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 Minié 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...

February 02 2018
Carolinas Campaign and Battle of Bentonville

In September 2018, Bentonville Battlefield and the Friends of Bentonville Battlefield will host “Two Weeks of Fury” a symposium and whirlwind tour of the Carolinas Campaign. The schedule includes tours of Wise’s Forks, Civil War Fayetteville, Averasboro, Bentonville and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Monroe’s Crossroads battlefield on Fort Bragg. Historians taking part in...

February 01 2018
Naval Schemes, Plots & Tidbits – January Program Recap

The naval actions of the Civil War have long received short shrift along side the land actions of the conflict, and are often reduced to the Monitor v. Merrimack, Farragut’s taking of Mobile Bay, the Trent Affair and other high-profile events.  However, as every buff knows, there is much more than the actions familiar to even the...

January 31 2018
February Program Announcement

Our next program is scheduled for February 13th featuring Civil War jack-of-all-trades David Ward and his program highlighting “Schuylkill County’s Coal Heavers:  The 96th Pennsylvania Volunteers.”  Some of the original First Defenders served in the 96th which was originally commanded by Colonel Henry L. Cake, formerly of the National Light Infantry.  The regiment spent its service...

January 28 2018
CIA Publishes Overview of Intelligence in the Civil War

It has often been said, tongue-in-cheek, the Central Intelligence Agency is a contradiction in terms.  But, although is current-day activities are often veiled in secrecy, the CIA has recently turned out an interesting paper called Intelligence in the Civil War.   This is a (comparatively) short overview, but the subject has been one of increased interest over...

January 28 2018
Edward Bonekemper Dies- May 2017 Program Presenter

The Hershey Civil War Round Table has passed along the sad information of the death of Edward H. Bonekemper, III, who died in Lancaster in December following a brief illness. Bonekemper presented a program based on his book The Myth of the Lost Cause which presented a compelling argument to contradict the romantic and still-cherished Southern...