May 13 2018
The Granite 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...

May 04 2018
Joe’s Jaunts II – Montgomery Cemetery

April 28th dawned as a cool, promising spring day for Past President Joe Schaeffer leading 23 First Defenders on the second “Joe’s Jaunt.”  The destination was the Montgomery Cemetery in nearby Norristown, the final resting place of four Union generals. The cemetery, located on a bluff above the Schuylkill River, had fallen into disrepair and...

April 24 2018
May 8th Program Announced: Daniel Edgar Sickles

Scoundrel or hero?  Like the Slim-Jim commercial, no one is neutral about Daniel Edgar Sickles, his mercurial life or his role in the Battle of Gettysburg.  Probably no one knows more about Sickles and can discuss the man in more objective terms than our guest, Jim Hessler. Making his encore appearance to close out the...

April 03 2018
April Program Update!

The First Defenders have learned that perennial April guest Ed Bearss recently suffered a fall at his home.  Although not seriously injured, Ed will be off his feet for a week or two and will be unable to present his “Evening with Ed” program on the Battle of Shiloh. While wishing Ed a speedy return...

March 27 2018
Official Records Set to be Auctioned on April 2nd

Word has been passed along to the Round Table about an state auction at the Green Hills Auction Center in Mohnton on Monday, April 2nd.  Auctioneer Sam Ferraro has a consignment of  the estate’s books, almost all of which are classic editions.  They will be up for auction at 2:00 pm. There is a beautiful set...

March 27 2018
April Program- “Evening with Ed” on April 10th

It’s that time of the year again when the First Defenders will hold its annual “Evening with Ed” featuring the one and only Ed Bearss.  On Tuesday April 10th the historian emeritus of the National Park Service will tell the story of the Battle of Shiloh, the battle that swept away any notion of a...

March 20 2018
“Joe’s Jaunts” Set for April 28th

A springtime “Joe’s Jaunts” has been set for Saturday April 28th, and the destination will be the Montgomery Cemetery in nearby Norristown.  The final resting place for no less than a half-dozen Union generals (including Winfield Scott Hancock), the cemetery had long been in poor condition before the Montgomery County Historical Society began restoring it...

February 28 2018
The 96th PVI Brought to Life by Dave Ward

Most passing Civil War students are well-versed in both the old and new tomes outlining the history of the campaigns and their generals.  It takes those with real interest, though, to dive deeper into the personal stories of the men who shouldered the musket and stood shoulder-to-shoulder trading MiniĆ© balls with the enemy.  To satisfy...

February 28 2018
March Program to Focus on “Pickett’s Charge”

The First Defenders will meet on Tuesday March 13th for their next program that will focus on the penultimate event of the three day Battle of Gettysburg: Pickett’s Charge. Meal selections are posted on-line under the “Events” tab, and the March newsletter can be viewed or downloaded from the “Newsletters” tab.  The deadline for meal...

February 17 2018
First Defenders Book Shelf Introduced!

All First Defenders know the Round Table’s long and proud history of conducting book raffles to benefit preservation work.  These raffles have been supported by the generous donations of members and friends. Now, in an effort to keep the growing book inventory under control, to provide members with an opportunity to acquire quality books and...