November 04 2019
The Passing of an Icon… In Memory of James “Bud” Robertson

Every so often in life you have the good fortune to meet a great man.  Such was the quintessential “Virginia gentleman,” Doctor James I. “Bud” Robertson who died on Saturday, November 2nd, at the ripe old age of 89.  Tapped by President John F. Kennedy to serve as as executive director of the United States...

October 28 2019
November 12th Program Announced

The next program of the First Defenders Civil War Round Table is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12th, beginning at 6:00 PM at the Inn at Reading. The program features First Defenders Wally Heimbach presenting his second program on the gallant Phil Kearny.  The one-armed soldier of fortune had a long and distinguished military career both...

October 28 2019
Longstreet’s Countermarch Ends the “Jaunt” Season

Depending where you sit on the subject of James Longstreet and his contributions (or lack thereof) during the Battle of Gettysburg, the time it took him to get the First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia into battle on July 2nd is sure to provoke discussion.  Was there a “sunrise attack order?”  Why did...

October 07 2019
New Ancestor is Medal of Honor Recipient

A new First Defender ancestor has been introduced to our members.  He is Ferdinand Frederick “Fritz” Rohm, the great-great grandfather of Nancy Melcher. You can find Fritz’ story in the Civil War Ancestors page of this site.  The chief bugler of the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Fritz would have a dramatic impact on the Commonwealth of...

September 24 2019
Jeff Wert and “Civil War Barons” at October 8th Program

Long-time First Defenders CWRT friend and lecturer Jeffry Wert will present the program at the October 8th gathering of the Round Table at the Inn at Reading.  Jeff’s latest work, “Civil War Barons,” is a departure from his previous battlefield and soldiers genre, and focuses on those Northern entrepreneurs who made a fortune while contributing...

August 20 2019
First Defenders 23rd Campaign Season to Commence

The 23rd Campaign of the First Defenders Civil War Round Table is set to open its season on Tuesday, September 10th, at the Inn at Reading.  The kick-off event will feature one of our most popular speakers, Chris Mackowski, a co-founder of the Emerging Civil War stable of authors, lecturers and new generation of period historians. ...

June 17 2019
June 28th Berks History Center Program on Tap

Back by popular demand, the Berks History Center has scheduled an exciting program for Friday evening, June 28th!  Learn about the attacks on Berks County settlers during the French and Indian War, including the tragic irony of murder and abduction of Amish, Brethren and Mennonite families along the Blue Mountain, and the prominent role of Conrad Weiser in...

May 01 2019
Campaign 22 Final Program on May 14th

The 22nd Campaign of the First Defenders Civil War Roundtable is rapidly drawing to a close, but one program remains on May 14th at the Inn at Reading.  Dr. Paul Kahan returns as the featured speaker to discuss the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant and its impact on Reconstruction. “Sam” Grant did not have an...

April 03 2019
Berks History Conference Scheduled for April 13th

                The Berks History Center has scheduled its spring conference for Saturday, April 13th, with an all-day program focusing on the Civil War.  Speakers for the event include Mark Pflum, John M. Lawlor, Jr., Stephen Recker and Scott Mingus. Click here for a complete agenda and conference description:...

April 02 2019
2019 Member Survey in Progress

The First Defenders Civil War Round Table unveiled its first-ever “member survey” during its March program.  Designed to help chart the organization’s future, 33 surveys have already been returned and the results are being compiled. In developing the survey, special attention was focused on the types of programs members would like to see in the...