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Capitol Hill Civil War Round Table

Keeping Civil War History Alive in Our Nation's Capital

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To Members of The Capitol Hill Civil War Round Table from President

Sam Ankerbrandt

Since 1991, the CHCWRT, through its organization and the list of outstanding speakers who have addressed our meetings during those years, has successfully provided its membership unique insights into the American Civil War. However, there are issues that are making it very difficult if not impossible to continue fulfilling our Mission.

First, the Press Club which has been our home for over five years is making it very difficult for us to remain here.  The Press Club has been imposing a spending requirement on the amount of food and drinks consumed during our meetings.  Second, the Press Club has limited the parking passes that it will distribute to us.  Third, it has refused us the right to use the wall monitor which degrades the quality of the presentations that our outstanding speakers bring to us. The board has striven to find another “home” that would meet the general requirements of a convenient location for all, availability of food and drink, a layout suitable for a speaker's presentation, and access to parking.  To date, we have been unsuccessful in identifying a suitable location.

Second, attendance at our meetings has been irregular. This means big crowds for Ed Bearrs and smaller, sometimes much smaller attendance for others. It is hard to plan a schedule around these two extremes.

Third, “spotty” attendance also means unpredictable funds for our program.  The unpredictability of funds is NOT one of the issues that an organization wants to have.

Fourth, there is pending loss of key management. Mike Gottert, who puts together one of the finest and most readable monthly newsletters that I have read, is retiring shortly and would like to eliminate his fifty plus mile commute to and from DC. Victoria Kennedy and Rande Young, have been with the Roundtable from the start and have decided that they too need a change.  And I have some other projects and family that I want to spend more time with.

To continue the life of the CHCWRT, a new meeting venue will have to be found.  Alternative meeting sites were discussed at our last meeting.  It was surprising that there was not total unanimity for continuing to meet in DC.  A couple of NVA sites were mentioned such as a branch of the Arlington County Library and Fort Ward. Subsequently, three DC sites were identified: Guapo’s Restaurant in Tenleytown; Capitol Hill Skyline Inn, South Capitol St (the meeting place of the Oldest inhabitants in DC); and the Odd Fellows meting house, The American Temple,” 400 block of 7th St., NW.

Resources that can be turned over to a new management include: a projector that we previously used for speakers' presentations, a screen, an Up-to-Date Email List; and a tidy bank account. These resources can be turned over to a new management team at any time.

Last but not least, any new team must consist of a new President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.  These personnel are critical and additional persons may also serve on the board.

Victoria Kennedy, Mike Gottert, and I are willing to help get things organized.

Until such time that a new management team is in place, there will be no further meetings of the CHCWRT.