Fort Caswell: Cape Fear River Defense

St. James Plantation Cat Tails magazine article:  entitled "Fort Caswell - Cape Fear River Defense" written by member Linda Eyler about BCWRT field trip to Fort Caswell. 

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Civil War News: January 2014

Civil War News article entitled: Round Table Review - Ladies' Forum by Matthew Borowick.

Matthew Borowck has written an article about Charon Fink's Ladies Forum held October 15, 2013.

Click below for the Civil War News article.

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Civil War News Article

Civil War News article entitled: Round Table Review - Big and Bold in Brunswick, NC by Matthew Borowick.

If any Civil War round table wants to know how to do things well it can learn a lot by looking to Brunswick, NC.  There, in the shadow of Wilmington, at the end of the Cape Fear River, the Brunswick Civil War Round Table is thriving.

Click below for the Civil War News article.

Brunswick Civil War Ladies Take Command

On Tuesday evening, February 26, 2013, forty-five ladies met at Trinity United Methodist Church for a Ladies’ Forum about women of the Civil War.  Charen Fink, one of the Directors for the Brunswick Civil War Round Table presented the program.  The room displayed an extensive collection of Civil War antiques, reproductions, and items related to women.  A manikin, “Lizzie”, was undressed to reveal the many layers of clothing typically worn by most women.   The power point presentation included many pictures and information about a lady’s toilette, clothing, jewelry, domestic activities, health, courtship, motherhood, photography, medicine and occupations.  Nancy Ovsenik presented mourning and funeral customs.  She and her husband, Ed (who portrays an undertaker), are re-enactors portraying typical funeral situations.  Period refreshments made using Civil War era recipes (known then as receipts) consisted of Mary Todd Lincoln cake, gingerbread, Sally Lunn bread, molasses cookies, and pound cake followed by coffee and hot chocolate.  Each participant received a folder containing eight handouts.  All the evaluations stated it was an excellent program with suggestions for additional future programs.

Dr. Chris Fonvielle Jr. Honored

On February 16, 2013 at Fort Anderson, Brunswick Township Civil War event, Dr. Chris Fonvielle Jr., University of North Carolina in Wilmington, was presented with a specially prepared scroll confirming his Honorary Membership of the 290 Foundation (BVI) Inc, in recognition of his outstanding contributions researching and recording the history of the American Civil War through his lectures, published books and articles.

Dr. Chris Fonvielle Jr., a native of Wilmington, North Carolina has a lifelong interest in the American Civil War. His in-depth research focuses on Civil War naval activities, coastal operations, defenses and blockade running of the period. Presenting Chris with his membership and welcoming him formally "on board" was Robert Maffitt, a descendant of John Maffitt, and well known ambassador for his home city of Wilmington, NC. Bob Maffitt is also Honorary Vice-President (US) of the 290 Foundation.

In sending his good wishes to Dr Fonvielle, Ian Dewar, President of the 290 Foundation, said he hoped this presentation would strengthen the ties between British and American historians interested in the most significant period of their common history.


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Ancestors play catch up at recent Round Table

The recent meeting of the Brunswick Civil War Round Table seemed to come alive with history, literally, as ancestors of two noted Civil War generals and one naval captain came to hear Bob Mullauer speak on “Hood in Tennessee: The Battle of Franklin.” That battle lasted only five hours, and the result decimated Gen. John Bell Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Robert Mafitt is the great grandson of blockade runner Capt. John Newland Mafitt who was in charge of the famous raider ‘CSS Florida,’ which captured about more than 20 ships in less than a year. The captain also charted most all inlets and waterways on the east coast and the Cape Fear River. His grandson is a member of both the Cape Fear and the Brunswick Civil War Round Tables, and is a Wilmington Ambassador.

Sam Hood is president of the John Bell Hood Historical Society in Lexington, Kentucky, and is a distant relative of Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood, who became the brigade commander of the unit that became known as Hood’s Texas Brigade on February 20, 1862. On November 30, 1864, he ordered his Confederate Army of Tennessee to assault the Federal forces at the Carter farm in Franklin despite objections from his battlefield commanders. Sam attended this meeting as a visitor.

Roy Pender is a distant great uncle of Major Gen. William Dorsey Pender who, at age 29, was the youngest and the fastest rising major general in the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg. Along with Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood, Pender was a man for whom Lee and others predicted a great future. Roy is a Brunswick Civil War Round Table member.


The three men got together to talk about Civil War history before and after the presentation. The Brunswick Civil War Round Table meets on the first Tuesday of each month and features guest speakers who speak on a variety of historical subjects. For more information, contact Wally Rueckel at 253-7382, or email at wrueckel@questor.com.


Published in The State Port Pilot, November 16, 2011.



Civil War Presentations Prove Popular

By Andrew Dunn

Published: Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 3:30 a.m.

A Union army soldier stood at the back of the meeting hall, sword rattling against the side of his navy blue uniform and cap pulled low on his forehead. By the end of the evening, he had switched sides and donned the Confederate gray. Jim McKee, a historian at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson, was showing off some of his Civil War-era attire to the scores of people who converge each month at a Southport church to learn about the popular period of history.

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