Programs & Events


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, and we visit many historical sites on our annual field trips. Guests and new members are welcome. Space is limited in the restaurant, so please contact a board member or any general member, or click the button below to sign up to attend a meeting.

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 Officer, on the Contact page.

Click here to download Membership form

 
  • September
    2015
  • October
    2015
  • November
    2014
  • December
    2014
  • January
    2015
  • February
    2015
  • March
    2015
  • April
    2015
  • May
    2015
  • TRIPS Philadelphia Summary
     
  • COMING EVENTS
     
  • August
    2014
Join us for our monthly meeting!
 

Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Author & Historian: Dr. Craig L.Symonds 

Topic: "Lincoln & His Admirals"

 Dr. Craig L. Symonds is Professor of History Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy. The first person to win both the Naval Academy’s “Excellence in Teaching” award (1988) and its “Excellence in Research” award (1998), he also served as History Department chair from 1988 to 1992, and received the Department of the Navy’s Superior Civilian Service medal three times.  He was Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island (1971-74) and at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, England (1994-95).  After retirement in 2005, he returned to the Naval Academy for one year in 2011-12 to serve as “The Class of 1957 Distinguished Professor of American Naval History.”  Symonds was awarded the Dudley Knox Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Naval Historical Foundation in 2014.
     Symonds is the author or editor of twenty-eight books, including prize-winning biographies of Civil War figures Joseph E. Johnston (1992), Patrick Cleburne (1997), and Franklin Buchanan (1999), as well as The American Heritage History of the Battle of Gettysburg (2001).  Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History, (2005) won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize for Naval History.  His 2008 book, Lincoln and His Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy, and the Civil War, won the Barondess Prize, the Laney Prize, the Lyman Prize, the Lincoln Prize, and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award.  He also won the Nevins-Freeman Prize in 2009.  His book on the Battle of Midway was published in 2011. His newest book is NEPTUNE: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings, released in May 2014.
     He and his wife Marylou live in Annapolis, Maryland; they have one son and two grandchildren.



                                                                                                                                                                   
PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT YOUR SPEAKER!!!

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 13, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Historian & Author: Richard Hershberger

Topic: :  "The State of Baseball during the Civil War"

I am a paralegal in Maryland.  I channel my frustrated academic tendencies into researching and writing about early baseball.  I have published in Base Ball:  A Journal of the Early Game and in the SABR publications National Pastime and Baseball Research Journal, and have contributed to various specialty SABR publications bearing on 19th century baseball.  I blog at http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/, sometimes on early baseball.


 

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT YOUR SPEAKER!!!

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, November 11, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Historian & Author: Phillip Greenwalt:

Topic: Sticking with the Colors: Short summary:

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT YOUR SPEAKER!!!

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, December 9, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Historian: Brian Jordan:

Topic: Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War, which is a history of the reintegration of Union soldiers after the Civil War. 



 PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT YOUR SPEAKER!!!

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, January 13, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610
Topic: April 2, 1865: Day of Decision at Petersburg:




PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT YOUR SPEAKER!!!  

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, February 10, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Member & past President: Joe Schaeffer - 4th Program





 

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, March 10, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Members & Historians: Mike Gabriel & Ron Rhein - 10th Program

Topic: Wilson's Creek


    
 PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT YOUR SPEAKER!!!!

 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!

SPECIAL DATE: Monday 20 April 2015

Time: 6:30PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Historian, Author, Guide: The One and Only: Edwin C. Bearss-This is Ed's 6th Program.



Topic: Appomattox
 
Edwin C. Bearss is America's premier battlefield historian and the historian emeritus of the National Park Service. Since retiring in 1995, Ed has led historical tours approximately 275 days per year. Ed is the author of 13 books, including Fields of Honor. He has also served as a consultant on numerous documentaries and films, including Ken Burns' The Civil War.  Ed now lives in Arlington, Virginia.

  He is the recipient of the Department of the Interior's Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given by the department.

  Mr. Bearss comes from a long line of Marines. His father was a Marine and a close relative of "Hike'em" Hiram Bearss who was a Marine General who won the Medal of Honor. Mr. Bearss served in the Pacific during WWII where he was severely wounded, hit 4 times while he was pinned down by a creek bed. He has three children. Two are former Marines and one is an historian.

Mr. Bearss has a new book. Petersburg Campaign. 
 
Member Emeritus: Mr. Edwin C. Bearss with friend Dean Schultz. Ed & Dean are editors of the Gettysburg Magazine
Ed Bearss 8 April 2014 talking about Cold Harbor. Ed was in rare form as usual, he was great.


 


 
Edwin C. Bearss: A FRIEND TO THE 1st DEFENDERS

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, May 12, 2015
Time: 6:30PM
Location: The Inn at Reading, 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

 Historian: Mark D. Grim Jr. of Biglerville, Pennsylvania, is a retired Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, with over 25 years of service and also a retired Pennsylvania attorney.  He is a graduate of Ursinus College, Widener University School of Law, U.S. Marine Corps Command & Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.  He is descended from a Civil War veteran, his Great Uncle, Corporal Andrew J. Grim, who served in Company C, 51st P.V.I., from September 1861-May 1864 when he was wounded (second time) at Spotsylvania Courthouse.  On June 6, 1864, he died as a result of those wounds.  



Topic: Brevet Major General John F. Hartranft, USV"- "Imprisonment, Trial and Execution of the Lincoln Conspirators"
"By the end of April 1865, following the assassination of President Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth was dead and eight of the nine remaining alleged conspirators were captured and imprisoned by Federal authorities.  Appointed by President Andrew Johnson as Special Provost Marshal, Governor of the Military Prison and Commander of Troops at the Washington Arsenal (Ft. McNair today), Washington, DC, Brevet Major General John F. Hartranft, USV, served as jailer of the eight conspirators imprisoned and tried there by military commission, and on July 7th, 1865, was responsible for the execution by hanging of four of the conspirators."

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT YOUR SPEAKER!!!!

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!



 

 

NEW YORK CITY & THE CIVIL WAR
First Defenders Bus Tour
June 13, 2015

 
Barnet Schecter (Barnet Schecter Historical Consulting LLC, New York City) will be our expert guide as we travel from the Upper West Side of Manhattan down to Brooklyn and visit areas associated w/ the Civil War. We’ll begin our journey to the Big Apple by leaving Heartland Settlement, 55 Commerce Drive, Wyomissing at 6:45 AM sharp. Our first stop, the first of 18 scheduled stops, will be Grant’s Tomb. The rest of the planned stops will be as follows – Franz Siegel equestrian statue; the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument; the Irish Hunger Memorial; Castle Clinton in Battery Park; South Street Seaport; Chinatown; the African Burial Ground; the Tweed Courthouse; the Horace Greeley statue; the former NY Times Building; Printing House Square; Brooklyn Bridge Park; the Monitor Monument and East River waterfront (where the ironclad was built and launched); Building 92 Museum at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; Vinegar Hill; Grand Army Plaza; and Greenwood Cemetery. Since many of these sites are close together, there will be a fair amount of walking on level sidewalks except at the cemetery where the area is grassy. In addition to Barnet’s discussion at each stop, each participant will receive an extensive packet w/ dozens of period images, portraits, maps, etc. that will allow us to experience the city “then and now”.
 
We will again provide a box lunch from our friends at the Grand Central Taproom (formerly The Village Butcher); the sandwich selections, etc. are included at the end of this flyer. We’ll eat our lunches somewhere in Lower Manhattan. After concluding our tour, on the way back to Wyomissing, we will stop at Flaming Grill & Supreme Buffet, Manville, NJ for dinner. We s/b back in Wyomissing by 9:30 PM.
 
The cost for this tour will be $124/person and includes the services of the expert guide, the packet, admission fees to the Building 92 Museum and Greenwood Cemetery, box lunch, buffet dinner, bottled water, and an air-conditioned deluxe bus from our friends at Elite Coach. This will be a great tour – we hope you’ll join us. Questions – contact Ron Emge (304.529.4888    ) or Don Stripling (610.750.3998).
 
BOXED LUNCH CHOICES (use the registration form to order):
SANDWICH: tuna salad, chicken salad, roast beef w/ cheese, turkey w/ cheese, ham w/ cheese (all sandwiches come w/ lettuce & tomato)
 
BREAD: croissant, wrap, white, wheat, rye
 
CHEESE (meat sandwich only): American, Swiss, provolone, cheddar
 
SIDES (select 2): macaroni salad, American potato salad, pasta salad, cole slaw, potato chips, applesauce, pepper cabbage, German potato salad
 
DRINK: water, iced tea, diet iced tea, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Mtn. Dew, root beer
 
Please return your registration form along w/ your check (payable to First Defenders CWRT) to Ron Emge or Don Stripling or mail same to Don at PO Box 130, Wernersville, PA 19565-0130
 
 
 
 
 
------------------ REGISTRATION FORM -----------------------
 
NAME: _________________________________________     PHONE: ____________________________
 
LUNCH CHOICES:
SANDWICH _____________________________________     BREAD ______________________________
 
CHEESE (if applicable) ____________________________      DRINK _______________________________
 
SIDES (2) ____________________________________________________________
 
 
 
NAME: _________________________________________    PHONE: ______________________________
 
LUNCH CHOICES:
SANDWICH _____________________________________     BREAD _______________________________
 
CHEESE (if applicable) ____________________________      DRINK _______________________________
 
SIDES (2) _____________________________________________________________
 
 
 



 


 

August 2014 events