Regular Meeting Schedule

BCWRT meets on the first Tuesday of the month September through June Registration opens at 6:30 Program starts at 7:00 Hatch Auditorium, Baptist Assembly, Caswell Beach


"Success and Failure in the Saddle: Union and Confederate Cavalry in the 1865 Campaign in North Carolina," Wade Sokolosky

Feb 4 2020 - 7:00pm

The Carolinas Campaign began on January 1, 1865. It was the final campaign conducted by the Union Army against the Confederate Army and led to the unconditional surrender to Union forces on April 26, effectively ending the American Civil War. It was on January 1st that Union Gen. William T. Sherman advanced north from Savannah, Georgia, through the Carolinas, to link up with Union forces in Virginia. This march north defeated Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s army at the Battle of Bentonville, thus ending the war. What isn’t often emphasized is the important role played by both the Union and Confederate cavalry. This will be the subject addressed by noted author and researcher Wade Sokolosky at the Brunswick Civil War Round Table’s Tuesday, February 4th meeting. The meeting will be held at Hatch Auditorium on Caswell Beach. Registration and refreshments begin at 6:15PM. The program starts at 7:00PM.

Written histories often reserve the “glory and ink” for the infantry, relegating the mounted arm of the military to the sidelines. Yet in the last decade, historians have dug deeper about the cavalry’s contributions helping to illuminate this previously unexplored part of history. A host of experienced Civil War generals, whose actions provide for some colorful entertainment, let the cavalry in the Carolinas. Sherman’s cavalry general, Judson Kilpatrick, who was called “ a hell of a damned fool,” found himself up against two of the Confederacy’s most notable horse soldiers, Wade Hampton and Joseph Wheeler. Unlike the infantry, where Union forces maintained a sizeable advantage in numbers over the Confederates, throughout the campaign, Confederate cavalry either equaled or outnumbered their Federal foes.

The fighting at times was desperate. At Monroe’s Crossroads (located on Fort Bragg), the Confederate cavalry unleashed a vicious pre-dawn attack on Kilpatrick’s unsuspecting camp that sent the Union general escaping for the safety of the swamps in his underwear.  This attack proved to be the last large cavalry battle of the Civil War. On other occasions, the clash of horsemen was unorthodox. At Aiken and Fayetteville, mounted forces fought entirely in an urban setting, which was quite rare throughout the entire war.

The story of the horse soldier during the Carolinas Campaign is one of bravery and sacrifice. Operating often times far out on the flanks of the army, men toiled for hours in the saddle, unaware of the dangers that lurked beyond a bend in the road. It is a fascinating bit of history and one that deserves its rightful place in the annals of the campaign.

Returning guest speaker Col. (Ret.) Wade Sokolosky is a graduate of East Carolina University, and a 25-year veteran with the U.S. Army. He is one of North Carolina’s leading experts of the 1865 Carolinas Campaign. He has lectured throughout the Carolinas speaking at roundtables, societies, organizations and historical sites, all related to the Civil War.

"Now We Stand Together Always" (3 Act play)," Derek Maxfield

Mar 3 2020 - 7:00pm

Derek Maxfield, associate professor of history at Genesee Community College in Batavia, New York and his associate, Tracy Ford, will portray Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman in a three act theatrical "conversation" which took place near the end of the Civil War. 

"Closing Down the Kingdom: The Battles for Fort Fisher 1864-1865", Chris Fonvielle

Apr 7 2020 - 7:00pm

Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr., Ph.D., popular Wilmington historian, frequent guest speaker, Civil War battlefield tour guide, prolific author, and retired assistant professor of history at UNCW. 

"The Bounty Men," Brian Luskey

May 5 2020 - 7:00pm

Brian Luskey, Ph.D., Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor in the History Department at West Virginia University. He is a prolifc author of books, journal articles, book chapters, and essays.  "The Bounty Men" were men who enlisted in the Union or Confederate army, collected a bounty, then deserted to a new area to enlist again to earn another bounty.

"Eastern Theater Railroads," Scott Mingus

May 26 2020 - 7:00pm

Scott L. Mingus, Sr., an award-winning historian and the author of 21 books on the Civil War and the Underground Railroad.  His great-great-grandfather was a 15-year-old drummer boy in the 51st Ohio Infantry. Railroads were a major factor in the Civil War, especially in the North which had a commanding advantage given its industrial strength and miles of railroad track.