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The New York 150th Sesquicentennial Committee
This Dust was Once the Man

This dust was once the man,
Gentle, plain, just, and resolute under
Whose cautious hand,
Against the foulest crime in history known in any land or age,
Was saved the Union of these States.

--the Walt Whitman poem, written on Lincoln's assassination,  that CWFMNY member Carmen Delgado alluded to in her talk on October 21, 2009.

A recommended website for past & present Civil War photography from Bob Gagnon via Jim Santagata

Just click here or below

A few photos from our inaugural trip to Philadelphia
click here

Audio Podcasts

Third Annual
Wm. H. Seward Book Award Winner
Photo by Nathan Burkan
Midnight Rising:
John Brown
and The Raid that Sparked
the Civil War

Tony Horwitz

Click here to listen
Matthew Borowick
Civil War Economics

Recorded April 21, 2010, at the CWFMNY meeting
54 minutes
 Tom Fleming
The Murder of
Major General Nelson
Recorded March 24, 2010, at the CWFMNY meeting
54 minutes
The Joint Committee
on the Conduct of the War

A paper given to The Civil War Forum of Metro NY by Jim Santagata
 on Wednesday, January 20, 2010
 Logo of
 The Civil War Trust


Click here to see and/or download their excellent PowerPoint slideshow
(May take a minute or two)

See also the CWFMNY Facebook page

Dinner & talk
on the 3rd Monday of November

November 21, 2016
|5:30 pm: Cash bar  |  6:00 pm Dinner


Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery -- The Other

Thirteenth Amendment

Daniel W. Crofts
Professor of History

The College of New Jersey


 In early 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln offered to take a dramatic step in support of a last-ditch effort to prevent the secession of the Southern States.† Notwithstanding his deep loathing of slavery and his zeal to eliminate it in the United States, he indicated that he would agree to a Constitutional Amendment barring Congress from eliminating slavery in the slave states.† Come join us as Professor Daniel Crofts leads us through this extraordinary tale.




Draught 55
245 E. 55th St., at 2nd Ave.
Midtown East, NYC


Price for dinner and talk: $40 for members,
$50 for non-members (or members who don't RSVP to the contact person).

The contact person for September for confirming your attendance is Joan Masterson.
She can be contacted at  (212) 532-1566 or by email at .

   The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00PM with a cash bar at 5:30PM.




2016-17 Calendar
(note updates)










November 21


Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery:† The† Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union

Daniel Crofts



Professor of History

The College of New Jersey


December 12


The Invisibles Ė African American Slaves in the White House


The Civil War and Alaska

Carmen Delgado



Jean Grenning

Civil War Forum of Metropolitan NY


January 16

Hanging Mary Surratt

Susan Higgenbotham


February 13

The Maryland Campaign of September 1862

Thomas G. Clemons


March 20

The Lost Gettysburg Address Ė Charles Andersonís Civil War Odyssey

David T. Dixon


April 17


Slavery and the Underground Railroad in South Central Pennsylvania

Cooper Wingert





Student at Dickinson College

May 15

General Grant - The right man at the right time;† President Grant -- The right man at the wrong time


Paul Finkelman





Law Professor; Senior Fellow, Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionality Program, U. Penn.

June 19


Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum


Kristopher White



Author and Co-Founder The Emerging Civil War


July 17

William H. Seward Award







 William H. Seward Award
for Excellence in Civil War Biography


The Civil War Forum of Metropolitan New York is pleased to announce that Custer's Trials by T.J. Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf 2015) has won the William Henry Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography for 2016.  The Award was presented to Mr. Stiles at the July 18, 2016, meeting of the Civil War Forum.  For further information, please consult the Forum's website at  For a further description of Custerís Trials, please consult the authorís website at or the publisherís website at


Reading Custer's Trials brings George Armstrong Custer back to life.  Few indeed can match Custer's short but extraordinary life of dramatic ups and downs as portrayed in vivid color by T.J. Stiles:  from mediocre (to put it charitably) student to brilliant military star by age 24;  from battlefield hero whose physical courage inspired his troops time and again to high-handed thief; from doting husband to incorrigible Lothario.  The same man who always led his troops into battle dressed so conspicuously as to invite attention, who often plunged into the middle of the fight, also stole a thoroughbred horse from its owner after Lee's surrender at Appomattox, when he had no need for it whatsoever.  The same man whose tactical skill helped win battles, whose flank attack at Yellow Tavern not only routed the Confederates but took the live of their superb cavalry leader, J.E.B. Stuart -- was a catastrophic failure as a businessman.  That same man doted on his wife but cheated on her time and again, and regularly admitted to her that he had done so.  All this we learn from T.J. Stiles, who combines a lively pen with an unusual gift for fitting specific episodes about Custer into their overall context -- an especially useful analytic tool when dealing with military campaigns or overall wars. 


The William H. Seward Award was established by James W. Davis and is funded through his generosity.  It is awarded by the Civil War Forum's Seward Award Committee, comprising Mr. Davis, Nathan Burkan,  Nancy Newcomb, and Paul Windels III.  Past winners of the Seward Award are:


Joan Waugh, U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth

Gail Stephens, Shadow of Shiloh:  Major General Lew Wallace and the Civil War

Tony Horwitz, Midnight Rising, John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

Henry W. Brands, The Man Who Saved the Union in War and Peace:  Ulysses S. Grant

Walter Stahr, Seward, Lincoln's Indispensable Man

James M. Lull, Civil War General and Indian Fighter: James M. Williams

Robert L. O'Connell, Fierce Patriot, the Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman 

C.S. Gwynne, Rebel Yell, the Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


The Civil War Forum of Metropolitan New York is an education corporation chartered by the New York State Board of Regents.  It meets monthly in New York City for a discussion about topics relating to the Civil War Era.


Our congratulations to Mr. Stiles and our thanks to Mr. Davis for his generosity and to the Seward Award Committee for its diligence.  We are also pleased to note that the Pulitzer Prize Board has agreed with the excellent judgment of our Seward Award Committee and awarded Custer's Trials the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History.

History: January/February 2010: Atlantic
Saving hallowed ground from a Big Box invader
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

WalMart and the Civil War

Thanks to Conrad Eberstein and Bob Gagnon for suggesting this link


Walmart Drops Wilderness Plan

In an unexpected development on the day that a trial was scheduled to begin in the case, Walmart announced that it has abandoned plans to pursue a special use permit previously awarded to the retail giant for construction of a supercenter on the Wilderness Battlefield. 
Our organization's newsletter:

The  Fall 2015

click above

The MAY 19-22 2016 Battlefield Tour:
Lee's Retreat: Petersburg, and Appomattox

The remaining price for the air fare is $365, it is due now. The price for the tour, all inclusive, EXCEPT for the airfare is $750, due the first of March.

See great photos of the 2015 trip at the CWFMNY Facebook page

Audio Podcast

Richard Brookhiser

Photo: Nathan Burkan

Founders' Son
A Life of
 Abraham Lincoln

Click here to listen
57 minutes

September 21, 2015



Audio Podcast
Photo by Nathan Burkan
Last Battle
Chris Mackowski

Click here to listen
55 minutes
Recorded March 20, 2013

Henry Halleck:
 his Genius and his Dark Side
Photo: Nathan Burkan

Podcast of Jim Santagata's talk to the Forum on December 15, 2010
Click here to listen

Was the Civil War
Photo: Nathan Burkan

Jamie Malanowski
The New York Times

Podcast of Jamie Malanowski's
 talk to the Forum on March 16, 2011

Click here to listen
Click here
to go to David S. Reynolds' New York Times review of Eric Foner's The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

NY Times Story
on the CWFMNY /
Ely Parker talk

Click here

Nathan Burkan's Album of snapshots from recent meetings

Website by Bob Rowen


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