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


"If This Valley is Lost...", Phil Greenwalt

Jan 4 2022 - 7:00pm

In the spring of 1862, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson spearheaded the Shenandoah Valley Campaign charged with defending western Virginia from an invasion by Union troops. At that time, he wrote to a staff member, “If this Valley is lost, Virginia is lost.” Fortunately for him, he was victorious. Two years later, the same Shenandoah Valley is again the target for the Northern war effort, and the outcome is once again crucial for the salvation of the Confederacy. This will be the topic of the Tuesday, January 4th meeting of the Brunswick Civil War Round Table when guest speaker Phillip S. Greenwalt will discuss his topic entitled, “If this Valley is Lost….” 

By the autumn of 1864, the Shenandoah Valley, the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy” was again a target for the North. It was one of the most strategic areas of Virginia. It was an agriculturally rich area with millions of bushels of wheat produced, and plenty of livestock, which were used to provide Virginia’s armies and the Confederate capital of Richmond. Standing in their way was a Confederate force commanded by Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early. Within his ranks stood the proud remnants of commands that had served under the late “Stonewall” Jackson who two years prior on May 2, 1863 was accidentally shot and killed during the Battle of Chancellorsville by one of his own Confederate soldiers. Much like the spring campaign of 1862, the chances to stave off disaster for the Confederacy, and possibly the fortunes of their cause, were still the stakes facing the Confederates as the Federals prepared another invasion of the Valley of Virginia; i.e., the Shenandoah Valley.  This campaign, which would become a microcosm of the overall war by 1864, tested the prediction written by the late “Stonewall” Jackson in 1862: “If this Valley is Lost…”.  

Phillip Greenwalt is the co-founder of Emerging Revolutionary War and a fulltime historian with Emerging Civil War. He is the author or co-author of five books on the American Revolutionary and American Civil War. Phil graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheeling Jesuit University, and holds a graduate degree in American history from George Mason University. A fourteen-year veteran of the National Park Service, he is currently the Chief of Interpretation and Education at Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont, Maryland.

"To Prepare for Sherman's Coming" 1865 Operations on the North Carolina Coast," Wade Sokolosky

Feb 1 2022 - 7:00pm

This presentation will focus on the coastal operations here in NC that were conducted in preparation for Sherman's arrival. My presentation will cover the Wilmington area, as well as Morehead City and New Bern, so we'll learn about the campaign with a little coastal flare

“…the Duty of the Prisoner to Escape…: POWs’ Escape Attempts, Plots, and Ideological Flight”, Dr. Angela Zombek

Apr 5 2022 - 7:00pm

General Order No. 100 (the Lieber Code, 1863) did not consider POW escape attempts to be a crime, but prisoners’ thoughts of escape more often led to psychological comfort than actual freedom from military prisons. This lecture will cover POW escapes in all forms: contemplated, attempted, pulled off, and punished. 

Bio: Angie Zombek (PhD University of Florida) is an historian of the Civil War Era and teaches at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is the author of Penitentiaries, Punishment, and Military Prisons: Familiar Responses to an Extraordinary Crisis during the America Civil War (Kent State University Press). Her current book project, Stronghold of the Union: Key West Under Martial Law, is under contract with The University Press of Florida.

Dr. Zombek’s published articles include: “The Power of the Press: Defining Disloyalty at Old Capitol Prison,” “Catholics in Captivity: Priests, Prisoners, and the Living Faith in Civil War Military Prisons,” and “Citizenship – Compulsory or Convenient: Federal Officials, Confederate Prisoners, and the Oath of Allegiance.” She serves as managing editor of Kent State University Press’s book series “Interpreting the Civil War: Texts and Contexts.”

"R. E. Lee’s Quest for a Decisive Victory,” Joanna McDonald

May 3 2022 - 7:00pm

Critiquing one of his most strategically unsound campaigns: Maryland


Bio: Joanna McDonald is a historian, writer, and public speaker. She earned a Ph.D. in History with a focus in strategic studies and strategic leadership from Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Zombek has worked.as  military historian for the History Channel’s acclaimed documentaries, Vietnam in HD and World War II in HD; civilian Marine Education Director with the U.S. Marine Corps; test procedure manager for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems—Predator program; civilian Army Archivist at the Military History Institute, Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle, PA; and, Research Historian for the State of Pennsylvania, where she shared the history of the 390 PA Civil War flags. An author of eleven books on the Civil War and WWII, as well as numerous journal and newsletter articles regarding U.S. Marine Corps history, JoAnna’s next book is R. E. Lee’s Grand Strategy & Strategic Leadership: Caught in a Paradoxical Paradigm.