Musters – Events

The First Defenders meet at 6:30 PM on the second Tuesday of each month from September through May. Meetings include dinner and a speaker who may be a guest or a member. Beginning in September 2020, meetings will be held at Giannotti’s Country Restaurant on Pricetown Road in Alsace Manor, and will also be provided virtually for members who are unable to attend due to COVID-19 concerns.

A book raffle is held each month with all proceeds donated to battlefield preservation, and beginning in 2020 members will have the opportunity to participate even if they cannot attend a program.

Guests and new members are welcome. Space is limited in the restaurant, so please contact a board member or the First Defenders by email (see the Regimental Staff page).


MEMBERS ONLY! Sign up to attend the upcoming event!


Searching for George Gordon Meade: the Forgotten Victor of Gettysburg

featuring Tom Huntington

Who was George Gordon Meade, and why has he been pushed into the shadows rather that being feted as one of the most important generals of the Civil War?  A solid soldier who had command of the Army of the Potomac thrust upon him only three days before the climactic Battle of Gettysburg, Meade's reputation was quickly diminished by the press, Radical politicians, the irascible Dan Sickles and the looming shadow of Ulysses S. Grant.  Meade once grumbled, "I suppose after awhile it will be discovered I was not at Gettysburg at all."

The search for George Meade reveals an interesting life, a solid antebellum military career and an impressive Civil War experience that is often overlooked.  The victor of Gettysburg would be the last commander the Army of the Potomac ever had, but many don not realize that because Meade was eclipsed by Grant.  His is an interesting story that is worth discovering.

As the editor of the late, lamented Historic Traveler magazine, Tom Huntington developed a love for writing that merged stories from the past with journeys of discovery in the present. That was an approach he took with his first two books, Ben Franklin's Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Civil War Trails, and one he continues with Searching for George Gordon Meade: The Forgotten Victor of Gettysburg. Tom's other books include: Maine at 200: An Anecdotal History (2020), Maine Roads to Gettysburg (2018), The Walker (2018), Dill's Tavern and the Eichelberger Plantation: A History and Guide (2018), Guide to Gettysburg Battlefield Monuments (2013), Pennsylvania Civil War Trails (2007), and Ben Franklin's Philadelphia (2005).  

Huntington lives in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Beth Ann, and his children, Katie and Sam, and is currently an editor for Stackpole Magazines.