THE RECALL JOURNAL....A Publication of The Civil War Round Table of Greater Boston, since 1957, striving to serve its readers with the latest and best information about its members and their meetings, about upcoming Civil War and other Historical, Reenactor, and Veteran organization events, along with Civil War facts and dates to remember, as well as being a clarion call to ALL who want to protect the Historical Integrity of this great Nation, that once nearly became permanently divided.

The Civil War Round Table of Greater Boston, since its beginnings in 1957, has been a leader in Local and National Preservation Efforts, in Local Veterans and Reenactor Efforts, and in the Educational Outreach to our Schoolchildren, by going out into the School Systems and by bringing these youngsters into our organization as equal members. According to the late Jerry Russell of The Civil War Round Table Associates, Greater Boston is the 13th OLDEST CWRT on the Planet Earth!!!!!

The Civil War Round Table of Greater Boston is open to ANYONE, wherever they live, of ANY age, sex, color, gender, or Historical persuasion on this great and tragic event. We welcome ALL who have ANY interest in History, not necessarily Civil War, who would like to join us at our meetings of oral and written Presentations, Four Days In May Battlefield Tours, Seminars, or Veteran and Reenactor Events.

February 2018 ............................................Volume MMVXI..........No. 59

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS.........................................................................

CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE of GREATER BOSTON meets every FOURTH (4th) Friday of each month at 7:15 p.m. (PLEASE NOTE the new starting time)This is true except for November and December, which due to National Holidays are now held as a Joint Xmas Party meeting with the Northshore/Lynn Chapter in early December. All meetings are now generally held at The Waltham Community Room (downstairs )at The Waltham Clarke Government Center Building 119 School St./corner Lexington St. (enter from the rear where there is parking). In case of inclement weather, please check local Radio Stations for late news President: David L. Smith 3 Waverley Oaks Rd. #202 Waltham, Ma. 02452-6274 Tel: (781) 647-3332 or Email:

CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE of CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS (CWRT, INC.) meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at the Holden Senior Center on Main St. in Holden, Ma. at 7:00 p.m. along with some meetings at off site locations in Worcester. President: Bob Carlson, email:

CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE of CAPE COD meets each month on the Third (3rd) Mondayof the month at 1:00 p.m. at The Yarmouth Senior Citizen Center at 528 Forest Drive Yarmouth off Exit 8 on Rte. 6 with more informal meetings duuing the summertimes. President: Fred Wexler at or John Myers Programming at Telephone..(508) 896-6421

THE GREATER NEW BEDFORD CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE meets on the fourth Tuesday of each monthat the Fort Taber Military Museum meets on Fourth Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. 1000 S. Rodney French Blvd. New Bedford .....Joe Langlois, President at

THE GENERAL LANDER CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE meets on the second (2nd) Friday of each month at The Lynn G.A.R. Hall on 58 Andrews St. in Lynn, Ma. at 7:30 p.m. with occasional offsite meetings and Special Events in the Northshore President: Dexter Bishop 387 Old Boston Rd. Topsfield, Ma. 01983 Tel: (978) 887 - 2264 EMAIL: or or their Website (currently under revision)

CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE of NORTH WORCESTER COUNTY/LEOMINSTER meets on the second (2nd) Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Leominster Historical Society 50 School St. Leominster, Ma. 01453 also invites ALL to visit us Information Contact:President, Tim Shea at or 508-963-0559. For information please contact Tom Bailey at

THE OLDE COLONY CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE meets on the Third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at The Endicott Estate at 656 East St. in Dedham with Mini Bit speakers as well as a regular presentation....go to or President Joe Dipoli at


Minutes of CWRT of Greater Boston Meeting of Friday ,February 23, 2018

CWRTGB President David Smith opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Dave mentioned that we are now in our 61st year as an organization.  Our origins were 5 older people who got together to discuss history. Over the years, we have met in different locations including Natick, Boston, Medford, Arlington and now Waltham.  Other Civil War Roundtables have been started over the years by former members.

Dave reported that the Oliver Wendell Holmes dinner last October was very successful and asked those present and others to suggest a candidate and location for next year’s dinner.  It should be someone who had made a major impact in preservation of civil war sites or education of civil war history.

Dave mentioned about efforts around the country to remove civil war monuments.

Dave then introduced Al Smith who spoke about this year’s 5 days in May trip to explore Civil War naval history.  The itinerary for the trip has changed.  We will no longer be visiting Gettysburg on the way home.  Instead we will use that time to see more Civil War naval sites.  In addition , eliminating visiting Gettysburg on the way home will get us home about an hour earlier.

For details including the complete itinerary of the trip, see here.

Bob Hanlon then introduced Umass Lowell History Professor Michael Pierson who spoke to us about his new book (Lt. Spalding in Civil War Louisiana )

The source of Professor Pierson’s book is a letter that Union Lt. Stephen Spalding wrote to his friend James Peck in July 1862 from Algiers Louisiana.  At the time, Spalding was with the 8th Vermont. Spalding and Peck had met as classmates in the University of Vermont.  Spalding was 22 at time of the letter and his friend James Peck was a civilian.   It is surmised that the two wrote each other frequently, but this is the only letter that survived.

What makes this letter unique is that it is different than most that survive.  It is not filled with patriotism or loving sentiment found in letters that soldiers often wrote home to wives, sweethearts and family.  It instead gives a glimpse into Spalding’s real life and includes descriptions of drunken parties and suggests visits to brothels.  The writing in the letter is given to exaggeration and humor although sometimes the humor falls flat and may just be an attempt by Spalding to help cope with life at the time.

“I drink from 700 to 800 times a day to keep my spirits up.”  In describing a fourth of July celebration in New Orleans, Spalding wrote “We drank gin, whisky, brandy, rum, beer, gin coctails modesty prevents me from putting in the K., Eleven other different kinds of coctails, Cobblers of all kinds, julips, d[itt]o, smashes d[itt]o and night found us in the hospitable retreat of Miss Bianca Robbins, a lady of northern parentage, and friendly to the Union.”  The letter fails to mention that Miss Robins ran a brothel.

  “After a close investigation into the theory of Spiritual rappings, we started for Miss Burdells where during the day we had received a kind invitation to attend a grand masquerade ball.” ……………. “We have no difficulty enlisting men.  The sod is scarcely thrown over our soldiers before new recruits are strutting round with their equipments.”

In the letter Spalding seems to suggest not taking the war too seriously.  He makes fun of superior officers and patriotism.  He describes throwing a chair at a black boy who brought him a letter.  He describes an incident where he and a fellow soldier shot into bushes during a march to pretend that they were under attack.

Professor Pierson suggests that Spalding’s letter was not an aberration, but probably typical of letters sent to male friends.   Such letters did not survive, he suggests because they don’t reflect well on their authors.  Pierson also suggests that Spalding was not that unusual, but a young man of his times. 

For those interested in learning more or purchasing Professor Pierson’s book,





TAPS--It is with great sadness that we had the passing of long time member Paul Griffel. Paul was the father of Eric Griffel, one of our bright young members from the past.



This section will now show proper respect to the fallem of Massachusetts with notices from The Governor's Office for the lowering of the Flags to Half Staff.....

Please be advised that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has ordered that the United States flag and the Commonwealth flag be lowered to half-staff at all state buildings effective immediately, today February 22, 2018, until the day of interment, in honor of Massachusetts State Representative Peter Kocot (1st Hampshire District of Northampton, MA), who passed away on February 22, 2018. Additional details surrounding the date of interment will be provided once received by the Governor’s Office.

Our Nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on February 14, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, February 19, 2018. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second. DONALD J. TRUMP


Flags to be retired can be from government entities, businesses, or residences.

Flags can be dropped off at the Massport Fire Station on Harborside Drive at Logan Airport or at the security desk in the Logan Office Center, also on Harborside Drive.

Flags can also be mailed to the Security Office, One Harborside Drive, Suite 200 S, Boston, MA 02128.

Dues for Individuals and for Family Memberships are $25.00. Pay early...Pay Often.... Pay Now... Avoid The Rush...Then Pay More...Pay Until It Hurts...Then Pay Some More...Pay Now...Pay Later...Just Pay...Remeber Folks, this is how we pay for this Organization to run, and pay for the expenses of THE RECALL. None of these funds go to pay any Officer Salaries or Perks (unfortunately). Remember, if you do NOT pay by December 31st of any year, your name will be dropped from the mailing List of THE RECALL, so get that Check in the mail. REMEMBER...our year begins on September 1, 2015 of and ends on August 31, 2016......ALSO REMEMBER that this is how we not only pay for the expense of THE RECALL, but our Administrative expense of running this CWRT and donations to Preservation. There are NO expenses for Officers Pay or Perks!!!! So pay Early, and Pay often!!! Remember, you MUST pay by December 31st of any year to stay on THE RECALL mailing list........Starting this year, each mailing label will show Sept. 15-16 which means that you are in fact paid for this current year. If you seee any other date on the label, it means that according to our records, you have not paid Greater Boston or your own Chapter Treasurer, or our records are incorrect. Other than these, are "F" for Family and 'L' and "SPEC' labels for those Lifers and Special individuals or groups as separate folks who receive THE RECALL Also please do NOT forget to let us know as early as posible about address changes...By the way, folks,...if you would like to add a few bucks or so, when you pay your dues, and dedicate those EXTRA DOLLARS to PRESERVATION,...just let us know that when you send the check.....PLEASE make any additional donations with your dues as a separate check to eliminate Deposit problems. And Thanxxxx in advance. As of today, many folks have already re-upped for the 2015-2016 season and some have added a few extra bucks for Preservation. Now, I can also ask for some of 'few extra bucks' to cover the cost of all of these Flags in Display Cases that I will be giving to the families.......THANXXXXX!!!!
ALL checks for Dues or Local Preservation should be mailed to our Treasurer..... AL SMITH 11 POPLAR ST> BELMONT, MA> 02478.

G IVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED CIVIL WAR MASSES!!!! YEARNING TO HAVE FUN THE CIVIL WAR WAY!!!! JOIN US WHEREVER YOU ARE!!!! ATTEND WHEN YOU CAN BECAUSE YOU LOVE HISTORY!!!********************************************************************************************************************************THIS MONTH IN CIVIL WAR HISTORY.......Important dates to remember.....Important People and Battles.....

On February 1, 1861, Texas Secedes.....On February 1, 1865, Sherman begins Carolina Campaign........On Feb. 2, 1803, Gen. Albert S. Johnston, CS, born...... On Feb. 3, 1807,Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, CS, born.....On Feb. 6, 1832 , Gen.  John Brown Gorden, CS, born.....On Feb. 6, 1833, Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, CS, born.....On Feb. 8, 1820, Gen. William T. Sherman, US, born.....On Feb. 8, 1862, Battle of Roanoke Island.....On Feb. 9, 1861, Jefferson Davis elected President of the Confederacy......OnFeb. 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln born......On Feb. 13, 1862, Battle of Fort Donelson......On Feb. 14, 1824, Gen. Winfield S. Hancock, US, born

ON ANY DAY, remember our Flag, our Veterans, and our POWs!!! ..LET US NEVER FORGET!!!!!

God Bless The Republic. God Bless our service men and women. May all of our honored dead rest in peace.American War. (Editor's Note...As it says at the end of This Month etc.....Let us NEVER FORGET!!