20/10/2020 - AGM 2020 – Details of Lectures

1st Lecture: The Battle of Big Bethel

Speaker: Erick Bush


Erick Bush is a military historian with a specialization in the Civil War in Alabama and Virginia. His areas of focus in Virginia include the Battle of Big Bethel, the role of intelligence and artillery in the Peninsula Campaign, and the early development of ironclads. His particular areas of specialty in Alabama include the ironclads built in Selma, Alabama's series of ironworks, and Wilson’s Raid in 1865. He has previously lectured to Civil War Round Table groups, history groups, and military professional development activities in England, Ohio, Alabama, Texas, Virginia, and New York. Additionally, he has developed and led military staff rides and history tours focused on the Battle of Big Bethel, Civil War Intelligence, the French & Indian War in Central New York, and the Siege of Fort Stanwix/Battle of Oriskany.


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2nd Lecture: Ulysses S Grant – The Formative Years

Speaker: Neil Morley


Neil Morley has been a member of the Round Table for a number of years. His interest in the ACW was kindled many years ago when he watched the PBS programme by Ken and Ric Burns ‘The American Civil War’. There are many pivotal moments in the Civil War, but also many innovations and tactics which influenced and shaped future conflicts, that keep his interest alive. He has always tended to side with the Federals, while understanding the partisan and territorial nature of the conflict which became inevitable. In 2019 Neil was elected to the Committee in the role of Webmaster and has taken on the challenge of having our website updated.


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The Battle of Big Bethel, 10 June 1861


The first planned land battle of the Civil War was fought at the Battle of Big Bethel on June 10, 1861, over five weeks before the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run). This lecture explores the key aspects of Big Bethel to include leadership, intelligence, infantry, artillery, fortifications, and planning, which set the foundation for future operations in the Peninsula Campaign in 1862.


















Ulysses S Grant – The Formative Years


What makes the adult. What are the childhood and parental influences which shape the mature person? How important is nurture, parental and family influence?


This talk will look at Ulysses S Grant from his birth to the point of his entry into the Civil War. Where he was born and raised. What was his education and strong influences. Why did he go to West Point and into the Army? Who he met of importance at West Point and in the Army? Where he was based in his time in the army. Who he married? What he did in the Mexican War? Why he resigned? How did he occupy himself between the resignation and re-joining the army at the start of the War?


In answering these questions and more, Neil Morley will seek to demonstrate how Grant became the great man he turned out to be. Thoughtful, slow to anger, willing to listen and, very importantly to him, a faithful husband and patient father.