Musters


The First Defenders meet at 6:30 PM on the second Tuesday of each month from September through May. Meetings include dinner and a speaker who may be a guest or a member. Meetings are currently held at The Inn at Reading. A book raffle is held each month with all proceeds donated to battlefield preservation. Guests and new members are welcome. Space is limited in the restaurant, so please contact a board member or the First Defenders by email (see the Regimental Staff page).

MEMBERS ONLY! Sign up to attend the upcoming event!

** REMEMBER, these events are for members and their guests only. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Dave Sweigert, the Membership Chairman, on the Regimental Staff page.

Click hear to download a membership application!

 
  • September
    2017
  • October
    2017
Join us for our monthly meeting!
 
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Time: 6:30PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
 
Did McClellan Out-General Lee During the First Invasion?
 
Dennis Frye, Chief Historian at Harper's Ferry National Historic Site, will make his third appearance with the First Defenders, and will again take us inside that "other" northern invasion a full ten months before Gettysburg.  Previously we learned about the "September Suspense" of the days preceding the Battle of Antietam before the outcome was known, and also found the "Lost Orders" were not as critical in the campaign as many have thought.  In this program Dennis will pose the following:

"We often laugh when we think of George McClellan. We enjoy making McClellan the Union's whipping boy. McClellan, himself, brings little sympathy to his cause. Full of bravado, often arrogant, and sometimes insubordinate, McClellan is the general we like to dislike. We chuckle when he claimed, following the first invasion of the North, that it was the second time he had saved the North.
Yet when Robert E. Lee was asked after the war who was the best Union general he faced, he responded with George McClellan.
Was McClellan as incompetent and ineffective as history has branded him? Discover some answers as we ask: 'Did McClellan out-think Lee during the 1st Invasion?'"


Dennis Frye is the Chief Historian of the Harper's Ferry National Historic Site, and is a found and past president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, now the Civil War Trust.  He is also the founder and first president of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.  Dennis grew up along South Mountain, and began his career as a teenage volunteer at Antietam.  He writes and lectures extensively on the first Confederate invasion of the north, and resides in Ambrose Burnside's post-Antietam field headquarters near Sharpsburg, Maryland.
   
Click on the sign up button above if you plan on attending the upcoming event. We need to know who is coming to be able to accommodate everyone. Thanks!
Join us for our monthly meeting!
 
Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Time: 6:30PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
 
McNeil's Rangers
While not as well known as Mosby’s Rangers, John Hanson McNeill and his band of irregulars caused the Union military (and the Baltimore Railroad) no small amount of fits. And, while the more illustrious Mosby had one captured general to his credit, “Hanse” McNeill would capture two! This will be an excellent presentation on a subject long overdue for some improved public relations that you won’t want to miss! Steve will have several of his books available for purchase, too.

Steve French, a middle school history teacher in Martinsburg, West Virginia, is the author of several Civil War books including Imboden's Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, for which he received the 2008 Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award and the 2009 Civil War Round Table of Gettysburg Book Award. His most recent book is Rebel Chronicles: Raiders, Scouts, and Train Robbers of the Potomac. French has written over 70 Civil War articles and numerous book reviews that have appeared in such publications as The Washington Times, Gettysburg Magazine and North & South Magazine.
 
Click on the sign up button above if you plan on attending the upcoming event. We need to know who is coming to be able to accommodate everyone. Thanks!