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


"The Fort Caswell You've Never Seen," Jim McKee

Dec 7 2021 - 7:00pm

The Tuesday, December 7th meeting of the Brunswick Civil War Round Table will feature popular local historian and site manager at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site, Jim McKee. His topic: “The Fort Caswell You’ve Never Seen.” The meeting will be held at Hatch Auditorium on Caswell Beach on the grounds of the North Carolina Baptist Assembly, and the site of Fort Caswell.  Registration begins at 6:15PM. The program starts at 7:00PM. Everyone is welcome. The visitor fee is $10, which can include a spouse, and could be applied toward the $25 annual membership dues.

 Baptist Assembly visitors and Civil War Round Table meeting attendees pass historic Fort Caswell enroute to Hatch Auditorium. The fort today is very different from Fort Caswell of the 19th Century. McKee’s unique presentation will show it as it was during and immediately after the Civil War through rare photographs and archival drawings, visuals that are not part of infrequent site tours of the ruins.

 The fort was named after former governor Richard Caswell. It was built of stone and earthworks, and completed in 1836 at a cost of $473,402. Located on the eastern tip of Oak Island, it juts into the confluence of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean in support of the fort’s association with blockade runners during the Civil War in defense of the port of Wilmington, the state’s largest city.

 When North Carolina seceded from the Union, the Confederate Army made it, along with nearby Fort Fisher, one of the most elaborate defensive systems in the world. However, after a massive Union assault captured Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865, orders came to spike Fort Caswell’s guns, burn the barracks, and explode the magazines. Two days later, the magazines were ignited, exploding approximately 100,000 pounds of powder with a blast that could be heard 100 miles away in Fayetteville. The eventual loss of Wilmington, the Confederacy’s last port, was a major factor in General Robert E. Lee’s decision to surrender at Appomattox.

 Our guest speaker formerly worked for the National Park Service and the NC Maritime Museum in Southport. He is a popular, sought-after speaker, author, and contributor of articles on Archaeology, Artillery, the Civil War, and Colonial subjects. He is also nationally certified in 18th and 19th century artillery.




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

Jan 4 2022 - 7:00pm

By the autumn of 1864, the Shenandoah Valley, the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy” was again a target for the Northern war effort. 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 General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson two years prior. Much like the spring campaign of 1862, the chance to stave off disaster for the Confederacy and possibly reverse the fortunes of their cause were still the stakes facing the Confederates as the Federals prepared another invasion of the Valley of Virginia. This campaign, which would become a microcosm of the overall war by 1864, tested the prediction written by the late General Thomas Jackson in 1862; “If this Valley is Lost…”

 Bio: Phillip S. Greenwalt is the co-founder of Emerging Revolutionary War and a full-time historian with               Emerging Civil War. He is the author or co-author of five books on the American Revolution and American Civil War.  Phill 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 14-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.