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...

March 28 2019
Spring Campaigning Scheduled

With the vernal equinox in the rear view mirror, the trees will begin to bloom and the roads will dry sufficiently to let the First Defenders again take to the field. Two advances are already planned… Starting off, the Berks History Center is hosting another Stroll Through History on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at 12:30...

March 28 2019
Scott Mingus Featured at April Program

Noted author and prolific speaker Scott Mingus will provide a presentation on the “Louisiana Tigers at Gettysburg” during the First Defenders Civil War Round Table program on Tuesday, April 9th. Perhaps second only to the famed “Stonewall Brigade,” the Tigers had developed a fierce reputation by the time they arrived in Pennsylvania during the summer...

February 26 2019
The “Sultana Disaster” to be Featured at March Program

In the spring of 1865 following Appomattox and the Lincoln Assassination, the Civil War was not yet over. Yet following euphoria and shock, the tragic explosion and sinking of the “Sultana” on the Mississippi River near Memphis and resulting deaths of hundreds (including many former Union POWs) became little more than a footnote to the...