November 06 2018
The Hidden History of African-American Burial Sites in the Antebellum South

This article first appeared in Atlas Obscura on October 25th, 2018, and was written by Evan Nicole Brown. In modern-day Altavista, Virginia, a town that covers 5 square miles of what was the first English colony in North America, sits the Avoca Museum. The former residence of Colonel Charles Lynch, a politician and American Revolutionary Patriot, it...

November 04 2018
No answers for family’s questions about Civil War unknowns

The following story was first reported by the Associated Press, and is posted here verbatim and with full attribution. ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — When Paul Davis heard earlier this year that the complete remains of two Civil War soldiers had been uncovered recently at Manassas National Battlefield, mixed among severed limbs in a surgeon’s pit,...

November 01 2018
New Study of Longstreet at Gettysburg Set to Hit Book Stores

A forthcoming reassessment of James Longstreet and his role at Gettysburg is about to roll off the presses and into bookstores, and early reviews suggest author Cory Pfarr has hit a home run. Pfarr, an American history write hailing from Baltimore, argues that Longstreet’s record has been unfairly discredited.  Beginning with Jubal Early, William Pendelton...

October 30 2018
November Program in Two Weeks — October Program Review

The November First Defenders Civil War Roundtable is just two weeks away…November 13th…as we wrap up our appearances by the Emerging Civil War stable of writers and lecturers. Kevin Pawlak, a young and talented historian from northern Virginia, will be presenting a program called “Antietam Endgame,” which will review the three days following the titanic...

September 25 2018
The “Battle that Saved Washington” Featured at October 9th Program

On the banks of the Monocacy River bear Frederick, Maryland, an often-overlooked engagement on a hot July 1864 day slowed a Confederate Army bearing down on Washington, D.C.  But for that one-day delay, Abraham Lincoln may have been forced from his national capital in full view of the world and, more importantly, the American voters...

September 25 2018
Richard Ewell Redeemed!

It may be one of the most long-standing “myths” of the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg…Richard Ewell flinching on the afternoon of July 1st with the Union Army in full retreat and Robert E. Lee’s exhortation to “take that hill, if practicable” ringing in his ears.  Ewell chose to not chance an assault...

August 29 2018
Campaign 22 Begins on September 11th

The 22nd Campaign of the First Defenders Civil War Round Table is set to begin with its first program on Tuesday September 11th.  Check out “Events” for program details featuring one of our most popular speakers, Chris Mackowski. The First Defenders will be returning to the Inn at Reading again this year, and the Inn...

August 11 2018
“A Stroll Through History” – Charles Evans Cemetery Tours Announced

The First Defenders Civil War Round Table and the Berks History Center are excited to announce their joint “Stroll Through History” tours of the historic Charles Evans Cemetery on Saturday, September 15th. Charles Evans Cemetery was founded in 1846 by its namesake, Charles Evans, a prominent local lawyer and philanthropist who desired to establish a...

June 04 2018
First Defenders at Gettysburg!

On Thursday morning, May 31st, an eager group of First Defenders and guests met at the Reynolds/Buford monuments along the Chambersburg Pike to begin a day of monument maintenance for the Adopt-a-Position initiative sponsored by the Gettysburg Military Park.  First Defenders have regularly participated in this effort for many years (as often as not in...

May 13 2018
The Green Mountain State Weighs In on Camp Letterman

The Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association (GBPA) passed along an interesting tidbit: the Vermont legislature has unanimously passed a joint resolution supporting the preservation efforts for Camp Letterman in Gettysburg. What makes this interesting is the joint resolution boasted 30 co-sponsors, which just happens to be the number of senators in the legislature.  Of even more...