Everyone is welcome at our monthly meetings
June 14, 2019
Elmer Ellsworth and His Zouaves
In the summer of 1860, young lawyer Elmer Ellsworth and a civilian militia company of 50 men from Chicago set out on a twenty city tour. In those days, volunteer militia companies held drill competitions, and Ellsworth hoped that his unit's new "Zouave" training (based on semi-gymnastic maneuvers modelled after those of French Algerian soldiers) would dominate the competition. The tour was a success beyond their wildest dreams. When war started and their training was needed on the battlefield rather than on the parade ground, the men who had accompanied Ellsworth found themselves in positions of leadership within the Union Army.
Our June speaker, Doug Dammann, will explore Elmer Ellsworth's widespread influence on the northern army. Despite all of his drills and military training, Ellsworth's death, ironically, did not come in battle but rather early in the war, inside the Marshall House hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. Ellsworth succeeded in removing the Confederate flag raised by the building owner only to be shot and killed by the owner, James W. Jackson, as he descended the stairs from the building roof. Ellsworth's body would lie in state at the White House before being taken to his home state of New York for burial.
Abraham Lincoln would call his close friend (almost a second son) Ellsworth "the greatest little man I ever met." Ellsworth's memory lived on throughout the war as "Remember Ellsworth" became a rallying cry for supporters of the Union. His death would spur even more volunteers to don the flashy Zouave attire
Doug Dammann is the curator and site coordinator of the Kenosha Civil War Museum. A native of Lena, Illinois, and son of this Round Table's close friend Gordon Dammann, he received a BA in history from Kalamazoo College in 1996 and earned his Master's Degree in historical administration from Eastern Illinois University in 1999. Prior to coming to Kenosha, he worked at The National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland, and The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
For our 2018-19 program year, we proudly welcome these outstanding speakers:
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.
Sept. 14th: Tim Smith on U. S. Grant and the Vicksburg Campaign
Oct. 12th: Ted Karamanski on The Civil War as an Indian War
Nov. 9th: Paul Kahan on The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant: Preserving the Civil War's Legacy
Dec. 14th: David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften on Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason
Jan. 11th: Bjorn Skaptason on Henry Morton Stanley at Shiloh
Feb. 8th: Rob Girardi on Gouverneur K. Warren's Last Battle
Mar. 8th: John David Smith and Micheal Larson on Dear Delia
Apr. 12th: Brad Gottfried on Maps of the Fredericksburg Campaign
May 10th: John Horn on The Petersburg Regiment: the 12th Virginia
June 14th: Doug Dammann on Elmer Ellsworth and his Zouaves
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 $40.00 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
Dinner reservations should be received by Sunday evening prior to the meeting.
Please make your
reservation in advance by emailing
DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org with the names of your party or by calling (630) 460-1865
Cancellations: email us at
DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org or call (630) 460-1865
Dinner choices. The CWRT has gone to a buffet style dinner. The buffet will include caeser salad, pasta, garlic bread, two meats (grilled chicken, meat balls, or Italian sausage) and dessert.