October After Action Report by Archie


Dr. Curt Fields presented the Ulysses S. Grant of 1840-1861 to us.  Focusing on a specific segment in the life of this familiar historical figure brought a depth of understanding missing in the telling of a complete biography, and Dr. Fields did this brilliantly.  His demeanor, very cool civilian clothing of those years, and skillful use of period language speaking as Grant, completed a great evening for us. (In any of the commentary that follows which may be critical, they are concerning Grant, not the excellent first-person impression of Dr. Fields as Grant.)

Successful as a West Point officer during the Mexican War, he afterward struggled; first, in trying to make a go of opportunities while posted in California, and then in civilian life to earn a living as a farmer and real estate agent.  It was painful to contemplate his seeming bad fortune and lack of ability in that.  As presented, Grant had debleating health problems during these years, which seemed to dissipate when war came on again.   It seemed that during the fortunate years of the country’s expansion, Grant sank, and during the tragic years of its civil war, he rose.  The same can be said of Abraham Lincoln in the political sphere of the nation during the same period.  Both men were Whigs who had opposed the Mexican War.

This presentation renewed an interest in me about Grant and, I am sure, many others, so that I got a paperback copy of the Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant and read over the pages devoted to the Mexican War.  In the Ken Burns series on the Civil War, Lincoln and Grant are described as a team in which the one had a genius for politics, the other a genius for war, and in their work to save the Union they deserve both our respect, admiration.  The Grant of this program was first-person and not intended as biographically objective, and its significant points might be critically examined for a balanced view, but in helping one understand more about the man within the historical figure, it was superb.

Dr. Fields gives permission to post his contact information:  Website—generalgrantbyhimself.com   email—curtfields@hotmail.com  phone: 901-496-6065   Facebook@Curt Fields.


May 2019 After Action Report by Archie

Mr. Bruce Novak gave a presentation on Civil War Trivia.  I found myself taking notes and laughing, which in my case means I was interested and having a good time.  Among my notes were hints for good books to see about.  I think Mr. Novak came as close as is humanly possible to give a presentation on the entire Civil War in one short talk by taking the trivia approach, which he had well-organized into topics.  It is certainly a fact-filled, high interest, approach, and in the sweeping course of the presentation brought out many a surprising fact and aspect of the period.  It felt like only ten minutes, a good sign that, the time passing quickly, it was absorbing.  His pace and pattern reminded me of many of the best educators I have heard teach in past years. 
We had 37 in attendance, a good count !
Our next meeting will be June 10th and at a new location– Ivy Tech’s Student Life Center, at 4801 Sirlin Drive, room 1630, off St. Joe Road and across from Canterbury Green apartments.

2018 Organizational Meeting

February, 2018 Secretary’s Report


The treasurer’s Report shows a balance of $1,836.18 with 21 members.
Officers for the 2018-2019 period are as follows:
President—Tom Schmitt
VP—Charlene Baumgardner
Secretary—Archie Lintz
Treasurer—Margaret Hobson
Hospitality—Margaret English
Video—Bob Jones
“Indiana At Gettysburg” presented by Gib Young
Mr. Young opened his presentation with a sentiment that he went on to convincingly document: “ I have always thought that, the legal issues notwithstanding, that a small part of the State of Pennsylvania belongs to the State of Indiana.” Noting, among an array of interesting facts and anecdotes, that the first and last casualties of the battle were Hoosiers.
The Indiana regiments partially or fully represented on that field of July 1-3, 1863, were the 1st & 2nd Indiana Cavalry regiments, the 7th, 14th, 19th, 20th, & 27th Indiana infantry regiments.
It was a uniquely fascinating story told about the battle from the point of view of one State, our own dear State of Indiana, establishing Gib for many of us as the authority on this subject. He was kind enough to loan me his notes after the meeting and although you can never tell what has gone into many of our presentations in terms of effort, especially when they go so smoothly, said notes show remarkable research and organization of material.

Bibliographical Material
Gettysburg The Second Day by Harry Pfanz
History of the Third Indiana Cavalry by W.N. Pickerill (1906)
The Civil War Journal of Billy Davis From Hopewell Edited by Richard S. Skidmore (7th Indiana)
Gallant Fourteenth by Nancy Niblack Baxter (2008)
The Seventieth Indiana by Samuel Merrill (1900)
On Many a Bloody Field: Four Years In The Iron Brigade by Alan Gaff (1996)
(19th Indiana prominently featured)
Harvestfields of Death The Twentieth Indiana Volunteers at Gettysburg by Crai;g L. Dunn (1999)
The Twenty-Seventh Indiana by E. R. Brown (1899 & reprinted)

November After Action Report

Professor A. James Fuller has written the first modern biography of our Indiana Civil War General, Oliver P. Morton, the last before being an 1899 biography by William D. Foulke.  We got a great presentation about his subject at our last meeting.  After most speakers, I have focused on their subject, but after this one I felt that the speaker was a subject in himself for this report, because as anyone present will agree, he was enthusiastically enthusiastic,  enthusiastically  animated,  and  enthusiastically  knowledgeable about his subject.  He did such a great job of acting out the shooting of William “Bull” Nelson by fellow Federal General Jefferson C. David, as witnessed by Governor Morton, that I have the strange feeling of having been present at that most violet and jarring incident.  Also very impressive was that when any of us asked Pro. Fuller a question, however much a detail, he could answer fully with a multitude of facts about it.  Whosoever his students are, I can imagine them looking forward to his classes at the University of Indianapolis, even if taking one of his classes as an elective.  



Gen. Grant Comes Alive

Wasn’t it great to hear Dr. Fields portray Gen. Grant? It won’t be quickly forgotten how he brought the general to life with humor and passion! I believe he’s found his life’s work. At lunch, Dr. Fields commented he never once put on the uniform without someone asking him about his drinking problem. Interestingly enough, the question didn’t come up at the meeting during the Q&A session.
The attendance sheet showed 46 people signing in and of those, 22 were guests. Many of those didn’t give an email address and many were Ivy Tech students who were encouraged to attend by their instructor Jeff Ewens who spoke to us last fall. I have contacted those who provided email addresses and several said they would come again in November.
Gib mentioned at the meeting getting more press from the ACPL. I have found the library to be “very political” (Curt Wichern’s words). I asked several people to assist us with promoting the Gen. Grant event without success. They won’t even allow me to put a flyer about our meetings on any of their bulletin boards. However, they are very good about letting us use their meeting rooms free of charge and provided a custom Lincoln Museum tour to our presenter.
BTW, the couple with the English accent were also staying at the Col. Bass Bed and Breakfast where we put up our speaker Sunday and Monday nights. (The proprietor is a history fan and gave us a good rate of $75 per night, including all fees and taxes.) Dr. Fields invited them to attend.
I have attached a membership application form, designed by Pat Ormiston, that we use to fill in member’s information on our blog. Feel free to give it to people who might be interested.CWRTNEI-Membership_App
We have a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CWRTNEI/
Below are some great photos, sent to us by member Vicki Brouwer:
Image may contain: 6 people, people standing
Image may contain: 3 people, including Vicki Little Brouwer, people smiling, people standing and hat
Image may contain: 1 person, standing and shoes
Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and shoes
Image may contain: 1 person, standing

Gib Young and Rushmore Live in Huntington

P1210490Rushmore Live in Huntington is on for Sunday, Sept 16 and Monday Sept 17. You can come up and help celebrate Constitution Day, Huntington’s Birthday, and the incredible talent that is Fritz Klein, Carl Closs, and Tom Pitts as Abe, George and Tom.  (I’m like the fourth Marx Brother – Zeppo.)

If you want to go to the Sept. 17 evening performance at the University you need to know it is free – that is right – nada. But it is first come first seated.  It is suggest you get there about 6pm because the doors open at 6:15 pm  Theater holds 750 folks so it probably won’t be sold out but you never know.  If it is sold out there will be video screening in a theater on site.  The show starts at 7pm

If you want to go to the big dinner on Sunday it is at the Hotel Lafontaine in the art deco ball room and it starts at 6 pm, meal at 6:30 pm.  It costs a $100.00 bucks if you want to sit with one of the Prez’s and $75.00 if you just want to eat and gaze at us from another table.   You can call the Huntington Chamber of Commerce to reserve a seat.  If the TRA wanted it could reserve a table at the cost for a Prez or just to get a real good meal and take a chance on a nice door prize.  But If you think you would like to go let me know soon.  If you want to come as an individual you need to send a check to the Huntington Chamber of Commerce and tell them at which table you want to be at.                                    Gib Young 260  356 7643                                                                                                                                                                              PS Please pass this along to your brothers in arms.

June Meeting After Action Report by Archie

In June we had a presentation from Carleton Young  about a collection of letters from two Vermont brothers, Civil War soldiers, that he and friends transcribed and studied over a two year period, then Mr. Young proceeded to spend a decade documenting the service of these two warrior-writers by research and travel to their many campaign sites.  He wrote a book about it titled The Williamstown Boys in the Civil War.  To me, the good Mr. Young has done in preserving a great treasure of first person history was the remarkable and wonderful story.  How rare to find such a complete set of letters from so very long ago, and to be found by someone with the motivation to preserve them for so long as the Republic for which these young men sacrificed endures.