who will speak on


Tuesday, September 12, 2017
at Ft. McNair Officers' Club, Washington, DC
(see directions here) or (download them in pdf here)

If you find it difficult to get to (or from) Ft. McNair Officers' Club, please don't let that keep you from attending. This year we are trying to see if we can make arrangements for those who need transportation to or from our dinners because of the location.  Please email us at for more information about the arrangements we can make for you.

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, Wednesday, September 6th 

If you have any problems making reservations online or would like to know about alternatives to making reservations or payments online, please email  <>

About the Topic:  Emmanuel Dabney will discuss the June 1864-April 1865 Petersburg Campaign. In addition to an overview of battles, Mr. Emmanuel will look at the troop’s relationship with the earthwork system, the varied use of artillery and sharpshooting techniques, and the effects of disease and morale on the outcome. W. H. McLaurin William H. McLaurin of the 18th North Carolina Infantry wrote years after the war:  
“The story of Petersburg will never be written; volumes would be required to contain it, and even those who went through the trying ordeal, can not recall a satisfactory outline of the weird and graphic occurrences of that stormy period.”

Yet, soldiers (including McLaurin) through letters, diaries, or memoirs attempted to make sense of the 292 days in and around the trenches outside Petersburg and Richmond.

About the Author:  Emmanuel Dabney has been employed by the National Park Service at Petersburg National Battlefield since 2001. After completing high school in Dinwiddie County, Emmanuel graduated magna cum laude with an Associates of Arts from Richard Bland College, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia and completed a Master’s degree in Public History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Mr. Dabney is particularly interested in nineteenth-century American history, including the Civil War, slavery and emancipation, free blacks, and slaveholders.  He has stated, however, that he is not limited to that specific time frame or region.
Mr. Dabney has given many programs on the issues facing African-Americans in antebellum, wartime, and immediate post-war America as well as how to represent these experiences within professional museum settings. Emmanuel has delivered programs to the Civil War Trust, the Virginia Association of Museums, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, various roundtables, and other organizations.
As an avid genealogist and historian, Mr. Dabney discovered his great-great-great grandfather was a wealthy Virginia slave owner and his great-great-great grandmother was a mixed-race free Black woman. Among those in his family tree are two members of Virginia’s Secession Convention, numerous Confederate soldiers and officers, and his great-great grandfather, Henry Dabney, who was involved in digging earthworks around Petersburg in 1864 and 1865.
Kevin Levin has noted that dramatic changes have taken place in the way we remember and commemorate the battle of the Crater.  He explains that Mr. Dabney is a big part of the story that he now tells about the Crater.  For more information, visit Mr. Levin’s website at

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 established 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 as well as the execution site for the Lincoln conspirators). It caters 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, Noah Andre Trudeau, Fergus Bordewich, Buzz Carnahan, Bud Robertson, Edna Greene Medford, Greg Mertz, Chandra Manning, Frank O'Reilly, Tom Perry, Gary Adelman and Gail Stephens, to name only a few.

All are welcome to attend the dinners and the speaker presentations, including members and non-members (and whether Civil War history buffs or newly interested in studying this conflict).  Reservations are required for dinner and a fee is charged. Or feel free to come only to listen to the speakers' presentations. For more information about our meetings and for directions, click on the "MEETINGS / TOURS" tab above. 

The Round Table also sponsors visits to battlefield sites, tours of museums, 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, events, tours, history, and membership. Or contact us at with any questions.

Schedule of Meeting Speakers 2017-2018
(Also see our calendar of events by clicking HERE or visit

DATE              SPEAKER              TENTATIVE TOPIC

Sept. 12, 2017     Emmanuel Dabney   Petersburg Campaign
Oct. 10, 2017      James Conroy           Hampton Rd Peace Conf.
Nov. 14, 2017      Marc Thompson        Custer 
Dec. 12, 2017      Ed Bearss                  Grierson's Raid
Jan. 9, 2018        Robert O'Harrow        Montgomery Meigs
Feb. 13, 2018      Sidney Blumenthal    Lincoln
Mar. 13, 2018      Jonathan Horn           Lee's Decision
Apr. 10, 2018      Gregg Clemmer         General Ed Johnson
May 8, 2018        Gary Casteel              Life of a CW Sculptor
June 12, 2018    Candice Shy Hooper  Union Generals' Wives

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