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February 21,2018

The Capitol Hill Civil War Round Table announced my March 5 talk as follows:

NEXT MEETING: March 5, 2018

Gene Schmiel shares his interpretation of “The Crisis in the Union Command Structure during the Maryland Campaign.”

Gene Schmiel will discuss George McClellan’s decisions regarding the responsibilities of his subordinates after the Battle of South Mountain through the Battle of Antietam three days later. Those decisions harmed the unity of command and introduced jealousies and bitterness, especially between Ambrose Burnside and Fitz John Porter, which may have made the difference between victory and stalemate. Jacob Cox, who commanded the Union left flank at Antietam, wrote about this issue in his memoirs, and it has been a matter of intense debate ever since.

Gene is a student of the Civil War whose book, Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era, was published in 2014 by Ohio University Press. The book, a History Book Club selection, was labeled “best biography of the year” by the Civil War Books and Authors website. Gene holds a PhD from The Ohio State University and was an assistant professor of History at St. Francis University (PA) before becoming  a foreign service officer with the Department of State. He resides in Gainesville, Virginia with his wife Bonnie Kathryn. Together they wrote a book, Welcome Home: Who Are You; Tales of a Foreign Service Family. Gene is currently working on a “counterfactual” book about the Battle of Antietam and how an overwhelming Union victory there ironically resulted in the preservation of slavery. You can find out more about Gene at his website.

The CHCWRT meets at prestigious and historic National Press Club, which is located at 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20045, on the 13th floor. We will be meeting in the newly renovated John Cosgrove Members’ Lounge (formerly known as the Game Room) . Dinner begins at 5:30 and can be paid for by cash or check.  Please note that dinner orders will no longer be taken after 6:30. The presentation begins at 7:00 and is free of charge.

FREE parking is available at the PMI garage located on the North side of G Street between 14th and 13th 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.





January 25, 2018:  Here an example of the Power Point talks I give:
Jacob Cox PDF


January 20, 2018:  The Essential Civil War Curriculum, a web-site created by and for experts in the field of the Civil War, published my essay on Jacob D. Cox.  Here is the link:

This web-site has over 300 essays on topics ranging from biographies of generals to Civil War medicine to slavery to the Emancipation Proclamation.  It is a superb source for anyone interested in fundamental information about the war as compiled by dozens of experts and carefully refereed by scholars.


I was pleased to see that over 1000 people signed up in the contest to get a copy of my book: Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era. The winner was one Ryan Gleason, but thank you all for participating.

For those who did not win, the book is available for purchase at or the Ohio University press web-site: