Everyone is welcome at our monthly meetings


See list of meeting dates and speakers below for our 2016-2017 program year.

Copies of recorded meetings are available for a small charge. Click here for a printable list of recorded meetings. More current meetings can be viewed on Youtube.

Our meetings are held at:

Holiday Inn O'Hare
5615 N. Cumberland
Chicago, IL 60631
Parking at the Holiday Inn is FREE
Map and Directions


Dinner $50.00 Members and Non- Members
Cocktails at 5:30, Dinner at 6:30

Presentation only is $10 per person.
Payable at the door, cash or check. Be there by 7:15. For those attending the presentation only, your reservation is appreciated but not required.

Dinner reservations should be received by Sunday evening prior to the meeting. When you make your dinner reservation, please be sure to indicate your entrée choice.

Please make reservations your reservation in advance by emailing DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org with the names of your party and choice of entre'e or calling (630) 460-1865

Cancellations: email us at DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org  or call (630) 460-1865

Entrée choices are:
   Prime Rib
   Salmon

October 14th, 2016
Lance Herdegen:

The Nevins-Freeman Address: And the baby had red hair: Music of the Iron Brigade

The Iron Brigade of the Army of the Potomac made its own music.

Any reflection of the long marching columns of 1861-65 evoked faint echoes of the soldiers singing, the thumping of field drums, or the tooting of the brass bands. Sometimes it was the stern song about abolitionist John Brown and other times more scandalous airs such the one about a baby that "had red hair." The brass bands which played them away from home so long ago performed in the morning formations and evening tattoos as well as during inspections and reviews.

The Western men of the Iron Brigade—the soldiers of the Second, Sixth, Seventh Wisconsin, Nineteenth Indiana and Twenty-four Michigan—sang as they marched to Gettysburg and the brigade band played “Hail, Columbia” and stirring marches as the Black Hats charged toward Seminary Ridge. The regimental fife and drum corps played “The Campbells are Coming” as the Sixth Wisconsin advanced on the railroad cut.

In camp, soldiers gathered to sing in groups and even alone. Music was much a part of soldier life those first years of the war and the young men played violins, harmonics, and other instruments for their comrades. Music passed the time. It entertained and comforted as well as brought back memories of home and family. It also strengthened the bonds between comrades.

Lance Herdegen is the award-winning author of several books and articles on Civil War topics. His latest book is The Iron Brigade in Civil War and Memory: The Black Hats from Bull Run to Appomattox and Thereafter. His previous book, Those Damned Black Hats: The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, won the Army Historical Foundation's Distinguished Writing Award for Battle/ Operational History

Herdegen recently served as chair of the Wisconsin Civil War Sesquicentennial. He is the former director of the Institute for Civil War Studies at Carroll University and worked as historical consultant for the Civil War Museum of the Upper Middle West at Kenosha, WI. He had a long career as a journalist with United Press International news wire service, where he covered civil rights and politics. He was recently inducted into the Milwaukee Press Club Hall of Fame.

Named after famed historians Allen Nevins and Douglas Southall Freeman, the Nevins-Freeman Award is the highest honor the Civil War Round Table of Chicago can bestow. It is awarded for an individual's contributions to Civil War scholarship, and their dedication to the Round Table movement. Past award winners include Bruce Catton, James McPherson. This year we are proud to give this award to a distinguished author and long-time friend of this Round Table, Lance Herdegen.



For our 2016-17 program year, we proudly welcome these outstanding speakers:

Sept. 9th: Steve Quick on The C.S.S. Hunley

Oct. 14th: Lance Herdegen, Nevins-Freeman Address

Nov. 11th: Dave Connon on Iowa Copperheads

Dec. 9th: Bjorn Skaptasan on Ambrose Bierce at Shiloh

Jan. 13th, 2017: Richard Sommers on Lessons in Leadership in the Petersburg Campaign

Feb. 10th: Bob O'Neil on Cavalry During the Peninsula Campaign

Mar. 10th: Paul Kahan on Simon Cameron, Lincoln's First Secretary of War

Apr. 14th: Diane Smith on Command Conflict in the Overland Campaign

May 12th: Connie Hansen presents a First Person Portrayal of Jennie Wade's mother

June 9th: Don Sender on Custer and the Little Big Horn Campaign