Who are we? Eh!

Join us for our next meeting

Holiday luncheon:  We are booked for noon on SATURDAY 7 JAN at The Old Mill Brewery, 555 Wellington, St.  Ottawa, ON

Please RSVP to: Conrad Laplante. This is always a lovely luncheon with CWRTO Members and their significant others!

Next meetings:

  • January 26, 2017, Group Assignment (5-10 Mins):  Describe an aspect of Reconstruction
  • February 23, 2017, Sutlers, Presented by Hill Kaslove
  • March 30, 2017, Edward Reed Memorial Lecture: Anglo-American Tension at Sea – RMS TRENT and CSS ALABAMA, Presented by Wayne Pickering

Visitors are always welcome!

We also meet prior to the meeting for dinner at a local restaurant.  Contact Conrad Laplante for details.

16 Rowley Avenue Nepean, ON

Usual monthly meetings: 7:30 p.m. on the last Thursday of the month, excluding July and August.  (members gather between 7-7:30)

Nepean Museum building, 16 Rowley Avenue.


PLEASE RSVP: CWRT Ottawa President: Conrad Laplante

Check out our full schedule of meetings here.


So why would a Canadian group be interested in the American Civil War?

Antietam Monument. Photo courtesy Conrad Laplant CWRT Ottawa.

One reason connects to an old thought that two of the most important episodes in Canadian history are the American Revolution and the American Civil War.

The American Revolution is important to Canadians, of course, notably because (a) we ended up harbouring the “Tories” (or Loyalists) who did a good deal to shape the country, and (b) because it meant we ended up living next to a young giant.

Dunker Church at Antietam. Photo courtesy Conrad Laplant CWRT Ottawa.

The  reasons why the American Civil War is important to us are more subtle, but one is that the sudden expansion of U.S. armed strength, combined with the decline in Britain’s ability (or motivation) to defend its distant colonies, was a main motivation in our move to Confederation. Other reasons include our role in the last days of American slavery, and our experience as the base for several Southern attacks on the North.

Beyond these special reasons, the American Civil War is of great interest to people who like history. It’s packed with drama—with despair and triumph and the ironies of war between former friends—often family members.

Barbara Fritchie House, Frederick, Maryland. Photo by Conrad Laplant, CWRT Ottawa

It is also offers an extraordinary wealth of material on how history is formed: on the creation of myth, on trends in historical interpretation, on the gaps between belief and reality. Few episodes in history have been so thoroughly studied—and so often misinterpreted.

Because of these factors, and others, a small group of Civil War readers (by no means experts) meets monthly in Ottawa to share results of their readings, online searches and other explorations on the Civil War. Its sessions are low-key and informal, usually preceded by a meal in a neighbourhood pub. It tolerates and encourages a considerable range of views, and welcomes new members.

[Written by Carman Cumming, cwrtottawa]

Announcements and Recommendations:

  • Another good book review:
    Review by William H. Mulligan Jr., Murray State University   – George Kimball, A Corporal’s Story: Civil War Recollections of the
    Twelfth Massachusetts. Ed.Alan D. Gaff and Donald H. Gaff. Norman: Univ. of O
    klahoma Press, 2014.
  • Great website for information:  War on the Rocks  – Mark Stout, Ph.D. is Director of the MA Program in Global Security Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Arts and Sciences in Washington, DC. He has previously worked for thirteen years as an intelligence analyst with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and later with the CIA. He has also worked on the Army Staff in the Pentagon and at the Institute for Defense Analyses.


Questions about the Club: CWRT Ottawa President: Conrad Laplante