Tuesday, May 10, 2016

at Ft. McNair Officers' Club, Washington, DC 

(see directions here) or (download them in pdf here)

6 pm: Social Hour (cash bar)
7 pm: Dinner ($36 for dinner and lecture)
8 pm: Lecture ($5 for lecture only)
Reservations required by 5:00 pm, Thursday, May 5th:  Email (preferred) to <mailto:treasurer@cwrtdc.orgor call (202) 306-4988.  For more information about making reservations, visit our Meetup Page by clicking HERE.


About the Topic:
Whether the Civil War was preventable is a debate that began shortly after Appomattox and continues today. But even earlier, in 1861, a group of Union-loyal Virginians—led by George Summers, John Brown Baldwin, John Janney and Jubal Early—felt war was avoidable. In the statewide election for delegates to the Secession Convention that same spring, the Unionists defeated the Southern Rights Democrats with a huge majority of the votes across the state. These heroic men unsuccessfully negotiated with Secretary of State William Henry Seward to prevent the national tragedy that would ensue.

Author and historian Lawrence M. Denton traces this remarkable story of Virginians working against all odds in a failed attempt to save a nation from war.  He will: (1) describe as a backdrop the period before and after election of Abraham Lincoln as Deep South moves toward secession; (2) discuss how President James Buchanan and President-elect Lincoln prepared approached their political duties (including explaining how Lincoln was inexperienced at a national political level, knew few key players and lacked information from Washington); (3) introduce William Henry Seward with an emphasis on his influence and power in Washington and his connections to national leadership; (4) explain Seward’s plan to divide the South by offering a compromise to upper South Unionists; and (5) speculate on possible outcomes if Seward had been elected President.

(Reprinted/edited from and

About Our Speaker: 
Lawrence M. Denton is a direct descendant of many Maryland families who have been in this country before the American Revolutionary War, including the Denton/Lusby families with sons who fought in the Army of Northern Virginia and in the 7th Maryland Infantry present at Appomattox. 

Mr. Denton, a graduate of Towson High School and Western Maryland College, received a Masters degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University, where his career would lead him to serve as a Dean of Admission at the school and oversee an effort to establish merit scholarships. In 1978, Mr. Denton accepted a Presidential appointment to serve as special assistant to the Associate Administrator of NOAA, where he helped collocate NOAA facilities on university campuses. He has also served as a senior consultant to major firms involved in environmental science and, from 1993-2004, represented the Weather Channel and was instrumental in the production of "Forecast Earth."

Mr. Denton is an authority on the secession crisis and the author of A Southern Star for Maryland: Maryland, published in 1995, and the Secession Crisis and William Henry Seward and the Secession Crisis: The Effort to Prevent Civil War, published in 2009.


For information about the Round Table and to apply for membership, see the Tab above marked "About Us/ Membership Information" or click HERE 


The Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia was founded in 1951 with authors Bruce Catton and Virgil Carrington "Pat" Jones among its founding members. Its purpose is to stimulate and expand interest in the military, political and sociological history of the United States and particularly the Civil War. It is also committed to preserving historical sites and landmarks through initiatives such as, among others, its annual Edwin C. Bearss Award. Among its achievements, the Round Table spawned the National Civil War Centennial Commission. 

The Round Table meets on the second Tuesday of the month from September to June at the Fort Lesley J. McNair Officers' Club in Washington, D.C. (formerly the Washington Arsenal and the execution site for the Lincoln conspirators). We have dinner followed by a presentation by a noted author or scholar on a topic related to the U.S. Civil War.  Recent speakers include: Ed Bearss, Frank Cooling, Fergus Bordewich, Buzz Carnahan, Bud Robertson, Edna Greene Medford, Greg Mertz, Chandra Manning, Frank O'Reilly, Gary Adelman and Gail Stephens, to name only a few.

We welcome members and non-members alike -- whether you are a Civil War history buff or have only recently begun studying this conflict -- to join us for dinner and the speaker presentation. Reservations are required for dinner and a fee is charged. Or you are welcome to skip dinner and only attend the speaker presentation. For more information about our meetings and for directions, click on the "MEETINGS AND SPEAKERS" tab above. 

The Round Table also sponsors visits to battlefield sites, an annual tour, and other events.  Recent tours have featured Vicksburg, Chancellorsville, the Lost Avenue, Appomattox, Chickamauga, the Valley Campaign, Antietam, Petersburg, Culp's Hill and Daniel Lady Farm, and many more.

Please click on one of the tabs in the menu bar above to learn about our group and for more information about our dinners, speakers, newsletters, events, tours, history, and membership. Or contact us at with any questions.

Schedule of Meeting Speakers 2015-2016

DATE              SPEAKER              TENTATIVE TOPIC
Sept. 8, 2015      Dan Paterson             James Longstreet
Oct. 13, 2015      Ed Bearss                   Civil War Generals
Nov. 10, 2015     Harry Bulkeley           Ulysses Grant
Dec. 8, 2015        David O. Stewart       Johnson's Impeachment
Jan. 12, 2016      Chris Godart              Ewell at Gettysburg
Feb. 9, 2016        Michael Ross             Memory of Reconstruction
Mar. 8, 2016        David G. Moore          William Rosecrans
Apr. 12, 2016     Tom Huntington         George Gordon Meade
May 10, 2016      Lawrence Denton      Unionists in VA
June 14, 2016    Gene Schmiel             Jacob Dolson Cox                                   

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