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The Chicago Civil War Round Table Monthly Meetings

411 EpisodesProduced by Marc KunisWebsite

The Civil War Round Table of Chicago present programming of interest to devotées of American Civil War history, support preservation of Civil War battle sites, and sponsor a very popular annual battlefield tour. Founded in 1940, The Civil War Round Table of Chicago was the very first of over 200 suc… read more

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CWRT June 2019 Meeting: Doug Dammann: Elmer Ellsworth and His Zouaves

Doug Dammann: Elmer Ellsworth and His Zouaves In the summer of 1860, young lawyer Elmer Ellsworth and a civilian militia company of 50 men from Chicago set out on a twenty-city tour. In those days, volunteer militia companies held drill competitions, and Ellsworth hoped that his unit's new "Zouave" training (based on semi-gymnastic maneuvers modelled after those of French Algerian soldiers) would dominate the competition. The tour was a success beyond their wildest dreams. When war started and their training was needed on the battlefield rather than on the parade ground, the men who had accompanied Ellsworth found themselves in positions of leadership within the Union Army.   Our June speaker, Doug Dammann, will explore Elmer Ellsworth's widespread influence on the northern army. Despite all of his drills and military training, Ellsworth's death, ironically, did not come in battle but rather early in the war, inside the Marshall House hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. Ellsworth succeeded in removing the Confederate flag raised by the building owner only to be shot and killed by the owner, James W. Jackson, as he descended the stairs from the building roof. Ellsworth's body would lie in state at the White House before being taken to his home state of New York for burial.   Abraham Lincoln would call his close friend (almost a second son) Ellsworth "the greatest little man I ever met." Ellsworth's memory lived on throughout the war as "Remember Ellsworth" became a rallying cry for supporters of the Union. His death would spur even more volunteers to don the flashy Zouave attire   Doug Dammann is the curator and site coordinator of the Kenosha Civil War Museum. A native of Lena, Illinois, and son of this Round Table's close friend Gordon Dammann, he received a BA in history from Kalamazoo College in 1996 and earned his Master's Degree in historical administration from Eastern Illinois University in 1999. Prior to coming to Kenosha, he worked at The National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland, and The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

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