Capitol Hill Civil War Round Table

Keeping Civil War History Alive in Our Nation's Capital

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 Join us on June 4, 2018, as the legendary Ed Bearss joins us to discuss Grierson's Raid and The Horse Soldiers

As Ulysses Grant planned his final attempt to capture Vicksburg, the Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, he needed a diversion to deflect attention to his risky crossing of the river below the city. He and William Tecumseh Sherman chose Grierson to lead a raid into the heart of Mississippi to destroy the key railhead at Newton Station that supplied John Pemberton’s army defending Vicksburg. Grierson led three regiments – his own and the 7th Illinois and 2nd Iowa comprising 1,700 troopers and a horse battery. In sixteen days (April 17-May 2, 1863), Grierson’s force marched 600 miles, disabled parts of two key railroads, captured and paroled around 600 Confederates, and destroyed many war supplies. Grierson lost only 3 killed, 7 wounded, and 16 captured during this epic raid. Despite being pursued on all fronts by thousands of Confederates, what makes this story truly amazing is that Grierson outwitted and outrode his pursuers to emerge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to the surprise of its occupying Federal garrison. Grierson’s ragged, weary force rode into the city, trailed by hundreds of fleeing slaves, to be greeted by the cheers of the residents and serenaded by music played by Union army bands. The Horse Soldiers staring John Wayne was released in 1959 and presented a fictionalized version of Grierson’s raid. How fictionalized? Come and find out.

Military historian Ed Bearss is often referred to as a living national treasure. Anyone who has followed him across a battlefield—and thousands have—would agree. With his encyclopedic knowledge, commanding narratives, and trademark silver-tipped swagger stick, he brings the triumphs and defeats of legendary generals and ordinary soldiers to vivid life.

Ed is a United States Marine Corps veteran of the Second World War and has served as Chief Historian of the National Park Service from 1981 to 1994. He is currently Chief Historian Emeritus. His books include, The Petersburg Campaign. Volume 1: The Eastern Front Battles, June - August 1864, Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War, and Receding Tide: Vicksburg and Gettysburg- The Campaigns That Changed the Civil War.


The presentation is free of charge for those ordering dinner. For those who do not order food there will be a $5 charge.


Join us at 5:30 pm in the John Cosgrove Members' Lounge (formerly the Game Room). The National Press Club menu will challenge your palette and the very capable Club staff will be able to meet any libation request. Please bring cash or checks for payment. Please note that no dinner orders will be taken after 6:30.


The CHCWRT meets in the newly renovated John Cosgrove Members' Lounge of the prestigious and historic National Press Club, which is located at 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20045, on the 13th floor.

The National Press Building is conveniently located approximately two blocks from Metro Center (Blue, Orange and Red Lines).

FREE parking is available at the PMI garage located on the North side of G Street between 13th and 14th Streets, if you arrive at the garage after 5:00 p.m. and purchase food and/or drinks at the National Press Club. Just bring your parking ticket to the meeting for validation.