News - updated 7/12/17

We encourage our members who may have a particular passion within the Civil War to present a topic to the group. 

The August 9, 2017 meeting of the Civil War Roundtable of the Merrimack will feature William Hallett, one of our own.

Bill's topic is "The Battle of Monocacy: Losing a Battle But Saving a Capital."

By the June of 1864, the war was dragging through yet another summer. Robert E. Lee was bogged down against Grant in Petersburg and yet Lee devised another venture into the North, although not led by him.

Lee would send Jubal Early (left) up into the Shenandoah and hopefully down towards Washington to either threaten or capture the capital city of the Union. It could also prove to northerners that Lincoln was nowhere near an end to the war and that that fall they might elect someone else.

Enter Lew Wallace. Gen. Wallace would do his best to thwart Early's plan but against odds nearly 7:1. Wallace (right) was already on thin ice with Grant and this was nothing short of a test of his generalship.

John Garrett, president of the B&O Railroad would play a key role in this chapter of the war as well, as the events seemed dire.

With a railroad bridge, a wooden covered bridge, a stone bridge, civilians, slaves, towns being ransomed, veteran and green soldiers, and more, the story of this little known Battle of Monocacy has many interesting elements.

William Hallett is a member of this roundtable but he's also a past president and member of the Civil War Roundtable of New Hampshire.

Bill has spoken to various RTs and historical groups from Maine to Vermont, Leominster to Ipswich, and of course here with our group.

In 2012, Bill's book Newburyport and the Civil War was published by History Press. 

He and his wife Liz from 2010-2015 led "Footsteps of Heroes: Civil War Walking Tour of Newburyport," at various times.

He's a reenactor and living historian and Monocacy is one of his favorite topics!

A side note: Bill will also be talking at the Groveland Public Library on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 7pm with his topic on "Presidents Who Served in the Civil War."