VOL. LVI No. 4 SESQUICENTENNIAL EDITION 7 November 2012
CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE MEETS AT
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL
AT NAAMANS AND I-495
The Civil War Round Table will be meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Naamans Road and I-495 in Brandywine Hundred this
year. The Round Table continues to meet the first Wednesday each month from September through May (except January).Dinner
starts at 6:30 P.M. ($13.00) followed by the program ($3.00) at 7:30 P.M.
DINNER & BAR SERVICES
Place: Crowne Plaza Hotel
630 Naamans Rd.
Claymont, DE 19703
TEL: 302-792-27 2605 Philadelphia Pike
Claymont, DE 19703
Time: Dinner at 6:30 P.M.
Program at 7:30 P.M. Business meeting follows program
Price: Members: Dinner $17.00 meeting $3.00 (not included
in dinner price)
Non-Members: Dinner $22.00 meeting $3.00
Wednesday Nov. 7, 2012
Speaker: Chris Makowski
Topic: The Last Days of Stonewall
Wednesday Dec. 5, 2012
Speaker: Brian Matthew Jordan
Topic: When Billy Came Marching
Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War
Wednesday Jan. 9, 2013
Speaker: William Connery
Topic: The Civil War in Northern
Wednesday Feb. 6, 2013
Speaker: Dr. Sam Hoff
Topic: Abraham Lincoln and
the Civil War
Wednesday Mar. 6, 2013
Speaker: Chris Foard
Topic: Ministering Men of
War, Civil War Nurses
Wednesday Apr. 3, 2013
Speaker: Gary Casteell
Topic: Gen. James Longstreet,
the Man and the Monument
Wednesday May 1, 2013
Speaker: Eric Buckland
Topic: Mosby’s Men
IN MEMORIAM: BOB POTTER
The Civil War Round Table lost a long-time
active member on August 29th when Bob Potter passed away after a courageous fight against cancer. Bob, who held a masters
degree in history from the University of Delaware, was a social studies teacher at Padua Academy. Bob served as a director
of the Round Table since 1995. He was President of the Round Table in 2006-07. Bob served as our Vice President for
Education from 2007 until his death. He initiated the Round Table’s participation in the Delaware History Day
contest in 1998. He was also past President for 2006-07.
Bob had an encyclopedic knowledge of the battles and leaders
of the Late Unpleasantness. He supported our programs and was a loyal and good comrade. He will be missed.
Grape & Canister Nov. 2012
Sesquicentennial Edition No. 7
Chris Makowski, November Speaker
Chris Mackowski is Associate Professor
of Journalism at St. Bonaventure University. He has taught at St. Bonaventure since 2000. Chancellorsville: Crossroads
of Fire is his latest book, third in a series commissioned by the National park Service and published by Thomas Publications.
His earlier books were The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson and the Dark Close Wood: The Wilderness, Ellwood and the Battle
that Redefined Both.
Mackowksi has worked for the past seven years Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military
Park, where he gives tours and interpretive programs. He has also written extensively about the war for Civil War Times, America’s
Civil War, and Blue & Gray magazine.
Prof. Mackowski will be speaking on the last days of Stonewall Jackson.
Bryan M. Jordan, December Speaker
Brian M.Jordan is a third-year student
in the History Ph.D. program at Yale University. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in History from Gettysburg College in 2009.
is a cultural historian of the American Civil War who focuses on questions of trauma and historical memory. His dissertation
When Billy Came Marching Home: A History of Union Veterans explores the cultural marginalization of Union veterans after
the Civil War and the efforts of survivors to come to terms with the meaning of their participation in the conflict. Jordan
argues that the American public was unable and unwilling to deal with unprecedented physical and emotional suffering that
northern veterans faced post-1865. Jordan believes that the real stories of Union veterans were discounted by civilians in
a conspiracy of silence because the reality of the lives of returning veterans did not match the romantic public relations
image of those who served in the Union Army.
Mr. Jordan’s recent publications include: Living Monuments: Union
Veteran Amputees and the Embodied Memory of the Civil War , Civil War History vol 57, no. 2 (June 2011); We Stand on the Same
Battlefield: The Gettysburg Centenary and the Shadow of Race, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography vol. 135, no.
4 (October 2011); and Captive Memories, The Civil War Monitor (September 2011). Mr. Jordan will be speaking to the Round
Table on the veterans of the Civil War after the end of the war.
William Connery December Speaker
William Connery was raised in
East Baltimore in the shadow of the Patterson Park pagoda where 10,000 Soldiers waited to oppose the British invasion of Baltimore
in September, 1814. He attended Mary Washington University and has been a career journalist, editor and writer since 1989.
Mr. Connery has written more than 60 articles on civil war topics for news papers such as the Washington Times and the Civil
War Courier. The History Press has released his book, Civil War Northern Virginia, 1861. Mr. Connery received the Jefferson
Davis Historical Gold Medal for outstanding contributions in furthering the study and preservation of Confederate history
through extensive research, writing and public speaking in June, 2012.
He will be speaking on the Civil War in Northern
Virginia in 1861.
“TARDY GEORGE” SYKES
General “Tardy George” Sykes was the only Delaware officer to command a Union Army Corps during the War.
He commanded the Army of the Potomac’s brigade of Regulars in 1861 at the First Battle of Manassas. Sykes’
command saved Gen. McDowell’s army from destruction. Gen. Sykes became division commander, 2nd Division Fifth Corps
in May, 1862.]
The right flank of the Union Fifth Corps, forming the northern anchor of Gen. McClellan’s lines before
Richmond, hung in the air near the village of Mechanicsville at a place called Beaver Dam Creek. Gen. Porter took the
precaution of ordering his corps to entrench, since the Army of the Potomac was halted until Gen. Irvin McDowell’s First
Corps joined Porter’s Fifth Corps via an overland march from Fredericksburg. The Confederate high command obtained
intelligence showing Porter’s flank could be turned and McClellan’s base at White House Landing on the York River
could be threatened. Sykes’ Regulars and Brig. Gen. George P. Morell’s Division of the
Grape & Canister November 2012 Sesquicentennial Edition No. 7
Fifth Corps carried out a smart little sortie on May 27, against Confederate
forces at Hanover Court House. Their supreme test was to come a month later when Gen. Robert E. Lee directed Maj. Gen.
A. P. Hill, D. H. Hill and James Longstreet to throw their three divisions at Porter’s lines on the east side
of Beaver Dam Creek. Porter kept Sykes’ Regulars as his corps reserve. On June 26, Brig. Gen. George
W. McCall’s Division of Porter’s Corps stood off the late day Confederate assault on its entrenched lines.
During the night of June 26-27, however, McCall’s Division fell back to Old Cold Harbor to previously prepared
positions, due to rumors that a large numbers of Confederates were lurking in the woods northeast of Beaver Dam Creek.
The new position was crescent-shaped, one flank resting on a stream known as Elder’s Swamp while the right flank hung
in the air near Old Cold Harbor. George Sykes’ Division held the key to the position overlooking Boatswain’s Swamp
on a sandy ridge which dominated the eastern end of the battlefield. Late on the afternoon of June 28, Maj.Gen.
Stonewall Jackson’s Division and Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s Division commenced a reckless frontal assault against
Sykes’ Division on the Union right. Sykes’ Regulars held firm into the evening, retiring from the field
only after the Union left had been broken and his rear had been threatened by a Confederate advance from the west.
That evening, the Fifth Corps crossed the Chickahominy and united with the rest of Gen. McClellan’s Army, giving up
the Richmond & York River R.R. supply line to the enemy. McClellan sent the Fifth Corps off to the southeast to hold an
advanced position near the James River at Glendale cross-roads. Sykes’ Division was not engaged when Confederates
under Maj. Gen. D. H. Hill tried to drive the Fifth Corps units from this key crossroads. Sykes’ Division was
left out of the climax of the Seven Days Battle at Malvern Hill on July 1, his brigades being posted in blocking positions
to prevent the Union position from being turned.
In August, the Fifth Corps moved by steamer to
Aquia Creek and made an overland march to join Gen. John Pope’s Army of Virginia near Manassas. Pope ordered
Porter to attack the southern or right flank of Stonewall Jackson’s Confederates posted along an unfinished railroad
about a mile and a half west of the 1861 battlefield. Pope’s army spent all day on August 29 trying to take the
position. However, Pope did not know that Gen. James Longstreet’s divisions had come to Jackson’s aid and
now occupied positions immediately to the southeast of the south end of Jackson’s lines, concealed in heavy woodlands.
Porter refused to attack in support of the Army of Virginia, for which he was later court-martialed and cashiered. Porter’s
disobedience, however, worked to the Union army’s advantage on the next day when Longstreet’s divisions attacked
the Union left flank and rolled it up. Porter’s fresh troops formed a defensive crescent on Henry House
Hill near the site of Stonewall Jackson’s position in the previous summer. In the twilight, George Sykes’
Regulars calmly loaded and fired volleys into Gen. John B. Hood’s onrushing Division. The Regulars stopped the Confederate
advance, permitting Pope’s army to withdraw to Centreville.
The Fifth Corps sat out the
Battle of Antietam on September 17 as the Army’s reserve. During the lull between Antietam and Fredericksburg,
George Sykes became a Major General of Volunteers. On December 13 the Fifth Corps was part of the Center Grand Division
of Burnsides’ Army under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker. Sykes’ Division was in reserve supporting the Union Second
Corps, which made seven futile frontal assaults on the Confederates posted on Marye’s Heights. After dark, Sykes’
Division took over the Second Corps line and held off threatened counterattacks on 14 December permitting the Union Army to
Sykes’ Division was very lightly engaged during the Chancellorsville campaign
from April 30 through May 5, 1863. The Fifth Corps was the Union spearhead and was east of the serious fighting on May
3-4, 1863. George Sykes became Commanding General Fifth Corps on June 28 when Maj. Gen. George G. Meade became commanding
general of the Army of the Potomac. Sykes’ finest hour was about to take place.
Grape & Canister November 2012 Sesquicentennial Edition
How many of these Union General Officers can you identify?
Grape & Canister
A Publication of the Civil War Round
Table of Wilmington, Delaware, Inc.
Vice President Education: TBA
Preservation: George Ferguson
Vice President Finance& Treas: Greg Vavroch
Vincent Gasbarro, Jr.
Field Trip Chair:
Vincent Gasbarro, Jr.
©2012 Civil War Round Table of Wilmington, Delaware, Inc. 71 W. Fifth St. New Castle, DE 19720
Student Membership: $5.00