Everyone is welcome at our monthly meetings


See list of meeting dates and speakers below for our 2015-2016 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:
   Flank Steak
   Whitefish

June 10, 2016
Dale Phillips on:

Ben Butler and the Federal Occupation of New Orleans

At the beginning of the Civil War, the U.S. Army had no doctrine, no manual, and little experience, in military governance of enemy cities. The prevailing wisdom on the subject was perhaps best summed up by the old miltary maxim on occupation: "Appoint a mayor, and make sure the garbage is picked up."

On June 10th, Dale Phillips will examine how Union General Ben Butler handled these unprecedented problems during his stint as commander of occupied New Orleans. Captured in 1862, New Orleans was the 8th largest city in the United States, and by far the largest city in the Confederacy. It contained a rabidly pro-Confederate population, but with large admixtures of foreigners, Unionists, slaves, and people out to make a buck off the war. Its economy, largely driven by shipping cotton to New York and to Europe, lay in ruins due to the Union blockade of cotton exports, and now the Confederate blockade on cotton shipments to the "Crescent City."

Dale Phillips is a native of New Jersey. He earned my BA degree in American History from York College of Pennsylvania in 1978. He began working for the National Park Service as a seasonal interpreter at Gettysburg in 1976. He has worked for the NPS for most of his adult life, as interpretive ranger at Fort Sumter, and park ranger/ historian of Chickamauga/Chattanooga, and as manager of the Chalmette unit (Battle of New Orleans) site.

Dale’s present position is that of superintendent of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL. He has written numerous articles on U.S. military history for various publications. Dale also works as a guide/lecturer for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, Civil War Roundtables, and other history touring organizations. This presentation is a continuation of the presentation he made to our CWRT in September.

For our 2015-16 program year, we proudly welcome these outstanding speakers:

Sept. 11, 2015 Dale Philips on Capture of New Orleans

Oct. 9, 2015 Dennis Frye on Nevins Freeman Award: John Brown: The Spark that Ignited War

Nov. 11, 2015 Philip Leigh on Trading with the Enemy

Dec. 11, 2015 Dave Keller on Camp Douglas

Jan 8, 2016 David Moore on William S. Rosecrans

Feb 12, 2016 Don Doyle on The Cause of all Nations

Mar. 11, 2016 Bruce Kraig on Why the Civil War Made our Modern Food

Apr. 8, 2016: Greg Briggs on Nashville: Siren's Song of the Western Confederacy

May 13, 2016 Glenna Schroeder-Lein on The Soldiers Home in the Civil War

June 10, 2016: Dale Philips on Ben Butler and the Federal Occupation of New Orleans