David Keller, using, Civil War photos, PowerPoint®, and a display of information and artifacts, will provide a presentation of the history of Camp Douglas and Camp Douglas stories from diaries and journals of Confederate prisoners of the Camp.  The presentation will include information on conditions and loss of life at the camp, current status of the camp’s site, and work done by the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation to provide a lasting remembrance of Camp Douglas.​

Fighting the Civil War: Historical Treasures of the Conflict

             Sponsored by Edgewater Bank

​Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

Opened in 2001, The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is one of the largest museum in the country dedicated to telling the complete story of the war from the viewpoint of both sides.  The museum holds more than 4,000 three dimensional artifacts and over 21,000 archival items including manuscripts, diaries, letters, photographic images, newspapers, and correspondence dating from 1861-1865.  Join the museum’s CEO Wayne Motts on a journey of the history of the war illustrated by some of the nations’ rarest surviving Civil War artifacts in the museum’s collection. 

Wayne E. Motts holds two degrees in history and has been a licensed battlefield guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park for twenty-nine years.  In 2005, he was named executive director of the Adams County Historical Society located in Gettysburg, a position he held for seven years.  He is currently the CEO of The National Civil War Museum (www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  He is the co-author (with James Hessler) of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg: A Guide to the Most Famous Attack in American History. 

SHELL....RANGE: 1000 YARDS....4 SECOND FUSE....LOAD!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI

Please come to our March meeting to hear Retired Gettysburg Park Ranger Scott Adrian give an in depth presentation on Civil War Artillery.

​After graduating from high school in Arlington VA, Scott earned his bachelor of arts degree in American History, a minor in secondary education from Stonehill College, North Easton Massachusetts in 1970.  College was followed by 13 years in the US Navy and 18 with the American Red Cross.  Moving to Michigan in 1996, his wife's home state, Scott became involved in Civil War re-enacting with Church's 4th Michigan Battery (Battery D 1st MI Light Artillery), became a fully certified member of the National Civil War Artillery Association.

However, he wanted "to get back into history" and discovered a Federal employment website announcement that a position was available as a National Park Service interpretive Park Ranger at Little Big Horn National Monument in Crow Agency MT. Selected for this position Scott spent four months during the spring and summer of 2004 as a seasonal employee where he "killed (Gen) Custer four times a day."  The following year, a Park position opened in Boston MA where he spent the next four years at the Charleston Naval Shipyard division of the Boston National Historical Park performing black powder demonstrations at the Bunker Hill Monument and conducting tours of both the shipyard and the USS CASSIN YOUNG DD-793.  In 2009 a permanent position opened at his "dream work place," Gettysburg National Military Park and he was selected for this position.  Scott then spent the next 5 years at "his glorious 6,000 acres of battlefield," conducting tours and performing programs.  Perhaps the highlight of his career occurred in September of 2010 when he and his wife Sharon moved onto the battlefield itself into the Altoff farm on Wheatfield Road.  While the farmhouse itself wasn't built until 1880, it's farm lane is believed to be part of the actual path taken by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's 20th Maine Infantry on their way to Little Round Top on July 2, 1863.  Family health issues with his wife Sharon's developing cancer forced him to reluctantly make the decision to retire on October 31, 2014.

Since returning home to western Michigan and Fremont, Scott has become very involved with the Southwest Michigan Civil War Round Table in Saint Joseph MI.  In May of this year he was selected as the guest speaker at the Daughters of the American Revolution 5 Chapter luncheon in Mount Pleasant MI.  Both he and Sharon continue their Gettysburg connection as “volunteers at large" and continue their efforts to provide more information about the men listed on the Pennsylvania Monument in Gettysburg.

Civil War Round Table of Southwest Michigan